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

Watch Saycon live at 54 Below

Check out this video footage of my August 13th Concert at 54 Below! I’m Saycon Sengbloh and I love to entertain, be it acting or singing please enjoy these clips. Scroll down for list of full band and singers below:

I’m Here [From the Color Purple]

Mama’s House / I Can’t Stand the Rain

The Band:

Lead Vocals- Saycon Sengbloh

Piano- Andre “Chez” Lewis,  Vocals- Stephanie Fischer,  Vocals- Christin Amena

Drums- Alex Durant,  Bass- Marcus Reddick,  Guitar- David Rosenthal

Associate: Tim Yates          Assistant: Darius Bradley

 Many  thanks to Eric Perl for video and editing!

Saycon Sengbloh Single “Everything” Available CDbaby, iTunes, & Amazon

Download Everything by Saycon online now

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!

Motown the Musical Cast Album Grammy Nomination

MotownGrammy

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve got lots of great news coming and am so very thankful for the blessings that 2014 is bringing!! Hey we got a Grammy Nomination for Motown the Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) by the Original Broadway Cast of Motown the Musical . That is the full title of the album according to iTunes and Amazon- woooo! I’m proud to be a part of it and hope that we win that Grammy Award. This will be my 3rd Grammy nominated cast album and I’m thrilled especially because we’ve had the opportunity to perform the medley-song Get Ready/Dancing in the Street on numerous television events:

ABC’s Good Morning America

67th Annual Tony Awards

PBS’s A Capitol 4th Celebration

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Singing on the album track number 3. Get Ready/Dancing In The Street  are Brandon Victor Dixon, Saycon Sengbloh, & Original Broadway Cast of Motown the Musical available on iTunes, Amazon, and other online retailers.

Also on iTunes & Amazon is my new single release : Be Here by Saycon Sengbloh

BE HERE Saycon

Be Here is also available on Amazon copy/paste this link : http://www.amazon.com/Be-Here/dp/B00H9M0D7C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387316821&sr=8-1&keywords=saycon+be+here

 

 

 

 

 

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 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

Motown Musical’s Jason Webb: Musician Composer Extraordinaire

Jason Webb Pianist Composer Arranger

Jason Webb is one those people that takes you by surprise, a quiet unassuming presence, a peaceful rock even  in a room full of turmoil. But don’t let that fool you, he is quietly taking the NYC music scene by storm one project at a time and his latest is “Love Lead the Way” presented by the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir. “Love Lead the Way”,  a record he produced just debuted at #5 on the iTunes gospel chart! Jason Webb co-wrote half the album and orchestrated as well.

Click here to download LoveLeadtheWay on Itunes

I’m excited to work with Jason on my first full length album release, Howlin’. My history with him started on Broadway and we are fast becoming friends, (his house parties are amazing) and he has been a part of many amazing shows but I’m  filled with pride when I think of the work Jason Webb has been a part of this year! He has indeed been a part of history read below:

 America’s Inaugural Choir

Proud. It’s certainly not a big enough a word to describe my emotion on Inauguration day 2013, I was preparing for the day ahead, watching the Inauguration ceremony when I looked up and saw Alicia Olatuja, one of NYC’s most  beautiful vocalists, in the middle of my television screen,  her mezzo-soprano voice filled my speakers. I did some recording at her home studio in Brooklyn a while back and had just seen her over the holidays so her bright eyes were a pleasant surprise. But then it all clicked in my head and I remembered the project that Jason Webb, my neighbor and associate musical director of Motown the Musical has been working on. For the last few weeks Jason had been burning the midnight oil  for many days helping to perfect the music that would come to represent the U.S.A.  on one of our finest days.  The 2nd inauguration of our 44th president, Barack H. Obama. As a part of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Jason shines in music production arranging, and vocals  and I’m so proud to know him. I’ve worked with him on several productions including The Color Purple the musical, and also a reading of The First Noel a beautiful soon to be produced holiday musical he co-created as a commissioned work at the Classical Theatre of Harlem. I love working with Jason he is a force behind the keys and in front of the mike bringing out the best in every musician and singer he works with. He’s one of NYC’s up and coming musicians to watch, his hands have blessed a lot of projects from gospel to theatre. Visit his website  to learn more about him.

Click here to download the recording of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as performed on Inauguration day

 

Click here to Watch the Brooklyn Tabernacle performance again and relive the magic of Inauguration Day