Red Bull Music Academy Festival Kicks Off a Month-Long Celebration of Music and Culture


Hudson Mohawke (Lauren Gesswein)

Hudson Mohawke, one of the scheduled performers, from RBMA in 2014  Photo: Lauren Gesswein

May will be a great month of cutting edge music, conversation and cultural events when the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York returns to the Big Apple for the third year in a row, with a good number of the 20 scheduled events to be held in Brooklyn. And the lineup boasts an impressive roster of talented artists from yesteryear to the present, showcasing sounds as diverse as electronic, dance, world, hip-hop, and R&B.

If you’re not familiar with Red Bull Music Music Academy, it’s a series of programs/workshops that invites music innovators to take part in recording sessions and lectures. Since 1998, the academy has been held in various cities throughout the world, with this year’s event to take place in Paris, starting in late October. Notable artists who have participated in past Red Bull Music Academy programs included Giorgio Moroder, Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, M.I.A., Hudson Mohawke, RZA, and Steve Reich.

The notable highlights taking place in Brooklyn for the 2015 New York festival include:

  • Electronic Africa
    Que Bajo?!: Barrioteca Tropical
    Electronic Africa kicks off the festival with music by emerging artists from that continent, while Barrioteca Tropical will unveil the sweet and funky sounds of reggaeton, salsa, merengue, dancehall.
  • A Conversation with George Clinton
    The legendary leader of Parliament-Funkadelic will talk about his colorful and influential career at the Brooklyn Museum. No survey of ’70s funk music would be complete without mentioning Clinton and P-Funk.
  • FKA twigs Presents ‘Congregata’
      This amazing artist who broke through with last year’s LP 1 album is performing two dates during the festival, backed by dancers, visuals, and costumes by Alexander McQueen.
  • Master Mix: Red, Hot + Arthur Russell
    The late Arthur Russell was not your typical musician as he straddled between punk, New Wave, minimalist and avant garde music. For two nights, Russell will be paid tribute by  an array of musicians that include Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Rubblebucket, and Thao Nguyen.
  • Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
    What could be better than spending time at the Williamsburg waterfront surrounded by vinyl records, food and music? Then make sure you keep Saturday May 16 open on your calendar as this huge record fair will take place once again with eats provided by Smorgasburg and music provided courtesy of DJs Justin Miller (Have A Killer Time), Eamon Harkin (Mister Saturday Night), Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Mexican Summer), Jack Tatum (Wild Nothing), and Matt Werth (RVNG).
  • Storm Rave with Frankie Bones, Adam X, Heather Heart, Lenny Dee, Rob Gee
    Electronic dance music (EDM) in America owes a debt to Brooklyn’s own DJ Frankie Bones. It was Bones who was invited to DJ at an event in England back in 1989 where the rave scene was taking place. He brought the energy of rave culture upon his return to New York through his own underground dance parties called Storm Raves that were held in warehouses. After 22 years, Bones, along with other techno DJs, is bringing the Storm Rave back one more to a secret warehouse location.

Below is the full list of what’s coming up; check out the festival’s website for more information.

George Clinton (Euclase)

George Clinton Photo: Euclase

May 1
Electronic Africa
50 N. 3rd St., Brooklyn

May 2
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
165 Banker St., Brooklyn

May 3
100 Disciplines: A Composition for 20 Performers by Kid Millions
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn
Free w/museum admission

May 6
A Conversation with LaMonte Young
Red Bull Studios
220 W. 18th St., Manhattan
Sold Out

May 7
A Conversation with A$AP Rocky
Madiba Harlem at My Image Studios
46 W 116th St., Manhattan
Sold Out

May 8
PC Music & SOPHIE: Pop Cube
647 Fulton St., Brooklyn
Sold Out

May 9
Que Bajo?! Barrioteca Tropical
54 N. 11th St., Brooklyn

May 10
Yardcore: Brooklyn Bashment
Venue: TBA

FKA Twigs (c/o Motormouth Media)

FKA Twigs Photo: Motormouth Media

May 12
A Conversation with George Clinton
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn

May 13
Nothing Changes: Merzbow, Pharmakon, Ron Morelli, Prurient
74 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn

May 14
Studio Talk: Beatmaker Roundtable
Red Bull Studios
220 W. 18th St., Manhattan
Price TBA

May 15
Triangle Records 5th Anniversary
23 Wall St., Manhattan
Sold Out

May 16
Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
90 Kent Ave., Brooklyn

May 16
Storm Rave: Frankie Bones, Adam X, Heather Heart, Lenny Dee, Rob Gee
Venue: secret warehouse TBA

May 17, 18
FKA twigs Presens ‘Congregata’
Brooklyn Hangar
2 52nd St., Brooklyn

May 27
Studio Talk: Revolutions on Air
Red Bull Studios
220 W. 18th St., Manhattan
Free w/RSVP

May 29, 30
Master Mix: Red, Hot + Arthur Russell
Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn

May 30
Sleeping Bag Records: Morgan Geist, Kurtis Mantronik and Nicky Siano
Good Room
98 Meserole Ave., Brooklyn

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