At the 2nd American Beatbox Championships, NYC had one of it’s heaviest single day downpours in it’s history and in true NYC fashion the club was packed. Over 500 people came out to see the beatboxers rock it out to the fullest, globally others watched online. The scene in house was an eclectic mix of NY, many of whom had never seen such a battle.
The American Beatbox Championships is emerging as a must see event in New York City. The birthplace of what we know today as BEATBOX. The 3rd American Beatbox Championships is gearing up to go NEXT level. SIGN UP NOW to get updates and specials for the big summer weekend. We will be announcing details very shortly. If you have never been to the AMERICAN BEATBOX CHAMPIONSHIPS, start making your plans.
Kenny Muhammad is one of the planet’s most inspiring and legendary vocal percussionists. Co-Founder of the World Beatbox Association and without question a father of modern human beatboxing/vocal percussion Kenny Muhammad is the Human Orchestra! This wizard of sound possesses an astounding ingenuity that enables him to construct an unlimited array of musical composition all without the use of instrumentation or influences.
Kenny Muhammad (The Human Orchestra) has expanded the range of art that some immediately call the human beat box. He redefined the human body as the first instrument, through an awesome manipulation of his own body. Kenny summons Afro Cuban, Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Salsa, House, Techno, Jungle, Trance, Hip Hop, Drum and Base rhythms from the depths of his soul to create amazing array of human orchestrations.
This neo-musical expression gave rise and living experiences to a message in not just his name, The Human Orchestra, but to the expanse of the art form he represents.
Kenny began his extraordinary march to becoming the Human Orchestra in the summer of 1980 in his Mother’s house in Far Rockaway, New York. He grew up listening to bands like Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown and the JB’s. He followed along with this music as he grew. Upon hearing the Fat Boysfrom Jamaica, Queens, a name was given to sounds rising from his soul. That sound was called the human beat box.
Kenny began to perform for his friends; he was beat boxing in school, on the corner, in the park, in the halls of building he lived in. Anywhere people would listen, he did his thing. Nowhere was off limits. What was important were the sounds he summoned from his soul.
Kenny’s first gig was a Bar Mitzvah he did with his twin brother Keith. They formed a group called the K Connection. From that point forward the Human Orchestra began to take shape as a living entity. Even after a near death experience in which his left lung was punctured in a car accident, Kenny was still blessed to be able to continue to master his craft on a much higher level.
Kenny 1st major performance came as a 3 time consecutive winner of Showtime at the Apollo in 1991. From there he began a rigorous touring schedule beginning in Japan, Korea, Europe, Africa and all across the United States.
He has developed a worldwide fan base, captivating thousands as he shared the stage with Public Enemy, Mindless Self Indulgence, Matisyahu, Squarepusher, The X-ecutioners, Regina Bell, The Gap Band, Maxwell, Angie Stone, India Arie, Stevie Wonder, Vernon Reid, Take 6, and a cameo with Patti La Belle just to name a few.
In addition to his work with Hip Hop, R&B, and Jazz artists, Kenny’s musical background includes incredible performances with The New York Symphony Orchestra at Manhattan Center, conducted by David Eaton, with Violin virtuoso Eugene Park at The King Sey Jung Hall in Seoul Korea and at Carnegie Hall. He has appeared on the show CBS This Morning, and Good Day New York. Variety Magazine’s Mar. 21, 2000 edition touted “Kenny Muhammad, whose uncanny vocal percussion- imagine a P-Funk version of Bobby McFerrin- was other worldly in scope”, after a performance with Vernon Reid of Living Colour fame. He was also blessed to give a Human Beat Box serenade for Elvin Jones and late great Max Roach at the Blue Note Jazz Club.
The Human Orchestra has also been seen and heard in several nationwide television and radio advertisement campaigns, all of which he wrote and created. Advertising endorsements include the VH-1 Hip Hop Honors Awards, Gatorade, as well as Burger King, a spot that was nominated for a Cleo award. Kenny has performed on Much Music, MTV, 30 Seconds of Fame and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, amongst others. Kenny muhammad also made his debut appearence as one of the Superhumans on the History channels “Stan Lee’s SuperHumans”as the SuperHuman human Beat box Vocal Percussionist!
When you get the opportunity, take a melodious ride of sight, sound, and imagination with Kenny Muhammad, The Human Orchestra.
MCs Hasan continues to bring truth both on stage and off. He recently signed with Viper Records (Immortal Technique) along with his partner and family Rugged & Raw, who is also a powerhouse MC.
Many artists crave the spotlight, but few know what to do with it.
Backed by corporations and worldwide conglomerates/
Pushing propaganda through the columns of news columnists/
Every single station reports with a bias/
Getting paid less for the facts, then they do for their silence/”
The producers dropped their clipboards. The studio audience cheered.
Hasan’s weapon has always been “the Truth.” His ability to wield it with uncompromising precision has catapulted him in to a global hip hop phenomenon. Hasan Salaam has accomplished more as an independent artist than many acts on a major label. He’s performed live on national TV stations such as NBC, FUSE, CSPAN, and PBS. His music videos have caught the eyes of program directors and, as result, have been played by MTV UK, FUSE, Music Choice, and Video Music Box.
Hasan’s music paints vivid pictures of the commonalities that bind us: struggle, love, and pain. It’s this ability, to touch people at their core, which has garnered Hasan a loyal fan base all over the world. He is the winner of 2 Underground Music Awards, and his following has generated over a million plays on Myspace and Youtube alone. He’s been featured in numerous major media publications such as The Source Magazine (twice), The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. Nearly every hip hop site on the Internet has, at some point, done a feature on Hasan Salaam.
In addition to his musical successes, Hasan has remained dedicated to his work in the community. He continues to work with troubled youth, and helps run a monthly food and clothing drive in Jersey City, N.J. Hasan has taught “The Socio-Political Importance of Black Music in American Society”, a self created lecture, at universities across the country. He also speaks regularly at conferences and discussion panels, to help bring awareness to vital social issues.
Poised to keep the momentum going, Hasan is currently working on his most anticipated project to date, entitled “Life in Black and White”. It is scheduled to be released in late 2011. Hasan Salaam has come a long way in a short time. However, his goal remains the same, “to be a voice for the voiceless.”
Indeed the star of the 1st American Beatbox Championships was master percussionist Swiss Chris!!! Swiss is well-known for his work as musical director and drummer for the nine-time Grammy winner John Legend, with whom he worked for four years. He is now concentrating on his own solo career with a forthcoming album. Swiss is also actively involved with his charitable organization, S.W.I.S.S. (Saving With Instruments, Samples and Soundz), dedicated to healing, education, and promoting communication through music for the betterment of the world.
During his tenure with John Legend, Swiss’s unique style was exposed to worldwide audiences—he performed all over the world with numerous tours both in the U.S. and abroad. Swiss performed on John Legend’s first two albums, Get Lifted (3 Grammys) and Once Again (2 Grammys), In detail, Swiss played on the Grammy award-winning hit “So High” (Get Lifted) and on the hit single “Save Room” (Once Again). In addition to that, he recorded on the John Legend “So High” (Cloud 9 remix) featuring Miss Hill.
Also, two classic DVDs were recorded: John Legend – Live at the House of Blues and John Legend – Live from Philadelphia.
Swiss Chris has had the pleasure of being able to work with artists like Sir Elton John, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Common, Wyclef Jean, Miss Lauryn Hill, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gloria Gaynor, DJ Dummy and DJ A-Trak, and many more.
Swiss Chris was also the musical director/drummer for the Home School Records/Bailey’s sponsored Tour 2008 and video featuring “Estelle” Fanta Swaray.
Swiss is currently working with Ladell Mclin, the Afro hip hop group Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew, Zimbwe Legit, Mazzi with S.O.U.L. Purpose, and his own group, The Dream Team One (Swiss Chris Freestyle Shows).
Swiss Chris stars in the hip hop/rock video with Talib Kweli’s group, Idle Warship on the track “Black Snake Moan”.
He also recently recorded with the world famous drummer Billy Cobham, DMC, and Chuck D. from Public Enemy.
Coming to New York via Boston, Swiss worked with a local funk band lead by the Jewish James Brown, Milo Z. He also worked with hip hop old school legends like Chubb Rock, Charlie Brown from Leaders of the New School, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Caz, the Rock Steady Crew and DJ Johnny Juice from Public Enemy.
While in the States, Swiss Chris earned a Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts Alumi. He further studied at Drummers Collective in New York. He received multiple awards and honors as a marching band field drummer, and as a big band and contemporary jazz drummer in Switzerland.
Swiss has studied with diverse teachers such as Bob Moses, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Kim Plainfield, Frank Katz, Ian Froman, Ron Savage, Casey Scheuerell, Kenwood Dennard, Skip Hadden, Joe Morello, Jim Chapin and last but not least, the Drumdoctor Dom Famularo.
Swiss has been on BET in a featured performance as the musical director/drummer for the Ed Gordon Show with the Last Poets, Jessica Care Moore, and Mums from the hit HBO show Oz. Swiss performed and/or recorded with conscious MCs like Mos Def, Dead Prez, Acrobatic, Afu-Ra and Milano.
Swiss was the musical director and house drummer for the legendary Lyricist Lounge. He worked for multiple fundraisers and charity events with the political activist group Earthdriver, and performed at Madison Square Garden for a Mumia Abu-Jamal Benefit.
Swiss Chris was also the musical director/drummer/programmer for Mexicano 777 (featuring KRS-One and Mad Lion) and Bazaar Royale (MTV appearance). He toured Eastern and Western Europe with the legendary James “Blood” Ulmer. He performed at the Apollo Theater with Billy Cox (Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys) and Ladell Mclin, Jessica Care Moore, and Imani Uzuri with Burnt Sugar.
Television appearances included MTV’s Video Music Awards, The Soul Train Music Awards, The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo, Jamaican and Trinidad Festivals, DTV Royal Albert Hall Show, iTunes, Yahoo, and Verizon Promotional Tours, Tyra Banks, Ellen, The View, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, Jools Holland’s BBC, Conan O’Brien, Oprah, Good Morning America, MTV Music Awards Japan, VH1 Super Bowl Pepsi Smash and The CBS Early Show, Jay Leno, BET Gospel, Oxygen Network’s Custom Concert, MTV and Grammy Appearances in the US, Europe and MTV Africa, and the Vibe Festival with Common and Kanye West.