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MONO//POLY is an event where a singular bandleader, Max Swan, meets the rotating many––DJ Royale, Mic Stewart, DJ Sylo, and Alita Moses, in this instance––for a night of collaboration in live musical form. The format is a concept of musical fellowship derived from MONOphonic and POLYphonic harmonic signatures.
MONO––A combining form meaning “one”, “alone”, and/or “singular”
POLY––a combining form with the meanings “much” and/or “many”
Together, Max and the team will combine efforts for one night this Spring to launch a new chapter of The MONO//POLY music series, bringing a closing celebration for the last four iterations or musical acts at MONO//POLY inside the SEI Innovation Studio at The Kimmel Center. The night will feature some of the favorite selections and arrangements from the past year of events held at Milkboy in Center City Philadelphia, home of MONO//POLY’s I, II, III, and IV.
Drinks will be provided compliments of Broadvine Brewing Company, recent collaborators with MONO//POLY, most recently featuring the Black Swan Coffee Porter––a custom beer brewed with coffee beans, chocolate nibs and molasses, that is a smooth year-round light beer, even though it’s dark hue might lead you to think otherwise.
Alita Moses: Alita Moses is a CT-born, Philadelphia-brewed vocalist taking the New York City music scene by storm. At 23-years-old, she has earned a BM in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of the Arts, won the 2014 Shure Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and performed internationally with the likes of Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Steve Davis, Joel Frahm, The Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, and many more solo artists and groups. While her career started in jazz, her versatility and inspirations have led her to the neo-soul scene where she has made a mark with her band, Lohai, and has been recruited for performances like singing with rapper Vic Mensa on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Whether on the stage or in the studio, she brings a natural warmth to each performance and astounds audiences with grace, soul and a musical maturity beyond her years.
Mic Stewart: Philly vocalist Mic Stewart first gained national recognition in 2012 as the winner of the freestyle battle series "Red Bull EmSee". In 2013, he self-released his debut album "PEACEWORLD" - a genre-pushing hip hop manifesto that received critical acclaim from music writers in Philly and beyond, and broke into iTunes' top 20 indie rap charts the first week. Since then he has maintained a consistent output of freestyles, demos, and EPs via social media and online streaming platforms. Stew says this process, "helps cultivate a more personal relationship with my core fans while expanding my own skill set as a producer/rapper. It's important to me that the people who have always supported me get a chance to grow and change with me". His music ranges from angsty and thoughtful to manic and euphoric, steeped in an ever-evolving small town kid meets big world narrative. Stories of a blue collar, single parent upbringing can quickly pivot toward sauced-up self-aggrandizement and stinging social commentary. His live performances always showcase a piece of his nationally celebrated affinity for freestyle and moving crowds.
DJ Royale: With nearly 20 years behind the turntables, Royale’s relationship with music continues to inspire listeners with an ear for class. From humble beginnings of a bedroom hobby, to performing in front of millions on VH1’s Master of The Mix, Royale’s dedication to the craft has enabled him to play for dynamic music audiences big and small. From large scale nightclubs to art-niche gatherings, he’s moved bodies from Rome to Havana and has performed alongside legends like Jazzy Jeff, Lil Jon, The Black Eyed Peas, Kool & The Gang and was invited as a guest to the The White House. His Philly roots continue to influence his soulful & rhythmic style, allowing him to transcend genre and take listeners on an emotional journey through time and space
Max Swan: A saxophonist, vocalist, and producer from Philadelphia by way of Perkasie, PA, Max Swan channels influence from the likes of Stevie Wonder, James Blake, Donny Hathaway, Michael Brecker, and Lenny Pickett. He's gone from nothing-but-jazz, to everything-other-than-jazz, and all stops in between. Initially being the loud alto player that showed up for the jam session every week, Max slowly took on more opportunities in hip hop production, as both a bandleader and producer, playing with a number of artists and groups in the Philly area. Over time, the saxophone he'd lay on tracks led to supplementing keyboards, and writing string and horn section arrangements. The work that was done with these artists led Max to start laying vocals on his newer music, starting with "So Much Chime" (available on iTunes, Spotify, etc.). Swan received accolades during the creation of his current sound with Councilman David Oh's PHLlive Center Stage Music Conference, Ernest Stuart's Center City Jazz Festival. Since his residency with The Kimmel Center last spring/summer, Max collaborated with Donte Neal to create MONO//POLY, a music series curated to showcase artists’ music in non-traditionally arranged ways, unique to each set, all backed by Max and the band. “The Fisherman”, his debut album, will be released soon, with “Backing Up” and “The Waters” currently available on Apple/Spotify, etc.