Upcoming events, meetups & concerns
News & updates
We are blessed to be able to work on tons of projects here at Manhattan Musicians and November has especially been a busy month for the Manhattan Musicians staff as we are gaining momentum with videos, celebrity events and brand new music! The worldwide collaborations span the globe from Switzerland to Nashville to the Rocky Mountains of good ole Colorado!
While attending the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC, we were able to link up with my good friends from Kinyama Sounds (Geneva, Switzerland) and shoot some video. Footage from the streets of NYC always looks good on film and the bright lights of the city where captured in High Definition while vibing with their flagship artist Rootwords. Rootwords performed two shows for the conference. One was at Toshi’s on 26th and Broadway and the other was at Left Field in the Lower East Side. The two venues were catering to different crowds, however, Rootwords’ universal appeal allowed him to capture the crowd’s attention and deliver two high energy sets! (Big Thanks to Rock Cures, TBAIMS and CMJ for helping to put together these shows)
I sat down with Rootwords at the CMJ panel discussion of YouTube and the International Music Industry for a short interview. We spoke in depth about his influences, overall M.C. skills, and the importance of NYC and the 1990’s hip hop movement. It was good to get an opinion from a European M.C. about the world of Hip Hop and it also was a lot of fun to hang with the whole crew in NYC during the conference. I wanted to create a project that documented the trip, the music and the interview with a music/video/interview fusion. Combining video footage from the week, samples of street noise, the Rootwords interview and a custom trip hop beat, I was able to mold together a creative project resulting in a YouTube video documenting the composited vibe of the visit entitled “Rootwords vs. AO”.
Our next stop was a star studded fundraiser in midtown Manhattan. The Colonel had set up a charity auction for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund which was held at the Taj Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. A-List Celebrities were on hand to raise over $1.2 Million for cancer research. Celebrities in attendance were Pierce Brosnan (James Bond), the Multi-Grammy Award Winning jazz artist Harry Connick Jr. and Comedian Lisa Lampanelli. The Colonel rocked the stage for a public appeal that hyped up the crowd to add an extra $250,000 with his high volume auctioneering energy on the mic. Harry Connick Jr. was nice super nice enough to chat for a while and posed for a quick picture!
Thirdly, Kentucky Native and up and coming Nashville Hip Hop sensation Trubz released a new music video for the song “Beautiful Demon”. I was lucky enough to produce the music for the song and the overall completed project was AMAZING! I have been in contact with Trubz for a while and we have been bouncing ideas back and forth through e-mails for collaborations. He chose a beat that I composed with live guitars and bass. The live sound, with his vocal skills and innovative rap style makes the song very unique and the video adds that necessary touch to bring the song to legendary status. Be on the look out for more AO/Trubz Collaborations in the future!
Lastly, the Colonel has taken a trip to the Rocky Mountains to gather footage for new videos in the works. His cinematography knowledge and keen eye for epic footage are going to produce something so cool you will feel the mountain breeze tingling the hair on the back of your neck. With Dank New Music freshly produced in the organic soils of AO Studios (North Jersey) coupled with superior 4K HD footage from the Colonel’s Colorado Adventure, expect only the best from Manhattan Musicians with the next project…… More Soon to Come!!!
On behalf of all the good people we have worked with so far, Thanks for listening and Thanks for Rocking with Manhattan Musicians! Peace Out, AO
Kinyama Sounds Recording Artist to Represent Swiss Hip Hop
This Year’s CMJ Marathon is hitting New York City and the roster of artists to perform are coming from all corners of the globe. In particular, one Hip Hop artist is bringing his positive energy all the way from Switzerland to Toshi’s Living Room on Broadway on October 22 at 9:00 EST and Left Field Bar on October 24 at 11:00 EST.
The event is brought to you by The Big Apple Indie Music Series (TBAIMS) and will kick off what is expected to be a killer week of up and coming musicians taking over NYC. Along with Talent Army Promotions, Manhattan Musicians, Kinyama Sounds and Rock Cures, the European artist will be laying down his inauguaral stage show in the United States.
