DJ Cash has 20+ years of experience as a mobile DJ, specializing in weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, celebrations, family and high school reunions, awards ceremonies and private parties. His DJ repertoire includes various music genres.
Bass player Tim Ricketts and spoken word artist Derrick Harrell met in 2001 in a class at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Harrell invited Ricketts to sit in on a studio session with Harrell’s hip-hop trio that was unnamed at the time. That session led to the decision for Ricketts to create a studio album with Harrell, as the trio’s principal bass player.
A year later, Ricketts joined a group of musicians with Harrell’s trio to form the group Black Elephant. Now powered by three vocalists, Harrell, rapper Damion Ellzey and singer-songwriter Element Everest, Black Elephant set the profile of one of Milwaukee’s most celebrated hip-hop bands. Overwhelming amounts of requests began to pour in for Ricketts and his group of musicians to perform gigs outside of Black Elephant’s genre of music. As a result, Tim went on to form the group Cigarette Break-named after Harrell quoted “She”, a Saul Williams poem. “The one she calls, On her cigarette break. Not the cause of it” Derrick said the newly formed group sounded like the feeling he got on a His Cigarette Break.
Cigarette Break has been among one of the city’s most progressive acts in contemporary music. From their 2002 debut until the present, they have performed with several well known, national recording artists such as Conya Doss, Silm of 112, Eric Roberson, Tye Tribbet, Pamulla Williams, Tank, RL, and many more. Lead by Ricketts, Cigarette Break continues to perform at festivals, weddings, and clubs around the nation and is quickly becoming the most prolific and requested live music group in the city of Milwaukee. Comprised of Five musicians, occasionally joined by others: Drummer Olen Franklin, Guitarist Darrien Williams, Keyboardist Eric Lock, Saxophonist Tobias Canon, and Bassist Timothy Ricketts
Ryan Dj Rino Guerrero. Born and raised in Kenosha. I am an open format dj, that can read the crowd and understand the right song to play at the right time. I have 25 plus years’ experience. I’m very well known in the Kenosha community and I’m very outgoing and sociable. I’ve DJ’ed countless events, some of which include quinceñeras, weddings, corporate events, school dances, bars, clubs, hosting karaoke etc. There is not an event too big or too small that I won’t partake in.
Tim Hess is a local DJ, specializing in old school, throwbacks and early 2000s top 40. He started working in the early 90s by DJing local high-school dances, weddings, private parties and corporate events. He was the in-house DJ at Coins Sports Bar and is currently hosting the monthly 80s Dance Party at 24’s Rumor’s Lounge in Kenosha.
Celebrity DJ Mr262 currently co owns a radio station WCQB 99.fm distributed on iheartRadio he also toured with Grammy Award Winning Artist from being in the Music Industry for 25 years. Djmr262 has been nominated and won DJ Humanitarian Awards to having over 10million streams and plaques.
The Kal Bergendahl Project (KBP) is a six-piece instrumental jazz-funk band. The vibrant unit features some of the area’s most familiar jazz faces displaying extraordinary musicianship and technical precision. Blending free-flowing funk and memorable melodies; the ensemble is driven by a stellar horn section. Groove and melodic hooks are weaved in their deeply focused musical landscape of Jazz-Funk, R&B and Soul. The group’s latest release “Parallels Ch. IV” is available on all streaming platforms.
Natty Nation, a Madison based group, opens the main stage at 2:45pm with the inaugural Caribbean presentation of Reggae music. Natty Nation is a collection of professional musicians from Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago & Minneapolis lead by JAH Boogie (lead vocals and bass) & musical director Aaron Konkol. Natty Nation with over 2 decades of performance experience has backed up reggae legends Lee “Scratch” Perry, Chaka Demus & Pliers and shared the stage with Ziggy, Damian, & Stephen Marley. JAH Boogie and his band’s tight but fluid, rootsy but funky, beautiful but gritty, righteous but real vibration is clear to anyone listening on their stereo or live in concert. It’s almost impossible not to dance at a Natty Nation show where their overall message is simple: spread the positive vibration.
The ECBB is an 8-piece ensemble that performs a variety of repertoire ranging from jazz standards to contemporary pop tunes played in the style of a traditional New Orleans street band. The back line is essentially the rhythm section and consists of two drummers and a sousaphone. The drummers play bass drum and snare drum respectively, both with cymbals. The sousaphone plays the role traditionally occupied by a bass player. The front line consists of two trumpets, one tenor saxophone (doubling on soprano), and trombones, all of whom double on vocals. The lead vocalist is trombone number 2. All other vocals provide a powerful background. The ECBB repertoire features extensive instrumental improvisation. Band members will generally use proximity effects to their advantage, backing off the mic for ensemble parts and getting close on solos. The ECBB is at its essence a street band. Performances may include a planned or impromptu acoustic parade to or from the stage, or around the venue.
