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Hip-Hop Orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj's First EP!'s video poster

Ensemble Mik Nawooj, a hip-hop orchestra, is recording their FIRST EP! Read more

Oakland, CA Music
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This project was successfully funded on April 19, 2014.

Ensemble Mik Nawooj, a hip-hop orchestra, is recording their FIRST EP!

Oakland, CA Music
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About this project


  • $12,500: We'll record & add our new song Stars of Everything to the EP. This song is our 1st acoustic dubstep piece. Click to hear our live recording.
  • $15,500: all the above plus film a music video for one of the tracks.


All pledges are tax deductible.

Ensemble Mik Nawooj is looking to record our first professional EP. We’ve been performing live for about 3 years, but have no professional recording of our current instrumentation & songs. For this EP we’re looking to record 4 songs, roughly about 6 mins each.

We Will Conquer (a concerto grosso for EMN featuring solos from the winds, strings, and the MCs. Probably the first concerto grosso written for MCs! Below is the live performance from Yoshi's Oakland).

Morning Light (a song of transformation. It depicts the end of darkness and beginning of a glorious, light-filled day. Watch out for the climax at the end, beautifully sung by our soprano! Click here for a live recording).

First Song (a soft melodic piece about the first experiences that shape us, both good and bad).

Hope Springs Eternal (an uplifting piece about everlasting optimism when facing life's tragedies, trials, and tribulations. Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen loved this piece!)

The instrumentation for each song will be a 6-piece chamber orchestra (piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet), 2 MCs, deep funk drums & a lyric soprano.

Want to know more? Here's our EPK-

THE BUDGET (estimated)

Musicians (10 people): $3,000

Mixing: $2,000

Recording: $150

Mastering: $250

Studio time: $480

Piano tuning: $125

CD production (1000 units): $1,350

CD design: $300

Envelopes & postage: $500

Distribution fee: $45

Kickstarter/Amazon/Intersection for the Arts: $1,800

Total: $10,000

This EP is dedicated to Ke Sook Kim (1950 - 2014) and Louis E. Clemence (1925 - 2014). They will be greatly missed. 

UPDATE: Meet the musicians on the album

  • Ensemble Mik Nawooj

Ensemble Mik Nawooj is a composer ensemble that performs the innovative music of Taoist composer/pianist JooWan Kim who injects Western European Classical compositional techniques into such genres as hip-hop, rock & pop, thus creating a new form of hybrid music. Featuring a 6-piece chamber orchestra, 2 MCs, deep funk drums and a lyric soprano, the group has been featured on ABC 7, MTV, The New Yorker, NPR & more.

  • Music Director / composer / pianist - JooWan Kim

Classically trained (but not classical) composer/pianist JooWan Kim is a summa cum laude graduate from the Berklee College of Music. Kim completed his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2006 (M.M. in composition). While still doing his master’s at the Conservatory, Kim founded Ensemble Mik Nawooj. His music injects Western European compositional techniques into the genres hip-hop, rock, and pop.

  • MC - Do D.A.T 

Do D.A.T has performed at Yoshi's SF & Oakland, The Fillmore, Slims, The New Parish, The Uptown, Yerba Center for Performing Arts, Herbst Theater SF, Hip Hop in the Park, and Springfest at Cal State East Bay, SF State, Cal Berkeley, and USF.

He has performed alongside and opened for Dave Chappelle, Dead Prez, Zion I, KRS ONE, Ludacris, Macklemore, Bambu, Los Rakas, Aceyalone, E40, Clyde Carson, Mistah FAB, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Murs, Blue Scholars, and Goapele.

  • MC - Sandman

Prior to releasing a solo album title, "The Art of Dreaming," Sand'Man was cultivated as an emcee during his involvement with the dynamic hip hop group “The Attik.” His association with the group began as a teen and eventually blossomed into something formal. In 2005 the group released the album "Jungle Electric." 

Sand’Man has shared a stage with KRS-One, Dead Prez, E-40, San Quinn, Mr. FAB, Aceyalone, Zion I, Game Rebellion, Medusa and many more. A veteran to performing, he has rocked stages from the Bay Area to New York and Puerto Rico and shined at legendary venues, such as the Fillmore, in front of sold-out crowds. As a solo artist, Sand’Man brings with him an unparalleled lyrical aptitude and eerie ability to engage his listeners.

  • Lyric Soprano - Lauren Woody

Ms. Woody has been performing with Ensemble Mik Nawooj for 1 year, “delivering soaring wordless vocal accompaniment that has brought the crowd cheering” (The Owl Mag, SF).

Ms. Woody has performed at Lincoln Center with the New York City Opera Orchestra, has been on a National U.S. tour with the prestigious Young Artist program ‘I Sing Beijing’ in China & more.

  • Flute - Dr. Carmen Lemoine

A dedicated performer of chamber and new works, Dr. Lemoine has performed with a variety of musical artists, ranging from jazz great Miguel Zenon to hip-hop/classical fusion group Ensemble Mik Nawooj to new music’s trailblazing Alarm Will Sound.

She has premiered pieces by Emma Lou Diemer, Beth Weimann and Allan Schindler, and recently performed new music for flute, piano and percussion in 2012. Additionally, she has researched extensively the flute works of Holocaust composer Erwin Schulhoff. Dr. Lemoine collaborated with San Francisco Symphony bassist Scott Pingel and Ives Quartet member Jodi Levitz to present her findings in her lecture recital Strange Bedfellows: Expressionism, Folk and Dada in Schulhoff’s “Concertino,” performed for a standing-room only audience in 2012. Dr. Lemoine presented an abbreviated version of the lecture at the 2013 National Flute Association’s Annual Convention in New Orleans.

