Aramide A. Tinubu Visits Set of Ernest Dickerson’s Latest Feature Film ‘Double Play’

This fall my life took a huge turn when I found myself shooting a movie with the esteemed: Ernest Dickerson! Its based on the classic “Dubbelspel” novel by Frank Martinus Arion, it is called DOUBLE PLAY! Many people didn’t know I had left the country for nearly 2 months! It was during the final weeks of my off-Broadway production of Eclipsed. There were rumors about why I left and crazy silly articles online but I’m here to tell you, I had the best reason to take a short break from my play, a lead role in the new Ernest Dickerson feature film, DOUBLE PLAY! Well I am finally back in the states, going to Broadway in February, and of course looking forward to the film coming out but until then stay on the look out for small peeks into our process! Journalist Aramide A. Tinubu came to visit us during our final weeks in Curaçao and it was a cool experience the article was posted on Indiewire.com Shadow and Act!. READ! READ! READ!

Left to right: Isaach De Bankole, Dana Campbell, Saycon Sengbloh, Ernest Dickerson discussing to mustache or not on the set of Double Play

Left to right: Isaach De Bankole, Dana Campbell, Saycon Sengbloh, Ernest Dickerson discussing to mustache or not on the set of Double Play

Click here to read the article! Writer Aramide A. Tinubu was among several writers who came to visit us during our adventure in Curaçao!

Actresses Unite: Saycon Sengbloh, Lupita Nyong’o, Zainab Jah, Pascale Armand, & Akosua Busia

Clockwise from upper left Saycon Sengbloh, Lupita Nyong'o, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah, and Pascale Armand.

Clockwise from upper left Saycon Sengbloh, Lupita Nyong’o, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah, and Pascale Armand.

New York City will get its chance to see Danai Gurira’s play “ECLIPSED”, uniting a group of actresses who’s passion and talent is exceptional. Making its NYC debut on my old stomping grounds, the Public Theater. Join me this fall as I join these beautiful actresses in a play that explores the treacherous lives of several women during the Liberian civil war: to be a war bride, a soldier, a casualty of the war. As a woman of both American and Liberian heritage this topic is particularly poignant and meaningful for me. Having just done, Marley at Centerstage, submerging myself in Jamaican culture, I’m ready to dive into this difficult portion of Liberian history. Honestly, I’m continuing my connection to the diaspora I am personally honored to join these women: Zainab Jah (Hamlet,Ruined), Akosua Busia (The Color Purple, E.R), Pascale Armand (The Convert, S.H.I.E.L.D.), myself, Saycon Sengbloh (Fela, Marley) ,and last but certainly not least Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave, Star Wars).  The play is written by actress  Danai Gurira  of the Walking Dead, and  will be directed by Liesl Tommy (Informed Consent). This year has been amazing thus far and I look forward to more, I’m looking forward to sharing the Eclipsed performances with my friends and family, especially my mom, and meeting new people through this show. Amen! For more info on how to get tickets to see ECLIPSED

Saycon Sengbloh as Rita Marley

Rita Marley

Rita Marley

BobandRitaSing

Bob and Rita Marley perform during Peace Concert

Catching folks up and getting my blog up to date. Its been a while and while some are on the mailing lists, others have subscribed to the blog as well and I cannot let the days pass by without sharing some pics! I take so many pics that never see the light of day!

Saycon Sengbloh to play Rita Marley

Saycon Sengbloh to play Rita Marley

As I prepared to share my Opening night pics from Marley I realized I never posted the announcement that was in the show to my blog readers. We’re still building our readership so I can’t let that slip through the cracks. The last post announced Mitchell Brunings as Marley, but  waiting on clearance, I didn’t let you guys know that I’m in the show as well playing Rita Marley in the Baltimore US premiere of MARLEY.  A beautiful strong show about Bob Marley and his times in Jamaica, and London pre and post an assassination attempt on his life. In the play, I’m thrilled to  play the role of Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s wife and mother of several of his children, and performer in his touring and recording band.

