Back to All Events

Tribute to Black Composers of Dance Music w/ Michael Gabriel and MoonCandy

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $17 Advance / $20 at the Door

Them People Productions Presents: Tribute to Black Composers of Dance Music with Mooncandy and Michael Gabriel This night of dancing, singing, and celebrating will also help our audience learn about the vast contributions Black composers and musicians had on the shaping of music culture all over the world, across multiple genres. The evening will feature a set by two dynamic bands known not only for their strong music performance but also for their deep connections to Black music history, music education, and community outreach. The performers will also discuss the history and context of some of the songs in their intimate sets, a rare and worthwhile opportunity for our entire music community.

Moon Candy photo1.jpg

MoonCandy (Live House Music, Soul, Jazz, World Music Fusion) MoonCandy is a live soulful house ensemble led by powerhouse Oakland vocalist and band leader Valerie Troutt, that features the inspirational voices & composition of some of the East Bay's most understated jazz,soul,blues and gospel singers. MoonCandy is a church without walls... soulful, uplifting and fabulous! Mooncandy creates an environment for survival music to live and thrive through live performance. Using the dance floor as a it's universal synagogue, MoonCandy's inspirational lyrics and transfixing grooves gives birth to a "House Church" where everyone is welcome to dance for love.

Michael Gabriel Photo.jpg

Michael A Gabriel (Steel Pannist, Vocalist, Educator, Composer) Michael Gabriel is a steel pan player, educator, arranger, builder, and tuner. He began playing pans young, and by age 13, was touring the world with some of Trinidad's best steel pan bands. As a soloist with the stage side bands of Cassablanca Steel Orchestra and Phase II Pan Groove, Michael performed at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, The White House, and The United States Capital Building. Growing up in Trinidad, Michael also learned to craft and tune steel pans. He worked and apprenticed for several master craftsmen including Roland Harrigan.

He moved to the United States in 1987, and after a few years in New York City, Michael settled on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There, he honed his talents as a vocalist, leading reggae/funk/calypso bands Ambakyala, Jamm Down, Shango Axe, and The Dunebilly Allstars. With these groups, he has shared the stage with legendary artists Burning Spear, Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff, and others. In addition, Michael performs as a steel drum soloist at weddings, corporate functions, and private events throughout New England. He is an educator in partnership with Berklee College of Music at the City Music Program in Boston, as well as working with the Mattacheese Middle School Steel Pan Ensemble.

Michael travels home to Trinidad each winter for Panorama, where he plays lead with seven time champion Phase II Pan Groove. In 2016, he was also the composer and arranger for Casablanca Steel Orchestra.