GRASS VALLEY, CA, November 29, 2022 – The Center for the Arts is thrilled to welcome Gangstagrass to the Marisa Funk Theater on December 17, 2022. Gangstagrass is a collective of musicians who demolish every preconception you have about country and hip-hop music, creating a whole new category, greater than the sum of the parts. Developed as a studio project 15 years ago by Brooklyn-based producer Rench, Gangstagrass grew into a dynamic and spontaneous live band with members from the east coast and midwest. The boundaries disappear, as Gangstagrass does things nobody thought would work but when you hear it, you know down in your soul that it does indeed work.
Putting down roots and branching out across never-before-bridged genres, Gangstagrass has delighted crowds and has blown minds across the world, garnering a reputation among fans for dynamism and spontaneity. From SXSW to Grey Fox to the Americana Festival to music festivals abroad, these live performances explode the boundaries between genres generally thought to be incompatible.
Taking full advantage of the improvisational aspects and virtues of both hip-hop and bluegrass, including frequent three-part harmonies, MCs Dolio the Sleuth and R-SON the Voice of Reason trade verses, and freestyle alongside the unparalleled skills of fellow vocalists Dan Whitener on banjo, B.E. Farrow on fiddle, and Rench on guitar and beats.
The band has released six full-length albums with dozens of appearances on the Billboard Top 10 bluegrass chart. Gangstagrass tracks have featured Nitty Scott MC, Dead Prez, Demeanor, Kaia Kater, and legendary rap team Smif-N-Wessun among others. Rench, the Brooklyn-based country and hip-hop producer who is the Mastermind behind Gangstagrass, crafted the instantly-recognizable Long Hard Times to Come featuring T.O.N.E-z that opened every episode of FX show Justified and earned Gangstagrass a 2010 Emmy nomination for Best Theme Song – more proof that Gangstagrass “paved the Old Town Road.”
The new Gangstagrass album No Time For Enemies was released in August 2020 and quickly rose to #1 on the Billboard bluegrass charts, as the band continues to explore new sonic territory while showing how amazing the sound of America is when it all comes together.
Gangstagrass takes so much of what’s amazing about this country – ingenuity, creativity, freedom, unity across differences, people’s individual strengths and struggles – and distills it into a message of common ground in the form of original songs that will have everyone up & dancing! Open your mind and come witness roots music as you’ve never seen before with the rebellious Gangstagrass at The Center for the Arts on December 17, 2022.
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.