The joy that emanates from guitarist Norman Brown while he is playing is palpable. The guitar is simply an extension of him. The multi-platinum selling and chart-topping musician is an artist who is truly in service of the music with the goal to be a force for positivity. “I wish to be of service to my fellowmen as I journey through life,” he explains. “I look upon my work as an opportunity to be overcome with joy and to make the most of it. I want to inspire others to search inside themselves for the silver lining. We all have an opportunity to grow in gratitude for our lives and the blessings we have.” A dedicated meditation and Tai Chi practitioner, Brown confides that there are definite parallels between his practice of the aforementioned Ancient Art and his music. Brown reveals that it comes down to one thing – “balance.” With all of the accolades that Norman Brown has amassed the past three decades, including Grammy and Soul Train Music Awards, he has stayed the course for one reason. “Knowing that I’ve been commissioned by the Most High to channel a message of inspiration and motivation, brings me happiness,” he states. The Atlanta-based musician’s love affair with the guitar began at age eight. Watching his older brother play, Norman was drawn to the energy radiating from what he now calls his “Spirit Catcher,” the strings on the guitar. Waiting for his brother Roy Brown Jr., “Popsicle” to leave, Norman couldn’t wait to get his hands on his six string carefully stored in the closet. Luckily for us, Brown’s love affair with the guitar is still going strong. His technical wizardry, genre-bending facility, soulful finesse, and charisma, have made him one of the most sought-after internationally renowned musicians in Contemporary Jazz. Just ask his devoted and loyal fan base affectionately dubbed ‘Normantics.’ A musician’s musician, Brown has collaborated with everyone from George Benson, Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, and Miki Howard, to Jeff Lorber, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Peabo Bryson, and Chanté Moore, to name a few. Shanachie Entertainment VP of Jazz A&R, Danny Weiss, states, “At the risk of being blasphemous, Norman is the true successor to Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Like them, he’s a jazz musician of the highest order, but you hardly notice because you’re having so much fun listening to him.” At the core of Brown’s life and work are the 11 laws of God, the principles of universal law and wisdom from the Ancient Egyptian Spiritual Studies, The Ausar Auset Initiation System, “The Paut Neteru Of Anu,” The Tree of Life, which focuses on peace, harmonious unification, wisdom, spirit power, order and truth, balance, justice, free will, creativity, thoughts and morality, manifestation and devotion for divine earthly living.
On March 25, 2022, Shanachie Entertainment will release Norman Brown’s 13th recording as a leader and fourth for the label, Let’s Get Away. Brown’s own take on the perfect getaway involves, “ A joyful and peaceful mental state, surrounded by companionship in an atmosphere of inspiration and beauty that is illustrated by the colors of nature.” Let’s Get Away conjures the serenity, joy, and beauty that Brown wishes for us all.
The riveting ten-track set showcases the genius and flair that has landed Norman Brown at the top of the charts time and time again. Featuring originals composed by Norman Brown and various album personnel, Brown’s highly anticipated new recording fuses the best elements of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Blues, and beyond. The lone cover is a well-known Lalo Schifrin composition that Brown puts his Midas touch on. Joining Brown on the all-star outing is fellow guitarist and label-mate Paul Brown, multi-instrumentalists Wirlie Morris, Shane Theriot, and Jeff Carruthers, keyboardists Lew Laing and David Torkanowsky, saxophonist Greg Vail, trumpeter Ron King, drummer Gorden Campbell, bassist Jeff Wolfe, and percussionist Lenny Castro. “It was an honor and pleasure to be joined by all of these divine beings who nourished the music and brought the perfect seasoning to this experience,” shares Norman. Let’s Get Away opens with the exquisite “Back At Ya,” the album’s first single, co-written with Laing, Torkanowsky, and Paul Brown, who plays percussion on the track. Norman’s crisp and buttery smooth riffs delight with every note as he trades choruses with saxophonist Greg Vail. The alluring title track, “Let’s Get Away,” is a collaboration with Wirlie Morris (Charlie Wilson, Confunkshun, Keith Sweat). The duo creates an emotive, funky R&B swinger that transports us to another dimension. The euphoric “Easy Livin,’” is the perfect mood-enhancing anthem, bound to put a smile on your face. Brown confides that the secret to easy livin’ is “being able to access your ability to access and remain in a living state of a Peaceful Joy in the face of all obstacles, setbacks, problems, and challenges” The percussive uptempo ditty calls to mind the timeless Hugh Masekela song “Grazin’ in the Grass.” Norman kicks it up a notch with the surprising key change and tasty blues-drenched solo halfway through.
