The next Kollaboration San Francisco event will take place on August 23, 2014 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
to Danny Cavero beatbox is like being in a car with the subwoofers
turned up. Cavero could rattle windows with his makeshift kick drum,
improv high hats, and synthy bass notes, all manufactured with a mic and
a manic mouth.
many beatboxing is just a hobby,” he writes in a caption to one of his
videos on YouTube, which he posts under the name DRC Beatbox.
“To others it's a way of life.”
is one of six artists who made it to the final round of the fifth
Kollaboration San Francisco showcase, an annual performing arts
competition featuring rising Asian American and Pacific Islander performers. The winner walks
away with a $1,000 cash prize and a chance to compete in a national
face-off later this year.
San Francisco, the beatboxer is competing with Lawrence Park, a singer
with an R&B-smooth voice; indie soul band 19 Diamonds;
soul-with-a-modern-twist quartet Ribbon in the Sky; Ruby and Donna,
sisters who blend acoustic guitar with hip hop; and Str8jacket, a hip
hop dance group. The six finalists beat out dozens of other applicants last April to rise to the final level.
a volunteer-run nonprofit started in 2000 in Los Angeles, has grown to
span 14 cities, including Seattle and New York. The local showcase on August 23, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, is the city’s pinnacle Kollaboration event.
While the Kollaboration showcase is focused mostly on performers -- which includes everyone from beatboxers to dancers -- the organization also runs several smaller events throughout the year. These events include open mics that boost other kinds of art, like spoken word.
offer a platform for Asian American talent,” says Kevin Fu, public
relations manager for Kollaboration SF. “We help them promote their
of Kollaboration’s mission, according to the organization’s website, is
to bring visibility to aspiring Asian American entertainers. In the
mainstream media, artists of color are often “unfairly portrayed [and]...disproportionately underrepresented.”
the Asian American community, entertainment is still not a
traditional career,” Fu says. “For us, one [goal] is to put an
educational effort out there to change that mindset. To show there’s a
gap in the market.”
In its 14-year history, Kollaboration has held more than 70 showcases nationwide, Fu says.
started in just one city, and now we’re in 14,” he says. “I think it
says that these topics are worth exploring, creating a movement around, and fighting for.”
out the YouTube videos of the six Kollaboration SF finalists above.
Tickets for the showcase will soon be available at kollaborationsf.org.
Arvin Temkar is a full-time journalist and part-time essayist. He’s hung out with cowboys in Brooklyn, eaten trash in the name of journalism, swum with sharks, and interviewed the presidents of two countries. He speaks one language okay, two others poorly, and still wants to be in a punk band. He is a Contributing Editor for Hyphen. Follow him on Twitter: @atemkar