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Abizo, a talented rapper, singer, and songwriter from Congo, is making waves in the music industry. Relocating to the US in 2019, he embarked on his solo career, drawing inspiration from artists like Papa Wemba, Lokwa Kanza, Koffi Olomide, and Xxxtentacion. With an unwavering passion for music and diverse influences, Abizo dedicates himself to mastering his craft and establishing his name in the global rap game. Fueled by drive and determination, he continuously strives for growth and excellence, ready to embrace challenges and elevate his artistry to new heights.
Black Gold, a groundbreaking collective of exceptionally talented musicians of color, ignites dance floors and sparks inspiration. Leading the rhythm section is renowned funk-infused bassist Shawn Williams. Multi-instrumentalist Dwight Ritcher, a soulful singer/songwriter, commands the drums, while award-winning singer Nicole Nelson, hailed "The Voice of Vermont," captivates with her undeniable talent. Vibrant percussionist Clarence Davis and masterful keyboardist Leon Campos add distinct flavors, creating an irresistible sonic landscape. Joining as a special guest, acclaimed guitarist Jeff Lockhart showcases his remarkable skill. Together, Black Gold transcends boundaries, celebrating the profound richness of music in an unforgettable experience. @nicolenelsong @iplaythev @cedavis27 @neonrustle @lock_street
Based in Burlington, VT, DJ Briidj is an incredibly talented DJ specializing in Old School hip-hop, R&B, reggae, house, and EDM. As the owner of OSNS Entertainment, a collective of exceptional talents, DJ Briidj ensures every event he performs at becomes a memorable experience. Whether it's an amplified event, silent disco, private gathering, or wedding, his dynamic performances and commitment to entertainment excellence make him one of the most sought-after figures in Burlington's vibrant music scene.
DJ RONN STOPPABLE
DJ Ron Stoppable, hailing from Queens, NY, has been a prominent force in the vibrant Burlington, VT music scene for the past four and a half years. Known for his remarkable ability to curate an engaging blend of hip-hop and dance music, Ron Stoppable sets the stage ablaze with his captivating performances. However, his versatility extends beyond boundaries as he fearlessly ventures into genres like trap, house, dubstep, and even country. With an infectious energy and a deep understanding of crowd dynamics, DJ Ron Stoppable guarantees an electrifying experience that transcends genre limitations.
JUNETEENTH COMMUNITY GOSPEL CHOIR
Dr. Dexter Criss, a multi-talented individual who has significantly contributed to academia and music, directs the Juneteenth Community Gospel Choir. Serving as the pianist and artistic director for the renowned Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir since 1991, Dr. Criss has played a vital role in shaping the choir's direction and success. Dr. Dexter Criss is an Associate Professor of Chemistry specializing in Organic Chemistry. Despite the seemingly contrasting disciplines, Dr. Criss's passion for the academic and artistic realms led him to become the music director for the SUNY Plattsburgh College Gospel Choir, whose performances resonate with the campus and regional community, foster inclusivity, and spread the joy of music.
Konflik, a veteran Burlington rapper, has been influential in Vermont hip-hop since the mid-'90s. As part of the trailblazing trio Eye Oh You, alongside Fattie B and DJ A-Dog, he solidified his presence in the scene. His highly anticipated debut album, "Back to Basics," garnered critical acclaim and was crowned Best Album at the Vermont Hip Hop Awards. Hailing from Roxbury, Massachusetts, Konflik's authenticity and mastery has earned him the distinction of being an "MC's MC," commanding respect throughout the Northeast. With introspective and aggressive tracks, he showcases his versatility as an artist and stands as one of the godfathers of Vermont hip-hop.
Marlon Fisher, also known as Big Fish, is a Brooklyn-born comedian who brings laughter to the stage with his unique style and witty humor. After serving in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, Marlon made Burlington his home in 2013. Alongside his comedic endeavors, he is a devoted stay-at-home dad who actively engages with disadvantaged youth in Vermont, positively impacting the community. Marlon's passions extend beyond comedy; he enjoys cooking and storytelling and cherishes time spent with his two children.
Nic Sisk is a talented comedian from Charlotte who resides in Burlington. Sisk's comedic journey started nine years ago at Nectar's and has since taken the stage across various corners of New England and iconic cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and even Paris. Sisk finds inspiration everywhere and seamlessly incorporates external observations into their performances, always keeping that trusty joke book on hand.
