Ensemble Mik Nawooj

VPAC Winter Underground Sound Series

January 31, 2019 7:30 pm

Ticket Prices
  • $150 // 6 SHOWS, 6 DRINKS
  • $38 Single Ticket General Admission
Ensemble Mik Nawooj
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A 10-piece acoustic hip hop orchestra

Huffington Post: Hip-hop is the new great American art music and Ensemble Mik Nawooj is on the cutting edge of it.

Led by composer/pianist, JooWan Kim, Hip Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) creates New Concert Music based on the musical materials of Hip-Hop and by sampling compatible classical compositional techniques. Executed with MCs/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman, a lyric soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, drums and bass, the music is rigorous, nuanced, accessible, and free from the dogmas of Western European concert music aesthetic.  The result is seamless tête-à-tête with “textures swimming through the sound…like the world’s fastest ping-pong game” (Pitchfork) and is considered the “cutting edge of hip-hop” (Huffington Post).

After a successful performance of a novelty piece which featured an MC and chamber ensemble while  JooWan Kim was completing his master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the MC at the time suggested they make an album together. Six months later and writing about an hour of music, JooWan had a profound shift in the direction of his writing. He felt that he found a way out of the stifling contemporary concert music aesthetic in this new way of composition. Kim crystallized his ideas into Method Sampling, a principle of borrowing or sampling of rationales from related as well as unrelated fields, then reframing them into one’s own system.

In 2010, JooWan recruited his best friend from college, Christopher Nicholas to push the project forward in a serious way. Since then, EMN attracted some of the most excellent classical musicians and MCs in the SF Bay Area while gaining national attention from outlets such as ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, NPR, Pitchfork, Upworthy, NowThis, and more.

Composer and pianist JooWan Kim began his formal training in composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.M. in composition in 2003. He continued his education in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, from which he received a M.M. in 2006. JooWan founded Ensemble Mik Nawooj in 2010.

Do D.A.T. has performed alongside and opened for Dave Chappelle, Dead Prez, Zion I, KRS ONE, Ludacris, Macklemore, Bambu, Los Rakas, Aceyalone, E40, Clyde Carson, Mistah FAB, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Murs, Blue Scholars, Goapele and more. He has released several solo albums as well as collaborations including Golden Age and more. Do D.A.T. joined Ensemble Mik Nawooj in 2011 and has been featured on Wall Street Journal, NPR, SF Chronicle, OZY and more. When he is not on stage, D.A.T. works for the Oakland based Beats Rhymes and Life; a Hip Hop Therapy organization that provides programs to youth ages 14 to 24 in Northern and Central california.

Prior to releasing a solo album titled, The Art of Dreaming, Sand’Man was cultivated as an emcee during his involvement with the dynamic hip hop group “The Attik.” His association with the group began as a teen and eventually blossomed into something formal. In 2005 the group released the album Jungle Electric. Sand’Man has shared a stage with KRS-One, Dead Prez, E-40, San Quinn, Mr. FAB, Aceyalone, Zion I, Game Rebellion, Medusa and many more. A veteran to performing, he has rocked stages from the Bay Area to New York and Puerto Rico and shined at legendary venues, such as the Fillmore, in front of sold-out crowds. Sandman joined EMN in 2013 and has been featured on Wall Street Journal, NPR, SF Chronicle, OZY and more.

“Hip-Hop Orchestra goes beyond race and politics with a vision of new America”

This show may contain explicit content.


Winter Underground Sound Pass: 6 Shows + 6 Drinks = $150

We’re featuring SIX diverse performances from across the musical spectrum in our 2019 VPAC WINTER Underground Sound Series. Also known as the “Love for the Locals Series,” we feel nothing is better than sharing in the discovery (and re-discovery) of NEW sounds. Come have a drink and discover the music!  Pass Perks:

  • Transferable—share it among friends & family
  • General Admission to each performance
  • Your choice of ONE FREE beverage at the Pass Bar
  • A SAVINGS of over $150!

Underground Sound Lineup:

  • Blitzen Trapper | MON JAN 21
  • Ensemble Mik Nawooj | THURS JAN 31
  • JJ Grey & MoFro | WED FEB 6
  • DSQ –  Electric | FRI FEB 22
  • The Christie Lenée Project | TUES FEB 26
  • Nikki Lane | THURS MARCH 7


Single Tickets: $38 General Admission


*Single tickets do NOT include a beverage offering
*Ticket and pass price subject to change

*This show is part of the VPAC Pick 5 Ticket Package where you can select from a specific list of shows and get 1 Ticket to 5 Different Shows for only $150! For a list of available shows, and/or to purchase the package, click here.

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