jessica Care moore (Detroit)

jessica Care moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven, Jess Care Moore Foundation.  An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist and producer, she is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My MouthThe Alphabet Verses The GhettoGod is Not an AmericanSunlight Through Bullet Holes, and a memoir, Love is Not The Enemy. Her poetry has been heard on stages like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed on every continent. jessica Care moore believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone.

Born in Detroit, jessica Care moore first came to national prominence when she won on the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record breaking five times in a row. Her searing performance of the poem “Black Statue of Liberty” earned moore several meetings with high profile publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press. She released her first book, The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, and sold more than 20,000 copies. Along with her own work, she proudly published famed poets such Saul Williams, Shariff Simmons, Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder Danny Simmons, NBA player Etan Thomas, Ras Baraka and former Essence Magazine editor Asha Bandele.

jessica Care moore’s work is not limited to her own publications. She has been published in several literary collections, including, 44 on 44, (Third World Press, 2011), A Different Image, (U of D Mercy Press, 2004), Abandon Automobile, (WSU Press, 2001), Listen Up! (Random House, 1999), Step Into A World, (Wiley Publishing, 2001), Role Call (Third World Press, 2002), Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Publishing, 2001). She is the youngest poet published in the Prentice Hall Anthology of African American Women’s Literature, by Valerie Lee, alongside literary greats such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Maya Angelou and many others.

jessica Care moore has graced the cover of The New York TimesThe Metro TimesMichigan FrontPageDetroit NewsDetroit Free PressAfrican Voices MagazineBlack Elegance Magazine, and has been featured in print and online magazines across the world, including, Essence,Huffington Post,Blaze, The Source, Vibe, Bomb, Mosaic, Savoy, One WorldUpscale,Ambassador MagazineUPTOWN and others. Her multimedia show, God is Not an American, was produced by The Apollo Theater and Time Warner’s NYC Parks Summer Concert Series.  She was the host, writer and co-Executive Producer of the poetry driven television show, Spoken, which was executive produced by and directed by Robert Townsend and aired on The Black Family Channel. moore’s poetry is featured on Nas’ Nastradamus album, Talib Kweli’s Attack The Block Mix Tape, and she is a returning star of Russell Simmons’ HBO Series, “Def Poetry Jam.”

As an artist/activist, jessica Care moore lent her powerful voice to the international fight against AIDS. She performed for the United Nations World AIDS Day Commemoration two years in a row and was one of the organizers of Hip-Hop-A-Thon, a concert in San Francisco which helped increase  AIDS education in the Black and Latino Bay-Area communities. moore has also performed in front of  thousands of  people during AIDS WALK Opening Ceremonies in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florida and Atlanta.

jessica Care moore lives for the stage and her audience. Her techno solo theater performance, The Missing Project: Pieces of the D is an high energy homage to Detroit, and she continued to push the boundaries of the genre by producing her  first conceptual art installation, NANOC: I Sing The Body Electric, which opened at the Dell Pryor Gallery in 2011. Her work is currently on exhibit at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and the Charles H. Wright Museum through August 2014 for her Black WOMEN Rock! Exhibition. This musical focus has lead her to create her first album, Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James.

Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James is a highly personal and passionate piece of work. It is decades of jessica’s Care moore’s musicality shared with her audience in a way they have yet to see. There was already music in her poetry; she is now bringing it full circle. The album is produced by moore and pianist Jon Dixon. Features include Imani Uzuri, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, Jose James, One Belo and Ursula Rucker. It will be released fall 2014 by moore’s record company Words on Wax in partnership with Javotti Media.

jessica Care moore currently lives, writes and plays in downtown Detroit, where she is proud to be raising her 7-year old visual artist, baseball loving, drums and hockey playing son, King Moore.

Self-Suffice (Hartford)

The Rapoet appears (performances, lectures, and workshops) at venues ranging from cafes to colleges, receiving praise from poets like Alice Walker and MCs like Talib Kweli. Recently, he performed at Yale University, hosted the Hartford Hip-Hop Festival with Rock Steady’s Crazy Legs, rocked the International Hip-Hop Festival with KRS ONE, and enrolled a new class of students (for the 2010-2011 school year) in his much loved RapOetry Workshop course. He is now enjoying a wave of critical acclaim for his new album “Manhattan Night” featuring Mez (of J Cole’s Dreamville) and Young Cee (produced for Little Brother, 50 Cent).

When not performing, recording, or teaching RapOetry classes, he offers one day RapOetry Workshops and Lectures. He is currently recording a new album for major distribution while continuing to teach and perform.

