Use Your Head For More (World Premiere)
Presented as a series of audiovisual portraits, Use Your Head For More regenerates the transcript of a conversation between composer Justin Hicks and his mother, engaging found sound and personal archive in a performance of reimagining, remembering, and reminding.
Creator/Performer: Justin Hicks
Artistic Collaborator/Editing: Breck Omar Brunson
Artistic Collaborator/Lighting: Tuce Yasak
Additional Vocals: Jade Hicks
Additional Vocals: Jasmine Enlow
Camera and Styling: Kenita Miller-Hicks
Audio Mix: Sean Davis
Film Location: The artist’s home in Bronx, NY
Justin Hicks was a collaborator of 2014 BAC Resident Artist Kaneza Schaal and 2019 BAC Space Resident Artists Mallory Catlett and Aaron Siegel.
In Conversation: Justin Hicks with Meshell Ndegeocello
BAC presents a live-streamed conversation with Hicks and his collaborators talking with singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello on Wednesday, February 24 at 8PM ET.
BAC Artist Commissions made possible with generous leadership support from Anonymous, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Howard Gilman Foundation, Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, Thompson Family Foundation, and Robert and Kathleen Wallace.
Lead support of dance programming at BAC is provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Endowment.
As of January, 2021.
Feb 24, 2021, Live on ZOOM: In conjunction with the premiere of "Use Your Head For More," musician and composer Justin Hicks and his collaborators talked with singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello.
Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer whose sound and music work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Paisley Park, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Highline, and The Institute for Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) among many others.
Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, and is a member of The HawtPlates. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage (The Public Theater, dir. Jo Bonney). Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, raised in Lafayette, IN and is based in the Bronx, NY.
Breck Omar Brunson
Breck Omar Brunson (artistic collaborator/editing) includes his audience in his work through simple suggestive gestures, finding ways to provoke consideration of belonging his created environments and objects.
Brunson builds site specific works and consider’s most of them ongoing or semi-permanent with an edge of jest that morphs with time. His artwork utilizes found objects to narrate his presented encounters. He also works as a builder/designer specializing in smaller furniture pieces and decor. Brunson has appeared various music outfits as a writer, vocalist, and producer and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.
Jasmine Enlow (vocalist) is a proud veteran and entrepreneur who works in tech. She is the sister of the lead artist and an ardent lover of the arts. She currently resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband.
Jade Hicks (vocalist) is a songwriter, and performer who has worked in various music and theater. She has toured internationally with the Broadway show Rent, and with Queen Esther Marrow and The Harlem Gospels Singers.
She was a featured vocalist in visual artist Steffani Jemison’s Promise Machine (MoMA 2015), and has worked closely with her brother Justin on various sound design and art projects as a vocalist, Jade is also a founding member of The HawtPlates.
Kenita Miller-Hicks (camera and styling) is a Drama Desk Award-winning actor who has performed in such notable Broadway productions as The Color Purple, Xanadu, and the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Once on This Island.
Her regional credits include, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at New York City Center, Cincinnati Playhouse’s world premier of The Revolutionists, and The Arden Theater company’s production of Parade, which earned her a Barrymore Award for her portrayal of Minnie McKnight. Film and Television credits include The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Blacklist, Odd Mom Out, Hostages, and Bruce Weber’s short film Liberty City is like Paris To Me. Kenita is also a founding member of The HawtPlates with her husband, Justin, and sister-in-law Jade.
Meshell Ndegeocello is a bassist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose music incorporates a wide variety of influences: funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae, and rock. She has garnered critical acclaim throughout her career, including ten career Grammy Award nominations.
Ndegeocello has worked with The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Terrence Blanchard, and Cassandra Wilson. She has also collaborated with Billy Preston, John Mellencamp, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Redman, Lizz Wright, Lalah Hathaway, Zap Mama, Cody Chestnut, Toshi Reagon, and many others.
Tuçe Yasak (artistic collaborator/lighting) has been following light in NYC since 2008, creating over 100 site-specific light installations for performance in the US and abroad.
Yasak received the 2018 Bessie Award (...Memoirs of a... Unicorn by Marjani Forte-Saunders at Collapsable Hole and NYLA) and 2019 Bessie Award (Oba Qween Baba King Baba by Ni'Ja Whitson at Danspace) for Outstanding Visual Design with her lighting design. She has ongoing collaborations with Raja Feather Kelly / the Feath3r, Ana Maria Alvarez / Contra Tiempo, Ni’Ja Whitson, Nia Witherspoon, Justin Hicks. Among her recent collaborations are Hysteria by Raja Feather Kelly at New York Live Arts, The Bridge Called My Ass by Miguel Gutierrez (The Chocolate Factory/NY, Montpellier Dance Festival/France, The Walker Center/Minneapolis, PICA/Portland) Skinfolk: An American Show written by Jillian Walker and directed by Mei Ann Teo (The Bushwick Starr, NYC), We're Gonna Die written by Young Jean Lee, directed by Raja Feather Kelly (2nd Stage Theater/NYC), among many others. Light, movement, and architecture intertwine in Yasak's work to support space-making and story-telling.
Photos: Maria Baranova, Kenita Miller-Hicks