Ensemble Mik Nawooj at Pro Arts Gallery

09.13.17
EMN
East Bay Express

by Janelle Bitker

It can be difficult to convey the magnitude of seeing Oakland hip-hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj for the first time. The group breaks down barriers between hip-hop and classical, deconstructing beloved songs into something that sounds giant and important. It's not fusion, and composer JooWan Kim doesn't merely produce covers, either. At Pro Arts Gallery on Saturday, Kim will unveil his new immersive piece "Death Become Life," which tells a story of loss and transformation. In addition to the usual combo of emcees backed by a chamber orchestra, the show will feature projection art by Ernest Doty inspired by graffiti and live interpretative dance from TURF Inc. Bonus: The debut includes a special release of a Death Become Life sparkling chardonnay.