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The Key Studio Sessions: Killiam Shakespeare

Over the past few years, Philadelphia’s Killiam Shakespeare has become known for its nimble incorporation of sick beats and space age instrumental sprawl with skilled under-the-radar rappers and singers from all around the Philly scene. In that context, this five-piece sounds like a production unit cranking out some seriously left-of-center beats and backings for the next generation of local hip-hop and R&B (not to mention legends — they had a Freeway collab on last year’s Killiam Season1). But take away the voices, and just listen to the music — like we hear in this week’s Key Studio Session — and it becomes something else altogether.   Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Lady Alma, Jacqueline Constance, Killiam Shakespeare and more to rock a Hurricane Relief Fundraiser at Johnny Brenda’s

Lady Alma performing at Back To Basics | Photo by John Vettese

The power of music to bring people together for hope and healing in the face of utter devastation is tried and true, and following the series of hurricanes that have ravaged the south and left entire populations without power, food, shelter, or near enough resources to sustain and recover, focused help is needed just as much as hope and healing.

On October 21st, Flygirrl and Walking Bear will present The Healing at Johnny Brenda’s. This fundraising event will feature live music and spoken word performances from an incredible spectrum of local performers — from Philly neo-soul icon Lady Alma to contemporary sound-sculptor Jacqueline Constance, dynamic hop-hop duo Killiam Shakespeare and more — and 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Family Resource Center in St. Thomas, USVI through their “Adopt A Family” program. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kuf Knotz at Bourbon and Branch, Carolyn Thorn at Bob and Barbara’s, Killiam Shakespeare at Johnny Brenda’s

Kuf Knotz | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Kuf Knotz | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Ahead of his upcoming album release, alternative hip-hop artist Kuf Knotz is stepping back onto the stage. Originally from Philadelphia but now residing in New York, Knotz will be making six stops throughout June and July between his two homes where he will be sure to mix previews of tracks from the new record with his 2015 LP A Positive Light. You can hear his upbeat, positive vibes at Bourbon and Branch with Roots of a Rebellion and Wild Adriatic. Check out the details at the XPN Concert Calendar.  Continue reading →

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Side Players to Solo, Studio to Stage: Listen to Killiam Shakespeare’s journey on XPN Local

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via facebook.com/KilliamShakespeare

Philly friends Corey Bernhard, Steve McKie and Chris Turner have an impressive resume as producers and session musicians alone — they’ve worked with Bilal, Jill Scott, Estelle, Ed Sheeran, Snarky Puppy and a lot more over the past decade and change.

But like most creative folks, they had their own fires burning in the mix of the gigs that were paying their bills. Enter Killiam Shakespeare, the band that came as a result of these longtime side players collabing in the studio — the project, with debuted in 2015 with a self-titled release on Ropeadope Records, spans the worlds of hip-hop, jazz, R&B / pop grooves and rock.

“We said ‘There’s no point in letting it sit around on our hard drive,'” recalls Bernhard of the music they were making. “We had all these songs, some of them instrumentals, some with our friends we still make music with.”

“Having our own studio in West Philly really gave us that platform to create our own music,” adds McKie. “You have times when you play in a band, it’s set up for you to play the show, you leave, you rehearse. For us, we felt we were more artistic, we had more to offer not just as musicians but producers and composers.” Continue reading →

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Philly collective Killiam Shakespeare will perform for the unveiling of two new projects at Village of Arts and Humanities

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via Facebook
Killiam Shakespeare | photo via Facebook

The SPACES Artist in Residence Program at the Village of Arts and Humanities on Germantown Avenue debuts its first international artist residency this Friday, December 9th. From 6 to 10 p.m. it hosts an exhibition opening party with musical guests Killiam Shakespeare. Continue reading →

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Meet Killiam Shakespeare, listen to Killiam Season 1

Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp
Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp

Killiam Shakespeare is Philly-based collective, led by drummer and producer Steve McKie and keyboardist and producer Corey Bernhard. Having released their debut album in 2015, they’re back with a new mixtape that they worked on in collaboration with Philly’s DJ Jazzy Jeff, Killiam Season 1. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joseph at Tin Angel, Killiam Shakespeare at Johnny Brenda’s, Matthew Logan Vazquez at Boot & Saddle

joseph
Joseph | photo courtesy of the artist

Oregon sister trio Joseph play the Tin Angel tonight. Family heritage runs deep in the band’s indentity; they borrow the name Joseph from their Grandfather, as well as from a town in their native state where they spent time camping as kids. The group’s debut album will be out this year on ATO; get a taste of their jaw-dropping harmonies in the video for “Honest” below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Healing at Johnny Brenda’s, Sunwatchers at Jerry’s On Front, Crash Course in Science at Underground Arts

Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com
Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com

Come by Johnny Brenda’s tonight for a live music & spoken word event titled The Healing. Featuring an abundance of artists, from Chill Moody, Killiam Shakespeare, Jacqueline Constance, and a ton more, it’s going to be a great night of tunes. And it’s for a great cause, as proceeds from the night will benefit families in the Caribbean for hurricane relief aid. Find more info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →