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Renowned Deejay and Rhymesayers Recording Artist BK-One Taps McNally Smith Students for Special Collaboration

When renowned DJ and Rhymesayers Entertainment recording artist Brendan Kelly (aka BK-One) visited McNally Smith College of Music to perform at the final Sound Bite Series concert of the 2013–14 season, he called upon some familiar faces in the hip-hop community to lend a hand and join him on stage. In an even more ambitious move that put Kelly’s musical dexterity to the test, he also tapped students from the McNally Smith Brass and Woodwinds program for a scorching collaboration that brought the evening’s festivities to a thrilling finish.

Students in the Breaking Brass Band ensemble — directed by McNally Smith faculty member and trombone guru Dr. Scott Agster — performed a trio of riotous, genre-bending numbers with Kelly, including hit track “Tema Do Canibal” from his Brazilian influenced 2009 release “Rádio do Canibal.” Two more songs were written collectively with Agster and the Breaking Brass Band exclusively for the special event. Check out the video below for a behind-the-scenes look.

“We’ve been able to do a lot more with [this music] than I was able to do with ‘Tema Do Canibal,’ Kelly says in regards to the collaboration. “The arrangements are more interesting and complex, there’s some tempo jumps and shifts in time signatures, and the horn charts that [Agster] worked up are more interesting to me — and more fun.”

“One of the things I think is most important about this collaboration is the students get to experience the same things the teachers are experiencing here at the school,” says Agster. “I’ve done recordings with Heiruspecs, Lazerbeak, Dessa … I think it’s really important that our students get the opportunity to do those same kinds of things.”

Check out the video below for more highlights from BK-One’s Sound Bite Series concert, including an incendiary, 3-way throw down between fellow Rhymesayers artists Brother Ali, Toki Wright (McNally Smith’s Hip-Hop Studies Dept. Head), and I Self Devine (pictured, right).