GRAMMY Award winning musical icon Nile Rodgers was honored Saturday, February 7, 2015, with the Vanguard Award by the MOJAMOJA Innovation Fund at the 7th Annual MOJAMOJA Brunch & Afterparty presented by 89.9 KCRW and FIGat7th.
Hosted by KCRW DJs Aaron Byrd and Anthony Valadez, performances included a guest DJ set by Nick Waterhouse and an international line-up of artists including The Internet, Taylor McFerrin, Moses Sumney, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Ethio Cali, Subsuelo, DJ Canyon Cody, and Twin Danger, featuring the GRAMMY Award winning co-founder of Sade and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman.
2015 Vanguard Award honoree Nile Rodgers is a GRAMMY Award winning living legend who co-founded the band CHIC, distinguished as the “most sampled band in history.” As a musical innovator, Rodgers is a composer, producer, arranger and guitarist who has a collection of productions that have sold more than 200 million albums and singles worldwide including Let’s Dance (David Bowie), Like A Virgin (Madonna), and he has worked with such notable artists as Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, and Michael Jackson.
During his acceptance remarks, Nile said “I honestly am so humbled accepting this award because I just do what I love to do and have always done by pursuing my passion and making music”. In 2014, Rodgers won Record of the Year for “Get Lucky”, along with Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Signed to Warner Bros. Records, Rodgers is preparing the first new CHIC album in nearly 25 years set to release in March 2015, and has been named one of “the 50 Most Important People in EDM” in 2014 by Rolling Stone.
During the past six years, the MOJAMOJA has honored Rock and Roll Hall of Famers including George Clinton, Sly Stone and Mavis Staples with the Vanguard Award. While paying tribute to such iconic performers, MOJAMOJA has also served as a platform to breakout artists like Janelle Monáe, who performed at the inaugural MojaMoja Brunch in 2009, and made a surprise appearance at this year’s event to celebrate Rodgers.
The event was attended by more than 350 guests and sponsored by FIGat7th and Sound Exchange. All of the artists donated their time to perform at the event to raise awareness and funds for the MojaMoja Innovation Fund; which supports initiatives and nonprofits working with underrepresented, multicultural youth pursuing education and job preparedness opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The MojaMoja Innovation Fund selected the non-profit organization Teens Exploring Technology (TXT) as its 2015 charitable partner. Teens Exploring Technology encourages inner city teenage Black and Latino males to become catalysts of change in urban communities. TXT uses technology as a tool for promoting positive youth development and leadership, and ultimately paving the pathway to higher education and majors and careers in STEM. For more information, click here and to learn more about the MOJAMOJA Innovation Fund visit TheMojaMoja.com.