Akim Ndlovu a.k.a. Akim Funk Buddha

[Funk Buddha] employs hip-hop as a mode rather than a theme…and creates a relationship between performer and audience that is true hip hop, and in doing so succeeds to reference the native antecedents to the modern form. – The New York Sun

for complete information see www.funkbuddha.org

here’s an excerpt from Master Ndlovu’s website:

Master Akim Funk BuddhaFrom the streets of Bali to Carnegie Hall, from meditative throat singing to high-energy Hip Hop rhymes, Akim Funk Buddha creates borderless performance art, fusing sounds and movements. An avid world traveler and self-described old-school B-boy MC, he is known for his holistic approach to Hip Hop, drawing from a full spectrum of cultural traditions and artistic disciplines. Rhyming, beat-boxing, mouth and body percussion, story-telling, break-dancing, Mongolian throat-singing, Indonesian monkey chants, body-balancing, martial arts, tap and circus arts are seamlessly blended to create distinctly spiritual yet urban sonic and visual compositions.

Raised in Zimbabwe, Akim and his brother Dumi came to the US in early 90’s as Zimbabwe Legit, the first African Hip Hop group to release an EP in America. Produced by Mr. Lawnge of Blacksheep and remixed by (now) legendary DJ Shadow, the Hollywood Records release Brothers from the Mother was hailed by critics and fans as a ground-breaking classic, only to be shelved by industry red tape over a decade and never released in its entirety until 2005 by DC-based label, Glow In The Dark.

In 1998 he formed a world music and dance performance troupe, DHA FUZION, consisting of Hip Hop dancers, sitar player, drummer, bassist, keyboardist, Japanese koto and taiko players and often a video artist, and has since toured with the group internationally performing at clubs and performance halls alike. Jack Anderson of The New York Times described DHA FUZION as performing with “…boisterous energy while brightly colored kaleidoscopic patterns whirled away…this troupe of dancers and musicians filled the theatre with wild sights and sounds, seductions and battles and strange encounters, both sacred and profane,” and adds “Their energy was irresistible.”

Most recently, members of DHA FUZION have joined Akim onstage for AMAZULU: DANCE AS A WEAPON written and conceived by Akim and co-produced by LaMama, Etc. in NYC, premiering to sold out houses, and Seasons of Buddha, commissioned by the Jerome Foundation and premiered at Mulberry Street Theater in NYC.

Akim has recently performed at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Rubin Museum, Blue Note, BAMCafe, Bronx Museum, Joe’s Pub and Winter Garden; collaborated with composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain and Orchestra of St. Luke’s; performed alongside Bill T. Jones at Yerba Buena Center (CA), Montclair State University (NJ) and Central Park Summerstage (NYC). Film credits include a recent appearance in Freestyle: Art of Rhyme, an award-winning documentary film by Kevin Fitzgerald. TV credits include The David Letterman Show, The Chris Rock Show, and Sesame Street.

Performance Highlights:

– Blind Date with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., national tour including Montclair State University, Kennedy Center, Flynn Theater, and more (2005-2006)
– Fast Black Dance Machine with Daniel Bernard Roumain and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, at La Guradia High School (March 2005)
– AMAZULU: DANCE AS A WEAPON, co-produced by La MaMa, Etc. New York, NY (February 2005)
– Seasons of Buddha at Mulberry Street Theater, commissioned by Jerome Foundation, New York, NY (October 2004)
– Hip-Hop Trilogy BAMcafé Live – curated and performed by Akim Funk Buddha, Brooklyn, NY (November 2004)
– Queens Museum Special Event, Queens, NY (November 2004)
– Performed at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, New York, NY
– Solo show at the Blue Note Club, New York, NY
– Performed at Camp Excel for the troubled inner-city youth
– Curated and performed in the Hip-Hop Restoration Council Showcase at Five Spot Club, Brooklyn, NY
– Directed and performed Power of Sound at the Knitting Factory Tap Bar, New York, NY
– Directed, choreographed and performed in Zen Motion at Bric Studio, Brooklyn, NY
– Opening act for the Rotterdam Festival in the Netherlands
– Performed and conducted workshop at the Schiller Festival, Germany
– Performed at the Bronx Museum for the Arts Youth Performance Series, Bronx, NY
– Regular appearances at the Beat Box Entertainment performances, New York, NY
– Opening act for the Hip-Hop Pioneer Awards Ceremony, New York, NY
– Curated and performed in an acro-aerial performance at Bric Studio, Brooklyn, NY
– Performed at the Tap Dance Extravaganza at Town Hall, New York, NY

Television
– The David Letterman Show
– Sesame Street (Danced with Big Bird and the Fugees)
– Studio Y Interview & live performance
– Chris Rock Show (Dancer for Saul Williams)
– The Jazz Corner (Vocalist/Rhymer)
– Vaudeville MTV Dance Demonstration
– PBS Documentary – Dancing in One World Zimbabwe Legit Music Video

Film
– Freestyle: Art of Rhyme- Documentary directed by Kevin Fitzgerald
– The Chase (Martial artist/actor)
– Hidden Temple (Kung-fu actor)

Awards
– Two-time winner of The Harlem Arts Theater Poetry Slam (1998)
– Winner of the PS122 Dance Contest (1999)

Specialties
– Dance: Break dance, Acro-aerial dance, tap, South African dance, freestyle, Balinese body popping, mime
– Martial arts: Shaolin Kung-Fu, freeform combat
– Music: Drumming, singing, Mongolian throat singing, vocal percussion/beat box, story telling
– Others: Human statue, body balancing, body painting

Affiliations
– Teaching Artist for Orchestra of St. Luke’s Arts Education program, New York, NY
– Founder and Artistic Director of DHA FUZION, New York, NY
– Youth Program Coordinator at Center for Contemplative Mind, Northampton, MA
– Founding Director of Urban Affairs Department at Projectile Arts, Brooklyn, NY
– Clinician at Tribal Sounds for Unorthodox voice and chant