 

This role is one of my favorites so far as I’ve learned so much more about Bob and Rita Marley, who’s music I admired greatly before.  I’ve also gotten a deeper understanding of some of their spiritual beliefs and an enhanced world view as well, absolutely enhanced. Now I’m  in the beautiful and passionate city of Baltimore, Maryland performing in Marley: written by Kwame Kweigh-Armah. I don’t think words can describe what its been like to be here during a time of civil unrest and change in this harbor city. Being in rehearsal for a play about a man who was passionate about human rights, as people protested the horrible untimely death of Freddie Gray, while in police custody, did not escape irony for us in the least bit. Personally, it was quite difficult to be an artist stuck inside rehearsing and not be a part! So with permission and encouragement from our company, and our director, we took to the streets to uplift and share a little music, a little inspiration. We sang in front of the CVS  area that had been under fire and great duress in days previous.

Saycon Sengbloh Aljazeera with cast of Marley

Susan Kelechi Watson, Saycon Sengbloh, & Crystal Joy and Cast of MARLEY sing to uplift protest with music

 

 

I pray you will venture to Baltimore and see this show, Marley currently playing through June 14th at Baltimore Center Stage. www.CenterStage.com 

Mitchell Brunings: Bob Marley in “MARLEY”: Baltimore Center Stage

"Marley" will premiere at Baltimore Center Stage

“Marley” will premiere at Baltimore Center Stage

Good things are happening in theatre! This spring the Baltimore Center Stage will present, “MARLEY” a musical about the songwriter, musician, the revolutionary, father, husband, and man of the people: Bob Marley! Excitedly the talented Mitchell Brunings will be portraying, Marley in this World Premiere play with the music of Bob Marley.
Got to http://www.CenterStage.org for more information. The show runs May 6th 2015 to June 14th, 2015. Will you be there? Watch the videos below of Mitchell performing some of the beautiful music of Bob Marley. Jah Bless!

 

MITCHELL BRUNINGS sings “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley

MITCHELL BRUNINGS sings “So Much Trouble In the World” by Bob Marley

Saycon Sengbloh: FOR the LOVE of DANCE series

Saycon moves on the streets of New York City

Saycon moves on the streets of New York City

I’m featured on this new series: FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE with SARITA LOU! It is the year 2015 and as I take it all in I realize what an impactful year 2014 has been! Personally and professionally so many events have happened, I can’t count them all and had not previously posted much of it on SayconTalks blog. One thing that came into my life during my time at Holler If Ya Hear Me, were old friends and people coming back I did a new show reading with Sarita Lou years ago. Ms. Sarita Lou is a class act, she’s a lovely performer, and producer, and interviewer who is fulfilling a dream as she produces a web series called, ” For the Love of Dance with Sarita Lou” As we move into this year there will be some reviews of 2014 events that really should be explored here, including my time singing backgrounds with Ms. Lauryn Hill, causes and events in support of Ebola Crisis reform, and an exciting  premiere of a new musical Stagger Lee, but absolutely right now I’m so thrilled to share my episode of the new series: For the Love of Dance with Sarita Lou. This series focuses on dancers and dance and movement and entertainment. Many people don’t know about the separation  that occurs in the Musical Theatre world, people who sing and act  with movement and choreography as an additional focus are often called “singers who move well.”

Saycon talks on  self care for longevity on Broadway

Saycon talks on self care for longevity on Broadway

 

Being featured here is particularly meaningful to me as quote, ” singer who moves well” as I’m sure. Sarita’s show will feature prolific dancers along with the quirkiest movers, the physical body is very important part of my life as a performer and singer on Broadway, preventing injuries and performing well. During my 10 years participating in Broadway shows my body has been important to me as well, not only my throat and voice, not just for osing weight but for strength. I admire and respect the constant training that takes place to be full fledged dancer, and because of that for many years I would never sign up for company allotted physical therapy (aka PT) as if I had no right to it as an actor or singer! My how things have changed! Your body will quickly remind you that you that it is certainly dancing 8 times a week whether you want to call it that or not! I remember my good friend Christine Horn talking about the back strength she had to get as she performed the role of Nala in the Lion King, a role that is typically not considered a “dance” track, yet required a type of agility and physical therapy to maintain. I experienced performing as a “singer who moves well” on “raked’ stages ( slanted to optimize the audiences view) climbing ladders and thrashing my head about in ” Hair” . And through therapy learned the importance of strengthening my quadriceps muscles to aid in knee support in wearing high heels.  As a child I always danced but as roles for acting and singing took precedence I stopped taking ballet classes. Years later I have found how much joy and strength I gain from studying dance. One of my favorite things is to study with my many Broadway friends who are also dance teachers ( shout out to Iris Wilson and Rickey Tripp). Many singers and actors take their physical health for granted and experience pitfalls because of that, but I’m here to say WE ARE DANCERS TOO!
CLICK TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW BELOW: FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE

Hopefully my being on this forum will lead to great respect for all performers out there!  Learn all about it on my episode of “For the Love of Dance with Sarita Lou.” Many thanks Sarita for your interest in my career and lifestyle!

