Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

This week we discuss a local artists event that turned into a movement with a big 2020 plan

Today is December 15th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org- we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with Mattea

We start today with dreams of a busy Christmas

Black Renaissance Underway

An artist who travels the world, performs internationally, never stays in one city for too long has starting calling Tucson a home. He found what he called “a wealth of black talent in Tucson” and wanted to put on an event to show it off. Hotel McCoy was the venue, Roux Events the organizer, and Tucson the talent pool. The event was called Black Renaissance and the founder Seanloui Dumas quickly found himself at the forefront of a movement in Tucson.

It was supposed to be an event, then a series of events and now the plans include a city wide celebration of the wealth of black talent during Black History month.

I had a chance to sit down recently with Seanloui to get the story of how this artist with a transient lifestyle came to have such an impact on Tucson.

Transcript

Community Events Creating Community Action

Tom Heath: Good morning. Tucson.  It’s a beautiful day in the Old Pueblo and I want to thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station this week. We discuss a local artist effort that turned into a movement with a big 2020 plan. 

Tom Heath: Today is December 15th. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life Along the Streetcar. Each and every Sunday, our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core. We shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between, you get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM streaming on DowntownRadio.org, also available on your iPhone or Android by using our very own app. Just head over to your appropriate App Store and download the down town. Radio Tucson and you’ll be connected with us wherever you go reach us here on the show Contact@LifeAlongTheStreetcar.org

Tom Heath: We’re on Facebook Life along the streetcar. We’re on Twitter occasionally and you can find past episodes of our show going back a couple of years now on our webpage LifeAlongTheStreetcar.org. Please do check that out. And we appreciate anything you want to share about us. 

Tom Heath: To the outside world and we’re going to start today with dreams of a busy Christmas. It is that time of year. So there are events happening all along the urban core wanted to make you aware of those so that you’ve got stuff to do over the next. The next few weeks here before the big day on December 25th coming up pretty quick here. Next Saturday is the 15th annual Holiday Express. It’s the free family fun event at the historic train depot. It’s right over there in the same block with Maynard’s. If you’ve not been there. We’ve done a few episodes on this place. They’ve got a tremendous interactive Museum there and it’s all run by volunteers out front of the museum is Good Old Number 1673 the steam locomotive there that was in the movie Oklahoma and on the 21st it’s open up there for the kids and to climb aboard that ring the bell if they would like. 

Tom Heath: There’s going to have there’s going to be several exhibits there. There will be a holiday market. There’s going to be some caroling write a letter to Santa at the North Pole and we’ll be featuring some of the Museum’s bilingual exhibits and some of their new live-action displays with Live trains Arts crafts all kinds of good stuff. It’s Saturday December 21st. It’s from 10 a.m. Until 3 p.m. Will link to it on our Facebook page. And then if you had a little bit West of there and you want to go over to the Mercado next week, they’re having the holiday bazaar. So if you’re out looking for some last-minute gifts head over the Mercato San Agustin, December 20th to the 22nd and ten to 6:00 on Friday Saturday 10:00 to 4:00 on Sunday. 

Tom Heath: The holiday bazaar has happened before and it’s more than just a little bit of shopping. You got cookie decorations, Mariachis, I think they have some folklarico and I believe Krampus and Dreamland the the puppet show is going to be there Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 6 p.m. So it’s a 30 minute. It kid-friendly show that’s over the Mercado de San Agustin. 

Tom Heath: Now heading east we go up to all the way to the main gate square and they’ve got a few events coming up. They do there’s their breakfast with Santa. Those are on the next one. Might be today. But anyway the 22nd they have their Pueblo expressed to Santa. This is the big big event that they do there. They’ve been doing it a couple of times now fun little event where they turn the sun the Sun Trend streetcar suddenly streetcar into the Pueblo Express and takes caroling families and marielle’s over to see Santa at Main Gate Square. So something you can do there and if you’re in the giving mood then you’re I want to work with pop cycle on Fourth Avenue on December 24th. 

