Categorized | Entertainment, Featured

5th annual Ride the Breaks Festival promotes positive hip hop culture

(Photo courtesy of Ride the Breaks Festival)

(Photo courtesy of Ride the Breaks Festival)


The Ride the Breaks Festival is a 4-day long event that includes all the elements of Hip Hop; breaking (breakdancing), aerosol art, deejaying, and emceeing.

Through performances, competitions, live painting, lectures, demonstrations, and workshops, RTB hopes to present all the elements of Hip Hop in various contexts to include various organizations and groups, to appeal to a larger community, and involve artists at all ages and stages of their career.

RTB also brings world renowned dancers and artists from throughout Hawaii, the mainland, and around the world to create a forum for cultural exchange through direct community outreach at a variety of locations.

The festival aims to empower young people to know the possibilities of art and connect with a larger community of artists as well as promote positive Hip Hop culture to the entire community.

The festival kicks off Thursday, July 25 with a lecture at the Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa given by legendary bboy (breakdancer) & music producer Maurizio “The Next One” Cannnavo from Turin, Italy. He will discuss his 25+ year career as a dancer, innovator, DJ, and music producer as well as show and discuss film clips, rare footage and images of his unique career.

This is a rare glimpse into the roots of Hip Hop Culture in Europe. His impressive resume includes working with artists such as Rakim, Gangstarr, Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Donald Dee, Grand Master Caz (Cold Crush Brothers), Grand Mixer DST, ?uest Love, Rahzel & Scratch (the Roots), Common, Tony Touch & Cocoa Brovaz, Das Efx, Maseo (De la Soul), Alliance Etnik, Mc Solar, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Erick Sermon and many others.

The free presentation is 6-9 p.m. and will be coupled with an Ohana Style Potluck.

On Friday, July 26, there are dance workshops at KTPS Dance Studio in Kealakekua given by legendary dancer Ken Swift. Swift is one of the greatest influences the dance of Bboying (otherwise known as Breaking or Breakdancing) has known.

Considered “The Epitome of a Bboy,” Bboys and BGirls worldwide have emulated his image and style throughout the years. Ken is credited with establishing movements critical to the dances’ foundation with his personal style and techniques and starred in many of the early films (such as Wildstyle, Style Wars, and Beat Street) that brought Hip Hop Culture to the world.

He’s been awarded multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards for his preservation and dedication to Bboy culture. Also in 2010, Ken was acknowledged as an “American Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts and received an American Masterpieces in Dance Award to reconstruct his choreography.

In 2011, Ken Swift was voted the 2nd Most Influential Dancer of the 20th Century by CNN’s Icon Series, he was the only B.Boy to receive this honor amongst mostly ballet dancers.

“The classes are important because it shows the fundamental approach of what breaking is,” says veteran B.boy (breakdancer) Ken Swift, “to a lot of people around the world they see this dance on television it’s only on it’s most extreme, complex level while the basic approach to the dance and the basic essence the dance is missing. The whole premise behind these workshops is to share the vibe of having fun with music and an exploration of different things you can do with your body.”

Swift will be teaching a Breaking class (2-3:30 p.m.) at KTPS along with Maurizio The NextOne Cannavo’s Breaking class (12:30-2 p.m.) and Kaleo Ten from Oahu will be teaching Hip Hop and House dance (3:30-5 p.m.). All classes are mixed level.

There will also be an Aerosol Art Workshop at KTPS from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with world renowned Hawaiian artists Estria & Prime from Oahu.

Friday evening is the RIDE THE BREAKS BBQ and J+ Gallery 2nd Anniversary Art Show from 5-10pm. The BBQ will have many DJ’s including Fyah Redbeard and LAVAGROUNDSOUND, a lively dance floor, live painting by various artists, a community mural that you, too, can participate in, as well as Blackbook drawing sessions.

There will also be live performances and DJ’s playing great music all evening. Artists included in the show include SUCH (NYC), Che Pilago (Kona), Roberto Saldua (Kona), Rep Tank(Kona) and many others.

Put on your dancing shoes as DJ’s spin some tunes and bring a little something for a Potluck BBQ. The J+Gallery in Holualoa is located next door to the Holuakoa Cafe.

Saturday, July 27, artists will gather to paint a Memorial Mural in honor of Jeremiah “KRUSH” Nathan at the Brewery Block, the home of Kona Brewing Company, from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Jeremiah was an artist, beloved educator, reputable graffiti writer, and world record setting free diver whom was loved by his community on the Big Island and far beyond. He was reported missing Jan. 30, 2013 while diving off Honaunau.

This mural will be a celebration of his life, his light, his limitless talents, and his legacy as well as honor his great effect on Hawaiian Hip Hop culture and all the people and creatures he came across. The painting process will be open to the public, so stop by and see the artists in action.

The artists painting include Estria & Prime from Oahu. Hawaii native, Estria, is an internationally recognized muralist and is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Estria Foundation. Estria is also an educator, entrepreneur, and social activist who began painting in Hawaii in 1984 and has since completed nearly 1,000 murals worldwide.

The artist PRIME has over 25 years’ experience in Urban Art and is the founder of 808 Urban, Hawaii’s first Urban Arts Youth Organization. He has created more than 50 large-scale cultural murals across the Hawaiian Islands and the continental US. Prime is currently the Director of Youth Mentorship for Pow Wow Hawaii. Other invited artists include world renowned painter SUCH from New York City who has painted large scale murals around the globe and local artist KUTER from Hilo.

Later that night there will be “The Movement” MC Showcase and Battle hosted by Tonic SHotz @ The Script featuring many local MC’S and DJ’s along with Live Performances by local acts. Doors open @ 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m.

For the more experienced dancers and those of us that like to watch there is a BBOY/BGIRL BATTLE hosted by Florox Sessions at Hale Halawai on Alii Drive from noon-6 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

There will be two exhibition battles; both a Master & Disciple (one person over 13 and one under) and a Bonnie & Clyde (1 Male & One Female) as well as a 3 VS. 3– All Ages Breaking Battle judged by Ken Swift, Maurizio The NextOne and Kaleo Ten with prizes from local businesses. Local DJ’s including Mike Eye, Sapience and Rep Tank and Hosted by Open Hands from Hilo.

Live performances from Phreewill (Big Island), & Ascended Masters(Big Island). At 4 p.m. the festival will close with a Ceremony for Jeremiah “KRUSH” Nathan with a “Krush the Circle” cypher, chanting, fire dancing, drumming, as well as a water ceremony with Kona Boys on the Hale Halawai grounds.

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