Tim Hall
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Tim Hall

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Spoken Word Neo Soul




"Meet the ARTery 25"

Artists and creative professionals are change agents.

They provide us with fresh ideas on old quandaries, from racial equity and gentrification to gender identity. Those ideas then shape our culture. Culture forms public attitudes. Public attitudes help mold our policy and legislation.

Get local arts and culture news, artist resources and ways to stay creative at home sent to your inbox each week. Sign up now.

In Boston, there's a palpable surge of new artistic energy. A daring cohort of young creatives is molding the city's cultural ecosystem in promising ways. Their ascension comes at a time when the city is ripe for an artistic renaissance, which is in part due to a committed financial investment in culture.

The ARTery 25
Artist Sneha Shrestha, at her mural "For Cambridge With Love From Nepal" in Cambridge. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Sneha Shrestha, AKA 'Imagine,' Brings Her Native Alphabet To Boston's Burgeoning Street Art Scene
The ARTery04:40Mar 25, 2019
Dancer Ellice Patterson And Her Company Combat Ableism With Beauty
The ARTery05:13Mar 25, 2019
Layla Bermeo Curates Overlooked Narratives At The MFA
The ARTery07:04Mar 25, 2019
What Goes Into The Artistic Process?
The ARTeryMar 25, 2019
Just last week, the city of Boston and the Boston Cultural Council awarded $487,000 to 221 arts organizations, the largest ever investment in local arts by the city. The Boston and Barr foundations' Live Arts Boston (LAB) grants have awarded $1.5 million for local artists, 70 percent of whom are people of color, the last couple of years and are slated to announce their third round of awardees very soon.

These new financial injections into the arts supplement longstanding funding mechanisms. In fiscal year 2019, the Mass Cultural Council has awarded $613,000 to individual artists and $5.9 million to nonprofit cultural organizations. Last fiscal year, the New England Foundation for the Arts gave $3.75 million to hundreds of artists and organizations.

Together, these investments to the arts have served as a jolt to the cultural scene. They've fomented a vibrant landscape in which more artists have the tools to create, to take risks, to think big.

But there's something deeper at play, too. A new generation of creative professionals is growing into its power. These artists are rigorous but not tradition-bound, informed by the canon but not tethered to it. And they operate in both grassroots scenes and in storied institutions.

With The ARTery 25, we sought to capture the spirit of this new Boston.

We focused on young people of color, recognizing that diverse creatives have historically been under-credited, underfunded or unnoticed. Cultural equity requires intentionality.

We asked cultural institutions to nominate individuals in their orbit. We also searched in overlooked corners of the city. And we deliberated as a staff for weeks, narrowing down based on an individual's impact, innovation and rigor.

This is not a comprehensive list. It's a subjective, curated guide put together by fallible humans. Curation inherently means leaving even worthy people out. We hope you will also share other creatives we should be watching in the comment section below.

Some of the individuals we chose you will have heard of, others will be a discovery. All of them are worth keeping an eye out for in the next year.

— Maria Garcia, senior editor of The ARTery - WBUR The Artery

"HipStory is ringing in 2021 by launching a digital concert platform"


Thursday, 9 p.m. Pay what you can; donations suggested. www.hipstory.org/hipstv

There’s no place like home for New Year’s Eve this year, but the artistic greenhouse that is HipStory is looking to bring a house party into living rooms, bedrooms, and wherever else we might keep our screens. The Boston-based digital media production company is ringing in 2021 by introducing HipSTV, a permanent online platform for its events, films, music videos, and concerts. And its New Year’s Eve party, dubbed “A HipStoric Renaissance,’’ will include clips from past HipStory shows and interviews, plus brand-new live performances from Forte, Oompa, and HipStory cofounder Cliff Notez.

According to Cliff Notez, a rapper, filmmaker, songwriter, and poet, HipStory has been around in some form for about eight years. But its current incarnation started to take shape after he met educator and musician Tim Hall, when the two worked with youth arts nonprofit MassLEAP around 2015.