Tom Heath: They have their clothing and food drive their specifically asking for their warm winter clothing, like jackets, boots scarves gloves socks and then being things to keep people warm, like sleeping bags blankets, and of course toiletries so December 24th, that’s going to be at Pop cycle, but you want to drop off everything before that. Before the 23rd so the events on the 24th, but you want to drop everything off there by the 23rd, and of course, we’ll link to that on our Facebook page. 

Tom Heath: An artist who has traveled the world he performs internationally and rarely stays in one city for too long. I think it’s starting to call Tucson home Seanloui Dumas has been all over the world and here in Tucson. He has recognized what he called a wealth of Black Talent in Tucson. Earlier this year, He wanted to Showcase that talent and held an event at the Hotel McCoy. It was called the Black Renaissance. He was supported by Rue Events and the City of Tucson for the most part provided the talent pool. 

Tom Heath: Well, the event was called Black Renaissance, but Shawn Loui has quickly found himself in the Forefront of a movement in Tucson by the same name. It was supposed to be a single day event. And then it was so popular they decided on a series of events and now the plan includes a Citywide celebration of this wealth of Black Talent during Black History Month in 2020. I had a chance to sit down recently with Seanloui to get the story of how this artist was such a transient lifestyle has come to have such an impact here on Tucson. 

Seanloui Dumas: I’m Seanloui Dumas. That’s my first and last name. I don’t have a middle name. I didn’t get that lucky. I’m just kidding. But yeah, I see where I’m from from Orange County. I would say.

Tom Heath:  you would say…

Seanloui Dumas: yeah, I’m like, I’m from like a military background. So like I like I If you know me, you know that I don’t like staying in one place for a long time and I get that from being a military kid at least move on time time, so I don’t mean like California was the one place. We always came back to so I can see that at home, you know, but I’ve even those even in those times I have come back to live in California. It’s only for a short amount of time before I bounce again, you know?

Tom Heath: How long you been in Tucson then?

Seanloui Dumas: Off and on I leave at leaving to come back off and on for like maybe like going on maybe eight nine years now. Oh, wow. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I remember like Tucson to me has changed in a sense theres like more different people but I feel like it’s the same.

Seanloui Dumas: It’s still like a small Big Town. There are more like college kids, but like that’s like I’ve seen other towns like that, you know, there are small the college supplies majority of the power and the money and all that stuff but like the city doesn’t really blow up. You know, it stays this level and only fluctuates according to how many kids college kids are in town. 

Tom Heath: Do you think that’s why Tucson is right now. 

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, is that a bad thing? I think people I think sometimes even myself I get very critical of the college kids. What did they do? They do provide, number one, a level of entertainment that cannot be matched. I’m just kidding. But also they provide a source of income like like like for a lot of us musicians like this an area that like at the moment a lot of us are not tapping into like the college crowd. Like if you can play it too, you know, like they have like like I say the college power that power of money, you know. Buying power is what they do at the Dusk Festival like they pack that place out. That’s like college kids. Yeah, I mean tap into that market. So the people were there just give them incentive, you got to advertise to them.

Anyways, I digress I love music business and I loved it whole industry. So I love talking about it. It’s like what it you know, it’s right there Li all have talked about they yeah. So yeah I’ve been here man, this last stint I’ve been here for about four years. I came back. 

Tom Heath: You’re involved in many aspects of the music industry the entertainment industry and the media but you’re at heart. You’re a performer. Correct? Is that kind of…

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, you know, I love I love being on stage as much as much as I love doing like the black Renaissance stuff, you know, they equally feed off each other and I think it’s cool.

Tom Heath: When you’re on stage. Who are you? What are you performing? 

Seanloui Dumas: I’m just that I feel that at that moment I am Seanloui. Okay for sure. It’s singing is it? Yeah, I perform with my band. We are together called Seanloui and we perform this pretty just don’t like let people love it.

Tom Heath: where are some places that you play?

Seanloui Dumas: Tucson Phoenix, of course, you know, it just like other specific clubs that you play all the Congress the normal. Yeah. Yeah that I’ve been A lot in Mexico recently, which has been really good at were like packing out venues. Like there’s Miss substantial amount of increase in our attendance every single time and that’s not even a brackets. Just showing number one if you can like market yourself. Well, you can do it anyone can do it. Like I’m I am technically a front desk janitor that that for three months working the front desk overnight like saw that do music could be could be could be accomplished. So I just decided to do it. 

