The Kennedy Center

B-Fly Entertainment



Biography

B-Fly Entertainment specializes in productions of all art mediums that speak to a multi-faceted hip-hop generation. Inspired by artistic collaborations and created in the spirit of B-girls, B-FLY seeks to elevate hip-hop within the art community. Be true. Be you. B-Fly.

Akua Allrich (writer, vocalist) has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer, and teacher, has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences with sold-out performances. The launching of her freshman album, A Peace of Mine, and second album, Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live! have earned the young artist international acclaim including distribution in Japan. Akua Allrich has inspired music lovers from all walks, who enjoy her exceptional work and expect nothing short of brilliant artistry from each of her offerings. www.akuallrich.com

Ayesis Clay (technical director, writer) is a proud graduate of North Carolina Central University where she received her BA in Theatre. An actor in the Washington, D.C., area, Ayesis also is the Theatre Department Chairperson for the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in PG County, Maryland, and sits on the county’s Theatre Advisory Board. During her time at the CVPA of PG County, Ayesis has had the opportunity to work in a number of capacities such as directing, scenic design, light design and operator, company management, and house manager. Presently, she is the touring stage manager for the critically acclaimed show, Paige in Full.

Kristopher Funn (writer, musical director, bass) was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and currently resides outside of DC with his beautiful wife and their awesome dog. After graduating from Howard University with an honors degree in computer science, Kristopher decided to pursue a career as a professional jazz musician. He has performed and toured internationally to every major jazz festival in the world with artists such as Kenny Garrett, Christian Scott, Nicholas Payton, Jeff Majors, and Pharaoh Sanders. Kristopher has also appeared and written songs on several recordings including Christian Scott’s latest album, Christian Atunde Adjuah. He continues to perform in the Washington, D.C., area while touring with the Christian Scott Quintet. www.funndamentals.com www.cornerstoremusic.com

Baye Harrell (writer, lyricist) has embraced the title of Hip-Hop Theater Artist to best encompass his multiple jobs. He has performed for audiences throughout the nation from Anchorage, AK to Off-Broadway as well as at his hometown’s Studio Theater and the 9:30 Club. He originated the role of Zomo for Imagination Stage’s Zomo the Rabbit, Kwame in Jennifer Nelson’s 25-7-365, and script consulted for In Pursuit of Me: Story of Christylez Bacon. As an emcee, his group Hueman Prophets has released two studio albums and opened for such notable artists as Questlove of The Roots, Common, and Trey Songz. He is a producer for the radio drama entitled The Answer, web docu-series The Angle, and last September received rave reviews for his play Hueman Prophets’ Read: White and Blue presented through CulturalDC’s Mead Theater Lab. www.twitter.com/bayeharrell

Angelo Hernandez (guitar) “StrumminSoulSince66” is a native Baltimorean who has been playing guitar for nearly five decades. Angelo has performed on local TV and co-wrote the theme for the show For Real. He was also a member of several bands including Traidwynn, where he incorporated original compositions and Latin grooves in more than 100 performances. Traidwynn opened for artists such as Al Green, Norman Connors, Bill Withers, the Spinners and Parliament/Funkadelic. Angelo is currently a guitarist with Ethnick Media and B-FLY on projects such as, All the Way Live!, Havana Hop, and Imagination Stage’s Zomo the Rabbit and John Henry. Angelo is happy to perform with his daughter and The Corner Store in the Liner Notes series!

Paige Hernandez (producer, director, writer and performer) is a multifaceted artist, who is known for her innovative fusion of poetry, hip-hop, dance, and education. As an AEA equity actress, Paige has performed on many stages throughout the country and recently received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. She has also been awarded for her innovative work in classrooms including the honor of being named a “classroom hero” by the Huffington Post. With her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, Paige continues to develop original and fresh work including The Nayika Project, which will premiere at this year’s Intersections Festival at the Atlas. www.paigehernandez.com

John Russell Lamkin III (drums) is a native of Baltimore Maryland. He began playing drums at the tender age of four. John attended The Manhattan School of Music in New York City and later, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. John has been recognized by, toured, played, and recorded with a number of exceptionally talented recording artists including Donald Harrison, Najee, Michael Henderson, Kenny Garrett, Christian Scott, Chick Corea, the late great Lionel Hampton, the late great Abbey Lincoln, and many others. John maintains a deep respect and appreciation of those who’ve set standards in the music world.