“I recognized Cliff at, like, a Guitar Center,’’ Hall said in a Zoom call with the Globe and Cliff Notez. “Me and him started to make music together in his home studio ... and maybe after a month of us working together and connecting as friends and brothers, I was like yo, have you thought about just starting a business out of this? You have everything you need to start a studio.’’

The two set to work building a collective of artists while also producing music and films. Pre-pandemic, HipStory’s most visible projects were its live events, which included Boston Answering, an affordable alternative to Boston Calling that responded to the festival’s lack of both local artists and hip-hop, and the HipStory House Party series, which handed the stage at venues like the Museum of Fine Arts to a reliably eclectic and unpredictable mix of artists. During the pandemic, the house party series migrated to the Internet, where it has raised thousands of dollars for organizations including the Mass Bail Fund, the Nan Project, and City Life/Vida Urbana.

“We’re celebrating five years of us having really jump-started HipStory ... as well as the five-year anniversary of the house party series,’’ explained Hall. “It’s also the 100-year anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. We felt that it was an opportunity for us to honor that and the work that we’ve put into what we’ve been able to build in the community. We see ourselves as individuals who are innovative, who are creative and imaginative, and —’’

“Go ahead, talk your [expletive,] Tim,’’ Cliff Notez interrupted, and Hall dissolved into laughter.

In all its projects, HipStory strives to nurture artists from both Boston and out of town who want to engage with the Boston scene, particularly Black artists and other artists of color. “Knowing the disadvantage that people of color have in access to telling their stories within popular media, I think it’s important that a company exists like this, that is highlighting those people,’’ Cliff Notez said. “This pandemic has kind of accelerated the need for digital platforms and content that highlights [people of color], especially within the music scene, with the lack of places to perform.’’

Right now, the team is working on opening a studio space where the HipStory House Party Digital series can broadcast from a safe social distance, he added. “This allows artists to have very high-quality video, along with [our] being able to pay them for a performance like they would have been paid to perform at Great Scott, or any of those places that no longer exist.’’

With HipSTV, the team can expand on those ideas and better fulfill its mission, Hall explained. “We can start to really engage our audience in a different way,’’ he said. “I see us as being one of the cultural institutions and collectives in Boston, being a hub to also expand and collaborate with artists in other collectives and cities. We are part of the ecosystem of the art scene. And we are part of helping Boston make a name for itself.’’ - Boston Globe

"‘Thomas McKeller was singular among Sargent’s pantheon of models’"

One of the most prominent images in ‘Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent’ at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is not an actual work on display in the galleries. It is a mural just down the road, installed in the ceiling beside the grand staircase at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Atlas and Hesperides, by John Singer Sargent, is part of the mural series that the MFA commissioned from the artist between 1916 and 1925. At the centre of this circular canvas is the crouching figure of Atlas, back bowed over bent knee, condemned forever to bear upon his shoulders the weight of the celestial spheres.

Reproduced on the walls of ‘Boston’s Apollo’, the image is accompanied by the quotation: ‘Atlas, with the world on his shoulders, this was my body.’ These words were written in 1948 by the exhibition’s protagonist, Thomas McKeller, who had posed for the figure of Atlas decades earlier. McKeller, a black man raised in North Carolina, was singular among the pantheon of models Sargent repeatedly engaged. Around 1913, McKeller left Wilmington, a city beset by anti-black violence, and travelled north. He eventually found work as an elevator operator at Boston’s Hotel Vendome, where he first encountered Sargent. The Gardner exhibition examines the relationship that developed between the two men and the representations of McKeller that Sargent produced between 1916 and the artist’s death in 1925.