RIVAN & OBI THE VOICE GOD
Rivan Calderin is a versatile artist, blending rap, singing, and poetry. Influenced by his DJ father, Rivan draws inspiration from diverse genres, shaping his songwriting and beliefs. Artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Aminé, and BROCKHAMPTON fuel Rivan's lyrical prowess, pushing the boundaries of rhythm and flow. Seamlessly weaving dreamy hooks and captivating choruses, Rivan C. creates a resonant sound demanding attention. Obi, a Nigerian-born artist, embarked on a transformative journey upon moving to the US. Breaking free from his family's shadow, Obi discovered a passion for music. Balancing academics with songwriting, vocals, and production, Obi aims to bridge cultures through his inclusive art. https://linktr.ee/obithevoicegod https://www.rivanc.com/
Tarzan Jenkins is a talented line cook, former rapper, and avid chess player known for his unfiltered humor and love for whiskey. With a comedic style that combines quick wit and plenty of profanity, Jenkins has a unique ability to captivate audiences with his comedic essays. His performances are like a rip current, taking listeners on a wild and unpredictable ride that leaves them with a fresh perspective. Whether riffing on a chosen topic or engaging in lively banter, Jenkins' extemporaneous style guarantees a memorable experience.
TOUSSAINT ST. NEGRITUDE
Toussaint St. Negritude is a visionary artist, poet, bass clarinetist, and shaman who embraces his identity as a Black, queer, and nature-devoted individual. With a seamless fusion of spoken words and enchanting bass clarinet melodies, Toussaint creates a captivating and transformative experience. Inspired by Vermont's mountains and wilderness, his creativity and spirituality flourish. Toussaint and acclaimed bassist Gahlord Dewald formed Jaguar Stereo, an avant-garde jazz and poetry band, pushing artistic boundaries. Guided by Afrofuturism and driven by liberation, Toussaint fearlessly unleashes their boundless creativity, transcending limitations to create a powerful artistic impact.
YAMUNA TURCO- MISS VERMONT 2023
Originally from Keeseville, NY, Yamuna Turco is the reigning Miss Vermont 2023. She is pursuing a psychology degree with a political science minor at Saint Michael's College, and is an active member of the College's a cappella group, the AcaBellas. Turco also takes on a leadership role in the Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) organization at her college. Her Community Service Initiative (CSI) for the Miss Vermont Organization revolves around advocating for childhood access to books. Turco's dedication to the community and passion for education make her a remarkable representative.
11 year-old Amina Adesina Frances Rhoads Eddins is a phenom. She has been performing her poems for over a year throughout the greater Burlington community to high praise and is a regular reader with local artist group the Black Artist Showcase. Amina makes one powerful half of the dynamic poetry duo A+ featuring fellow poet Andrea Maludi soon to be published later this year. Count yourself fortunate to witness this rising star expressing beauty, brilliance, insight and wisdom beyond her years!
Charlie Atkins, also known as "Charlie Mayne," is a hip-hop and R&B artist whose journey began in Indio, California. Navigating life across various cities, including LA, Compton, San Bernardino, and Riverside County, Charlie's childhood was marked by constant change. Despite these challenges and growing up in foster care, Charlie nurtured his talent for music, which became a steadfast companion in his transient life.
DJ Infinite, a seasoned DJ and community activist, has been prominent in Burlington's music scene for over 30 years. Originally from Brooklyn, he has made Chittenden County his home base. Drawing from personal experiences with the criminal justice system, DJ Infinite profoundly understands the challenges faced by everyday people, fueling his passion for grassroots activism and making him a genuine alternative and a powerful force for social change. With a deep bench of diverse musical knowledge, DJ Infinite's unwavering commitment to addressing community needs and ability to connect with diverse audiences make him a transformative and unifying presence.
Harmony Edosomwan is a multi-talented artist with a vibrant background. As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Harmony's upbringing in the Bronx shaped her unique perspective. In 2016, she embarked on a new chapter by moving to Vermont to pursue her studies at UVM, ultimately graduating in 2021. Harmony's diverse talents span various creative realms, including being an accomplished author, activist, poet, serial entrepreneur, and chef. Her creativity knows no bounds as she fearlessly explores different avenues of self-expression.
Kia'Rae Hanron is a multi-talented Burlington resident who wears many hats as a teacher, artist, poet, and activist. As the K-12 learning advisor at Clemmons Family Farm, Kia'Rae is actively involved in crafting a curriculum for the farm's online learning platform, an innovative program using arts engagement to teach African American and African Diaspora history, offering a unique approach to education. Growing up as a biracial individual in Montpelier, Kia'Rae understands the importance of representation and inclusivity in learning environments. She brings a heartfelt connection to her work, intertwining her journey of self-discovery with exploring history. Through her curriculum, Kia'Rae aims to showcase the resilience and joy found in history, providing a holistic and empowering educational experience.
