Classical Beats Showcase Brings Together Violin and Hip Hop

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Paul Dateh and DJ Inka One unite violin and hip hop at Classical Beats, presented by Summer And Music.

Violin strings will be plucked, vinyl will be scratched and public art will be viewed at Summer And Music (SAM) 2010’s two-day Classical Beats showcase—a sound synthesis of hip-hop juggling and classical violin arrangements—in downtown Long Beach on Friday August 13 and Saturday August 14.

Classical Beats, an innovative concert new to SAM, will be the first event to take place on the Redevelopment Agency-sponsored project, “Urban Lab: Chantilly Clad,” public art designed by Freya Bardell and Brian Howe of Greenmeme.

Paul Dateh—a classically trained violinist—is headlining the remarkable night of art and genre collision with hip-hop artist DK Inka One.

Dateh began his studies at age four and has evolved his understanding and mastery of music in every possible direction since then. Dateh has been touring vehemently since he hit the music scene two years ago.

In 2009, as a testament to his multifaceted musical aptitude, Dateh released two dramatically different albums within months of each other. The first was a self-titled release focusing on his crisp violin dexterity, honeyed vocals and strong songwriting skills. The second was a seven-song concept EP with guitarist Ken Belcher titled “The Good Life,” which MTV deemed to have the “acoustic bounce of Jason Mraz” and a commendable stripped-down focus on their respective instrumental abilities.

A YouTube sensation for his collaboration with hip-hop DJ Inka One, Dateh has gone on to garner millions of views on the web and pull in national television and print exposure. He has also been compared to the Grammy Award-winning “Hip-Hop Violinist,” Miri Ben-Ari—an Israeli native who pioneered the fusion of classical style with jazz, R&B and hip hop.

DJ Inka One—as entrepreneurial as he is rhythmic—has worked the Los Angeles and Boulder, Colo. hip-hop scenes as a promoter and resident DJ since 2000. His collaboration with Dateh creates a sound so distinct and a hype so big, the devil himself is jealous he didn’t think of it first.

Complimenting this sonic union, the weekend will also celebrate the dedication of the “Urban Lab: Chantilly Clad,” a temporary public art installation that will dually serve as the stage for the weekend’s performances. The installation employed a team of individuals to weave over 30,000 linear feet of boat rope to create the amazing lace canopy and shade structure. The canopy will be supported by another familiar Long Beach icon, the crane. Beneath the canopy, a modular deck, made from reclaimed lumber, will follow the orientation of the canopy and engage its shadows.

Musical Mashup is Joined by Chantilly Clad Art

“We imagine ‘Chantilly Clad’ as a shared public space,” Greenmeme artist Bardell said. “In essence a front porch, a place to gather and find conversation. The three woven sculptures frame a temporary pavilion that will host a series of site-specific performances, bringing life and attention to this once vacant lot. We hope that the artwork will ignite spontaneous acts of creativity and encourage community ownership.”

Thanks to funding provided by the Los Angeles County Art Commission, the Arts Council for Long Beach’s A LOT Series will bring free community events, like SAM’s Classical Beats, to the “Urban Lab: Chantilly Clad.” Each A LOT Series event will be accompanied by an open-air discussion related to urban planning, civic engagement and art.

At 5:30 p.m., prior to the August 13 Classical Beats performance and after the community dedication of “Urban Lab: Chantilly Clad,” will be a discussion about the artistic process and the vision for temporary public art in Long Beach. A free lace-making workshop, demonstrating the techniques that created the canopy and shade structure, will transition the evening into music.

At 5 p.m., prior to the August 14 Classical Beats performance, a discussion with Jay Lopez, executive director of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, and Susan Obrow, co-manager of Cultural Affairs in Culver City, will explore the “art walk” as a tool for community and economic development.

Alternative transportation to the event is encouraged, with several public transit options offered by Long Beach Transit. Long Beach Cyclists will also be offering free bicycle valet parking to folks who commute to the show on two wheels.

SAM is co-produced and sponsored by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) in partnership with SAM co-founders Rand Foster and Justin Hectus.

For more information, visit www.summerandmusic.com or call (562) 436-4259.

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