World’s Fair Anniversary Festival: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Hollis Brown, Damien Escobar

Presented with support from Delta Air Lines

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Other artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. By now, his remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone’s Gabe Roth. The year following the release of his debut, No Time For Dreaming, was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, MOJO, GQ, Paste and more. Victim of Love, Bradley’s second record, is a continuation of that story, moving past the ‘heartache and pain’ and closer to the promise of hope.

Hollis Brown
Hollis Brown is a self-defined American Rock ‘n’ Roll band. Named after a Bob Dylan song (“The Ballad of Hollis Brown”), the band was formed by Queens-natives and songwriters Mike Montali (lead vocals/guitar) and Jonathan Bonilla (lead guitar). Both 2nd-generation immigrants (Italian-American and Puerto Rican-American, respectively), they soon found their musical brethren in the Mid-West, recruiting Dillon Devito (bass/vocals) and Andrew Zehnal (drums) from Ohio, and Adam Bock (keyboard/vocals) from Missouri. Hollis Brown made a significant splash as an independent band with the release of their debut album “Ride On The Train” on Alive Naturalsound in 2013, garnering song and video premieres from Rolling Stone, Paste, and American Songwriter, and music placements on MTV’s “Real World”, Showtime’s “Shameless”, and the Willem Dafoe/Matt Dillon film “Bad Country”. They toured extensively in America and Europe, building a fanbase on both continents. Following a memorable performance at a Lou Reed tribute concert in NYC, Alive Naturalsound asked the band to go back into the studio to record a tribute to the Velvet Underground’s classic album “Loaded”, as a limited-edition vinyl release for Record Store Day 2014. The band has now finished recording their new studio album, “3 Shots” which has been mixed by the legendary John Agnello, and will be released May 5th.

Damien Escobar
Turning points come to serve a purpose of either making or breaking– for two-time Emmy award winning violinist, Damien Escobar, it achieved both. In 2012 the world renown duo, Nuttin’ but Stringz (America’s Got Talent) ended their 10-year journey together, and from that Escobar’s solo career emerged. Rebuilding proved to be challenging but with undeniable talent and perseverance, Escobar now boasts of 200,000 downloads from his debut mixtape; a running list of notable solo headliner performances on his résumé including: Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef Awards, Indy Car Championship Awards, Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Tour, Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Inaugural Ball; and in 2014 Escobar released “Freedom,” his breakout single which debuted on and “The Katie Couric Show.” Escobar, credited for being one of the top crossover violinists in the world, is making strides towards bringing instrumental music to the forefront. Stay tuned, his mission has already begun.