Elevator Pitch


What’s going down in the ICA’s elevator? Watch Elevator Pitch to find out.


Elevator Pitch is a micro-concert video series that showcases global and local musicians performing in the ICA’s one-of-a-kind elevator. Premiering in the fall of 2021, Season 1 features artists with sounds ranging from reggae, to bolero, to hip-hop.

New episodes are released monthly via ICA at VCU’s YouTube channel.








The Archives was founded by Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton and producer/keyboard ace Darryl “Trane” Burke. All members of the outfit have recorded and toured internationally with acts like Eek-A-Mouse, Black Uhuru, Culture, Don Carlos, and more. Burke explains. “We weave together the best of foundation roots, early dub and dancehall influences with arrangements to create a classic, yet fresh and conscious sound.”

The latest album Carry Me Home (released in late May 2020) is a tribute to the late great Gil-Scott Heron & Brian Jackson. The LP debuted at #9 on Billboard Reggae charts and #4 on the NACC World Charts. Featured artists include Mutabaruka, Raheem DeVaughn, Brian Jackson, and more. The first two singles and video “Home is Where The Hatred Is” and “Toast To The People” are featured in Rolling Stone, AP News and added to NPR’s Song Of The Week Spotify playlist.

The Archives features vocalist Puma Ptah, the charismatic singer from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands who records and tours with Thievery Corporation; Burke (Moja Nya, Eek-A-Mouse, Culture) on keyboards and drummer; Leslie “Black Seed” James Jr. (Culture, Mishka); Guitar virtuoso Henri Tanash from Cameroon (Meditations) and Kingston, Jamaica’s own on bass, Pierre Stone (Don Carlos, Black Uhuru) to round out the lineup.



Episode 2 of the mini-concert series Elevator Pitch features bolero group Miramar playing a set in the Institute for Contemporary Art’s iconic elevator.

In most of Latin America, if you’re by the sea, there is bound to be a place called Miramar very close by. It will typically have a postcard view of the sea – and if music is playing, chances are that it will be boleros: the romantic music genre that originated in Cuba at the turn of the 20th century and ultimately became a world-wide phenomenon by the mid 1960’s.

When Puerto Rican singer Reinaldo Álvarez was looking to name a new project inspired by boleros, he searched for something simple that would be familiar to Spanish speakers; a name that would reflect the humble poetry of everyday life. Miramar seemed perfect: a romantic snapshot of a place both close and far away from home.

Miramar’s debut album “Dedication to Sylvia Rexach” was released by Brooklyn’s Barbés Records in 2016 in honor of the unsung hero of the Puerto Rican bolero. In 2019, the famed Daptone Records released an all original 45 rpm entitled “Salida,” which is considered Miramar’s take on the bolero-rock genre.



Episode 3 of the mini-concert series Elevator Pitch features vocalist Sam Reed playing a set in the Institute for Contemporary Art’s iconic elevator.

Sam Reed is a Virginia native and has been a Richmond music scene staple for many years now. Her soulful gospel, jazz, and rock influenced vocals have shared the stage with the city’s best musicians, as well as legendary artists like Bob Weir and world renowned tap dancer Savion Glover. Reed’s permanent vocal residence is with Richmond (and beyond) favorites No BS! Brass Band, but you can also find her performing solo from her debut album “This Is Love,” written by Reed and produced by DJ Harrison at Jellowstone studios.


Episode 4 of the mini-concert series Elevator Pitch features traditional African instrumentalist Amadou Kouyate playing a set in the Institute for Contemporary Art’s iconic elevator.

Amadou is the 150th generation of the Kouyate family of Manding Diali (oral historians and musicians of West Africa) and the first generation born of his father’s lineage in America. Amadou performs a musical montage on the 21-string Kora, and rhythmic presentations on Djembe and Koutiro drums. His repertoire ranges from traditional songs from the 13th century to contemporary original compositions incorporating blues and jazz riffs.



Kyle Kidd (all pronouns) is a vocalist and visionary of social transformation. They create Black Art, pulling from the many different avenues of Black music and culture, vocally fusing classical, jazz, blues, gospel, funk and soul. They perform throughout the country with artists such as Mourning a BLKstar, Algiers, and Richard Kennedy. Kyle works as an educator in the Youth Sing Out program, collaborating with Roots of American Music, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. In their solo division, Kyle composes original music and curates multi-sensory experiences that incorporate stylized video, music, and fashion. They intend for their art in all its forms to be a tribal legacy, centered on representation, raw expression, and true freedom for each of us.



Heavily influenced by his artistic upbringing, Wes Felton is a D.C. native and son of jazz pianist Hilton C. Felton, Jr. Equipped at the School Without Walls with a backpack of notebooks filled with poems and rhymes, Felton quickly making a name for himself on BET’s “Teen Summit”. In 2000, he formed the hip-hop/soul group The CrossRhodes with R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn. The poet-singer-rapper-actor’s resume runs deep with collaborations with Meshell Ndegeocello, Ben Williams, Diamond D, Omar, Mos Def, Chris Rock, Prince Paul and others.