Marcus Cohen and The Congress, Kev Choice Ensemble
1710 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
Marcus Cohen and The Congress
Marcus Cohen founded this project in the bay area summer of 2009 when he met guitarist Vic Wong, drummer Jayme Arredondo, and bassist Mark Allen-Piccolo. They began to lay the foundation for what is now known as The Congress - an eclectic, mesmerizing, ensemble of musicians, vocalists, and an emcee. The idea was inspired from Marcus' love of soul, jazz, funk, gospel, and hip hop.
"The vision is about creating original compositions with
"organic" sound. Music containing meaningful lyrics and played by real musicians. We create in the spirit of artists such as Marvin Gaye, Billie Holliday, Al Green, Miles Davis, Curtis Mayfield, and Stevie Wonder to name a few."
Kev Choice Ensemble
Pianist. Emcee. Producer. Bandleader. Sideman. Music historian. Kev Choice wears many hats, and all of them fit. Blessed with prodigious talent, plus the skill and dedication to his craft to pull it off, the Oakland-based artist is redefining what it means to be a musician in this day and age. Not too many classically-trained pianists who hold Master's degrees in jazz can rock microphones with blazing-hot 16s.
Yet such versatility comes natural to Choice, whose diverse array of influences ranges from Prince to Rakim to A Tribe Called Quest to Stevie Wonder to McCoy Tyner to Chopin and Ravel.
"I grew up in the Hip-Hop era," he explains. "I had love for Hip-Hop before I even knew what classical music really was." Hip-Hop, he says, "was always the music that helped me express myself the most," while "Classical music gave me a broader understanding and appreciation for music beyond Hip-Hop."
Choice remembers being "heavily into vinyl" as a young child, which helped him to develop his ear for music. He began playing piano at age 11, and was soon recognized as a prodigy. As a teenager, Choice played in classical and jazz ensembles as part of the UC Berkeley Young Musicians Program, and continued his studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans)–where he graduated with a (BM) in music– and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)–where he graduated with a (MM) in music.