Night 4 - BJ the Chicago Kid
A concert television show taping experience!
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Tickets cost $5 (plus a service charge). They are also available by phone through Hold My Ticket at 505-886-1251.
AMP is excited to team up with Bands of Enchantment for the filming of Season 3 of their Albuquerque Sessions. This PBS television show features a killer mix of local, national and international bands, all filmed right here in Albuquerque. Come be part of the live filming/concert experience—and then tune in when the shows premiere in 2024!
The Emmy-nominated music television series Bands of Enchantment is back! Season 3 films over ten nights at the Historic KiMo Theatre. New Mexico's international music television show features award-winning artists in genres of indie, country, folk, LatinX, rock, hip hop, and blues. Every season features five New Mexican bands! Uncover raw music as critically acclaimed bands crush live performances on the backdrop of New Mexico—the land of enchantment. BOE now broadcasts nationwide on PBS and streams worldwide on PBS, Tubi, Roku, and Amazon Prime.
Nightly pre-show parties with live music at 505 Central Food Hall from 5 to 7! Tonight features Mike Baty! Get warmed up before joining us at the KiMo!
Click here for the full Bands of Enchantment Albuquerque Sessions Season 3 lineup!
Bryan James Sledge, a.k.a. BJ the Chicago Kid, cooed his first note to an audience when he was 5 years old. His mom was a choir director and his whole family was in the congregation: BJ the youngest of three boys who all sang on Sunday. Yet outside was the constant backbeat of his youth: trunk music, rap and old school soul, the same thump that he'd hear falling asleep at night, and at the whole-block cookouts that happened every Saturday. His dad, though also a choir director, exposed him to that secular inspiration firsthand. By night his father did concert security, and he took his boy to gigs. Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation Tour (the one with the panther) changed BJ forever, and the experience got swirled up with the stuff he heard at home: the Chi-Lites, Luther, Curtis, even Babyface.
The kid wrote his first song as a teen. He'd been focused on drums, and you can still hear that in the way his voice clings to the pocket, but, as happens, he caught feelings for a girl and wrote a poem about it. Producer Kevin Randolph, a family friend, saw promise in BJ's pen and mentored him in the ways of song. And when it was time, he helped BJ secure his ticket to Los Angeles. That first job, singing backup with gospel duo Mary Mary, led to studio time (vocals, songwriting) with Lalah Hathaway, Musiq Soulchild, Joe, Mario, and Mary J. Blige, among others. In 2005 alone he went into the booth with Stevie Wonder and onto the Grammy stage with Usher and James Brown. A year later came the big one: Kanye West's "Impossible" for Mission: Impossible III.
It's understandable if you've heard BJ and not known it—the man's melody is classic and his voice is elastic; he sounds like a sample. His new album, a joint project with renowned hitmaker Yeti Beats, will be released in late 2023.