Atlas and the Hesperides (1922–25), John Singer Sargent. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Atlas and the Hesperides (1922–25), John Singer Sargent. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

During that period, Sargent metamorphosed his model into gods, goddesses, and soldiers –including the ‘Apollo’ of the exhibition’s title – for commissions at the MFA and Harvard. But decades later, when McKeller was asked about his involvement in some of Boston’s most celebrated public art projects, he remembered himself not as Apollo, the god of the arts. Instead, he identified as Atlas, the Titan blessed with endurance and strength, yet consigned to a life of eternal burden.

While Sargent’s work on paper and canvas form the corpus of visual material in the show, the narrative and interpretive framing remains squarely on McKeller – presenting recent biographical discoveries and illuminating his experience as a black man in socially and racially stratified Boston during the first half of the 20th century. The central works in the exhibition are a group of Sargent’s charcoal drawings, many of which picture a nude McKeller contorting his body into complex poses. Executed as preparatory studies for the MFA’s rotunda murals between 1916 and 1921, these works testify to the physical demands of modelling. But the job was also emotionally encumbered – intimate, precarious, and, in the context of racial and class disparity, marked by an imbalance of power. ‘Boston’s Apollo’ considers these dynamics as they manifest in Sargent’s murals for the MFA and his related preliminary works.

Study for Chiron and Achilles for the Rotunda of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (1916–21) John Singer Sargent. Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum
Study for Chiron and Achilles for the Rotunda of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1916–21), John Singer Sargent. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

The drawings at the Gardner are intermediary products, records of the artist’s working process, rather than the highly finished charcoal portraits of friends and luminaries recently exhibited at the Morgan Library and Museum (and currently at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.). Two studies of Chiron and Achilles for the MFA rotunda reveal Sargent experimenting with the poses of both warrior and centaur. In multiple versions of the composition on each sheet, Sargent sketches McKeller – who stood in for both the roles of heroic human and mythical beast – adjusting the placement of his arms. Here he extends them, there he bends his elbows at 90 degrees, a shoulder blade tensed. Each subtle variation on the page registers Sargent’s iterative modifications and the exchange between the men in the studio – the artist’s oral directive, the model’s physical response.

The exhibition asks us to reflect on whether using a black model to realise an array of white, classicised figures represents an act of effacement, exploitation, or even violence. Sargent’s process of transforming McKeller is captured in Study for Apollo. In the upper right, Sargent lightly outlines McKeller’s face and neck. At left, the artist replicates the contours of his model’s neck and shoulder, but substitutes McKeller’s head with that of the Apollo Belvedere, trading a portrait of a black individual for the iconic symbol of white, Western corporeal perfection. In Erica Hirshler’s insightful essay in the accompanying catalogue, she demonstrates how Sargent’s use of McKeller participates in the long, and primarily European, academic tradition of drawing from the live nude model. But the exhibition also considers how the stakes change when the setting and the actors shift to the crucible of early 20th-century America, an era in which the social order was redefined by the Great Migration and the expansion of Jim Crow. In this context, the facts unsettle: a young, impoverished, working-class black man supplemented his income by posing naked for an older, wealthy white artist. McKeller’s compensation for modelling helped him scrape by, though some of his letters, on view in the exhibition, document his financial hardship. By contrast, the MFA paid Sargent the then-enormous sum of $40,000 for the rotunda commission.

Study for Apollo in Classic and Romantic Art for the Rotunda of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1916–21), John Singer Sargent. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Study for Apollo in Classic and Romantic Art for the Rotunda of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1916–21), John Singer Sargent. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In order to examine this disparity, the Gardner convened a series of roundtable discussions while planning the exhibition. A team of community collaborators, including local artists and scholars, assembled to respond to the works on display. Their interventions, in both prose and poetry, complement the curatorial labels throughout the exhibition. The work that draws the most potent and varied response, among the contributors to both the exhibition’s catalogue and its wall texts, is the show’s sole painting and most arresting image. On loan from the MFA, Thomas McKeller is a large oil study in which the model is presented fully and frontally nude. All of McKeller’s extremities – legs, arms, even head and neck – are pulled back, the diagonal formed by each thigh directing the viewer’s gaze to the model’s midsection. Because the study has no explicit connection to any of Sargent’s murals, there is no scholarly consensus on whether it was executed in preparation for an abandoned mural composition or if it was, as artist Steve Locke writes in his accompanying label, a painting Sargent ‘made for himself’, the product of ‘a shared confidence and trust’ between an artist and his muse.