Blaine Menelik (Projection Design Assistant) Blaine focuses her talents in video projection/design, digital media, motion graphics, and web design. She completed her B.S. degree in Computer Technology with courses in visual communication and digital media arts. She previously assisted Tewodross Melchishua with video projections for Nacirema, a multimedia performance part of Source Theater Festival as well as Liner Notes at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. www.msmenelik.tumblr.com www.twitter.com/BMenelik

Tewodross “Teo” Melchishua (video, projection design) is a digital media producer, video projection designer, filmmaker, animator, VJ, and educator. He has produced video design for theatrical productions such as The Pitman Painters (1st Stage Theater), Caesar and Dada (WSC Avant Bard), Paige In Full: A B-Girl’s Visual Mixtape (B-Fly Entertainment), and others. He created video remixes and served as a VJ for Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber project, a mixtape of Wu-Tang Clan with Blue Note label artists and other jazz musicians; as well as other venues, parties, and live events. Tewodross currently serves as an associate professor & program coordinator of visual communication and digital media arts program at Bowie State University. vimeo.com/channels/thatsoulcinematic twitter.com/soulcinematic

Sam Prather (piano, transcription, vocalist) is an exciting and multifaceted musician from Washington, DC. Sam has developed a reputation in the local music scene performing and producing with all types of acts. On the funk/soul side, Sam has worked on keyboards with YaMama’Nym, 76 Degrees West, and Brandon Combs, while on the jazz side he has graced the stage with Heidi Martin, Warren Wolf, Antonio Parker, and Joey Omicil. Sam graduated from UDC where he studied piano with Allyn Johnson and is currently in the Graduate program at Howard University where he plays in the Jazz Ensemble and studies piano with Charles Covington. www.samprather.com 

Herbert Scott (saxophone, lyricist) is a saxophonist from the Washington, D.C. area. As a student Herbert participated in various arts programs including the Patricia M. Sitar Center, the Levine School of Music, Duke Ellington High School for Performing Arts and The Washington Jazz Arts Institute. Herbert has also competed scholastically and professionally, winning the Rose D’Amour Scholarship, a Laurel Fund Scholarship, Ken and Sandy Beal Scholarship, placing second in the Levine School of Music annual concerto competition, and winning the most outstanding musician award in high school. Herbert has completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State. http://herbspiceandcinnastix.blogspot.com/

Dante’ Pope (percussion and vocalist, Vol. 1 and 3) is a charismatic and exciting musician in Washington. A Native of Chicago, Illinois, he blends his gospel roots with a soulful swing that has entertained Washingtonians at venues such as the Howard Theatre, Blues Alley, and Bohemian Caverns. Dante’ provides personalized private lessons in addition to his work as percussion instructor at the District of Columbia Music Center. He attended the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Illinois, where he had Master Classes with Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, and Robin Eubanks. At Fisk University, he was a member of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. Dante’ has also played with many other great musicians such as Eric Clapton, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Hamilton, and Moses Hogan.

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/3/2014: One Mic Creative Ecosystem Presents Liner Notes

Remember the booklet that came with your music vinyl, CD, or cassette? Where you could discover influential genres and personal statements of artistic expression? In the age of digital downloads, collide with hip-hop’s past and present when dynamic performer/lyricists Paige Hernandez and Baye Harrell and jazz vocalist Akua Allrich join the The Corner Store Jazz Trio for a unique multimedia experience. This event is curated by B-FLY Entertainment in partnership with the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Part of One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.

B-fly Liner Notes