Kurtis Blow coming to Madison December 8

The hip-hop pioneer will visit to help wrap up Cuban music luminary Juan De Marcos González’s UW-Madison residency.


Kurtis Blow performing in 2013. Photo by Mad Wraith on Flickr.

Kurtis Blow performing in 2013. Photo by Mad Wraith on Flickr.

Hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow perfected a style of simple, relatively wholesome rap that helped make him the first rapper to sign a major-label contract and appear on national TV.

Songs like “Christmas Rappin’” and “Basketball”—with lines like “Basketball is my favorite sport / I like the way they dribble up and down the court”—might sound a bit corny to some ears now, but it’s impossible to downplay the critical role Kurtis Blow played in moving hip hop into the mainstream.

Now, some 36 years into his illustrious career, Kurtis Blow will bless Madison with his presence when he joins a December 8 celebration of University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence Juan de Marcos González at Frederic March Play Circle in the Memorial Union.

Kurtis Blow will be performing along with finalists from the Madison’s Schools Got Talent competition and will stick around to talk about hip hop culture.

The event will be the final get together of González’s residenc,y and three students from Marcos’ “Music Production: Afro-Cuban and Hip Hop Music” class will be performing with the legendary Cuban bandleader, as well as the School of Music’s Jazz Orchestra, Latin Jazz Ensemble and World Percussion Ensemble. For those unable to attend in person, it will also be streaming online and available to watch later here.

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