Rootwords was born in the United States (of Zambian origin) and grew up in Switzerland, where within the last decade he has become an undeniable talent in the international hip hop scene, to keep an eye on. Since the age of 16, he cultivated his love for hip hop, the underground scene and explosive beats. “A world citizen rapper” is a good way to define the aesthetics of this artist who, through his texts and music, expresses his attachment to multiculturalism, diversity, and the world in general. (www.rootwordsmusic.com)
I have had the pleasure of working with Kinyama Sounds in Geneva, Switzerland and I assure you that their professionalism, production quality and overall music industry presence are top notch. Put this show down on your calendar, tell all of your NYC peeps, and be one of the first to witness this Global Hip Hop Virtuoso as he moves forward with his venture to spread positivity, create good vibes and spit hot fire into the music universe….
The Show will be broadcast live on several websites and internet radio stations. visit TBAIMS for more info.
Andrew O’Rourke Releases 19 New Songs Written from Hawaii to New York City
Written by Andrew Maddox O’Rourke
The journey began in the winter of 2013 on a sailboat in Summerland Key, Florida where I was staying with my good friend Captain Haney docked in the Florida Keys. It had been a long trip to get to the end of the road as I had played a handful of rowdy shows going down the long stretch of the Sunshine State.
I needed rest, but the travels that I endured called me to grab my six-string and write what was to eventually evolve into a 19 song concept album fueled by the lonesome road travelled by wandering musicians for decades. I was alone in the galley with my trusty beach guitar and my smartphone armed as a recording device. A perfect atmosphere to write music. The swaying of the ocean, the refreshing saltwater air, and a heart full of memories that could now be molded into a creative outlet of music and verse gave me reason to begin the journey to “The Limit”.
I wrapped up the Florida Tour and made my way back to the East Coast where I began to play New York City for a different type of Urban Inspiration. Playing for the good people of New York and the tourists coming from different parts of the world gave me some direction as to how to make people smile with the music that they were experiencing. My good friend and drummer Bradley Woods and I jammed in Central Park, NYC on various occasions and the joy from seeing the visitors in the park dance, smile and take photos was one of the most uplifting experiences that music has taken me to date. We were lucky enough to meet people from Argentina, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Europe, Africa and many other parts of the globe that truly experienced the power of music as a universal language.
Another opportunity popped up just in time to capture the grittiness of my style that came with the long days singing and jamming in the city. B. Boyd of Enclave Media graciously invited me to his studio in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee outside of Nashville. The cold winter wilderness of Tennessee provided the backdrop for 3 days of all night recording sessions. I had a ton of ideas and chose to record what would become the title track for the album. “The Limit” and “Airplane” came very naturally as B. Boyd and I had been in several bands together during college and were familiar with each others working methodology. Dan Hyberger, a genius bass player, added a little extra funk to the songs and we completed the songs in very little time. I drove back to the East Coast extremely happy with the two songs that were created in the backwoods of Tennessee.
As Winter turned to Spring and Spring ushered the music to the Summertime, the writing and recording of my music was beginning to show signs of material that could be good enough for release. I continued to record and write in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ where I had a steady gig at Jenk’s Inlet Bar and performed 3 hour non-stop sets for the Summer crowds at the Jersey Shore (not the MTV crowd).
Co-Founder of Manhattan Musicians and CEO of The Manhattan Auction House Colonel Powers and I were feeling the summertime vibe and decided to shoot a music video for the song “The Limit” while the weather was good. We strapped the GoPro waterproof camera to a helmet and cut loose on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Shots of Surfing, Mountain biking and Parkour made the video an action packed cinematic adventure. One more fun project for the Manhattan Musicians catalog.
My guitar chops and vocals were getting seasoned in the salt air and my writing catalog was beginning to show bountiful bushels of ideas and hooks. The idea of a full album was beginning to sound promising and the material began to GROW! It was time to get serious….
I invested a large sum of my savings into recording equipment and rented a small studio apartment adjacent from the fishing docks of Point Pleasant Beach. The summer season came to a halt and the town turned into a quiet fishing town with no sign of tourists or any action at all. Once again, a perfect place to write and record.
