BEST BETS: Amillion, Nadjah headline first Schwartz Center hip-hop show

Fresh off two international tours, L. Amillion Mayfield, aka Amillion the Poet, is coming home.

Mr. Mayfield, a Dover hip hop performer, author and community activist, will headline the first show of its kind at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover Feb. 4.

The Caesar Rodney High School grad toured London and Amsterdam each of the last two years but there’s something special about Dover, he says.

L. Amillion Mayfield, aka Amillion the Poet, will play the Schwartz Center for the Arts Feb. 4 in a landmark concert for the Dover theater. (Submitted photo)

“It’s been some time that I’ve been able to perform around here. This kind of thing is big for this city,” he said.

“It’s probably just as important for me as my overseas tours.”

His last Delaware appearance was in 2015 when he played a sold-out show at Wilmington’s World Cafe Live at The Queen.

A movie made from the performance premiered at Dover Mall’s Carmike Cinema last February, also to an overflow crowd.

The timing of the show was rather coincidental.

“I talked to the Rollins Center and the Schwartz Center and they were both totally behind it. I was going to rent it out in service of my community but the Schwartz wrote out the contract and supported it all 100 percent and I really appreciated that,” he said.

“The Schwartz was ironically already looking to do their first hip-hop show. I was talking to (box office manager) Barbara (Cooper) about the possibility and she brought in (board president) Tracey (Miller) and they could not believe it.”

Ms. Miller thinks the show will be beneficial for the Schwartz and the community.

“We wanted to make sure a hip-hop show was in our 2017 lineup, but we were uncertain which artists would draw the younger audiences that, frankly, do not have many options for live entertainment in the area,” she said.

“This type of programming is exactly what we need to appeal to younger audiences. We think Amillion offers everything we were looking for and then some because of his local ties and personal investment in the local community.”

Mr. Mayfield will be bringing along plenty of his friends as well that evening.

The featured performer that night will be Claymont pop soul singer Nadjah Nicole, known to television viewers for her 10-week run on the hit TV program, “The Voice”.

“She is a very humble, beautiful soul with a beautiful voice,” Mr. Mayfield said.

Also on the bill will be Amani Ciarra, winner of the Delaware State University Talent Showcase; R&B artist Big Frank; Dover hip-hop act Cypher Clique, who has played the Firefly Music Festival and Dover’s own Chris Skillz, who has appeared on MTV.

Mr. Mayfield hopes to book one more act for the show.

Nadjah Nicole, a Delaware resident who was on “The Voice” for 10 weeks, will join the Feb. 4 concert in Dover. (NBC photo)

“In the past few days, since the show has been announced, I’ve gotten over 70 submissions. People understand what a good thing this is for the city.”

Although billed as a hip-hop show, he said it should appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

“We’ll have rap but also gospel and R&B,” Mr. Mayfield said.

“We’ll be able to bring everyone together from the schools to the churches and all members of the community.”

There also will be video tributes for people close to Mr. Mayfield, who have passed away in the last year.

Tyorzel Gaston, aka Victory The Producer, Mr. Mayfield’s best friend and producer of his first album; local hip-hop performer Orlando Blackson, aka Big Snap, and Thomas “T.C.” Clay, a well-known gospel artist, who was collaborating on a song with Mr. Mayfield when he passed, will all be honored Feb. 4.

Aside from his performing career, Mr. Mayfield visits schools, prisons, churches and shelters providing workshops to help youth and adults exercise tools for mental health.

In the last year alone, his Poetry in Motion workshops have been featured in six school districts, five public libraries, including the Dover Public Library, four juvenile facilities and three adult prisons in two states.

He is also the executive director of the Delaware Parents Association.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

They can be purchased by visiting SchwartzCenter.com, calling 678-5152 or stopping by the box office at 226 S. State St., Dover.

Museum Fair Saturday

Speaking of the Dover Public Library, that facility will be hosting its first Museum Fair Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives from a number of local museums will be setting up shop on the first floor of the library to inform the public about what collections and exhibits their institutions have to offer.

The museums and institutions included are the Air Mobility Command Museum, the Biggs Museum of American Art, the Delaware State Police Museum, Delaware Legislative Hall, the First State Heritage Park, the Johnson Victrola Museum, The Old State House and the John Dickinson Plantation.

Planned activities include quill-writing, journal-making, and should the weather allow, colonial field games in the library’s Reading Garden. All events are free.

The Dover Public Library is at 35 E. Loockerman St.

Happiness at library

The Kent County Public Library has slated upcoming performances by The Happiness Project Music Festival, which brings together a rotating roster of local musicians and local community service venues for a series of free performances to bring a little “happiness” into everyone’s day.

The performances will be held at the library, at 497 S. Red Haven Lane, Dover, on the third Friday of each month at 6 p.m.

The featured performers for tonight will be the duo of Jocelyn Faro and Christopher Windebak, who will perform a variety of songs and musical styles suitable for all ages.

All performances are free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is encouraged due to limited space.

To register, visit www.tinyurl.com/KCPLEvents or call the library during normal business hours at (302) 744-1919.

Open mic Saturday

On Saturday, Delaware Friends of Folk will present their monthly coffee house concert in the Bennett Chapel at Wesley College, on the corner of Division and North Bradford streets in Dover, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $5 for members of Delaware Friends of Folk, $7 for nonmembers, and those 12 and under admitted free. Fresh-brewed coffee, baked cookies and other snacks will be available.

This will be an open mic show hosted by two-time Delmarva Folk Hero finalist Mike Liddicote.

The Friends of Folk stage will be open to soloists or small groups presenting acoustic music of nearly any sort, dance, or poetry. Performers should arrive early enough to sign up for a 15- to 20-minute performance slot. Due to the limited stage size, large groups or drum “traps” cannot be accommodated.

New look for Fordham

Finally, word came this week that Dover’s Fordham & Dominion Brewery’s Fordham portfolio will receive an overhaul for the new year.

In addition to a new look, the two flagship beers, Gypsy Lager and Copperhead Amber Ale, will also be joined by four

Dover’s Fordham & Dominion Brewery is rebranding its Fordham beer portfolio. (Submitted photo)

new brews. Crash Zone IPL and Dilated Pupilz are being added to the year round calendar, while 11th Sour Berlinerwise and a Scotch ale will make seasonal appearances.

“We wanted to give the portfolio an update. Everywhere you go, you want to look your best,” said vice president of marketing and graphic designer Ryan Telle.

“With the industry being extremely competitive right now, everything needs to be great. There are a lot of consumers out there for the taking, new introductions to our brands to be made. I feel the new packaging is a great way to acquire new supporters of our beloved brand.”

The entire line will be available in bottle and draught.

A joint release party for Crash Zone IPL and Dilated Pupliz will be held at the brewery off Horsepond Road on Feb. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Music will be by Stone Jack Ballers and food by Thyme to Eat food truck.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is Vin Diesel in “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage,” the suspense thriller “Split” and the Christian comedy “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is Tom Hanks’ “Inferno.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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