GRAMMY NOMINATION FOR BANJO TO BEATBOX announced Dec. 2, 2009
Children’s Music GRAMMY® Award winners CATHY Fink & MARCY Marxer fuse their talents with Washington, DC’s hip-hop sensation Christylez Bacon in a fresh new recording for kids & families. What happens? Beatbox (mouth drums) meets the banjo, nursery rhyme meet the hip-hop fractured fairy tale and tradition meets the next generation of contemporary “hip” with the new video-enhanced EP and music download - Banjo to Beatbox, available May 2009.
With nods to folk, rap and imagination, these artists show us that through music, our different neighborhoods (and musical styles) can come together.
Christylez Bacon is a hip-hop artist you WANT your family to see and hear. He rhymes, raps, beatboxes and plays percussion and banjo ukulele in the trio.
CATHY & MARCY'S preeminence in family music has been recognized with over 200 Awards, including 2 GRAMMY® Awards in Children’s Music. Their reputation for bringing new music with ever-broadening appeal continues with this collaboration. www.cathymarcy.com
So, how did Cathy & Marcy, internationally renowned folk and children’s music veterans, connect with a 23 year old hip-hop artist from SE Washington, DC? Cathy & Marcy were artists in the first residency program in 2005 at the Music Center at Strathmore in Maryland, continuing with the program as artist mentors. In 2007, Christylez Bacon became an artist in residence at the age of 21. His music captivated the duo, his stage presence delighted all audiences and his personal directive to use his rhyming and beatbox for totally diverse collaborations was apparent. After a little banjo and beat box jam, Cathy & Marcy were joining Christylez at an open mic in downtown Washington, DC. Then, he joined the duo at a prestigious Old Time Banjo Festival. When they collectively composed the “Hip-Hop Humpty Dumpty,” they knew something special was going on. More happy and crowd-pleasing songs followed one after the other, and a full 8-song EP emerged.
"Beatbox is a new roots music, with urban origins but based on a long tradition of African rhythms,” explains Fink, an acknowledged master banjo player. "The banjo originally comes from Africa. Our mutual intentions are to have fun, make old music new and make new music exciting, while of course, building community with our performances. This collaboration is as exciting to us as any we’ve done."
The new recording features five-string banjo, cello banjo, six-string banjo and banjo ukulele, along with Marcy’s stellar washboard rhythms.
At the forefront of children's music since the 1980's, Cathy & Marcy will deepen their roots in the children's music family tree with the release of Banjo to Beatbox. Previous award winning collaborations include All Wound Up with Heavy Metal Polkameisters Brave Combo, Your Shoes and My Shoes with folk icon Tom Paxton, and recordings made with Pete Seeger, Sweet Honey, Riders in the Sky, Mariachi Los Camperos and others on the GRAMMY® winning cELLAbration: A Tribute to Ella Jenkins.
“Our goal is to be ourselves while expanding our musical universe and taking the audience along with us. Working with Chris continues to create new links in the chain and breaks new ground with musical styles not often found in the same room, or on the same recording. It says to everyone, 'let's take an adventure!'" according to Marxer.
This adventure sounds unlike any other musical group today. The three musicians visited numerous classrooms to try out their new material. On first performance, students and teachers loved the “Jubilation” song. One teacher had her class write additional verses to the song, which Cathy & Marcy sometimes sing in performance. Christylez taught the kids how to beatbox using letters of the alphabet. Everyone jubilantly participated in the call and response and Cathy, Marcy and Christylez found it easy to work and perform together.
Banjo to Beatbox features three bonus Quicktime videos. Cathy & Marcy "Jammin'" with Christylez, Tappers with Attitude and an amazing breakdancer, Christylez performing "It's the Beatbox" and "Cathy & Marcy in Banjoland.”