Mobbluz featuring ePOP w/ DJ Omar Saleem and visual artist K.C. Grummun
Happy Hour Sessions at the Kimmel Center
March 10, 2023
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Inside the Kimmel Center
300 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Join us at the intersection of operatic voice, blues, and American songbook and pop culture standards with a funkified boom bap jazz twist. DJ and beatmaker Omar Saleem sets the tone with his feelgood grooves. Next, Mobbluz couples their distinctive sound with operatic inspired vocal stylings from East Passyunk Opera Project's Jesus Garcia and Katrina Thurman. Combined with an interactive installation of artist K.C. Grummun’s street aesthetic hand cut stencil representations of the performers, this event is one you don’t want to miss!
For more information, visit the Kimmel Cultural Campus website.
This performance proudly brought to you by:
Jesus Garcia, tenor
Internationally acclaimed tenor, Jesus Garcia, has been praised by the press for his “soaring vocalism” and his “dynamic stage presence”. He specializes in the romantic roles of the French and Italian repertoires. Critically acclaimed appearances of the recent past include the role of “Rufus” in the new opera “Desert In” with Boston Lyric Opera, Rodolfo in “La Boheme” with Opera Columbus, Tebaldo in “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” with Opera Omaha, his debut in the title role of Gounod's "Faust" at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland under the baton of Philippe Auguin, Count Almaviva in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Boston Lyric Opera, and Rodolfo in “La Boheme” with Tampere Talo in Finland. Other engagements include Garcia's debut as Giasone in Cherubini's "Medea" at Opera Omaha as well as his return to Nederlandse Reisopera as Alfredo in "La Traviata" and his return to the Badisches Staatstheater for the title role in Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito." Recording credits include the world premiere recording of Jorge Martin’s "Before Night Falls," the Original Broadway Cast recording of Baz Luhrmann’s "La Boheme", and the Virgin Classics DVD recording of Laurent Pelly’s production of "La Vie Parisienne". Jesus has made several television appearances including the "Today Show," “Breakfast with the Arts” on A&E, and the "Tony Awards." He has been featured in the pages of numerous publications including "The New York Times," "Vogue," "Vanity Fair," "New York Magazine," and "Opera News." Learn more about Jesus.
K.C. Grummun, visual artist
K.C. Grummun captures the street art aesthetic with his hand cut stencils of Philadelphia icons and other well-known celebrities. Influenced by artists like Shepard Fairey, Blek le Rat, and Banksy, K.C. first took to the streets in 2012 with his alter ego, “Franksy”. His current work is focused on celebrating women in the restaurant industry through portraiture. This series was most recently featured last fall at Love City Brewing and a small selection was shown at Khyber Pass Pub for the "Pink Boots" Women in Brewing fundraiser. Follow K.C. on Instagram.
“It just kind of happened, we were never supposed to be a band” claims MuzikalDunk, the drummer and musical director of Mobbluz. Each member brings years of independent experience in Philly’s music scene and came together through the joy of live improvisational music. Playing as the house band for hip hop acts gave way to hosting jazzed out jam sessions evolving their musical focus from a chill back-up-band for other artists into carving out their own lane as a multi-headed jazz monster through hip hop – guaranteed to make heads spin, then, bop to classic boom-bap sounds while lighting up your minds with brand new sonic seasonings! If you’re a fan of The Roots, Robert Glasper, and Tobe Nwigwe, even the Wu-Tang Clan you may have found your new favorite band! www.mobbluz.com
Mobbluz Band Members:
Muzikaldunk / Drums & Vox
Joshua Grace / Guitar
Omar Saleem / MPC & Percussion
Gabe Preston / Horns
Damani Okuri / Bass
Dan Saleem / Keys
Katrina Thurman, soprano
Soprano Katrina Thurman has been praised for her “remarkably vibrant and flexible voice” (Gramophone) and her “wonderfully clear sound and natural warmth of character” (Opera News). She is a versatile artist who has built a solid reputation performing traditional operatic repertoire while also specializing in contemporary opera and musical theatre. Her repertoire encompasses over 45 roles in six languages and has taken her to theaters including The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon and Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile en Mer (France), Oper Bonn (Germany), Opera Philadelphia, The Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Florentine Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, Anchorage Opera, and Indianapolis Opera.
Ms. Thurman is a noted specialist in contemporary opera and created the roles of Liz in Cummings’ The Golden Gate (American Opera Projects), Blanche Ingram in Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera & recording on Naxos label), Isabella Beecher in Bond’s Mrs. President (Anchorage Opera), and Martha in Karchin’s Romulus (American Opera Projects) which was also recorded on the Naxos label. The 2021-2022 season saw her debut with Opera Naples as Hildy in On the Town and her stage debut with The Metropolitan Opera as Meretaten in Akhnaten. Upcoming engagements include her debut with Virginia Opera as Miss Lightfoot in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers. www.katrinathurman.com.