FortheLoveDancewithSaritaLou

SAYCON SENGBLOH For Your Consideration: Grammy: Traditional R&B

Saycon Sengbloh is on the 57th Grammy Ballot for Best Traditional R&B Song

Saycon Sengbloh is on the 57th Grammy Ballot for Best Traditional R&B Song

Dear Recording Academy:

Kind thanks to the Voting Members of the Recording Academy for your consideration. Saycon Sengbloh is on the ballot for 57th Annual Grammy Awards in the category of Traditional R&B! First round ballots are due November 5th.

Now Streaming “Be Here” by Saycon Sengbloh for your consideration: Saycon Sengbloh (vocals), Jason Michael Webb (piano), & Jonathan Dinklage (Viola/Violin)

Now Streaming “Everything” by Saycon Sengbloh for your consideration : Saycon Sengbloh (vocals), Jason Michael Webb (piano), Konrad Adderley (bass), Les Cleveland (drums), & Dave Rosenthal (guitar)

Sengbloh on ballot for 57th Annual Grammy Awards

Saycon Sengbloh on 1st round ballot for 57th Annual Grammy Awards

As an independent artist, you may or may not be privy to Saycon’s career in the arts read below to learn more! Sengbloh was previously featured on songs in Grammy nominated recordings listed below:

Motown the Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording

*Saycon Sengbloh is lead female vocalist on “Get Ready / Dancing In the Streets”

Fela!: Original Broadway Cast Recording

*Saycon Sengbloh is lead female vocalist through out the album including “Upside Down” & “Water No Get Enemy”

Hair: The New Broadway Cast Recording

*Saycon Sengbloh is lead vocalist on “Four Score/Abie Baby”

Want to learn more about Saycon visit Official Website or read below:
Saycon Sengbloh was born in Atlanta, GA. to an American mother and Liberian father.  She has been a featured actress and vocalist in the newest generation of contemporary shows on Broadway and off-Broadway, embracing a new sound of pop, rock, & soul music and production including Rent, Oprah Winfrey’s the Color Purple the musical, Disney’s Aida, the new revival of Hair, Wicked, Hurt Village, & also the first Afro-beat musical, Fela! where she starred as the delicious Sandra Iszadore. She was photographed and named one of the hottest up and coming acts in the annual juice issue of VIBE magazine. “Fela!” the musical won several Tony awards! Saycon sings on the Grammy nominated soundtracks for “Fela!”, “Hair”, “Motown the Musical” and also provided backing vocals on the soundtrack for the Julie Taymore film “Across the Universe”. The ever versatile actress brings hip-hop to Broadway in Tupac Shakur production “Holler If Ya Hear Me” including Saycon Sengbloh as a muse and rapper to a new generation of theater fans. She began performing as a kid in plays and musicals at Tri-Cities School for Visual and Performing Arts and attended Agnes Scott College and has been seen in commercials, print ads, and on the cover of the New York Times Best seller: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Connie Brisco. After numerous productions with the Freddie Hendrick’s Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. She has worked with directors Kenny Leon, Michael Greif, Charles Randolph-Wright, & Tyler Perry among others. She is very proud to have appeared in the films of female directors Julie Dash and Julie Taymore. Saycon Sengbloh has a cult following among New York theatre fans as the first woman of African descent to perform the role of Elphaba the Wicked witch of the West in Universal’s hugely popular musical “Wicked” and as an indie music artist and songwriter she has released several songs available online and music videos including, “Be Here”, “Warrior” and “Possible”.

Holler If Ya Hear Me In 2014

“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day.” – Tupac Shakur

HOLLER_PressReleaseImage[9]

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME

a new musical inspired by the work of Tupac Shakur

written by Todd Kreidler

directed by Kenny Leon

opens June 19, 2014

at the Palace Theatre on Broadway

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, a new musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, written by Todd Kreidler, directed by Kenny Leon, will begin performances on June 2, 2014 and open June 19, 2014 at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway at 47th Street).

 

Casting and ticketing information will be announced soon.

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics, blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope. Inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining original musical. Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today..