The exhibition prompts viewers to consider, but importantly does not attempt to resolve, the nature of the men’s relationship. Several collaborators and catalogue authors read the oil study as a tender portrait, suffused with the artist’s attraction to, even yearning for, his model. To others, the men’s working relationship must be considered within the long history of racial violence in the United States, a context that supplants any latent or overt affection, sexual or otherwise, that permeates the art. In his representations of McKeller, ‘Sargent wields full control over his muse,’ Theo Tyson writes in an accompanying label. The artist operates, in this view, as ‘a master to McKeller in a relationship reminiscent of slavery’. Other collaborators agree. Kadahj Bennett argues that the charcoal drawings, oil study, and MFA murals present McKeller’s body ‘dismembered, manipulated, and renegotiated for white consumption’. It is indisputable that multiple forces over a hundred years have placed McKeller, in the words of art historian Nikki A. Greene, ‘under erasure’ in the archive, in the museum, and in much of the scholarship on Sargent. The voices that gather on the walls of ‘Boston’s Apollo’ cannot speak for McKeller, but together they begin to fill in the contours of a life we had glimpsed only through Sargent’s works. - Apollo


In Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is demonstrating how many of these online innovations may stick around post-pandemic, too, with its supplements to the recent show “Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent,” which looked at Sargent’s drawings of an African-American model for a mural series.

The museum introduced an extensive series of digital tours and lectures this fall, including a video conversation about museum and arts activism. And though the physical show has just closed, the online programs continue. - The New York Times

"City Scenes: How Boston's DIY Hip-Hop Community Is Fending For Itself"

It's 1986, and there's a voice on the radio talking about a place called "Fresh Avenue." "There's a place yes a place to be / Where party people chill in harmony / No prejudice no crime or guns / Just the hip-hop and a lot of fun / I'm talking about the place Fresh Avenue / And I'm MC Keithy E from the Gang Starr Crew."

You've heard drums before, but not quite like this. It's the texture, the grit, the rawness — it draws you in. You're like, "Bet, I'm there," and, taking your hand off of the dial, you carefully listen for any new information about the place where you can experience this music live.

A few miles away, on the other side of the transmission, Keith Elam raps, and in doing so, contributes to the growing popularity of Magnus Johnstone's radio show, Lecco's Lemma. At this point, nobody knows Elam will link with DJ Premier, change his name to MC Guru, and become a worldwide hip-hop legend. For now, he's MC Keithy E, a rapper from Boston, and one of the dozens of rappers in the city who perform in the basement of the Walker Memorial Building on MIT's campus for radio exposure.

In the '80s, college radio shows like Lecco's Lemma played a huge role in supporting the development of Boston hip-hop. With few physical venues where hip-hop artists could perform, these stations served as stand-ins where artists could share their music, and where listeners could get information about the next show. "Some of the major radio stations, and back in the days even Black radio stations, didn't really support things like rap," says Dart Adams, a journalist, writer and historian based in Roxbury, Mass. "But college radio stations, which were operated by young people, had completely different new ideas."

The cover of Keithy E's demo tape.
Courtesy of Pacey Foster
Other spaces critical to Boston's hip-hop scene were record stores and places that sold musical equipment. Getting to "the venue" meant hanging out at local staples like Skippy White's Records, or electronics stores like Radioshack. "You go into a record (store)... you'd see a flyer somewhere, or somebody would say, 'Joe so-and-so's coming to town,' or 'someone's been added to the bill,'" Adams continues. "These places were crucial in getting you to the venue. If you were to talk to anybody in the scene, they would tell you about all these different spaces because they were as important as the one that was holding the event."