LIBERATION HEALTH CARE
Our healing can only be complete if we do so together and with comprehensive consideration of all of the factors that impact our health. Dr. Noma Anderson, Dean of UVM’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences and speech language pathologist, will share her thoughts about the goal of creating individual and collective change to long-held ideologies and systems that are destroying our bodies, our communities and our ecosystems and how we get there. Her talk will be moderated by Dr. Marissa Coleman, Vice President of Diversity Equity & Inclusion and clinical psychologist at UVM Medical Center. Dr. Anderson will speak to Health Inequity; how social factors and conditions of where we live, work and age affect our health and wellness; and the role that liberation health care can play in our personal and community healing
Mike Thomas, a prominent figure in the vibrant Vermont comedy scene, has delighted audiences for over 15 years with his undeniable talent and quick wit. As a seasoned comedian, Thomas understands the unmatched connection forged between performer and crowd, cherishing every moment, whether met with roaring laughter or occasional challenges. His comedic prowess has earned him a spot as a finalist in esteemed competitions such as the Higher Ground Comedy Battle and Vermont's Funniest Comedian contests.
Prince is a multi-talented individual with a diverse skill set that spans entrepreneurship, business acumen, and fitness expertise. Hailing from Burlington, he is renowned for his hilarious comedic performances and his expertise as a food blogger, focusing on health and wellness. As the owner of Healthy Kingdom, Prince dedicates himself to promoting a balanced and nourishing lifestyle. With his deep roots in the community, Prince is a standout figure in the local scene, captivating audiences with his humor and inspiring them to embrace a healthier way of living.
SINNN, the acclaimed Afrobeat and Hip-Hop artist hailing from Ghana and now based in Burlington, Vermont, has been a prominent figure in the city's music scene since 2001. Known for his captivating performances and thought-provoking lyrics, Edwin Owusu, aka SINNN, forges deep connections with his audience, sharing intimate moments from his journey with meticulous detail. As a passionate social activist, he collaborates with organizations like Black Lives Matter Vermont and former Lt. Governor David Zuckerman to champion racial equity. At the University of Vermont, he empowers students as a speech and debate coach, fostering their voices and empowering them to confront power. With his artistry, SINNN embodies a boundary-defying talent that celebrates the transformative power of expression.
THE ART OF DONNCHERIE
Singer and songwriter DONNCHERIE, originally from the vibrant streets of Seattle, WA, has become a beloved figure in Burlington, VT's music scene. With her powerfully soulful voice and distinctive style, she taps into the emotional zeitgeist, weaving profound questions about the human condition into her lyrics and rhythmic melodies. Her music is as diverse as her influences, drawing on elements of rock, country, reggae, soul, and, most notably, the blues – her first and enduring love.
The Path to Homeownership
The Path to Homeownership panel will touch on the history housing discrimination that has created today’s racial homeownership gap, and will provide solutions for Black people who want to buy a home. Homeownership rates for Black households in Vermont are some of the lowest in the nation – let’s change that. Panelists include representatives from the following: Element Real Estate, Champlain Housing Trust and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. In addition to learning about efforts to increase access to homeownership, attendees will hear about the home buying process from the perspective of a person of color. Come to this panel to learn how the Path to Homeownership is possible for you.
Zoraya Hightower is a trailblazing activist and the first woman of color on the Burlington City Council. With a deep passion for environmentalism, Zoraya holds a bachelor's degree in environmental policy and economics and a master's degree in environmental management. Her unique background as a German-born American citizen, who migrated to the U.S. at 11, imbues her advocacy with a distinct perspective. In addition to her dedication to activism, Zoraya is an avid traveler and cyclist, infusing her impactful pursuits with an adventurous spirit.
Asah Mack, the Long Island-based Hip-Hop artist, is revitalizing the essence of old-school music for a new generation. With a raw and unfiltered approach, Asah skillfully selects his lyrics, reflecting a calculated artistic style. Drawing inspiration from legendary figures like MF DOOM, Joey Bada$$, and his late father, the pioneering Bad Boy artist Craig Mack, Asah Mack delivers a powerful and authentic musical experience. Embrace the influence and talent of Asah Mack as he pays homage to the roots of Hip-Hop while forging his own path in the industry.
DJ Bodel is a prominent figure in Burlington's music scene, known for his exceptional DJ sets that take listeners on unforgettable journeys. With boundless energy and an uncanny ability to engage his audience, DJ Bodel leaves party-goers always wanting more. His impressive repertoire includes concert performances, club appearances, and private events, where he expertly blends Afrobeat, hip-hop, disco, and jazz. Whether at a packed club or an intimate gathering, DJ Bodel's undeniable skills and passion for music create a lively and immersive atmosphere that entertains, connects, and resonates with audiences, ensuring a memorable experience every time.