Tom Heath: And there are the crowds keep growing. I think the crowd makes because they’re growing it’s a testament to said earlier that there is an audience for it. It’s just figuring out how to tap into it. So the the interview I did a couple of weeks ago about the at this point with the Stevie Rose. We talked with her and she’d mentioned that she was involved with the project at Hotel McCoy. Yeah called Black Renaissance and I was doing a little research it. Was it a is it a movement it was that a series of events?  What what is black Renaissance?

Seanloui Dumas: Do you see the Enigma? If you notice you not to be kind of cool, I don’t like afraid to be anything in this is my and this is in like in a sense of like when you think of Italian Renaissance you just think of this this office in this surgeons of creativity wealth, you know, knowledge fashion and just just you know, burst and I think I would love for Black Renaissance just to be that like, so people ask me what it is as in like what like if I left Tucson right now and what back to Europe like wood wood week like I would want people to consider the still consider this time a Black Renaissance just because the amount of of like new talent than a spring up and not just new town. Oh you like you sound good. I mean Talent back in go against any Regional touring act. 

Seanloui Dumas: You know, I’m saying I’m some national touring acts like and just do such a great job at these need to get an audience. That’s it. Is it audience here and Black Renaissance all we do is take is find that audience and take them all. And put them all in a room in so you can get like be like look at this amazing talent. 

Tom Heath: What was the event at Hotel McCoy was at the first event like?

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, man, it was like started off like it’s supposed to be like, you know one or whatever and then turn into the hole every Saturday and the crowds kept growing and growing that’s when I knew it was cool. We have something

Tom Heath: It’s not just it’s not just a music event that 

Seanloui Dumas: no, so we incorporate art and Technology inside. Side inside each event everyone the art side to Showcase a lot of the black local artists that are like unreal. I’m and I’m saying this as a as a person who looks at Art, like like there’s one amazing artist inside Tucson. And so we take that art side that from from talking about those amazing artist and then use technology so projector using VR doing something to to you know to highlight to highlight me even more was Artists are doing so like the VR experience that we did. 

Seanloui Dumas: That was We Had Each artist create their own song from scratch and then create a narrative ending credit storyline that go to it and they would just film it 360 and let me and then which is the thing that you came to 

Tom Heath: yeah, so that at 10 West It was very interesting my first foray with the virtual reality as well. 

Seanloui Dumas: So I was eye-opening experience for a lot of levels. Yeah. 

Tom Heath: We’ll be back to our interview with Seanloui Dumas, founder of the Black Renaissance event and now movement here in Tucson. Talk a little bit more about that local talent and big things to come here in 2020. But first I want to remind you that you are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio.org. 

Tom Heath: We are getting back to our interview with Sean Louis Dumas. He is the founder of the Event called black Renaissance, which is turned into a movement. He is a uncovered a lot of great local talent here in Tucson. There’s a tremendous effort underway supporting this cause in this movement and 2020 Black History Month appears to be a big opportunity for us to hear this wealth of talent in Tucson. We’ll finish up our interview with Seanloui. 

Seanloui Dumas: Just think about it like the just the wet it by Prince of ends now compared to what it was. Like I wasn’t trying to do anything. I swear to you man. I wasn’t trying to do anything like when trying to be any big guys not like a musician I do I play music and that’s all I do. You know if I just what has grown to is now is like a thing. 

Tom Heath: That’s why I think it is an enigma and I do get what you’re saying about the Renaissance. It wasn’t a thing. It was an entire cultural shift and that’s kind of what it seems like Undertaking at the moment but it started really is a gathering and then you the popularity of it was was such that then it kind of almost forced you to have a follow-up and then another venue like, oh man now I’m now I’m doing this thing. Yeah. I know Ashley Lerus has been was helpful. And in the beginning of this.

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, they helped us out with the first that the may think, you know at the Hotel McCoy. myself Hotel McCoy and Rubens create doing in school. 

