EMN GroupLast Saturday, the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) hosted an evening with Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN), a Hip Hop Orchestra led by the direction of composer Joowan Kim.  Over 225 people attended the event and were graced with an amazing performance by EMN that blended Western European Classical compositional techniques with the lyrical realism and grittiness of Hip Hop.  They performed classic Hip Hop songs from the Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg as well as their original tracks from their album.

OrchestraThe evening opened with a magnificent set by Professor Kymberly Jackson and a crowd-pleasing and dynamic vocal percussion performance by U.S. Beatboxing Champion Frisco Beats.  The audience also was able to watch the promotional video for our upcoming event Rock The School Bells 8 that is scheduled for March 7, 2015.  One of the many highlights was a community welcome to all of our Bécalos Program students who were in attendance.  Also, in between each performance set, Professor Mustafa Popal and the Advanced Placement Crew kept the positive energy going as our CIPHER House DJ.  The evening was certainly filled with musical artistry and great energy.

In addition, many of Skyline College’s Bécalos students from Mexico were in attendance. Many of these students are talented musicians, dancers, artists, and singers and the opportunity to witness a unique blend of musical genres was a special experience for the visiting students.

Proceeds from this event will be used to provide educational scholarships through the Rock The School Bells Scholarship Fund intended for students pursuing majors such as art, music, graphic design, and film.

FriscoBeatsThis event was funded in part by the President’s Innovation Fund and would not have been possible without the assistance of all of the learning communities and programs such as CIPHER, Kababayan, ASTEP, Puente, FYE, Honors Transfer, Career Advancement Academies, and Rock The School Bells.  A special thanks to the President’s Council; CIPHER and Rock The School Bells Advisory Board; Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations; Josh Harris and his Theater Staff; and Graphic Arts and Production for all of the preproduction support that they have provided to ensure a hugely successful event.

For more information about CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at nevadon@smccd.edu.

Article by Nate Nevado | Photos by Rocky Branch