NEW YORK – On January 21, 2013, The Black Rock Coalition proudly presents’ The Million Man Mosh II: A Benefit for Donovan Drayton’ at The Highline Ballroom in New York City. The show will reunite two of the city’s most renowned Black rock bands in a rare joint stage appearance: Grammy-Award winning rock band Living Colour and funk-metal-soul pioneers 24-7 Spyz. Legendary guitarist Ronny Drayton will perform with an all-star cast of musicians. Proceeds for the event will go to the legal defense of Donovan Drayton, son of Ronny, who was recently released on bail after serving five years in Riker’s Island without a conviction.
“This is more than reuniting a father with his son,” said Earl Douglas, BRC executive director. “This is about addressing a system that has put young men and women of color in its cross hairs and breaks them down emotionally and financially. Ronny has been there for us and we will be there for him.”
‘The Million Man Mosh II’ will continue the tradition of bringing landmark BRC talent together on stages with a message of solidarity and community building on or around the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Two-time Grammy winner Living Colour, formed in the mid-80s by BRC co-founder Vernon Reid, has been exploding limitations of the rock genre for nearly 25 years. South Bronx natives 24-7 Spyz have been favorites among hardcore, punk and alternative communities for over 20 years. Guitarist Ronny Drayton, a sideman for a virtual who’s-who list of New York’s brightest music stars (Roy Ayers, Melba Moore, James “Blood” Ulmer, Nona Hendryx, Defunkt, Edwin Birdsong, Kashif, The Family Stand, etc.), will close the night jamming with both bands and special guests, including award-winning drummer Lenny White (Return to Forever, Twennynine), Eddie Martinez (Nona Hendryx, Twennynine, Run-DMC) and Jef Lee Johnson (Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, McCoy Tyner). Opening the bill is Burnt Sugar, The Arkestra Chamber, BRC co-founder Greg Tate’s repertory ensemble. Legendary NYC DJs Rockin’ Rob and Chuck City will be on the decks.
“24-7 Spyz is honored to join forces with family to do something for family,” said Jimi Hazel of 24-7 Spyz, “Ronny Drayton, Donovan Drayton and Living Colour are our brothers. To be able to all come together and participate in helping bring one of our own home is a beautiful thing. There is truly ‘Strength in Numbers.’”
Last year’s ‘Million Man Mosh’ event was the most successful effort to date on behalf of Donovan Drayton, son of Ronny Drayton, raising over $10,000 towards his legal defense. Donovan has only recently been released on bail after having served five years at Riker’s Island on a crime for which he has consistently maintained his innocence and despite ample supporting evidence. Donovan was found ‘not guilty’ on the most serious charges and the jury was hung—overwhelmingly in favor of acquittal—on the others. His case is still pending and faces a second costly trial. Donovan will speak on his own behalf at this event.
“Let me not speak only of I,” said Ronny Drayton, Donovan’s father. “Because the I that I am is the story of all too many across this America. Let me stand on a high place and shout to my brothers. You are not alone. I stand with you.”
The Million Man Mosh II event will be a launch point to address the disproportionate number of young men of color in the criminal justice system, ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies, over-incarceration for non serious offenders, rubber stamp plea deals and escalating costs to families for legal defense. For more information on the case and Donovan’s Defense, visit www.4donovan.info. There is a PayPal link on the site for donations.
“The case of Donovan Drayton has personal impact on all the artists participating,” said Living Colour’s Vernon Reid. “We’ve all known Donovan since he was a little boy. What we’re saying with our involvement is that Donovan is not alone. He represents a nation of innocent Black men caught up in a system of injustice.”
The Black Rock Coalition was formed in 1985 by Vernon Reid, Greg Tate, artist rep Konda Mason and others as a means to promote the full scope and spectrum of Black music. The BRC galvanizes support for cutting-edge artists of color that are otherwise dismissed by the media and the music industry. Go to www.blackrockcoalition.org or check out the Facebook page for more information.
‘The Million Man Mosh II: A Benefit For Donovan Drayton’ will be at New York’s Highline Ballroom, on Wednesday, January 21, 2013, featuring Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber & Ronny Drayton ft. Rev. Kim Lesley. Special Guests: Lenny White, Eddie Martinez, Jef Lee Johnson & Nona Hendryx + Legendary NYC DJ’s: Rockin’ Rob & Chuck City
The Highline Ballroom is at 431 West 16thStreet in New York City. Doors are at 6PM and show time is at 7PM; tickets are $35 advance; $40 day of show; $50 VIP seating and backstage meet and greet. Info: (212) 414-5994; www.highlineballroom.com. Proceeds for this event will go to benefit Donovan’s Defense.
For more information, please contact the following:
Black Rock Coalition Executive Director Earl Douglas:
Reverend Kim Lesley:
Black Rock Coalition Director of Operations Darrell McNeill:
* Ticket information : http://highlineballroom.com/show/2013/01/21/the-million-man-mosh-ii-living-colour-24-7-spyz/