After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, many of these brick and mortar locations started going out of business, forcing the community to adapt. "During this stretch, people start going on the internet more," Adams says. "So the physical spaces we lost end up becoming online ones." Message boards and blogs evolved into the types of social networks and music platforms characterizing life online today.

By 2013, sites like Soundcloud gave artists a new way to respond to Boston's lack of support for local hip-hop. The internet became a space for artists to gain a global audience during an era when many venues were reluctant to take chances on fledgling acts. For example, Rilla Force, a producer and DJ from Roxbury, Mass., was able to tour in Japan, despite having a hard time getting booked locally. "We got to our Airbnb (in Japan), and then we went out for our first gig and then, walking home, somebody recognized me that wasn't at the show," he says. "Like 'oh, you're Rilla, you made like headbang and stuff,' and I was like 'oh, what?'" he went on, laughing." For Rilla, it's these types of experiences that frame his idea of a local artist; it's about network instead of physical location. The internet allowed him to invest time into building a global fan base instead of a local one, ultimately making it easier for him to book shows in Boston.

Boston-based hip-hop artist Rilla Force.
Marika Belamarich
It's an approach many other artists in the city have taken. Boston-based rapper Red Shaydez started her career virtually around 2010. "I was an online radio host playing other people's music as well as my own online," she says. "Most of my fans that I gained were online. I didn't get local fans (in Boston) up until like two and a half, three years ago."

Building an online audience isn't the only way to respond to the lack of performance space. With more and more hip-hop artists having a difficult time booking traditional venues — and this was before the pandemic — it became necessary for them to find stages in alternate spaces, like sneaker stores, basements, porches, parking lots and even yoga studios. "People would end up at (sneaker stores) like Laced, or Bodega," Adams says. It's no coincidence that Laced was the backdrop for this 2011 Kendrick Lamar interview, or the venue hosting a Black Cobain performance when he was in Boston that same year. By 2017, stores like Mass Apparel were also putting on regular hip-hop listening parties, concerts and producer showcases.

Performing in these spaces creates a vibe that's not necessarily better than traditional venues, but more intimate for sure. "There's a lot of venues in Boston that I absolutely love because you could do a lot of insane, innovative things," Brandie Blaze, a hip-hop artist from Boston, says. "But those DIY spaces, you can't recreate that vibe [in a club]. You can get close, but you really can't. That freedom that we're not bound to anything, we can do whatever we want and have an amazing time."

Boston-based hip-hop artist Brandie Blaze.
Jay Hunt
It's a similar freedom that motivates Rah Zen, a producer, beatmaker, and co-founder of Nightworks Beat Show. Zen's Nightworks transforms Boston storefronts, lofts, and breweries into places where beatmakers, projection artists, painters, and other creatives can share their work. "What we really like to work with is all blank white wall spaces, because it just offers itself to whatever you want to make it with lighting and artwork, hanging and projection," he tells me. Lightfoot, a producer and beatmaker who has performed at Nightworks, says this approach exemplifies a growing population who want more control over the spaces they perform in. "So not to say that traditional venues aren't still existing in Boston, and aren't a heavy presence in the music scene," he says. "But, I've been finding that there's almost this new focus on the event coordination side of things, and people wanting to curate and have more control over what they're curating. Creating an event is, in its own right, an art form. So to be able to go to see art and then also be surrounded by art, I think that's super important."

Having events in these kinds of spaces enables a more DIY mentality; artists can shape interiors to directly respond to their needs. "When I had my listening party last year, I was looking for a bunch of spaces where I could hold it, and I was running through an issue with size, accommodation, what was included in that space," Red Shaydez tells me. "I ended up just going on a site called Peerspace.com and found an untraditional venue to throw the party." The release ultimately happened in a yoga studio, which gave Shaydez the ability to create an intimate environment that met all of her needs.

