Christine Elise is classically trained harpist, pianist, & vocalist who has been consecutively touring across North America for the past 4 years. Studying music therapy at a masters level led her to find a passion for community music therapy. She has facilitated group sessions & workshops for professionals & clients in the USA, South Africa, Peru & Jamaica. She has presented at national, regional, & world music therapy conferences and written scholarly articles published by Music Therapy Perspectives. She has provided clinical supervision for undergraduate and graduate students at MusicWorks, Jamaica Field Service Project, Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY, Warren Wilson College, & Immaculata University. Christine taught as an adjunct professor for the music therapy department of Immaculata University College of Graduate Studies and Boyer College of Music and Dance of Temple University for several undergraduate and graduate level classes. She has composed for various organizations & institutions. Recent commissions include The Free Project Series, for Pennsylvania Humanities Council, What Does Freedom Mean to Me? as part of the The Dedication of the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland for St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Club House Theme Song for AHA Studio for Integrated Therapies and over 20 original compositions for Autism Across the Globe, directed by Rima J. Irani or Lebanon.
Named Philadelphia Magazine Best Rapper of 2022, Kuf Knotz Blends hiphop poetry with deep grooves of soul and beats sun kissed with the spirit of Lo-Fi & 90’s era vibes , Kuf’s inimitable style focuses on unsubtle spirituality, that, like his music, focus on unity, positivity & creativity. In 2008, the same year he opened for Bruce Springsteen, Kuf sang lead vocals on “Unstoppable,” a song created to mark the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series. In 2010, he recorded “Boombox Logic,” which was named the year’s best hip hop song by the Independent Music Awards. His next venture, 2015’s A Positive Light,” reflected his carefully forged fusion of music styles. Kuf’s on-screen credits include a part on the hit FOX TV show “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” He appeared in a Domino’s Pizza commercial and was a cast member in a music-based reality show. Film and video are close to Kuf’s heart; he earned a degree in video production from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Kuf has opened for The Roots, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Common, Wyclef Jean, The Wailers, Arrested Development, Josh Ritter Robert Glasper, Robert Randolph, G-Love and others. In 2018, Christine & Kuf founded a community music therapy outreach performance project called Higher Grounds Music, using the power of music, clinical training, and performance experience to foster personal growth. Working in a strength based model, the workshops/performances are designed to support participants in building skills to build confidence, increase motivation and drive and strengthen self-care skills.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Christine & Kuf a short time after they were in Madison, opening up for friend of the program, Wax Tailor. We got into the entire thng from how the brand new album ‘Hypnagogia’ came about, the process the went through and go through to create toGether, and we even dissected 2 tracks from the record. The first track we go into features Speech from Arrested Developement, so we chart the path of that tune (including who turned it down)and the other track selected to open into is the one that I see/feel inside my mindspace as well as my ear holes. That is the part about their music that really I really appreciate so much, they make music that I feel and see at times – there’s plenty to feel on this new record. The conversation here is rich and real and that is the real reason I wanted to connect. I selfishly do want to have them stay here in Madison to do some workshops as part of their Higher Grounds Music project and have performance open others minds, bodies and spirits to a positive vibe that is contagious, and feels good to pass along to others.