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An Evening of B-Boys, Beethoven and the Beatnuts at Carnegie Hall

Well, that was fun: on November 1, 2015, I had the honor of playing Carnegie Hall with Jeff "TheePhantom" McNeill & The IllHarmonic Orchestra, a multi-talented hip-hop artist who arranges classical/orchestral elements over boom-bap underground hip-hop. Full string, brass and woodwind sections (and myself on the the Hall's Steinway grand) playing classical motifs or classic hip-hop tracks (Camp Lo's "Luchini", say, or The Beatnuts' "Watch Out Now"), while Jeff and his lovely wife Andrea "The Phoenix" Coln rhyme over Jeff's East Coast-style beats and cuts from Phillip "DJ Philly-C" Charles.

There was a b-boy display while the band ripped through the NYC breakbeat standards "Apache" and "It's Just Begun";

A guest violin performance from 6-year-old Chrysyn Harp, Jr. on the Roots' "You Got Me";

The lovely honey-smooth tones of Erin Frawley, filling the Irish soprano role for the evening on Jeff's original, "The Entertainer";

There's a lamentable lack of *me* in these clips (I'm in the back, somewhere in the shadows), but you can watch my and Jeff's run-through of his song "Jackin' For Keys", with snippets of piano from Wu-Tang, BDP, Public Enemy, Jay-Z, Snoop, Dre, etc. played by me.

So Jeff, Andrea, Phillip, everyone involved: it was a joy to perform with all of you. Thank you all for making me a part of this. Let's do it again sometime.

- J.


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