A crowd gathered at the Red Shaydez album release party in a yoga studio.
Abraham Lopez
There's a refreshing comfort level that comes with control over the spaces one performs in, which makes sense in light of Boston's historical lack of support for its hip-hop community. For many, race and gender consistently affect access to venues around the city, in addition to how they're treated while using them. "I have heard over the last year that people feel very uncomfortable and threatened by my music because my content is very unapologetically Black," Billy Dean Thomas, a non-binary rapper based in Boston, says. "I've found that that has been a barrier to why, also, I'm not invited into certain places."

Oompa, an artist from Roxbury, Mass., has had similar experiences. "It's part and parcel of being a Bostonian, a Black Bostonian ... People have the ability — and they constantly do — [to] tell you ways that you don't belong in a space," she says. "And there's some spaces that let me physically be there, but they ask me to leave all of the certain Black parts about me that make me excited to be me. I've done shows that pay really well, but I couldn't talk about my queer identity. Or, I've done shows where I've been advised, because there's a lot of wealthy, older white people, not to ruffle their feathers too much."

Oompa performing at the 2018 Boston Music Awards.
Mike Last
This is a dynamic at play, not only in performance spaces, but also in the rooms that host Boston's hip-hop artists. Talking about her process of writing verses, Dutch Rebelle explains that she has a preference towards studios with separate areas and it's tied to her experiences as a Black female hip-hop artist. "Sometimes I like to have my own space like — y'all dudes over there are talking about whatever you are talking about. I'm over here writing whatever I'm writing," she says. "I don't want what you look like or what you're doing or what you would say or what you would think to influence what I'm doing."

Rebelle explains to me that in the rooms where hip-hop is being made, she's often the only female. As a result she's constantly creating "a space within the space" to write her verses, which includes finding quiet corners and writing verses in her car. She continues; "(It goes) back to the car. I'm outside, but I'm not outside. I'm in a car. I can see everything. If I put my window down, I'm inside, but I'm outside — you feel me?"

Boston-based hip-hop artist Dutch Rebelle.
Ally Schmaling
While the ingenuity of the Boston hip-hop community making it work on their own terms deserves praise, the lack of institutional access, equality and ownership still needs to be addressed. It's the type of work that's familiar to Cliff Notez, a Boston-based creator who has spent a lot of time outside of his artistry advocating for access. "We're at the point where we need Black voices, and we need more Black faces in music and all of the media," he says. "The excuse of 'Black people can just make it with little' just doesn't fly anymore."

Cliff Notez performing at the 2018 Boston Music Awards.
Mike Last
It's work he continues to do with HipStory, a media company he co-founded with Boston musician Tim Hall. During the pandemic, they have been hosting a series of house shows where hip-hop artists like Brandie Blaze, DJ WhySham, Pink Navel and more perform online. One location inspired a lit Brandie Blaze performance. "It was a beautiful feeling for me," she says. "Like I said, there's so many beautiful venues here (in Boston) that we're starting to get access to as hip-hop artists that we just historically have never had access to, but pre-COVID we started to. But, you can't replicate that vibe and that energy because Black people know, a house party's a house party."

The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for so many. However, for Boston's hip-hop community, restrictions recall those times when its artists didn't have space to perform and gather in. When the album release party that Red Shaydez was planning got canceled due to the pandemic, she already knew how to adapt: "'I'm really going to have to take a page out of my book from 10 years ago and do it virtual,' I said, 'I don't know why I'm acting like this is new to me, it's not. This is what I started out doing.'" There's a hint of optimism here; the techniques and strategies hip-hop artists in Boston have been forced to employ in response to the lack of institutional support for their genre expand beyond music. They're frameworks of resilience that can be used to reimagine the contexts we all find ourselves in. It's a lesson found across genres, scenes, and mediums, but it's something the hip-hop music community in Boston exemplifies quite well.

