Join us on Sat, June 17 for Juneteenth UNITYFEST, a BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! concert co-presented by Robert Randolph Foundation featuring JOE and Stokley.
BRIC, in partnership with the Robert Randolph Foundation, presents Juneteenth UNITYFEST, an annual event bringing together diverse voices in honor of Juneteenth and its impact on Black and American culture. Seven time GRAMMY nominee JOE is an accomplished writer and vocalist of smooth and sultry gospel-influenced R&B productions with occasional hip-hop beats. GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter and former Mint Condition frontman Stokley will open. Join us for a night of music and storytelling as we celebrate the rich layers of Black history and Black futurity.
*Please Note: A limited amount of chairs will be available at this show, but you are also permitted to bring your own. For our d/Deaf and hard of hearing communities, we will have an ASL interpreter at the left side of the stage.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Seven time GRAMMY nominee JOE is an accomplished vocalist of smooth and sultry R&B productions with occasional hip-hop beats, and his extensive background in gospel music has allowed him to produce his albums as well as sing on them. In 1993 JOE released his album debut, Everything. He also appeared on the soundtrack to Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While You’re Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and moved to Jive/RCA for his second album, 1997’s All That I Am. The single “Don’t Wanna Be a Player” hit the Top 40, thanks to its exposure on the soundtrack of Booty Call. While All That I Am went platinum, Joe remixed a duet by Tina Turner and Barry White, “Never in Your Dreams”; he also produced and wrote for the debut albums of Ideal and Deja Groove. In 1999, Joe appeared on Mariah Carey‘s “Thank God I Found You” single (from Rainbow) and caught yet another break from a soundtrack appearance, this time with “I Wanna Know” from The Wood. The single reached the R&B Top Five in March 2000, setting the stage for Joe’s next album, the multi-platinum My Name Is Joe. His five albums through the remainder of the decade, from Better Days through Signature, reached the Top Ten of Billboard‘s R&B chart.
During the early 2010s, Joe continued to release relatable, mature R&B albums. The Good, the Bad, the Sexy (2011), Doubleback: Evolution of R&B (2013), Bridges (2014),#MyNameIsJoeThomas (2016) as well as a few singles included collabs and features with artists such as Brandon “B.A.M.” Alexander, Fantasia, Too Short, Derek “DOA” Allen, Stargate, Kelly Rowland, and Gucci Mane.
A seasoned R&B singer and instrumentalist, Stokley enjoyed nearly a quarter-century of success with the group Mint Condition before he made his debut as a solo artist. Stokley Williams was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 15, 1967. Williams’ father was a respected scholar in African studies, and the youngster began learning to play percussion instruments at the age of four. By the early ’80s, Williams co-founded Mint Condition with a handful of high school friends, singing lead and playing drums. After years of playing locally, the band landed a break in 1989 when they were discovered by Minneapolis R&B titans Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who saw them playing a local showcase. Impressed by their New Jack Swing style, Jam and Lewis helped Mint Condition score a record deal, and their debut album, 1991’s Meant to Be Mint, scored a pair of hit singles, “(Breaking My Heart) Pretty Brown Eyes” and “Forever in Your Eyes,” and the group released a steady stream of material from the early ’90s well into the 21st century. It didn’t take long for Williams to earn a reputation as a versatile talent outside of the group. By 1995, his résumé included vocal and percussion credits on albums by Janet Jackson, Sounds of Blackness, Johnny Gill, and Color Me Badd, and later he’d work with the likes of Prince, Elton John, and Toni Braxton. Williams received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best R&B Performance for his 2011 duet with Kelly Price on the song “Not My Daddy,” and he contributed production and vocals to Wale‘s 2013 album The Gifted, as well as 2015’s The Album About Nothing. In 2017, Williams made his long awaited solo debut, billing himself simply as Stokley; the album, Introducing Stokley, was released by Concord in June of that year.
**RSVP to let us know you’re coming and be entered for a chance to win two VIP tent passes!**
Please note: RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Entry is first come first served, but RSVPs help you stay up-to-date on show information.
Unityfest sponsors include The Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder at the intersection of music, public space and community building, bringing free concerts to towns and cities across the country. The Levitt Foundation partners with changemakers and nonprofits across the country to activate underused outdoor spaces, creating joyous, inclusive destinations that spark ripple effects of positive impact and strengthen the social fabric of communities. In 2023, Levitt is supporting nonprofits in 40+ communities to present more than 600 free outdoor concerts, bringing people together of all ages and backgrounds. Learn more: levitt.org
Amazon’s Black Employee Network’s (BEN) mission is to recruit, retain, and empower Black employees. BEN connects members with mentors and provides career and personal development workshops. BEN also engages with the local and regional chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, leads recruiting initiatives with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and partners with other organizations.
The Lena Horne Bandshell at Prospect Park is home to BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest-running, free outdoor performing arts festival. Named to honor the legendary singer, actress, dancer, and Brooklyn native Lena Horne, the Bandshell is transformed into a venue every summer that can accommodate over 8,000 people.
BRIC is committed to welcoming people of all abilities
The facility is completely wheelchair accessible. If you require special seating arrangements, please ask any staff member to speak with the house manager on the day of the performance when you reach the gate, and we will happily accommodate you. If you have any other questions about accessibility, please contact Benno Orlinsky at [email protected] or (718) 683-5637.