Creative Resident Jamie Laurie collaborated with teens from Synergy - an outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program, over the course 7 weeks in workshops exploring Hip Hop as a powerful tool in self-expression. Teens in the Learning Lab created original lyrics and poetry for a mix of recorded audio collage. Through this process, they examined contemporary themes in rap music and compared them to songs from the African-American Freedom movement. They also created powerful written expressions for the walls of PlatteForum as a backdrop to their live performance on August 11, 2006.
Jamie Laurie is an artist/musician who regularly performs through the Denver Metro area and in Rhode Island. He has worked with underserved and at-risk youth over the past 5 years and is currently a full time tutor/mentor at East High School. He has worked with such organizations and on special projects for the Veterans of Hope Project at Iliff School of Theology in Denver and Youth in Action and Youth Pride in Rhode Island. He is also fluent in Spanish and Japanese and maintains a basic proficiency in American Sign Language.
In 2000 Jamie aka Jonny5 teamed up with producer Farhad Ebrahimi a.k.a. Yahktoe to form Flobots, an alternative hip hop band from Denver. To date, they have released two albums (counting Onomatopoeia) and one EP. They describe themselves: When a pair of intelligent, visionary emcees joins forces with a battle-hardened, groove-fusing rhythm section, and a classically trained violist the result is a sound that explores and expands the frontiers of live hip-hop. Progressive in both style and message, the band’s ability to drop from symphonic rock-infused crescendos into stripped-down string-laden breakbeats has earned Flobots a reputation for both originality and authenticity. Armed with musicianship, intelligence, and an ingrained sense of rebellion, Flobots are looking to engage a new musical culture, one mind at a time.