Hip-Hop Hesteria heading to Music Center Recital Hall on April 20

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UC Santa Cruz music professor Karlton Hester
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Dancer and vocalist Mandjou Kone

The UC Santa Cruz Music Department will present an evening of new hip-hop with live experimental jazz featuring music professor Karlton Hester and his band, Hesterian Musicism, on Friday, April 20, at the Music Center Recital Hall.

The concert will include performances by winners of the "2018 Hip-Hop Hesteria" contest.

Sponsored by the Arts Division, Hesterian Musicism, Hip Hop Congress, A Black Educational Network, Interdisciplinary Artists Aggregation, and the Music Department, the competition challenged young artists to “create rap lyrics that discuss the African origins and the interconnectedness of humanity, spirit energy, and the universe.”

The four winners of the contest range from 10-year-old Jeckayla Ellenberg, a talented young hip-hop student from San Francisco’s Rap Academy, to San Jose’s Jeremy Peters—aka Oneself DaVinci—who studies earth science and science communication at UC Santa Cruz.

Hester, a composer, flutist, and saxophone player, is director of Jazz Studies and a member of the Digital Arts and New Media faculty at UC Santa Cruz. He began his career as a composer and recording artist in Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician and music educator. He was also the head of jazz studies for a decade at Cornell University.

The founding music director of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation Big Band in San Francisco, Hester specializes in premeditated, spontaneous, and electro-acoustic composition. His compositions take many forms--from numerous solo cycles for various woodwinds to chamber configurations, music videos, and electro-acoustic symphonic works written in a wide array of styles.

Hester’s albums and DVDs include 21st-Century Musicism; The Divine Particle Vision, The Fillmore Jazz Preservation Big Band (featuring John Handy and Denise Perrier); Harmonious Soul Scenes 2000; Musicism for the Sake of Love; and Karlton Hester and the Contemporary Jazz Art Movement.

His books on music include his most recent publication, African Roots of the "Jazz" Evolution (2017, 3rd Edition), Survey of African Music (2011), Exploratory Musicism: Ideas for Spontaneous Composition (2010), Bigotry and the Afrocentric Jazz Evolution, (2012) and The Melodic and Polyrhythmic Development of John Coltrane's Spontaneous Composition in a Racist Society (1997).

The Hip-Hop Hesteria concert is part of 2018 April in Santa Cruz, a series of seven concerts featuring new music by UC Santa Cruz faculty composers and graduate students.

Upcoming performances will include Grammy-nominated William Winant’s Percussion Ensemble on April 27, and the Del Sol String Quartet, featuring music by Frederic Rzewski, Bernadette Speach, Michal Rataj, and UCSC music professor Ben Carson on April 28.

All concerts are free and open to the public. For the complete lineup and schedule, visit the April in Santa Cruz web site.