Norman Brown also takes the opportunity on Let’s Get Away to pay homage to two significant men who have shaped him personally and the other musically; his Father, Roy Brown Sr., and Wes Montgomery, who transformed the guitar harmonically, melodically, and technically. Brown puts his Midas touch on Lalo Schifrin’s “Down Here On The Ground,” which was the title track of Montgomery’s 1968 Creed Taylor produced the session. The album hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and #4 on the R&B chart. The original version was part of Schifrin’s Academy nominated score to the film Cool Hand starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy, who won an Oscar. “My inspiration for recording this song was to bring joy to my Father, fulfilling his request to learn Wes Montgomery’s version note for note, phrase for phrase, and with the feeling of his rhythmic touch. This was a great moment to play tribute to both my Father and Wes Montgomery,” shares Norman. “Wes Side Story,” co-written with fellow guitarists Shane Theriot (who collaborates with Norman for the first time on the recording) and Paul Brown, is another shining tribute to “The Golden Thumb as Wes was affectionately crowned. Norman adds, “Wes exposed me to guitar playing so creative, that it showed me a total range of musical expression that touches every emotion from warmth, to edgy, to excitement, all the way to blazing.” “L.A. Chill” is the coalescence of laid-back groove, deep soul, and mean guitar licks. The killer arrangement of Norman and Shane Theriot’s “Talk It Out,” is as catchy as it gets as Norman raises the roof and horn section of Ron King and Greg Vail to elevate the vibe. The percolating and effervescent “Late Night Drive,” conjures warm moonlight summer nights with the top down and your favorite soundtrack pumping through the speakers. Norman’s trademark assured touch, sublime, and agile soloing make it hard to sit still as he blesses this undeniable groove. He explains, “I don’t think many people understand that the gear one uses including his instrument is only a partial makeup of the tone or overall sound. The voice and tone of an artist is generated through one’s fingers, phrasing, rhythm and overall conceptual approach in playing his instrument.” The R&B gem “I Won’t Hurt You” is a collaboration between Brown, Wirlie Morris and vocalist James Champion while “Sunset On Chandler,” transports us to our final destination where Brown pulls out all the stops managing to balance grace, braun, grit, and sophistication. The latter, another collaboration with Shane Theriot and Paul Brown, also features trumpeter Ron King.
Born in Shreveport, LA, and raised in Kansas City, KS Norman Brown has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in this business. Never one to rest on his laurels, he states, “I always remind myself that success lies within my own brain. To expect difficulties and to force my way through them. To avoid procrastination in all its forms and to never, under any circumstances put off until tomorrow any duties that should be performed today.” It is these virtues that keep Brown on his astonishing evolution. A graduate of the Musician’s Institute in North Hollywood, Norman Brown would go on to teach at the school until he landed his first deal, as the flagship artist on Motown’s Mojazz label.
In 1992, Brown recorded the albums Just Between Us, the Gold selling and Soul Train award-winning After The Storm and Better Days Ahead. Having recorded a string of successful albums including 1999’s Celebration (in which he teamed up with Paul Brown), 2002’s Just Chillin’ (featuring vocalists Michael McDonald, Miki Howard, and Chanté Moore) scored a Grammy. The same year, Brown joined forces with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun forming the group BWB, recording their debut album Groovin’. In 2013 they released Human Nature, a tribute album to Michael Jackson, which was followed by their third collaboration BWB in 2016. Brown continued a trail of critically heralded albums including West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007), Sending My Love (2010), and Grammy-nominated 24/7 with saxophonist Gerald Albright. 2017 saw the release of Norman Brown’s anticipated and well-received Shanachie debut, Let It Go. Brown’s recording The Highest Act Of Love followed in 2019 and Heart To Heart in 2020 (both on Shanachie).
With the release of Let’s Get Away and in the wake of so much divisiveness, Norman Brown hopes that his music can be a reminder that, “We are one race of beings interconnected and interrelated, therefore, we are interdependent on one another to achieve Optimality! A life united in harmony in the state of a joyful peace. As the gears in a fine Swiss watch operates achieving the state of keeping perfect time.”
Carthage College Mahone Fund Access Award Recipient
Lakeview Technology Academy
Peyton McRoy will attend Carthage College and plans to major in Psychology. She has had her own business “Made By Pey” since 2014, and has participated in school activities including Yearbook, Choir, Tennis and served as a Teacher’s Aid. Through her planned major, Peyton hopes to learn more about mental illness so that she can help people who struggle with problems. She has been motivated by family members to apply herself to school and to attend and succeed in college and her career.