Babaluku (Uganda)

Babaluku (aka Silas Balabyekkubo), is an award-winning musician, producer, community youth advocate and social entrepreneur. A founding member of Uganda’s legendary hip hop group, Bataka Squad, Babaluku is known for introducing Luga Flow to Uganda’s creative scene. This unique and powerful indigenous rooted style of positive Hip Hop music has inspired youth in Uganda to embrace and celebrate their native languages, culture and tradition. Babaluku is dedicated to changing lives and giving hope to young people from the ghetto slums of Kampala to Northern Uganda and other rural regions. Through the Bavubuka Foundation Babaluku supports projects that are calling forth the spirit of Ugandan people in creative arts, youth empowerment, education, community development, sports, fashion, journalism, and community-building events.
Born and raised in Uganda until the age of twelve, Babaluku’s creative spirit is driven by his desire to honor and highlight his musical roots while creating unique, fresh and relevant music which inspires unity and directs attention to the power of the spiritual.

Babaluku has shared the stage with many globally acclaimed artists, including Michael Franti, Shad K, Okai and KRS-ONE. In addition to his own album, Luga Flow Revolution, he has been featured on legendary international hip hop albums such as Close to My Roots by Black Star Line, Internationally Known by Nomadic Wax and Officially Offside by Khulumani Group.

Since 2007 Babaluku has amassed a multitude of awards including a Pearl of Africa Award for Best Hip Hop Single and taking home Buzz Teen Awards top honor for Best Hip Hop Artist. He also garnered international acclaim as the featured artist in the documentary Diamonds in the Rough which won the Audience Choice Award at Dances With Films Festival and Best Feature Documentary at Peace on Earth Film Festival. In 2010 Babaluku was honored by the Uganda Canadian Cultural Association for his Excellence and also chosen as Pioneer of the Year by the Words Beats & Life Remix Teach-In Awards.

It doesn’t end there. Babaluku is also responsible for creating Spoken Truth, a monthly event and the first urban spoken word movement in Uganda, which provides a platform for poets and artists in all areas to showcase their work and express their passion. In addition Babaluku has hosted and been the prime sponsor for the Uganda Hip Hop Summit which has been celebrated as the annual highlight of Uganda’s Hip Hop scene for the last twelve years.

2015 promises to connect global Hip Hop movements and organizations to his annual Back TO the Source Hip Hop On the Nile retreat creating a spiritual ancestral experience for indigenous hip hop practitioners and leaders committed to deepening their transformative Hip Hop Culture practices, unifying and rebuilding our communities.




Frederick-Douglass Knowles II

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a Poet, Professor, and Activist involved in community education, AIDS activism and the performing arts. ​His works have been featured in Poems on the Road to Peace: A Collective Tribute to Dr. King Volume 2. Peabody Museum of Natural History by Yale University Press, The East Haddam Stage Company of Connecticut, The 13th Annual Acacia Group Conference at California State University, Folio –a Southern Connecticut State University literary magazine, Lefoko –a Botswana, Southern Africa Hip-Hop magazine and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora by Third World Press. ​ Frederick-Douglass is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in BlackRoseCity, where he has taught Composition, Literature and Creative Writing. “My poetry is the result of biographical accounts captured in narrative snapshots, highlighting the journey of the human spirit. I believe poetry is both poignant and powerful, and is pivotal in deftly drawing thought-provoking prose from the soul.”

photo by Nonfiction Photography

Amkoullel (Mali)

One of the most talented African hip-hop musicians of his generation, Amkoullel creates musical collages from traditional, beatz, jazz, rock and more. A socially engaged artist, Amkoullel articulates messages of unity, democracy and political change for contemporary Mali and Africa. He has performed at numerous renowned festivals around the world such as the Festival on the Desert (Mali), the Nice Jazz Festival (France) and the Ollin Kan Festival (Mexico). Since 2013 Amkoullel is in demand in the United States as Mali’s most influential musical voice. He performs at venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Amkoullel is also carried on Netflix in the MTV documentary series “Rebel Music” (Mali episode) filmed in Bamako.

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival 2011: Amkoullel (Mali)- ‘Na I Don’ from Nomadic Wax on Vimeo.

Waterflow (Senegal)

Papa Moussa Lo, a.k.a. Waterflow, was born in Pikine, an outlying area of Dakar that epitomizes the hardships of families an…d the lack of opportunities for the youth in Senegal. His name reflects his attitudes about life through the flow of water, the life-sustaining element of the earth that flows positively forward each day. Waterflow is the charismatic and thoughtful spokesperson for Wagëblë, a pioneer hip hop group in Sénégal, formed in 1997. Read more at

Decora (New York)

Decora is a Hip Hop/ Spoken Word Artist from Hudson Valley, New York whose genre bending music incorporates lyrical wit with post modern electro and Hip Hop Beats.

