Meet the Artists of Orange Moon

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

[About a 6 MIN read]

Orange Moon
Orange Moon

Meet the Artists of Orange Moon

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

[About a 6 MIN read]

The Orange Moon event, conceived by Austin Gammage in 2017, and based on “Orange Moon” by Erykah Badu, is a song about finding inner strength and confidence. The song compares the moon to someone who has overcome obstacles and is now shining brightly. This event has become an annual tradition held at the Chicory Café in Downtown South Bend every weekend after Thanksgiving.

Performance at the 2021 Orange Moon event.

Rooted in Austin’s profound passion for the neo-soul genre of R&B, the event celebrates musical diversity and community spirit. Neo-soul, known for its unconventional sound compared to contemporary R&B, weaves together influences from funk, jazz fusion, hip hop, African music, pop, rock, and electronic genres. Austin’s commitment to showcasing the rich tapestry of neo-soul is evident in the carefully curated performances that resonate with the soulful essence of this unique musical genre.

Collaborating closely with Terrell Ross over the years, they have directed the musical landscape of The Orange Moon event. Terrell’s expertise has played a pivotal role in shaping the event’s distinctive musical direction, blending genres, and fostering a dynamic atmosphere. Beyond the captivating melodies as well as the dynamic spoken word performances. The Orange Moon serves a greater purpose — spotlighting the wealth of talent within the South Bend community. The event aspires to bridge cultural gaps and unite diverse audiences, providing a platform for local artists to share their creativity and artistry with the wider community, creating an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

We’ve asked a couple of the featured artists to shed some light on their backgrounds and to share their passion – learn more about singer, Aundrea Taylor, and poet, Pam Blair.

I look forward to having the audience sing along with me and seeing them laughing, smiling, and enjoying themselves.

One of the songs that I am singing for Orange Moon is challenging for me because it is a little out of my range. I’m excited to sing it and stretch myself out of my comfort zone. 

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can recall being 2 or 3 singing with every car trip no matter the distance. As I grew older, it was a way for me to express my feelings and emotions. 

I alway make sure that I am rested, drink warm tea, and limit my talking. I also like to sing songs that I will not be singing in the performance. This allows me to warm up my vocal cord and allow me to not overthink my performance. 

My biggest motivation is knowing that my voice is a gift. I pray that when I sing people are uplifted, encouraged, and feel love.

In this season of my life, the most enjoyable and challenging part is leading people. As a music director, it has been challenging to teach and lead adults in teaching music. Making sure that music I choose is vocally appropriate, but also challenges their vocal ability. It’s enjoyable to them to connect to the music and take ownership for their vocal gifts. 

I love and enjoy Gospel Music. I also love neo-soul! 

So many artists inspire me. To name a few… Kierra Sheard – Kelly, Beyonce, Mali Music, and Cristabel Clack.

I can recall singing in my church choir at the age of 4 or 5. Even when I didn’t know or believe it for myself, others knew I had a vocal gift. My family did an amazing job at placing me in environments that cultivated my gift. As I got older, I began leading worship at my family’s church. Leading worship in a unique, rewarding, and challenging role. It has taught me to be selfless in leading others to be able to hear from God through the songs I sing, my vocal choices, and presence. It has challenged me in teaching vocal parts I don’t naturally sing, and is evolving my ear to hear new things musically. I am so honored and blessed that God has and continues to trust me to lead his people into His presence! I am forever grateful! 

Interaction between what I am sharing and how the audience responds. Does it resonate. Did it make the audience think on things I shared.

My poems that speak vulnerably about the injustices around race and inequality.

Going and participating in open mic poetry events.

Practice, practice, practice…in the shower, in the car, sometimes I record a spoken version and listen to it many times.

I stay motivated by listening to other poets. The Poetry Den is a big contributor.

I have a motto I.P.M.C (Inspire, provoke, motivate to create), seeing that unfold gives me joy. The most challenging is when I am contracted to write a poem. However even through its challenges I often produce a beautiful piece.

Jill Scott and Gregory Porter are famous singers who are very poetic in their music.

Since its conception, the heart of the Poetry Den is to bring people together to share stories ideas and experience through poetry. And for many, it has changed their lives for the better including myself. The Poetry Den is for those that like to perform their own poetry, be inspired by poetry, and or be motivated to create their own poetry. Each month is designed to incorporate an open mic but more specifically highlight a featured poet. We feel that the Arts is an important fabric in our world, we want to have the ability to show it. 

Visit the Poetry Den on Facebook and Instagram, and remember to come join us every 4th Sunday of the month at 6pm at the Civil Rights Heritage Center. 

*The Orange Moon event will feature Marriani Fleming, Aundrea Taylor, Larry “Choclett P” Redding, Aja Krys, Pam Blair, Haven Russell, Roderick “Rhetorik” Parchman, Jay “Blkk J” Thomas, and is hosted by Kelli Austin.

Get ready to experience Orange Moon on Saturday, December 2nd, at 7:30pm.

Orange Moon Homepage Feature 1080x1080

December 2nd at 7:30pm

Orange Moon

Orange Moon lands at DPAC, continuing its hot-ticket run since launching in 2017. A live band, local talent, and a charismatic host create an inviting space for self-expression and community connection through spoken word, poetry, and neo-soul covers. Vibe to this showcase curated by the team at A Gammage Solutions and get lifted to this intimate evening of culture and consciousness.

This event is part of the Presenting Series’ Cultural Collective, new programming supporting equitable artistic development in our community.

Categories: Meet The Artist, News + Announcements