2016 Launchpad Participants

For the third year, artists and managers were nominated by WAA members. Thirteen artists were invited to apply and three were accepted into Launchpad 2016 program. 

Ensemble Mik Nawooj

Led by classically trained composer/pianist JooWan Kim, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, the avant-garde 10 ten-piece Hip-Hop orchestra with MCs/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman, a soprano, winds, strings, funky drums, and piano, injects classical compositional techniques into hip-hop. The result, makes the Kronos Quartet or the Roots feel like they're afraid of their own voice (Pitchfork) and has been considered the cutting edge of Hip-Hop (Huffington Post). Most recently ESPN has commissioned EMN to reimagine California Soul for the network's 2016 NFL Super Bowl programming. EMN has also been featured on Wall Street Journal, NPR, SF Chronicle and more.

Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) is a performing arts non-profit with 501 c(3) status.

Okaidja & Shokoto

Led by Ghanian dancer and musician Okaidja Afroso, Shokoto creates innovative music, drawing upon their West African roots and the diverse music of the African Diaspora. Our music is a mixture of traditional and contemporary African and world music that is sure to make your soul sing. Shokoto music is a dynamic fusion of rhythms from Ghana, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, and the Deep South.

Tumbledown House

Since releasing their debut album in 2009, Tumbledown House has performed over 700 shows in 25 states. Often described as modern speakeasy music or gritty saloon jazz, Tumbledown House features a dynamic female vocalist, a virtuoso clarinetist, ragtime trumpet, guitar, upright bass, and drums.