NEWS RELEASE: “The Divided States of America” CD & Tour

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NEWS RELEASE November 29, 2004 Contact: Demeatria Gibson 412.780.6636 E-mail: [email protected] Web:




PITTSBURGH – November 29, 2004. A recent Gallup survey found vast gulfs between different groups’ perceptions of how minorities are treated today. 76 percent of white respondents think that blacks are treated “very fairly” or “somewhat fairly,” but only 38 percent of blacks agree with them; nearly one-third, in fact, say that members of their race are treated “very unfairly.”

Why is there such a disparity in these numbers? What is the source of this “disconnect” between races?

Musician J.G. Boccella thinks music may be the medium for sparking authentic dialogue across lines of race. His “Divided States of America” CD ( approaches the subject from a variety of angles, some personal, others historical, but always with a passion and ear for story.

The songs explore the complexity of America’s racial divides, literal and perceptual, and pose new questions about how America will come to grips with its legacy in the nation’s third century. Boccella says of songs such as Denial, Unbroken Chain and Propaganda, “Before we can truly come together as a nation, I believe we must first be willing to look at what keeps us divided. “

CONTROVERSIAL MUSIC VIDEO AND TOUR Boccella”s own Independent label, Modo Mio Music has created a controversial marketing campaign whose centerpiece is a music video. This “positively provocative” video is for the CD’s first single, “If A Dog Bites You,” and depicts Boccella on a trip to the grocery store taking a closer look at the faces depicted on everyday objects such as Jefferson on the nickel, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima and the woman on Land-O-Lakes butter.

Boccella is also taking his music and message to colleges, churches and organizations across the country. His mission is: “to bring people together through music.” In concert with his Modo Mio Band, he performs in front of a giant, multi-colored “American Diversity Flag.” He and the band wear shirts emblazoned with the words Trust, Denial, Courage, Propaganda, etc.

In addition to the concert, Boccella’s program incorporates a lecture, and a workshop called the “Diversity Dialogues.” Some of the topics include: “The Disconnect,” “But, Oprah’s a Billionaire…” and “Undercover White Man.” Says Boccella, “I’m inviting the audience to let the music touch our hearts and minds and create a space for each one of us to speak our truth.”

A NEW VOICE IN POPULAR MUSIC Sara Causey of the Rock n Roll Reporter, writes, “Boccella advocates change without being preachy, and he’s got the musical skills to back it up. Because he incorporates elements of such varied styles of music and pairs them with forward-thinking lyrics, he is sure to gain an eclectic audience.”

Using a musical palette that includes, soul, jazz and hip-hop, Boccella constructs a variety of sound textures in a style that Tony Norman, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, calls “polyrhythmic, reggae-inflected folk- pop.”

In addition to penning the songs on the CD, Boccella also acted as producer and arranger on the project. He draws upon his diverse training and the talents of other top musicians to create his eclectic sound.

A native of Pittsburgh, Boccella’s professional training reflects a lifelong passion for the arts. He has studied at Brown University; The Rhode Island School of Design; the Afro-American Music Institute; Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy.

TO INVITE J.G. BOCCELLA FOR CONCERT/LECTURE PROGRAM, Call: 412.780.6636 or E-mail: [email protected]