2021 Performer Bios
BERNSTEIN STAGE - MUSIC
No Rats (12:15 - 1:00PM)
folk music strike line band from Dartmouth, MA
Mike and Dan met on the Steelworkers strike line this year in New Bedford and played Union Songs to the striking workers.
Both being lifetime trade unionists and musicians they formed "No Rats " to proudly share the Union message and the promise of hope, dignity and respect it carries.
Mike and Dan are both Steelworker proud, Teamster proud and above all Union Proud!
Devon Diep featuring SHe (1:15 - 2:00PM)
pop singer-songwriter group based in New York City
Devon is an actor, singer, songwriter and producer from Boston. As a child, she realized the transcendent power of the creative arts.
Her professionalism, talent, and versatile looks gained her numerous appearances in campaigns and commercials for well-known brands.
Within 4 months of her music career, she wrote the title song "Green Dragon" for Martin Scorsese's film, Revenge of the Green Dragons, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. She also performed her original songs and played a supporting role in Dead Reckoning, a film starring KJ Apa and directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak.
She has roles in TV & FILM such as The Heat, Ted, and Top Gear. She recently landed a recurring role in Defending Jacob, an Apple Original TV series starring Chris Evans. She is in three new feature films: Dead Reckoning, Snakehead, and Honest Thief.
Currently based in NYC, Devon is living her dream acting and writing music for movies as she prepares to headline her 1st music festival this September. She is also a co-founder, writer, singer, and producer for SHe music project. Additionally, she recently accomplished her longtime goal of writing and directing her first short film "Air.” It is in postproduction and will be submitted to film festivals upon completion. She is eagerly waiting to share her upcoming films and debut album with her fans and the rest of the world.
Devon’s drive and passion for creating work that emotionally connects people led her to many successful projects and will continue to be the driving force for future endeavors.
SHe is a collective of 5 diverse singer-songwriters. They met in New York City and produced 23 edgy pop songs about love, heartbreak, dreams, and girl power. Fate led them on different paths, but in 2020, in the midst of a socially distanced world, they reunited. SHe's back and ready to finally share their SHe pop music with the world.
Cliff Notez (2:15 - 3:00PM)
award-winning hip hop artist and filmmaker from Boston, MA
Boston native Cliff Notez is an award-winning, multi–digital media artist, musician, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. His art is a continuous exploration of the black mind.
Rooted in hip-hop, his art tackles the political and the personal, exploring the intimate consequences of a society where black bodies are easily ignored, forgotten, or disregarded. His second full-length album, Why the Wild Things Are, was released September 11, 2019. His films have been official selections for 20+ film festivals globally, winning five of them. In 2017, he was the grand prize winner of the March on Washington Festival and honored alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates. In 2018, he took home the Best New Artist award at the Boston Music Awards, while racking up over 11 nominations between 2019 and 2020, including Artist of the Year and Live Artist of the Year. In 2019, he became the first musician to be named Musician of the Year for Boston Magazine's Best of Boston.
Brandon Falls (3:15 - 4:00PM)
Bachata band from Lawrence, MA
Growing up seeing my father rehearsing with José Manuel Calderón, I quickly fell in love with bachata. Bachata is music that makes you feel something. The energy is captivating but straightforward, with memorable melodies and unique rhythm combined with powerful lyrics about love and pain. The sound of the requinto alongside the passionate voice of José Manuel Calderón filled me with so many emotions and an eagerness to one day play like them.
As a child, I would ask my teachers to be my backup dancers as I would pretend to be Anthony Santos as the rest of the kids would watch me and dance. From that moment, I knew what I wanted to be more than a bachatero, but also an entertainer. I discovered that I truly loved seeing everyone enjoy the music and dancing when I formed my first band, “Grupo Swag.” I have performed alongside José Manuel Calderón, Monchy y Nathalia, Ramón Cordero, Carlos y Alejandra, El Gringo de la Bachata, J.R., and the legend himself, Luis Vargas. Traveling in beautiful cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta, D.C., New York. I have released three singles, “La Amante”, “Mujeres de Hoy”, and “Te Venceré,” and “Señora” is set to be released by the end of August.
“BRANDON FALLS” was born this year alongside my band: drummer Saul Santos, tamborrero Adrian Parra, bass player Santiago ‘Chavy’ Infante, rhythm guitarist Julio Rosario, güerrero Elian ‘Musikito’ Rivera, and vocalist Lizbeth ‘Lissi’ Gomez. We are looking forward to this new journey, learning and growing together and impacting our community and our culture.
Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts
(PERFORMING ALONGSIDE BRANDON FALLS)
The Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts brings a bit of Dominican Carnival to the United States. The group is led by Stelyn Mirabal of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Twelve years ago, he saw the need to preserve Dominican folkloric traditions in Lawrence, where there was (and is) a sizable Dominican population. He formed a comparsa (meaning a group of elaborately costumed people who participate in the carnival parade) to take part in Lawrence's 2nd Dominican Parade. They wear traditional masks called lechones that represent pigs or ducks. It was Stelvyn's uncle who taught him and his cousins the carnival traditions of mask making and parading. Now, carnival has become a family affair. The masks, imported from the Dominican Republic, are made from a mold of clay and covered with a paste-like papiermché. The more elaborate diablos cojuelos costumes are professionally made using real teeth, horns, and skins, mainly of cows. This Dominican tradition is a mix of Spanish, African, and Catholic influences.
MOSART212 (DJ THROUGHOUT THE DAY)
Mosart212 is a seasoned veteran producer and remixer, as well as an award winning DJ. A particular kind of musical magpie that’s been in the game for over 25 years, he can be found fluttering around the neighborhood picking up only the shiniest and most obscure bits and baubles to decorate his production nest. Mosart212’s collections of beats and productions are gorgeous and oddball, noisy and contemplative, experimental while being steeped in tradition. Evoking 90’s boom bap, the space and atmospherics of house music, the technicality of classic electro, and the experimentation of lo-fi hip hop Mosart212 honors the game and its integrity with every handcrafted release.
FROST STAGE - MUSIC, THEATER, DANCE
Cara Brindisi (12:15 - 1:00PM)
Singer-songwriter from Worcester, MA
Over the last 10 years, Cara Brindisi’s powerful, yet ethereal voice has been heard in venues big and small across New England. After receiving a degree in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music in 2010, Cara soon parlayed her experiences into songwriting and a fast-growing repertoire into performing with her acoustic guitar.
Beginning with a weekly residency at Worcester, MA beloved and revered “Vincent’s” nightclub, Cara has since opened for acts such as Tower of Power, Chris Isaak, Dispatch, Ryan Montbleau, Mitch Chakour, James Montgomery, and John Cafferty, in venues such as the Hampton Ballroom Casino (Hampton, NH), Blue Ocean Music Hall (Salisbury, MA), Asylum (Portland, ME), and the historic Mechanics Hall (Worcester, MA).
Cara has been voted Best Female Vocalist (2017) and Best Solo Acoustic Act (2014) by the Pulse Magazine’s Worcester Music Awards. Her first EP Album, 'Until Tomorrow' is available on iTunes and Spotify along with a newly 2019 released single ‘Sunflowers in September’.
Free Soil Arts Collective (1:15 - 2:00PM)
Theater company in Lowell, MA
Aleah Floyd, Singer
Aleah began singing at an early age in church choirs and school musicals. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Journalism and a degree in Film and Television, but kept her love of music. In college she was a part of a theater group called BU On Broadway and had the pleasure of performing in the productions of American Idiot, Anything Goes, Godspell, Cabaret and Pippin. She also had the opportunity to be cast as Mimi Marquez in Rent for a student group at Berklee College of Music.
Currently she sings with a gospel collective in Billerica called Intimate Night of Worship (INOW) and with the praise team at Third Baptist Church in Lawrence. She is working on releasing music soon.
Aleah is passionate about sports, music, movies, theater, and community involvement. When she’s not working on music or writing she loves to binge watch her favorite shows on Netflix.
Diamond Asaneh, Poet
Born in Boston to immigrant parents from Jamaica and Cameroon, Diamond Asaneh is a multifaceted community activist and poet residing in Lowell since 2005. Diamond has worked in various industries including food service, retail, childcare and youth advocacy. Through working in Lowell she has experienced the high qualities and ill favored sides of the workforce. While enduring some of the hardships, Diamond has embraced many of the incidents as teaching moments and a means of empowerment.
Max Addae & Cyril Amanfo of The Blackberry Poets
The Blackberry Poets are a multi-genre music group rooted in Black music and Black people. You can find them, and their latest single “Sweeter Juice” on all streaming platforms now.
Izizwe Dance Studio (3:15 - 4:00PM)
Dance school in Lawrence, MA
Izizwe Dance Studio is a non-competitive dance studio located in Lawrence MA. With a mission to inspire individuals and communities through dance, Izizwe trains dancers of all ages, produces powerful performances, and uses dance to prepare students for personal and artistic success. Owners and directors, Amy and Mcebisi Xotyeni, are professional dancers, teachers, and choreographers committed to developing a thriving dance community within Lawrence.
Social justice work: In addition to training dancers; Izizwe centers its programming around movement, identity, and social justice. Our most recent programming included our free summer dance institute which highlighted the similarities between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, using dance as the main point of harmony. This is in collaboration with Jean Appolon Expressions; a professional Hatian and contemporary dance company that uses dance to heal and educate communities around the world.
