Existing as a performance entity since 1987, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra (BRCO) is a collaboration of skilled progressive artists of color whose talents lend themselves to the musical reinterpretation of certain, historically significant bodies of work. Various line-ups have entertained audiences at Central Park SummerStage, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Joe’s Pub, BAM Café, and Town Hall with work that pays tribute to such artists as Nina Simone, James Brown, WAR, Curtis Mayfield, Betty Davis, Sam Cooke, Black Women Songwriters, Stevie Wonder and more.
The BRCO is the official performance arm of the Black Rock Coalition (BRC). Now celebrating its 28th year, the BRC is a non-profit, member-supported organization founded to facilitate the maximum empowerment, exposure and expression of Black alternative musicians and their art. Founded by Vernon Reid, Greg Tate and Konda Mason, in reaction to the constrictions that the music industry (and society as a whole) places on minority artists, the BRC is a collective of musicians, writers, producers, publicists, activists and music fans mobilized to provide support and resources for artists who defy perceived convention. Since 1985, the group has proudly exerted and loudly exclaimed its community's right to make itself heard—irrespective of genre.
All footage was taken at a Black Rock Coalition Orchestra presentation.