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USA/NY: Bulan for the Beat in Brooklyn

Starting at 6pm on March 22nd at Matthattan's CODA, and again on March 23rd at Brooklyn's Southpaw, the "New York Collective of One World Beat Artists" will be performing in a spectacular line-up featuring six artists or bands per evening, all to benefit OWB's "Give A Child A Chance" education campaign. Organized by OWB USA Coordinator, Lisa G. Humphrey--herself one of the performers--this incredible group of caring creatives features F.L. Jones and the F.B.B., Mic Jones, Ayanda Hutchinson Band, Eve Torturo Band, Kaissa, Durand's Funky Blues, and Phife at CODA, and the Wonderland Orchestra, Nicole "Byrd" Johnson, Rashani, Lisa Humphrey, Bulan, and Ali Shaheed Muhammed at Southpaw.

Singer and songwriter Bulan (also known as Alkebulan, whose name means "land of original people") captivates audiences with her powerful vocals and equally strong messages. Her original songs are infused with themes of life, love, reality, drama, and heartache. She surrounds herself with talented musicians, and the result is a daring mosaic of groove-minded invention and introspection, which blends musical prowess with message-driven lyrical expression. Drawing on the roots of her African lineage, she creates music with the pulse and rhythms of jazz, soul, R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock, dance and reggae, which has helped her to develop a body of work uniquely her own.

Bulan, raised in a family of talented musicians and singers, grew up listening to the words and poetry of then brother-in-law, Felipe Luciano (political activist and one of the founders of the 1960's organization, the Young Lords), and the music of her godfather Eddie Palmieri (the preeminent Latin-Jazz Grammy award-winning musician). An audition for music legend Paul Simon for his Broadway production, "The Capeman", first led her to take her musical talent seriously, and--although that project was ultimately unsuccessful--she is featured on "Songs from the Capeman", which Simon produced. She has also worked alongside singer/songwriter and political activist Ruben Blades, and pop sensation, Mark Anthony.

She has performed and toured major cities around the world with Freedom Williams, of the highly successful C and C Music Factory, and became the new voice of such hits as "Rock 'n' Roll", "Do You Wanna Get Funky", and "Pride (A Deeper Love)." The hit, "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)", was re-released in Europe in 2004 with Bulan at the vocal helm, alongside Williams. It has garnered rave reviews and is getting major spin at clubs and on the radio. In New York, she has performed at CBGB'S, Groove, The Culture Club, and the now legendary Palladium, with her band TBMIG (pronounced TA-BIMME-GEE , which means "The Black Man Is God"), otherwise known as G.A.M.E. when performing without her.

She recently recorded some songs for Disney Records' latest children's album, "Mickey's Dance Party", and promoters involved with the project are clamoring for the release of "Pride (In Your Soul)", featuring Bulan, K1, and Freedom. The song is a tribute to the late great David Cole and the legendary Babatunde Olatunji. It features a 16-bar rap by Freedom Williams and a chant in the intro by Trinidad native K1. With thought-provoking statements regarding social responsibility and education, Bulan is both a genuine performer and socially-conscious artist. She is preparing her own album now, which will feature artists such as Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, and Marc Anthony, as well as Steve Perry. She says that one of her greatest honors would be to one day record with David Bowie, who she credits with saving her life.

Bulan has recently been named the Vice President of the Rufus Perry Foundation, where she is in charge of research and project development. Every year the foundation donates a $1000 scholarship to African-American students who excel in academics and who wish to study African culture at the university level. Rufus Perry was the great-great grandfather of Freedom Williams; he was born a slave in Smith County, Tennessee, and escaped from slave-traders to freedom in Canada. He learned to write Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, and became a scholar who penned classic books on the African and Greek people.

Bulan has made it her mission to break as many stereotypes as did Rufus Perry before her. Her unique, compelling voice, coupled with the ability to reach the hearts and minds of an audience, has made Bulan an exceptional talent sure to take her fans to a higher level of music appreciation.

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"You guys Rock."
Leigh Blake, Founder - Keep A Child Alive
dy> "You guys Rock."
Leigh Blake, Founder - Keep A Child Alive