Morrisania Band Project (also known as MBP) is an award-winning R&B soul collective founded in September 2016. Their mission is to add vibrancy to the Bronx through music, community engagement, and social initiatives. With creative energy and loads of talent, MBP delivers the sounds of legendary soul, pop, and funk artists, while promoting awareness for issues like gun violence, disaster relief, and sickle cell disease.
Founder, Elissa Carmona is a singer, Air Force veteran, and winner of the 2021 New Work, Arts Fund, and City Artist Corps awards. MBP presented the 2019 Summer Concert Series, a ten-concert series that ran throughout the South Bronx from June through October. Throughout 2019, they performed at numerous events hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Council Member Vanessa Gibson, and Assemblymember Michael Blake, and headlined at Summer on the Hudson’s Mamapalooza on May 26th, Make Music Day at Lehman College on June 21st, Bronx Night Market on September 7th, and Queens Night Market on October 26th.
In 2020, many of MBP’s live performances were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They transitioned to virtual concerts and launched the “2020 Concert Series – Quarantine Edition”, a virtual concert series hosted by vendors, Bronx Music Heritage Center, The Point, Musicasaa, ARTISTS 4 JUSTICE, and more.
Now the respected band is here and giving us more insight of where their love, music and soul comes from when it comes to all they do!
Can you tell us where the name Morrisania Band Project originated from? Morrisania is a neighborhood in NYC's South Bronx, which has roots in hip-hop, doowop, and Latin jazz. We're named after the neighborhood we formed in. What started as a "band project" became a musical collective, also known as MBP. Where does the soul of your music come from? Our "soul" comes from our unique backgrounds, both personally and professionally. We all have backgrounds in American gospel and soul music, with roots that range from Creole, Jamaican, Cuban, Puerto-Rican, and Geechee-Gullah. Additionally, we've all experimented with and performed different genres of music, like reggae,jazz, metal, and punk, which brings individualized creativity to the mix. You always bring us on a musical journey! Where did the heart of this come from? Music elicits memories and sometimes a path towards growth. Our founder, Elissa Carmona loves to hear herself talk. On stage, she often shares what a song means to her, how the artist inspired her, etc. She also engages the rest of the band in these impromptu discussions. We've found that this opens up dialogue with the audience before and after the performance, and makes us memorable. How would you describe your music to someone who is new to your music? MBP plays comfort music, songs that people are familiar with, while adding our special touch and flavor. How much love do you put into performing? Performing gives us life. From the fervor of the audience to feeding off each other's energy, there's nothing else we'd rather do. What are some challenges performing as a group? Any group experiences personality clashes sometimes, or egos can get in the way. Our current line-up has been together for the past three years, and still going on strong. Respect for each other's craft, genuine admiration, laughter, and good food keeps us together. Thank you for this interview! Share all the Socials: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, @MorrisaniaBand
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