About Renaissance (A rebirth or Revival) Before there was “Hip hop,” there was “Doo Wop.
Bringing back that “Mellow-A- Cappelo , RENAISSANCE is an all a cappella, street corner style; doo-wop singing quintet, dedicated to showcasing and preserving this critical art form of the African American musical and cultural heritage. The group is equally adaptable to film, TV & stage as they are beneath the street lamp.
Comprised of founding members, Maurice Kitchen, Torre Brannon Reese and Kwame Alexander, over time, these core associates have teamed up with Anthony Snead and Charles (Sonny) Banks of the trio, “Banks Epps and Snead” as well as various other individuals from a stable of ten singers, to form a group of five; creating a unique and consistent sound that has delighted audiences in colleges, clubs and various venues throughout Los Angeles and its collar communities.
“We felt honored to have been able to participate in U.C.L.A’s week long Festival of African American Music Symposium, right out the gate;” says Maurice Kitchen, the groups founder and CD producer, speaking about an early engagement in the groups infancy stage. He went on to explain that the festival was a comprehensive affair hosted and produced by world renowned guitarist Kenny Burrell where they shared the stage with the likes of Nancy Wilson, George Duke, Patty Austin, Freda Payne Linda Hopkins, Lalah Hathway, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson & Patrice Rushen, just to name a few.
Following that experience RENAISSANCE opened for fellow a cappella group, Take Six at Debbie Allen’s “Smile Festival.”
“To start out working with such a stellar line up was all the encouragement we needed. We took it as a resounding endorsement that the music we’re committed to, has a valid place in the broader cultural and musical landscape;” remarked Torre Reese, the groups resident historian, bass and occasional lead singer.
If the group wasn’t convinced by the reception they received at the festival, the overwhelming response they’ve gotten for “Meet Me on The Corner” their maiden recording venture, should remove all doubt.
These Cats can flat out sing and their infectious energy is quite entertaining as they transport their audience to another space and time.
Not just another singing group,Renaissance intertwines social and cultural awareness themes in their music offering “food for the spirit” as well as the soul. Whether it’s a soul stirring tribute to the legendary Sam Cooke, love songs for the ladies, Black History themed conscious music or a rousing Gospel celebration, their superb vocal skills shine through, RENAISSACE is a great call for every occasion.
About the CD
Before there was hip hop, there was doo wop ; and it was sung a cappella on street corners all across the United States., RENAISSANCE, masterfully sings…street corner style “Doo Wop”
“Meet me on the Corner,” is an all a cappella doo wop CDthat recreates the street corner experience of the 50's and early 60's in a loosely stylized documentary format. It’s Theater of The Mind featuring 14 songs that pay homage to the genius of Sam Cooke, Clyde McPhatter, Harvey Fuqua & the Moonglows along with numerous other soulful pioneering forefathers of American song.
The lone contemporary composition is John Legend’s nostalgic lament, “It don’t have to Change,” which is utilized as an inventive bridge to the past.
RENAISSANCE recaptures a magic moment in time from an age of innocence when singing was an interactive communal experience; full of fun, beautiful harmonies and songs that voiced unconditional expressions of love.
The songs and humorous reflections of the group, allows the listener to experience first hand, a nostalgic street corner experience, freshly gleaned from a by gone era.
Stop by this virtual street corner and you’ll re-live that enchanting moment of your first kiss, back seats & bobby socks–at remote Drive-in-Movie theaters; The Little Rascals, penny candy.; some have even claimed vivid memories of nickel-pickles with potato chips in lil’ greasy brown bags- drenched in red hot sauce , (Chicago style.) All you have to do is “Listen…and Remember”
The brain child of Maurice Kitchen, an award winning playwright and producer, t his project invites us all to… Celebrate the Power in Remembering.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH REVIEW
Renaissance Keeps Doo Wop Alive By DARLENE C. DONLOE Back in the day,
as in the 1950s and early 1960s, many a male cluster could be found on
inner-city street corners across the country vocalizing in perfect
It was a style of vocal-based R&B which came to be known as "doo-wop."