I put in marathon recording sessions playing all the instruments, arranging the structures, engineering the mixes, and finalizing the songs with the approval of no one but myself (No Creative Control from a Greedy Record Label!). Drum Programming, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboard and Mountain Melody Thumb Piano were on the menu for my studio at Mariner’s Cove in Point Pleasant Beach. Plenty of options to create a full band sound using the power of multitrack recording…
I finished up over 20 songs within a matter of weeks and was ready for some more inspiration. Destination: Denver, Colorado was the next mission that would prove to be another epic adventure…
I rolled into Denver on January, 1 2014 which is a historical day for the masses who support the legalization of marijuana. The scene was somewhat humorous and somewhat sentimental. Downtown Denver was packed with Peaceful Hippie Herb Smokers, Old School Pot Heads, Young Hipsters, Business Looking Yuppies, Retired Grannies and just about any type of people from all walks of life. The mood was light and the conversations were jolly between groups of people from all over the world. It was truly another sign of how people can come together no matter what their differences. Everyone should be able to find a common ground in any situation, after all we are all human, right?
Anyway, I was lucky enough to jam at Quixote’s True Blue Grateful Dead Bar in Downtown Denver with veteran local jam band players backing the session. My college roommate and good friend Paul Holt showed me around the city and gave me the Denver experience from the local level. We cruised around Colorado for a couple weeks, skied the Rocky Mountains, visited Red Rocks Amphitheater as I continued to write music and jam the six-string in the fresh air of the West.
However, the adventure was not complete without a trip to the Island of Oahu in the Aloha State of Hawaii. My flight left Denver International Airport EARLY in the morning and, honestly, I was a little sad to leave the snow, the mountains and the good vibes that Colorado seems to always provide for travelers who know and respect the beauty of the West.
One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that when you get off the plane, you will be in Hawaii… I cherished every moment of the visit to the Island and was truly grateful for another stay in paradise. I had over a month to get involved with the culture, the music scene and the great Pacific Ocean’s never ending marine related activities.
A good friend of mine and local to Waikiki Samuel Braden loaned me his Ukulele and I immediately began to study and practice the little 4-string melody maker. Now the writing process began to take another critical turn. I am always looking for ways to harness an Island Vibe in my music and the Uke was just the tool I needed to take the sound, melody and songwriting on an Island Quest.
After a few days of surfing, hiking and cruising the Island, I began to network with the local music scene in Honolulu. I met a M.C. named Dorian and he mentioned a recording studio in the foothills of Manoa. I was instantly set on visiting this studio and recording some new tracks for the album.
We drove up the windy path from Waikiki to Manoa and the scenery began to take shape to more of a jungle vibe compared to the concrete hustle of Downtown Honolulu. Rendezvous Studio is run by Pierre Grill who has been recording music in Hawaii for over 30 years. His credits are pages long as he has also toured and worked internationally with several reggae and global acts including the current Miss Hawaii. Pierre is a true professional and his abilities in the studio made the sessions relaxing and very efficient.
I had two songs that I had finished in NJ and I needed some vocals added and so Dorian came into the vocal booth and ripped the microphone like King Kong. No Joke! We were up in the mountains of Hawaii in an amazing professional studio and the music came together so quickly we finished 2 songs in one session… I knew that between my beats, Pierre’s engineering abilities and Dorian’s MC skills, we were creating new music for the album that would stick.
The next session I was looking to emphasize on the acoustic elements of roots rock music. I arrived to the studio to a Full Drum Set, Congas, Ukulele, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Piano, B3 Organ, and a handful of percussion instruments to play with. I played the majority of the instruments, Pierre added the Piano and Organ and Dorian added a verse to complete the gem. “Keep on Moving” was written and recorded within that month I was in Hawaii and it will ever remind me of the friends, nature and good vibes that came into my life during the trip.
The songs were sent off to Expert Sound Artist Nicolas Duboux from Kinyama Sounds in Geneva, Switzerland for Mastering. Nico is another great friend who came into my life through music and we have remained in touch for over 15 years. I would trust him with any of my audio projects as he has many, many hours logged onto the sound engineering world of music surgery.
I now sit in my hometown of Murray, KY writing this brief summary of the evolution of “The Limit”. The songs are now available for the world via iTunes, Amazon and Google. I may have left out many details of this journey that took me from the Florida Keys to NYC to Denver to Hawaii to Kentucky, but hopefully it will come across in the music . I would not trade any of this for the world and I hope you enjoy the soundtrack that took me exactly 4,779 miles across the globe to find beauty on our earth… I believe I found it. In conclusion, I thank all of you and hope to see your smile soon… Stay Good People!
Hi Everyone,We are planing to attend 2013 Guggenheim International Gala Pre-party tonight hoping to see Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman. For more information please visit http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/press-room/releases/5579-gig-2013. Join us if you can! We’re planning to post some pictures and our review later on.