Urban Legends Talent Competition Gives Local Artists a Platform

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The Urban Legends live performance talent competition is creating a platform for inner-city artists to express their creativity and be seen by the world.

Organized by a group of Bay Area producers, the show will include contestants in eight different categories: graffiti, comedy, solo and group performances in dance, music and spoken word.

The format of the competition is “fresh, raw, and engaging.” One exciting component is that contestants will compete in head-to-head battle. Auditions are also open to all ages.

“The talent versus talent aspect is (designed) to bring that intensity to what they’re doing,” said Jesus Ibn El, one of the founders of the show. He is working with co-founder Eric Lamison, Javier Ochoa, and Mr. JE of JE Media Group to build momentum for the competition, which will be taped live on Sunday, Dec. 21.

Hosted by spoken word artist Prentice Powell, the talent competition will be held at 2 p.m. at the New Parish, 579 18th St. in Oakland.

The producers are hopeful that a major television network will pick up the show. Seeking to change the scope of mainstream talent competitions, “It’s all to showcase their abilities and to show what great talents and cultures we have in Oakland,” said Ibn El.

Proceeds generated from the taping will benefit a local nonprofit organization, Camp Akili. It is a motivational summer leadership program for African American students led by Drs. Shawn Ginwright, Daniel Walker, and Nedra Ginwright, founders of Leadership Excellence.

“I always wanted my shot, always wanted to be able to get on stage and dance in front of a bunch of people,” Ibn El said.

A multitalented artist, he is a poet, dancer, member of the group Showtime Dunks and the Flying Dubs dunk team with the Golden State Warriors. He also teaches High Altitude Pro, an acrobatic slam dunking class for young people.

“I believe in giving people that shot to express themselves,” he said.

Supporters of the Urban Legends competition include Showtime Entertainment, Marketing Kings, and DAMSF. The Dec. 21 event is free and open to all ages.

Donations are welcome.

For more information or to submit an audition video, visit www.urbanlegendsusa.com or email [email protected]

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