Internationally, Carmen has toured Malaysia with the Perak Society for the Performing Arts International Ensemble, teaching and performing in Kuala Lumpur and across the country. Currently, she is a member of the woodwind ensemble Frequency 49.

Dr. Lemoine earned her Bachelor of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music and her Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her former teachers include Bonita Boyd, Timothy Day, Damian Bursill-Hall, and Anne Harrow. She also received a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

  • Clarinet - Nick Litwin

Nick Litwin has played in the Merced Symphony, Ensemble Parallèle, All Hallows Concert Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. As a freelance musician, he has played a wide range of styles including jazz and hip-hop throughout the Bay Area and Northern California and teaches at the VCS Radio Symphony Summer Program.

Nick received his Bachelor of Music from California State University Sacramento under Deborah Pittman, a Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Luis Baez and has studied at the University of California Los Angeles under Gary Gray.

  • Violin - Michele Walther

Michèle Walther earned her M.M. from the Conservatory of Music in Basel, Switzerland. She later graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston majoring in jazz performance. At Berklee she was the recipient of the "String Department Achievement Award" and the "Most Valuable Player Award."

Michèle has performed in venues throughout Europe and North America with Gloria Estefan, Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull, Joe Lovano, John Cage, Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D'Rivera), The Boston String Quartet (CD Spectrum), Basel Sinfonietta, Mark Feldman, Steve Gadd, and more.

She is a founding member of LaMuseMent; a trio with accordion, saxophone and violin. LaMuseMent recorded the CD orange heart under the Swiss label Altrisuoni. Michèle also loves to perform Argentine tango. She won first prize in Boston's Battle of the Tango Bands with Los Gatos Azules. As a member of Tangonero she won the CMC Shenson Award for their original stage production Malena. Recording credits include Resonance, Tangonero, The Boston String Quartet, LaMuseMent, and Oscar Stagnaro.

  • Cello - Gabriel Beistline

Gabriel has collaborated with some of the most prominent and influential musicians of our time, including Yo-Yo Ma, Kent Nagano, Christoph Eschenbach, Yutaka Sado, Christopher Hogwood, Yakov Kreitzberg and Valery Gergiev. He has toured with orchestras throughout the United States, Germany, Lithuania, Armenia, Russia and Japan.

Gabriel has also been active as a chamber musician, including performing Felix Mendelssohn's String Octet with acclaimed violin virtuoso Cho Liang-Lin, along with James Dunham of the distinguished Cleveland Quartet, and Lynn Harrell, among others, in a concert series commemorating the 200th birthday of the composer.

Gabriel holds a BM from the New England Conservatory under the instruction of Yeesun Kim, cellist in the acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet. He also holds an MM from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music under the professorship of world-renowned soloist Lynn Harrell.

  • Bass - James Schulz

James Schulz has his BA in Music from California State University East Bay under Pat Klobas and a MM from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Steve Tramontozzi. He has played in several orchestras including Stockton Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Napa Symphony & One Found Sound. He has played for Thomas Martin, Timothy Cobb, Donovan Stokes, Edwin Barker, and Eric Hansen.

He has performed at Davie’s Symphony Hall and Yoshi's Oakland, played electric bass at the Zellerbach Hall in the video game music production of “HIDEO,” and has toured Italy, Switzerland, and France in a jazz big band. He also has an extensive DUNE book collection.

  • Drums - Louie Flores Jr.

Over the past 20 years Louie has gone from performing in night clubs to teaching students in the classroom. He completed a B.A in Music performance at Cal State University East Bay-Hayward under the direction of percussionist Artie Storch. In 2006 he studied music at the National School of Arts in Havana, Cuba. In Cuba, he had the opportunity to study with the great Latin jazz percussionist Enrique Pla of Irakere. In addition, he has also toured the west coast of United States and Mexico with Latin Jazz guitarist Kaweh.

Risks and challenges

We had a successful campaign for our previous single, and we made sure that every reward was delivered on time and correctly. However, since this is a substantially bigger project, we might encounter certain setbacks in the timeline, in which case we will promptly notify the donors.

For our previous campaign, we had multiple updates on how the project was going, and all donors were informed at all times.

So yeah, we are going to try to make it happen. Or die trying, like 50 Cent.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • The value of the item received has to be deducted from the pledge. So if we value the CD at $15 and you pledge $50, then Intersection for the Arts will send you a donation letter for $35.

    Ensemble Mik Nawooj is a Member of the Intersection Incubator, a program of Intersection for the Arts providing fiscal sponsorship, incubation and consulting services to artists.

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  • Yes. It should be "All of the $25 rewards... etc." not $20.

    Last updated:


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    All of the $500 rewards and an invitation to a soiree at the music director's place with a special solo piano performance by the music director. He will write a short piano piece dedicated to the donors (just 1, not 10, by the way). Good times.

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    All of the $1,000 rewards and a special piece for woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, french horn, and bassoon) or piano trio (flute, cello, and piano) dedicated to the donor, composed by the music director. This will be premiered by Frequency 49 or Phonocrome, ensembles comprised of highly sought-after Bay Area musicians.

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Funding period

- (45 days)