Mahone Fund CEO Scholarship Recipients
Bradford High School
Ariana Ervin will be attending Clark Atlanta University where she will study Theater and Performing Arts. She was a member and President of African American Youth Initiative (AAYI), a member of DECA and the National Honors Society, and found a new approach for activism in community service. After the riots of 2020, she participated in painting murals for local businesses and helped organize a Building our Future Student Forum for school board candidates. Ariana participated on a Courageous Conversation panel and presented an original poem at the 2022 NAACP Banquet and hopes to continue to use art to serve her community and inspire others.
Bradford High School
Marciara Fuller will be attending Georgia State University where she will be studying nursing. She is a recipient of the Mayor’s Youth Award, was named Student of the Month, was a member and President of the National Honor Society and held leadership positions in DECA. Marciara was a member of African American Female Initiative (AAFI), Leading Ladies, Student Government, Link crew and was the Football Team Manger. She participated in many community events including Building our Future’s Youth Town Hall. She says that she has been motivated by her hardships and thrives to provide equitable care to those around her. Marciara hopes to become a travel nurse and erase the disparity gap within the healthcare system.
Bradford High School
Ja’Nya Parks was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and has a passion for equality and justice, fueled through reading, research and documentaries. Ja’Nya will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study political science and plans to further her education in law school. She was President of Academic Decathlon and a member of the National Honor Society, Environmental Club, Student Government and Girl’s Basketball. Ja’Nya hopes to become a civil rights attorney to protect the rights of marginalized communities and assist those in need.
Indian Trail High School & Academy
Keyon Hill-McAbee was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and will be the first in his family to graduate from college. He will be attending Gateway Technical College majoring in Website Programming with goals to continue his education to earn a bachelor’s degree in video editing. He plans to become a website editor/designer. He was a member of the African American Youth Initiative, 3D Printing Club and Student Council. He enjoys doing community service and volunteer work and hopes to continue doing so throughout his college career.
Indian Trail High School & Academy
Vivian Jones is graduating Magna Cum Laude from Indian Trail High School and Academy, is ranked 17th of 272 students, and has served 185 hours of community volunteer hours. As Co-President of Minorities Empowerment, she has established herself as a cultural and social advocate. She is a 4-sport athlete and works as a Medical Assistant with the Respiratory Therapy and Care Department at Froedtert South Hospital in Pleasant Prairie. Vivian will attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, majoring in Biomedical Sciences in hopes of becoming a vital impact in the exchanges between medical providers and underrepresented communities, specifically minority women that oftentimes fight to be self-advocates for their medical needs.
Indian Trail High School & Academy
Joshua Robinson was born in Lake Forest, Illinois and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and the African American Youth Initiative. He was co-captain of the Indian Trail Varsity Basketball Team, enjoys sports, and watching and reading about sports and athletes. He is proud that he will be a second-generation college student at Marquette University and plans to major in Communication with a goal to be a sports analyst.
Reuther High School
Destiny Washington will attend Gateway Technical College with a major in Liberal Arts and plans to continue to a four-year college to pursue a career in Social Work. She has had her own business “Destiny’s Shoe Customs” and has been a member of the African American Female Initiative (AAFI) and Art Club. She credits her father, who raised her and her siblings, for motivating her and focusing on her future.
Tremper High School
Kezia Preko will attend Loyola University Chicago. Inspired by how the FBI, police, and forensic scientists analyze evidence to solve crimes, she plans to major in Forensics. Kezia was active in tennis, the African American Youth Initiative (AAYI), Travel Club and was a Teacher’s Assistant. Born in Ghana, Kezia is motivated by opportunities she feels are available in the United States and feels that home is not a location but where you are surrounded by people that love and care for you.
Tremper High School
Ben Wajerski will be attending Northwestern University studying Industrial Engineering. He has served as President for the National Honor Society, the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) and Tremper Student Government. Ben has been Vice President for the Class of 2023 all four years and has been on the Honor Roll each quarter. Ben is a National Honor Society Scholarship Semifinalist and a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Link Crew, and Key Club. He has been active in baseball and soccer, where he also served as Captain. Born in Ethiopia, Ben is motivated by opportunities that lie before him and feels a responsibility to achieve not just for himself, but his parents, the community and for those in need.
Carthage College Mahone Fund Full-Tuition Recipient
Tremper High School
Lindsie Vasquez will attend Carthage College. Though her major is undecided she is interested in criminal justice as well as law practice. Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, she was active in art, acting classes, and orchestra. Lindsie has participated in Summer Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Solo and Ensemble. She attributes the arts with helping her find out who she is and giving her and others a voice they wouldn’t have without it. She is extremely excited to be able to further her education at Carthage, explore her personal passions and continue to flourish as an individual.