Tom Heath: And then as you as you’ve progressed in these other events as always Been the same artists and musicians or does it just changes know we switch it up, you know and what we’re going to do for Black History Month won’t corporate little more of like don’t like the broader scope. You can see how how much Wealth and talent we have a black Talent inside the side Tucson. So it’s going to it’s going to change it up. Just some people have been used twice, you know, just due to whatever like the the event will be, you know, but but for sure black Black History Month February 20 20, it’s gonna be dope and we’re going to incorporate a lot more people.

Tom Heath: And you’re saying you’re saying this exposure in in in Talent, is that it is it a different or is there actually an explosion and Are we just becoming more aware of what’s been here for a while. 

Seanloui Dumas: I think it’s both I think people are surround reason people are gravity. Like we’re finding finding new people who can do cool stuff and finding people have been a forever who found out I can do cool stuff and they’re really talented, you know, so I think it’s I think it’s the combination of both is more of the discovery of the of talent here. 

Tom Heath: Are you finding that with this outlet that the more people are stepping forward? Like hey, I’d like to to be a part of this. I’d like to test my talents and and explore my abilities. 

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, you know, it’d be honestly, I think he’s probably a little both of like that and people are still trying to figure out what this actually going to be like, you know, if people are not like if they themselves are not feeling the Renaissance they will question it is so ideas again forever 2020 and that we all start feeling it because we’ll start bringing these local artists, but the artists who are amazing man, like the one we’re going to do at a hotel Congress is partnering with us, and we’re doing we’re taking over whole day. And it’s going to be unreal the amount of talent that’s going to be inside this area and then the in think about it the whole city celebrating black history. 

Tom Heath: For the month of December, do you have events planned? 

Seanloui Dumas: No, we’re going dark. And it’s preparing for the big thing. We’re trying to do in February. 

Tom Heath: So you’ve launched it you’ve gotten some traction and some excitement and now it’s going to be preparing for a fairly large series of events in early 2020. 

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah Citywide in that and that’s why it’s going to it’s going to take it’s going to take a lot of its give me a lot of focus and as in like from we’re all like everyone is working on this project. We all are like touring musicians, you know, it means like focusing like December Big time to like really hunger and out and like get it get it done. So but dude is going to be so rad and I’m like, I’m hearing myself say that I’m going to listen back and go to it was really really Rad, but you asked me so right 

Tom Heath: So how can people help you? If you’ve got all these different things you’re tying together if someone has a talent maybe it’s not artistic, but it’s administrative. Are you looking for volunteers as yes? Yes. Yes. How do they how do they reach out to you? What’s the what’s the way they can come 

Seanloui Dumas: You can reach I mean me personally to go to my Instagram goto @Seanloui you can just DME and I will put you back to the Black Renaissance and 

Tom Heath: Are there specific things that you’re looking for outside of artistic talent? 

Seanloui Dumas: No. Yeah. I know. It’s you bring out this if you do plumbing figure out, you know, I mean, we’ll figure this out. One of the things that I love about this this, you know, this Renaissance that is happening is that is great to know everybody because that you don’t know who the other person knows. I’m finding out Mike the artist. I’m discovering our through random contact so someone who’s like I’m an artist. And up but maybe my friend and then they put me to this person who’s amazing. So like yeah, please come in contact with some friends and I’ll get you involved for sure. 

Seanloui Dumas: Have you discovered personally any artist that you are just I know there’s a lot but is there an artist or a couple of artists that have really surprised you and you just so excited that you’ve been able to kind of bring them out through Black Renaissance? 

Seanloui Dumas: Mattea and Shekinah. Both have a very unique sound that is that is a mixture of like this desert mysticism kind of deal, but it’s like R&B it’s but in same dude it when I say it’s like it’s weird when they perform it becomes a religious experience whether you want whether you believe in religion or not, you’re sitting this in this presence that you just you can’t help but feel it and they both have that gift. It’s a very unique gift that people have it. A lot of people that do have it or Mega star. That’s why I’m super excited about black Renaissance and they’re here in Tucson. They’re here in juice on 

Tom Heath: we have the right here, and we’re going to raise East 

Seanloui Dumas: about them crazy stuff. 

