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Amateur Artists to Rock With Questlove and Big Daddy Kane in Bed-Stuy

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 26, 2013 9:12am
 The Restoration Rocks! music festival will choose two amateur artists to open the festival on Oct. 12.
Restoration Rocks! Music Festival
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — "How U Get a Record Deal?"

Opening for Big Daddy Kane wouldn't hurt.

Two lucky amateur artists will get a chance to open for Kane, QuestloveChrisette Michele and other artists during Oct. 12's Restoration Rocks! Music Festival in Bed-Stuy.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation partnered with the company Blazetrak, which connects artists with music industry professionals, to help choose two winners.

"The last six years has always been a clamor and excitement for people to get on the stage," said festival organizer Tracy Capers. "We wanted a mechanism to create a couple of spots for emerging talent to get on the stage."

The festival, now in its seventh year, has featured such acts as M.C. Lyte, Brand Nubian and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def. This year's headliner is Big Daddy Kane, with an opening DJ set from Questlove, and performances by Chrisette Michele, Maya Azucena and Leon.

Since the festival's first year, which brought a modest audience of 700 people, it has ballooned to hold as many as 2,500 people on the street in front of Restoration Plaza, at 1368 Fulton St., Capers said.

"We've brought amazing talent from the first year to this year," Capers said. "We've been able to build an increasingly bigger brand."

The festival is the kickoff to Restoration's larger Bed-Stuy Alive! festival, a week of art, music and food focused on Bedford-Stuyvesant artists and businesses. The street in front of Restoration Plaza will be closed to cars from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, Oct. 12 through Oct. 19.

The festival works as a way to bring a diverse group of people together to celebrate the neighborhood, said Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation president Colvin Grannum.

"It's very gratifying to see people outside," Grannum said. "It's diverse, it's peaceful and it's fun. It's exactly the way we want people to think about the community."

To submit an act for Restoration Rocks!, sign up at Blazetrak by Oct. 1. Restoration Rocks! takes place on Oct. 12 from noon to 5 p.m.