 I grew up in Atlanta where director, Kenny Leon, was a leader in theater, over the years I’ve watched him stake a claim in both theater and television.  So its exciting to see these words brought to life with Leon’s critical eye, his respect for Tupac’s legacy and his personal experiences as an African- American man to inspire this story and direction.

Joining director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun [2004 and 2014], Fences [2010], The Mountaintop) and author Todd Kreidler (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and direction of How I Learned What I Learned), on the creative team are Tony Award® winner Wayne Cilento (Wicked, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed…[1995], AIDA, Sweet Charity [2004]), and musical supervisor Daryl Waters (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, The Color Purple, Memphis).

 

The design team includes sets and video by Tony Award® winner David Gallo (The Mountaintop, The Drowsy Chaperone, Memphis), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly), lighting by Mike Baldassari (Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret [1998], Nine [movie]) and sound by John Shivers and David Patridge.

 

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is produced on Broadway by Afeni Shakur, Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green.  General Manager is Richard Martini   for KL Management.

 

www.HollerIfYaHearMe.com

Visit SayconTalks.com to get the latest details!

Saycon Sengbloh: BE HERE on CDbaby

First stop CD baby! Like the little engine that could I keep on trucking! Finally after a long journey, Be Here, a lush piano ballad for warming hearts,  has made it to its first online retailer! Get it on CDbaby.com and stay tuned as it reaches more digital distributors! What’s next for Be Here by Saycon? ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more!

BE HERE Saycon

Saycon Sengbloh Full Interview on ARISE TV

As I prepare for my upcoming, “Live at Drom” concert to promote my single, “Be Here” I have had a one of the most awesome opportunities, an interview on the world-wide network, ARISE. This interview was amazing, I went there to discuss my role in Motown the Musical and also to tell them about my new single release, Be Here. I was a little nervous but the hosts of the show were fun and seemed to be genuinely into it. I saw several people I know working there including my friend Cece. These types of interviews are few and far between but I was able to talk about my music and my career and introduce it to a whole new audience. This is priceless for an independent artist like myself. I hope to have a great relationship with them and I look forward to going back to sing on the Arise.tv/entertainment show. That would be beautiful ya know?

7Saycon on Arise TV

 

If you’re following this  blog please know that you are one of the people who knows what its like to be an independent artist, perhaps you read the blogs I’ve written in the past, all we seek is a platform. Motown has been a wonderful platform and I look forward to seeing what else comes of these endeavors. Look for my song Be Here online and ask me about dropcards  or CD’s whenever you see me in person!

share share share and repost please!

Special thanks to :

Randy Bonds of RCBondsPR and Kerstyn Dioulo of Glowconnection

Thanks again for your support and feel free to tweet and repost the interview on your various social networks! Share the blog, share it all! More opportunities come base on clicks and interest!

Saycon sings with Ariana DeBose

Motown the Musical or  “the Motown” as I like to call it is chock full of talented musician, singers, dancers, and actors. Each striving to do their own thing. We do 8 shows a week in the show and then we all have the nerve to want more! LOL yes in indeed, we want more.  I attended the Birdland show of my girl N’kenge (Mary Wells and also one-third of the Martha & the Vandellas in Motown) this past Sunday and saw her singing her heart out in perfect voice, after the longest week ever! But before that I attended and performed in at Joes’s Pub with my southern sister , Ariana DeBose . Ariana is one-third of ” the Supremes” as Mary Wilson and she recently put together a fab show at Joe’s Pub, this girl works hard! She came into Motown the Musical 6 days after finishing the tour of “Bring It On the Musical”, and dived right into rehearsals, not even a full week break between shows and she’s been going strong! Having been in the lab working on my Howlin’ music recording for Honeywax, writing, perfecting my songs I have been behind the scenes writing songs, making arrangements and completing my next album currently titled “Howlin'”, doing Motown nightly and recording during my days. Ariana asked me to be a part of  the show and I said yes! Exciting for people who may know her as the beautiful dancer from “So You Think You Can Dance”because there’s more! She sings, and grooves and  belts honey, I was thrilled to hear her range on songs like “4 Women” made famous by Nina Simone. She shared the stage with several of my favorite people including Charl Brown (Motown, Sister Act), and Ariana Grover (Bare, Holler If You Hear Me-Tupac Workshop). That’s all I’ll say for now but check out this video of us singing one of my favorite funk derived songs, giving it a bluesy twist just the way I like things— bluesy and funky!

Ariana DeBose and Saycon Sengbloh