Tom Heath: So you’re performing your just got back from Chicago? Yeah a record amount of Performing you are you recording your album. So yeah that’s coming out in March. 

Seanloui Dumas: It’s coming out March. It’s called There’s Beauty in the Chaos going to be cool. It’s going to be it’s going to be permitted to beginning of a series of releases. I’m going to do next year so I don’t give out to me details, but the first one is called there’s Beauty in the chaos. 

Tom Heath: And are you personally performing anywhere between now and Black Renaissance events in February? 

Seanloui Dumas: So because my steps backward has I’m actually going to start taking a break my last show will December 15, but I’m not playing again until some like March where we be on the 15th, the 15 update Hotel Congress. Okay. 

Tom Heath: So if you want to get a taste of Jean-Louis before he goes dark, yeah, December 15th Hotel Congress and then stay tuned to probably your personal Instagram page for updates on black Renaissance. 

Seanloui Dumas: Yeah, my personal then Blackburn online if you take that in to the search, you’ll find the actual Instagram page and we’re going to start updating with the new information for The peso Rock Renaissance has its own its own social media. Yeah. Okay. It’s black Renaissance. All right, we’ll connect with those as well. 

Tom Heath: I really appreciate your time. I appreciate your energy. I appreciate what you don’t for Tucson. People have spoken very highly of you. Oh, man and I can see why yeah. 

Seanloui Dumas: Thanks man. It’s been a pleasure. I love I the love the city. I love it. I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad I’m back and I’m glad I’m able to do go to hang out and meet a ton of people like you, you know, just really just don’t people really cool people. 

Tom Heath: I’m gonna add in the fact that you called me really cool. 

Tom Heath: Yeah. Seanlouis calls me cool. But he is the cool man himself. Black Renaissance, I’m excited to see where that goes. And I love the fact that it just was this this idea of showcasing talent and it became so powerful and so popular that it really has created a movement. We’ve seen other things like this here in Tucson, and I’m excited to see where Jean-Louis and his group of supporters go with black Renaissance. Well, my name is Tom Heath. You are listening to Life along the streetcar and downtown radio. 98.1 FM. Available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot org? 

Tom Heath: Well episode number 1 1 4 is in the books here and you can head over to Life along the streetcar dot-org probably tomorrow. We’ll have this posted as a show rebroadcasting the podcast there and we also have our interview with Sean Louis Broken Out In case that’s the the piece that you want to find and share. Hope you can join us this coming Saturday 10:00 p.m. To 1 a.m. At Rocco’s for our downtown Gathering and tend to be out there and 

Tom Heath: just listen to a little bit of dr. Slow see what’s in his personal collection. They’re gonna be kind of exciting get some gift certificates chance to win some prizes coming up later here in the month. We’re going to focus on some holiday traditions like New Year’s resolutions. 

Tom Heath: We also have a birthday coming up for Lalo Guerrero and hope to have a couple of interviews of individuals that have been impacted by him. We’ve also got as we roll into January information on University of Arizona Student Union, the student bookstore. We’ve interviewed a couple of local bands here and man. We got so much in the pipeline. It’s going to be exciting and and beginning of 2020. 

Tom Heath: Tonight Sean Lewis mentioned in the interview. There is a show over at Hotel Congress. He will be there with one of the individuals. He mentioned one of the up-and-coming Rising Stars here in Tucson. Her name is Matea and we are please to leave you with a little music that we found of hers. This is a Mattea. This is her song Oh Neighbor.neighbor as you know, I like to talk about neighbors and neighborhoods, and this was released in 2016. You’ll see here performing tonight with Jean-Louis at Hotel Congress. 

Tom Heath: I’ll tell you what lots of things going on head over to our Facebook page after the show, and you’ll be able to get a link to just about everything we talked about here today. I do. Hope you have a fantastic week. And as you head out here listen to a little Mateo. I hope you remember that you are listening to Life along the streetcar with Tom Heath, and please tune in next Sunday at 11:30 so we can do this all over again and talk about some great things happening here in Tucson’s Urban core with all those fabulous people all these fabulous movements all these fabulous events. We’re going to cover them. All right here every Sunday at 11:30. Have a great week everybody. 

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