DJ MELO GRANT
DJ Melo Grant is renowned as the host of the popular radio show Cultural Bunker on 90.1 WRUVFM. With an impressive 39-year career, Melo Grant has been instrumental in bringing the vibrant beats of Hip Hop to the Champlain Valley. Her skillful fusion of classic and new-underground hip-hop has garnered widespread acclaim, as noted by Dan Bolles in Seven Days. Beyond her musical endeavors, she actively engages in initiatives to optimize healthcare benefits for Vermonters and other individuals. Melo Grant's commitment to public service also led to her election as a progressive candidate for Central District City Council.
JENNI & THE JUNKETEERS
Jenni Johnson, an esteemed bandleader from NYC/Harlem now residing in Burlington, VT, brings over twenty-five years of musical experience to the stage. Leading The Jazz Junketeers, Jenni's diverse musical influences span Jazz, Soul, and Country. Join her captivating "Jenni's Joint" shows on YouTube or visit jennijohnson.net to learn more about her musical endeavors. At the Juneteenth festival, Jenni will be joined by the talented ensemble of Junketeers, including Glendon Ingles on bass, Bob Levinson on guitar and vocals, Felix Anderson on drums, Gus Ziesing on horns and vocals, and Chuck Miller on keyboards.
Prepare to be entertained and rolling with laughter as Vermont's Ring of Comedy proudly presents the incredibly hilarious King Mecca, regarded as one of the most acclaimed urban comedians in the region. A multi-talented artist, King Mecca is a skilled comedian and an accomplished actor, writer, rapper, and choreographer. As the CEO of the Animal House Comedy Group, he brings his comedic genius to the forefront as the producer of the wildly popular and daring comedy series, Politics As Usual.
Lutalo Jones, a multi-instrumentalist and producer, hails from Minneapolis and now calls Vermont home. With a vision for a vibrant community, Lutalo embarked on a new chapter of land ownership. His debut EP, "Once Now, Then Again," showcases the profound influence of the modern world on their music. The EP captures the contrast between the energy of the Twin Cities and the tranquility of Vermont's landscapes. Amidst the darkness, Lutalo maintains an unwavering optimism, seeking brightness in life's minor details. Embrace his captivating melodies, reminding us to appreciate the present moment and its beauty.
Nadia Frazier is a talented young writer who has already made remarkable achievements at 14. With a passion for writing since a young age, Nadia completed her first book at the age of seven, setting the stage for her budding literary career. She dedicates much of her free time to reading, writing, and performing, finding inspiration in nature and her childhood experiences. Nadia's talent and dedication garnered recognition, earning her the first-place prize in the prestigious Vermont Youth Poetry contest and the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Page at the Vermont State House. Appearing in the esteemed Black Artist Showcase, Nadia shines as a rising star in the art scene. Her love for writing remains her greatest passion and pastime, fueling her ambition to continue making an impact through her craft in the future.
Rajnii Eddins, a seasoned Spoken Word Poet, Emcee, and Teaching Artist, captivates audiences with his mesmerizing stage presence. With over 27 years of experience, Rajnii's journey as a poet and community organizer was shaped by his mother, Randee, the visionary behind the African-American Writers' Alliance in Seattle. Joining the Alliance at the age of 11 laid the foundation for his artistic endeavors and commitment to community engagement. Since 2010, Rajnii has actively participated in Vermont's youth and community initiatives. In September 2020, he established The Black Artist Showcase, a vibrant monthly platform celebrating talented Vermont artists of African descent across various artistic disciplines.
The City of Burlington, The office of Racial, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (REIB), with support from our friends at Northfield Savings Bank, is proud to welcome "hip-hops greatest storyteller" Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, known to the world as Slick Rick as our #BTVJuneteenth Headlining Performer.
We look forward to celebrating freedom, equality, and community with you all at #BTVJuneteenth. Let's make this COMPLETELY FREE event unforgettable.
Topia, also known as Teibiroa Ambo, is an exceptional hip-hop artist, engineer, and producer hailing from the vibrant Pacific Island of Kiribati. During his formative years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Topia cultivated an eclectic music taste and discovered his undeniable passion for hip-hop. Currently based in Essex, Vermont, he infuses his music with various genres, including reggaeton, bounce, hyperpop, pluggnb, dancehall, rage, noise, electronic, and hip hop. Topia's signature style is melodic hip-hop, with each song presenting a unique sound and captivating experience. A creative and fearless artist, he pushes the boundaries of hip-hop, constantly experimenting and venturing into uncharted musical territories.
VERMONT REGGAE FEST
Vermont Reggae Festival The Power Of Music brings back to life the exciting time during the 80s in Burlington Vermont when musical and social history was made all through the vehicle of a music festival aimed at promoting the sound and culture of Reggae Music.
Bobby Hackney is a musician, songwriter,cofounder of the legendary Rock Band DEATH, co-founder of the Reggae band LAMBSBREAD, the original founder of the Vermont Reggae Festival, and author.