Enlightenment Project
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Enlightenment Project

Band Spoken Word Hip Hop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"LB on EP"

"The Enlightentment Project lives up to its lofty name with a unique combination of mystical spirituality, sharp politics, word flows, beats from all sources, an effortless union of female and male energies, and a love of humanity that is as raw as a revolution and as tender as a mother's kiss.

"While they are currently recording a much-anticipated CD, the Enlightenment Project must be seen live to be fully appreciated. It's not just the unique ways that poetry, singing, DJing, and drumming shape shift into forms that are at once familiar and trail-blazing, it's the way that each member of the group becomes a distinct character in a theater-like production. This leads to delicious tensions: How will she collaborate with him? How will the drummer amplify the DJ and who will step into that space? And, ultimately, will they be able to walk it like they talk it? Night after night, the answer is: yes, si, oui, ja."--Lee Ballinger, West Coast Editor, Rock & Rap Confidential - Rock & Rap Confidential

"For the Teachers"

Dear Future Enlightenment Project Host:

Heather Rae, David Bianchi and the other poets will come to teach, impress and inspire. They will leave 100% successful.

When they came to perform at Renaissance Arts, the first thing to impress the teachers and administrators was their professionalism. Since our school is 6-12 we had to request that the poets refrain from using cuss words. The EP poets impressed us with their willingness and ability to censor such language without detracting from the power and message of the poems, through which, I must add, the poets were seemingly able to reach every type of student. They offered a wide range of styles and issues; something to which each student could relate. Their style ranged from soft and contemplative subtle-power deep issued poetry to high energy in-your-face politically conscious poetry, to tandem-spat what's up with our every-day lifestyle poetry, all of it captivating and impressive.

It is clear that the EP poets care about the positive development of our youth. They understand that the yound must learn to think about the world and then act positively upon their thoughts. These poets work to inspire such thoughts and live as examples of such action. As teachers we are always expected to put on an act, perform for the students. Let the EP lift your burden for an hour or so. As performance poets, they reach out to students through a comprehensible art form. This will be time well spent. Enjoy.

Best wishes, Michael Stein-Ross, Humanities Advisor. - Renaissance Arts Academy


Still working on that hot first release.



Going through their mic check, you have to wonder if members from several different bands are all preparing for sound check. There’s a young Erykah Badu beatboxing and laughing with the sound guy. Testing the handrums is a hip Cuban guy with a fedora. Then there’s the lanky emcee freestyling about consciousness, a white guy channeling Saul Wiliams and a long-haired asian girl overseeing the mic checks. But as they pass around cables and jokes, you get that they have the kind of camaraderie created through late-nights, road trips and, every now and then, a new collaboration with a shared realization of “yeah…that’s It…”

The Enlightenment Project is an ensemble group that fuses avante-garde performance poetry with turntablism, singing, beatboxing, rock, soul and the blues. They’re composed of five seasoned performance poets and create collaborations backed by a resident jazz guitarist, DJ and drummer. They relish the spontaneity of the freestyle musician and often break into jams with guest musicians, poets and emcees. You never know if their live shows may or may not be accompanied by live artists, dancers, turntables…Every live show is a completely fresh experience.

Each seasoned performance poet represents a different genre of artistry. They regularly rotate to form collaborations, forming new sounds and unique content depending on the poets involved. The resident musicians also collaborate with guest musicians, often slipping into an intense jazz interlude or a rock jam between the poetry pieces. Each set is wholly unique; one piece could have two poets singing, one beatboxing, and all of them performing poetry while the DJ spins Miles Davis along with futuristic electronica as the drummers keep beat with three sets of handrums. They believe strongly in the power of the Word, and each piece is a conscious, forward-thinking, artistic and aware piece of developed writing.

By day, the Enlightenment Project is part of the not-for-profit organization New Earth’s F.L.O.W. (Fluent Love of Words) program. The group teaches at disadvantaged high schools and juvenile detention centers, performing for the kids and helping them use poetry and music as a positive outlet. EP member Sarah Cruse is the founder of California’s Council of Venues, a board composed of leaders from dozens of venues and artistic organizations from all over the state, of which the EP is actively involved. EP founder Heather Rae is also founder of the Committee for the Creative Youth, working with organizations and non-profits dedicated to working with the youth through art. Students and teachers alike have become part of the EP’s following and there is often a mass of past students found at any all-age shows.

By night, the EP is well-versed in performing at a wide range of venues, from music festivals to L.A. hotspots, to dive bars and clubs to infamous music venues. Past venues include The Roxy, BB King’s, Acoustic Transmissions, Soul Sessions, Talking Drum and Aqua. The EP has been featured at spoken word venues such as Spoken Funk on Sunset, regularly appears on Truthseekas Radio Show in Los Angeles and Tables of Content Radio Show in Northridge, and has a monthly residency at Malia in Santa Monica. Currently, the EP is setting up EP clubs in several of the High Schools they have worked with, as well as working on collaborative projects with the established spoken word collective, Poets of the Round Table. The EP is currently writing an LP to be released February 1.