LITERARY LOUNGE - POETRY & PROSE
Adobo Fish Sauce (12:15 - 1:00PM)
Poetry and cooking duo from Lowell, MA
A Puerto Rican and a Cambodian walk into a kitchen. The kitchen is your heart. The food is made with food. The food is sometimes poems. Either way you are fed.
Adobo-Fish-Sauce is an active choice to celebrate in the face of bitterness. It is responding to “Go back to where you come from!” by bringing where they are from right to you. The duo fuses spoken word, cooking, intentionality, vulnerability, and joy to create a one of a kind experience that can’t be found in any kitchen or open mic.
Exposed Brick Literary Magazine
Writers from Lawrence, MA (2:15 - 3:00PM)
Exposed Brick Literary Magazine or #BrickLit is a curation of quality writing and design, started by young creatives in Lawrence, Massachusetts. BrickLit is run by three friends and artists from Lawrence, Massachusetts: Y-Binh Nguyen, Milly Joseph, and Gladys Wangeci Gitau-Damaskos who started this journey November 2019 during a conversation at a writing club in their local independent bookstore. They identify as writers and alliterates (people who can read but don’t always want to). This project was a way to encourage more creation and consumption of literacy and art in the city, a way for everyone to read and write more. At the beginning they faced the typical issues a startup publication might encounter: lack of funding and a dying print market. Soon they also had to deal with unpredictable factors, namely a global pandemic and political revolution. Inevitably, they were able to experience success due to a community that believes in them, artists who trust them with their creations, a team with a passion for the work, and a historical moment that reminds us all why this work is needed. Thus, they pivoted to a digital model and on June 21st, 2020–launching a beautifully curated 40-page literary arts magazine featuring twenty local writers and artists. Exposed Brick Literary Magazine started as a passion project by friends and became an offering of love in a time when we are all trying to figure out our roles in the world that is emerging before us. Before 2020, BrickLit believed that the voices of the marginalized were integral to building an equitable future. Now, more than ever, they are proud to have created this beautiful platform in service of that mission for their community.
Porsha Olayiwola (3:15 - 4:00PM)
Poet laureate for the city of Boston, MA
Black, poet, queer-dyke, hip-hop feminist, womanist: Porsha is a native of Chicago who now resides in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is BROWN Brown University's 2019 Heimark Artist-in-Residence and a poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American Poets. She is an MFA Candidate at Emerson College, The author of i shimmer sometimes, too published by Button Poetry and Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston.Her work can be found published with TriQuarterly Magazine, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere.
ACOUSTIC CORNER - MUSIC
Myles Bullen (1:15 - 2:00PM)
Soft Rap Art Poet
Hi, my name is Myles and I'm terrified of feelings
want to say hi?
message me on instagram! @beatboxpoet
Evelyn Blush (2:15 - 3:00PM)
R&B, Soul, Singer & Songwriter
Evelyn Blush is a Los Angeles native artist based in the Greater Boston area. The daughter of two hard working immigrants from Nicaragua, she is inspired by the voice and struggles of POC, immigrants and all minorities including herself. Growing up in Church allowed her to tap into a deeper spiritual level, discovering the healing power music has. She often blends many sounds such as RnB, hints of Jazz, Soul accents, Rock and a hint of what she likes to call "Tracy Chapman/Lauryn Hill Folk". She has a deep passion for spiritual, emotional healing and growth of the individual through music. Evelyn Blush believes that music is one of the most powerful remedies for a broken soul. For her, music has the power to bring people together.
This talented artist overcame countless obstacles on the way up, working every day to be a voice for her community and to keep their musical dream alive.
Ceschi (3:15 - 4:00PM)
Hip Hop / Folk Punk
An engaging, theatrical live performer, Ceschi Ramos has treated entire venues like a stage, viewing the middle of the audience or an empty barstool as good a place as any to perform a soul-baring folk song or tongue-twisting rap track. Ceschi once described himself in song as “a martyr at most… a failure at least” and said that, “In the eyes of history I’ll be no more than a leaf on a tree.” He knows what it is to suffer for his art and is aware that music exploring the ugliness and sorrow of the human condition will always exist on the fringes of a game dominated by disposable escapism and expensive publicists. Yet he still pours everything he has into his craft, and on any given night you can find him tracking vocals at his cousin’s New Haven studio, warmly greeting fans and friends at a dive bar merch booth or rapping double-time in Japan or Europe for audiences that often don’t speak his language, but are able to see the giant heart at the core of it all.
Bread and Puppet Theater (4:00PM)
“Domestic Resurrection Circus”
The Bread and Puppet Theater was co-founded in 1963 by Elka and Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people. In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Today, Bread and Puppet continues to be one of the oldest, nonprofit, political theater companies in the country.
The Bread and Roses Heritage Committee is saddened by the recent passing of Elka Schumann and will honor her many contributions with a commemoration at our Lawrence History Live speakers’ tent.