To close out the year, five artist/educators from around the world were invited to the United States to participate in a wide range of workshops, panel discussions, jam sessions, and public performances. Each individual brings a distinctive combination of artistic expertise, educational experience and commitment to social activism.
Representing Uganda, Kifuko Moureen Drichiru, a.k.a. B-Girl Key, is a dancer, teacher, graphic designer, event organizer and speaker. Her specialties are breaking, waacking, Afro house and traditional African dance. She is a member, teacher and student of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU), a voluntary non profit organization that uses breakdance, hip-hop and education (formal and informal) to empower young people, promote social change and create employment opportunities.
She is currently working as the program coordinator for Batalo East, a non-profit organization that blends traditional and urban arts in order to encourage innovation, preserve culture, and ultimately help young people develop strong roots in their home culture, a sense of identity and place, and the skills and confidence necessary to engage with and contribute to an increasingly internationalized and borderless world.
Key has performed and competed in many events, concerts and festivals in Uganda, Kenya, DRC, and Italy, and has won a number of competitions as both a solo and crew dancer. She has also facilitated workshops at community events and outreach programs around the world.
Representing El Salvador, DJ Cue Bass is a deejay/turntablist and hip-hop producer who is known for his creativity on stage, where he is known for performing live remixes and scratch routines. Focusing on hip-hop, trap music, drum & bass and dubstep, he has had the opportunity to perform at festivals and nightclubs across Central America. He has shared the stage with Salvadoran and international artists including gangsta goddess Medusa (Eu), Bizzy Bone (Eu), DJ Nelson (Fr), Eclips (Fr), Itrol (Fr ) Rapsuskley (Eng), Reyes del Bajo Mundo (Es / Ny) Fenomedon (Es / Dc), Lovel Two (Gt), Poesia Callejera (Gt), Bacteria Sound System (Gt) Chala Rasta (Arg), Bubaseta (Chile). He currently performs with his crew Insane Crew Bass Masters.
Representing Honduras, MC Ainara Calix Montesinos, also known as AinaJuana, is a member of the Central American crew “TRCREW,” and also the women’s group “Girls at the Control”. Born to a family of musicians, writers and painters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 1994, AinaJuana was involved in music since childhood, playing piano and singing in school choirs and church, and writing songs from the time she was six years old. After being introduced to hip-hop in 2001 at a rap show in Barcelona, she knew that rap would be her new tool of expression and artistic escape. Since then, she has become well known in the Central American hip-hop community, participating in many festivals, concerts and parties in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. She has collaborated with reggae, funk and jazz bands in the city of Tegucigalpa, and is currently working on a solo album, entitled Vagamundos.
Representing Thailand, Boonyachana Tissakul, a.k.a. B-Boy Sept (Double BCR Crew), has practiced dance since the age of twelve, and got serious about battling after winning his division at the first competition he entered, BB Freestyle 2010 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. His crew went on to win the North Thailand Battle of the Year for three years in a row, before the crew dispersed to go to college. Since that time, he has continued to battle and dance throughout Southeast Asia including at Junkfootz on the floor (Chiang Mai), Mae Moe break dance battle (Lampang), and Pa mix battle (Myanmar). He is currently devoted to practicing a wide rage of dance styles, including popping, cover dance, and ballet.
Representing Tanzania, Amani Msangi, a.k.a. Kiche Legend, started rapping at the age of eleven, when he was in the seventh grade. Through his teen years, he became more involved in cyphers and battles, where he developed his lyricism and assembled a tight-knit group of friends who were passionate about hip-hop. This group became the crew 909, who established themselves as a significant force in the Tanzanian hip-hop scene in 2006 with the release of their first mixtape, Here Goes Nothing. Since that time, Kiche Legend has continued to perform with 909 and as a solo artist in a wide variety of venues. He is currently at work on both a solo project and 909’s first official album.