15 Years of Unity at Kalmunity, pt.2

This year, the Kalmunity Vibe Collective celebrates their 15-year anniversary. They have provided a creative outlet for musicians, singers, rappers, poets, and dancers by hosting a weekly improvisation night. They got together in 2003 at small venue called Sablo Cafe, founded by drummer Jah Sun, and since then has nurtured aspiring artists to go on stage and express themselves. Some of my closest friends have started with the collective, and now perform around the city, have written books, have put out albums and more.

I had the privilege of attending a few nights for Kalmunity’s Music Week. I was at the first night at Petit Cafe Campus for their House Party with Wayne Tennant headlining, who has been with the collective since the beginning. The show opened up with artists Chanda and JJahnice who both blessed us with their soulful voices. A break was then taken to prepare for Wayne Tennant, and we were left in the hands of DJ Sound Traveler, who did an amazing set with drummers playing along to the beats of the afro funk songs he dropped.

Wayne got on the stage, he performed his house tracks “Mercyless”, and “I’m Done”, songs from his album Life in a Minor Key, as well as new material. It was an incredible performance, and it was great to hear the band play house-style music.

The night ended with an improv set with the musicians and the artists for the night.

I also had a chance to go on day 6 of Kalmunity’s Music Week: the Family Dinner a night of Nu and Jamaican Jazz which happened Sunday at Resonance Cafe. The night featured five talented acts.

The first performer was Nora Toutain. She got her start with the collective and is now studying music. Her performance was soulful and jazzy. I wasn’t there when she first started with the collective, but she is a natural talent.

The second performer was Stella Adjoke, a poet and singer. She performed tracks from her EP Mon Monde. One of them, “Naturelle”, reminded us we are free and liberated us. She encouraged us to be free with our emotions with the track “Laisse couler tes larmes”. Her powerful voice with her slam poetry was something that you feel in your soul. She is a presence.

The third performer, Shem G, is an artist I’ve seen perform in the past at Urban Science and at the CJLO Hip Hop showcase CJLO in October 2017. He is a natural lyricist and freestyle MC. What was different about that night’s performance was that he was producing live on stage with a saxophonist and drummer, when he normally performs with a band. It was a great performance; even as he’s multitasking, he’s energetic, which shows his range and talent as an artist. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

The fourth act was Theo TSA, a 3-piece band composed of a pianist, drummer, and guitarist. They did a jazz set with some experimental elements that reminded me of Robert Glasper.

The final performer was headliner Iba Mahr. He gave an intimate performance and sang about life, love, and the struggles humans face. He also talked and connected with the crowd, making his performance that much more special. It was my first time seeing Iba Mahr perform. People told me that he usually performs with a band, I was happy to see him perform in this setting.

The night was filled with amazing vibes and delicious food. Kalmunity has their jazz night every Sunday at Resonance and every week, you can always catch a beautiful vibe.