DJ WhySham, who spins for Brandie Blaze and released her debut album in September, is one example. She calls herself a "community DJ," which means she prioritizes playing gigs for community organizations instead of club owners. Outside of that, she started Bringing Back Boston (a network of people, organizations and businesses that come together to address mental health, public health and trauma in communities of color) and Boston's Got Next (a space where local artists can share their music projects and receive feedback).

There are also non-profits, like The Record Co., who aim to provide studio and rehearsal space to artists in the city, and have been a great resource for hip-hop artists over the years. Late in 2020, they will be opening up a new facility in Boston that will have four studios and 15 rehearsal spaces, all at affordable rates for the city's artists. It's a powerful thing to see, especially considering the need for accessible and inclusive spaces for the artists here. - NPR

"Story Telling with A Groove – Tim Hall"

During his formative years, saxophonist/vocalist/spoken word artist Tim Hall benefited significantly from a supportive family life, high-level community music institutions, and well-established middle and high school arts programs. All of these contributed to his early decision to pursue a career as a performer. While these elements were crucial, Hall attributes much of his success to the Detroit, Michigan, community in which he was raised.

“Growing up in a black city that had visual and cultural representations of what we do in our lives, the mentorship and encouragement from the older generation. This is why music has stayed so strong to my core as I explored.” states Hall.


As a fourth-grade music student, his selection of the alto saxophone as his instrument of choice reflected the strength of the bond he shared with his father, a jazz lover, and the sounds Hall heard at home during his childhood. The constellation of influences was as diverse as it was plentiful: from Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and an array of notable Blue Note recording artists to southern rock, gospel music, and major R&B-soul-funk acts like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, and Frankie Beverly & Maze.

Formal training with Lashawn Gary, Hall’s middle school band instructor, aided in developing the budding saxophonist’s skills, as did an early connection to Divine Nine, a black marching band in which Hall played. It was here that Hall learned to navigate intricate songs at a young age, battling other schools’ ensembles in parades and field shows.

Hall credits the autonomy and ability to be self-sustaining he developed while a student at Southfield Lathrup High School as being integral to his later success in life, generally, and in music, specifically. He was an Arts major there, balancing his academics with varsity baseball and golf.

After graduating in 2005, Hall went to Ohio to study at Bowling Green State University, then headed to Iowa State to pursue a Master’s Degree in Higher Education/Student Affairs, which he completed in 2013.

Later that year, Hall ventured to Boston to teach at Berklee College of Music. There he divides his time between his position as an Assistant Professor in the Professional Music Department and writing/performing/recording.

Describing his musical offerings as “story telling with a groove”, Tim Hall is delighted to be a part of the upcoming Sun Music Performance Series, during which he will render a solo set on keyboards, MOOG synthesizer, vocals, and his trademark alto saxophone.

Reflecting on his younger days, Hall recently remarked, “Music was a time machine shaping the way we viewed the world.” That world is about to become considerably more interesting when Timothy Hall graces us with his unique and prodigious talents. - Sun-music.net


Still working on that hot first release.



Tim Hall is an award winning  musician and performance poet from Detroit, MI, now residing in Boston. His poetry draws inspiration from his lived experiences - charting the nuances of blackness, masculinity, and the beauties of life. He has performed at Boston's Hub Week, The Museum of Fine Arts, New Orleans Museum of Arts, Outside the Box Festival, Bridgin' Gaps Festival, and many other venues and poetry slam communities around the Boston/Greater Boston area. As a musician, Hall has shared stages with recording artists such as The Nappy Roots, Carolyn Malachi, Bilal, Chris Turner, and Aloe Blacc.

His work can be experienced through his spoken word EP - Colors Of My Soul and self-published book, Trust The Process. He is an Assistant Professor at Berklee college of Music in the Professional Music Department, was named Session Musician of the Year by the Boston Music Awards (2020), received a 2019 Artist Luminary Award from local youth arts non-profit Zumix, and was honored by WBUR’s Artery 25 as 1 of 25 millennials of color impacting Arts and Culture in Boston.

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