FIRST OF ALL: Happy Black History Month!
When Natalie Figueroa—one of the founders and organizers of Portland’s premiere Young Gifted and Brown celebration—moved back to Chicago, a lot of us (me) were concerned about the future of one of our favorite inclusive nightlife options. There aren’t many (if any) other events in town where you can get a consistently good mix of fresh and retro dance music, soul-focused performances, community building and new-age posi vibes. But good news: The YGB team is still pulling these events off, and its return comes with a handful of promising events in February! And it’s a damn good thing, because right now the “people’s party” is exactly what this resistance needs.
This time around Figueroa is bringing Chicago-based duo Present Elders (Brother El and Radius Etc.) along with her for the week’s festivities. The duo is known for its mission to “heal and inspire with frequency,” and their pop-up shows around Chicago and beyond. In an effort to bring the music to the people, the duo will be performing at various unknown spots throughout Portland next week in addition to their announced YGB appearances
Buckle up, ladies and gents, here are three local functions where you can honor and celebrate everything Young Gifted and Brown. (All identities are welcome.)
YGB Presents: ONE
The first celebration of the week offers a theme of unity, and will have all the classic YGB characteristics that you’re used to: relentless dancing, incense burning, a photo booth through the creative lens of Renee Lopez (Miss Lopez Media), and live performances. In addition to resident DJ Lamar LeRoy, the street-dancing Soul Trigger will be in the house, as well as SSL (Sarah, Shook and Lamar) who does unscripted tap routines that incorporate live drumming and DJing. The vibe will be further elevated by the stellar and succinct rhymes from Rasheed Jamal.
Sat Feb 4, 9 pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, $7 adv, $10 door
Desayuno Tardio: Brunch and Healing Vibrations
If you attend the party on Saturday, you just might score an invite to this semi-closed Sunday slowdown community gathering; it’s an all ages “healing vibrations” brunch to enjoy food, free massage, acupuncture, and a poetry reading from Isaiah Spriggs. And just like every YGB event ever, there will also be live music. Sound providers include Portland artists like Brown Alice and Ripley Snell, as well as The Present Elders. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invite. The event is free, but YGB suggests a $5 donation. After all, these things don’t run themselves!
Sun Feb 5, Noon-5 pm, message for address, FREE, all ages
Beats, Time, and Space
The final YGB event of the week is put on in collaboration with Beat Parlor, and will honor the role of the producer with live PA and beatmaking. The stellar lineup of performers includes singer/performing artist Amenta Abioto, Wine and Coffee, Survival Skills, and special guests the Present Elders. There will also be a free raffle with giveaways from the black-owned Deadstock coffee and Quartet Skateboards. Sounds like a truly pleasant (and free) start to your Friday night.
Fri Feb 10, 5-9 pm, Dig A Pony, 736 SE Grand, FREE
I'll see ya'll at the function having a good blackass time!