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Brüknahm, popularized by rappers in the early 90’s, is the fusion of the words Brooklyn and Vietnam. It was meant to depict Brooklyn as a rough place to live; a war zone. Composer/producers Saundi Wilson and Sebastian Bardin have attempted to elucidate a deeper meaning of the word. They envision Brooklyn, and it’s ninety different ethnicities, as a society unto itself, struggling to live and prosper. A place where each individual is forced to use his or her ingenuity, adaptability, and creativity to wage a “gorilla” war against a juggernaut that aims to divide and conquer. Brüknahm’s first album, The Brüknahm Project, was released on Knitting Factory Records in 2002. The album was critically acclaimed, and Brüknahm launched it’s first European tour. The ensemble, which features jazz heavyweights Abraham Burton and Nasheet Waits, electrified audiences from North Sea Jazz to Jazz a Vienne. Wilson and Bardin decided Europe was the place to be. Later that year, they immigrated to Paris. They made another successful swing across Europe, highlighted by a night a Paris’s famous Sunset Jazz Club. Wilson and Bardin were commissioned by Universal Records (France) to produce three remixes, one of which was for the platinum-selling Algerian star Khaled. Brüknahm also produced two remixes for the Japanese sensation, Air, on an album entitled “On My Way”(EMI-Japan), which featured remixes from notables such as Martin, Medeski, and Wood. MTV also became fans of the music. They began to license it to one show after another and, today, music from The Brüknahm Project can be heard on TEN different series in syndication.
Wilson and Bardin have since returned to Brooklyn, where they’ve completed their long-awaited sophomore album, City of Light (distributed worldwide by Believe Digital). The Brüknahm Project has begun work on a third album, and continues to perform internationally, having most recently appeared as the closing act of the Shanghai International Jazz Festival (China).