The Business of Believing in Your Art

After touring for 10 years in over 15 countries and 40 states Decora talks about using the power of your art to help motivate and continuously fuel your career.   Unlike business, that can be learned in schools, colleges and universities, the business of believing in your art is an experiential learning process that takes time, effort and persistence.

Baba Israel (NYC)

Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre. He developed as a young artist exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance. He next lived and worked in Australia working on community theatre projects and festivals. During his time in Australia he received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to produce and perform the Hip Hop Theatre production “The Bridge” which was performed in non-traditional venues and toured to juvenile detention centers. He began his career as an arts educator in Australia and has gone on to be a leading educator and consultant working with organisations such as Urban Word, BAM, and the University of Madison. He has also worked as a cultural ambassador with the State Department delivering workshops and performances across South East Asia, the south Pacific, and in Gambia and Turkey.

He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company who have bring theatre to hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, as well as theatres and festivals. The company is currently developing projects to support immigrant communities in Long Island in a series of performances and workshops funded by the Hagedorn Foundation.

As a theatre and Hip Hop artist He has toured across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, performing with artists such as Outkast, Philip Glass, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, Afrika Bambaataa, Vernon Reid, and Bill Cosby. His debut solo show Boom Bap Meditations was supported by the Ford Foundation and The Hip Hop Theatre Festival which toured the US and Europe. He has worked on sound design for theatre and dance projects with Renita Martin’s It is the Seeing and Rha Goddess’s Meditations with the Goddess.

He is a long time collaborator with Jason Lindner and has toured with Jason’s project Now vs Now and was featured on their debut album produced by Meshell Ndegeocello and mixed by Bob Power.

He was AD/CEO of Contact Theatre in Manchester from 2009- 2012. Contact is a leading international organisation at the intersection of the arts and youth leadership. During his tenure he created flagship festivals, directed and produced touring productions, and programmed seasons that focused on innovative and diverse work.

Now back in New York he is currently embarking on a journey to create a piece inspired by his late father Steve Ben Israel in collaboration with Leo Kay (Unfinished Business) and Yako 440. He is also a core member of Hip Hop/Soul project Soul Inscribed. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary arts from Goddard in the United States.

Hired Gun (Mikal Lee) (NYC)

Mikal Amin Lee also known as “The Hired Gun” is an interdisciplinary hip-hop artist and educator. Hired Gun is a veteran of nine international music tours including extensive education work as a State Department Cultural Ambassador through the American Music Abroad program, and as the artistic director for the Harlem Biennele “Our Better Angels”. The Brooklyn resident has implemented master classes, cultural workshops, lectured and performed in over eight countries on four continents including Nepal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Brazil, France and at such institutions as Columbia, Fordham, Alliance France, Palais De Tokyo and The Lourve. The founder of Fresh Roots Music, and co-founder of Re:Education and Say Word Entertainment, he currently serves as Director of Programming for Urban Word NYC.

The travels of a Hip Hop Griot” is a look into the cultural impact that hip hop has had over the last decade throughout the world. Hip Hop no longer is the sole creative domain of the United States, and Hired Gun will discuss his experience on four continents, immersing himself, experiencing and participating in the global hip hop culture. This talk will outline and present collaborative work between himself, Brazilian, and African artists, discussing how various communities are utilizing hip hop to amplify their voice within their countries political realm, and empowering youth to make a lasting impact on their communities.

Silek (Italy)

From 1996-2006, Silek was part of Dozhens (S.P.C. Crew), the first rap crew from Padua, Italy – a city near Venice. From the beginning, the crew was very experimental in its approach to hip hop, and later added electronic music and live instruments to their production. They produced three albums and an EP before going solo in 2006.

Silek continued his conceptually dark hip hop backed with an electronic sound. Around this time, he connected with the founders of the Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival and became of the main stage acts at the first festival in 2006. He received excellent feedback, interviews and quotes from international press and also placed a single on a Nomadic Wax compilation album.

Over the next 8 year, we produced four more albums. His new album, Briciole di fame, will be released on March 21, 2015. he has performed at hundreds of live events and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in Italian hip hop as well as the likes of  Cypress Hill, Evidence, Das FX, Dilated People, Onix, Arsonits and Psyco Realm.


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