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The soulful Syrian-American vocalist and his ensemble raised over $11,000 during the preorder campaign for their full-length album, Elements (2017), with over $3,000 in donations for humanitarian aid in Syria. Their album was premiered by Noisey (Vice) and led to their involvement in the nationally-acclaimed SXSW showcase ContraBanned: #MusicUnites featuring artists from the diaspora of the countries targeted by the travel ban. They’ve since been featured on PRI, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Paste Magazine, Huffington Post, NowThis, and many others. In addition to performing in clubs and festivals across the nation, Bassel partners with universities and charity organizations nationwide to host seminars, workshops, and benefit concerts drawing attention to the crisis in Syria.
Ben Phillips’ Scorpio Moon
Scorpio Moon is a Chicago based jazz trio led by trumpeter Ben Phillips. The band plays Ben’s moody and thoughtful compositions, but also draws on pop culture with tunes like ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie and music from the TV show Twin Peaks, among others. With Scorpio Moon, Ben aims to combine acoustic and electronic musical elements in a way that mirrors humanity living in the age of technology, and he accomplishes this by electrifying his trumpet using guitar effects pedals to create otherworldly sounds that don’t sound like they are coming from a trumpet. The result is a uniquely modern approach to playing uniquely American music.
Scorpio Moon consists of Jakob Heinemann on the bass, Lucas Gillan on the drums, and Ben Phillips on trumpet/electronics.