Rapper turned actor Mos Def (born Dante Smith), has moved on from Showtime’s Dexter to join the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He’s blending his hip-hop style with the classical tunes of one of the most talented orchestras in the country.
Mos Def is taking a break from acting to return to his musical roots. The acclaimed lyricist has joined forces with the Brooklyn Philharmonic to preview and promote their upcoming concert season.
On Saturday, the Brooklyn Philharmonic gave their first performance under the command of their new artistic director Alan Pierson. The concert took place outside in the heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn as part of the Restoration Rocks Music Festival.
The New York Times said, “Mr. Pierson led an ensemble of the orchestra’s members in three songs by the hip-hop artist (and Bedford-Stuyvesant native) Mos Def, who also joined in a brilliant performance of Frederic Rzewski’s “Coming Together,” written after the 1971 Attica prison uprising.”
Mos Def dedicated his performance to the recently deceased death row inmate Troy Davis, who was killed by lethal injection in September.
If you missed the opportunity to see the Philharmonic’s hip-hop inspired performance, Mos Def will join the orchestra again on Wednesday, Oct. 12. It’s part of the New Sounds Live event, which is curated by John Schaefer. Def will be accompanied by Mellissa Hughes, a singer from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Once again, this will serve as a preview of the musical offerings this season, which will include 19th century Shape Note singing, and works by David T. Little, Frederic Rzewski and Lev Zhurbin.
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