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Nicklas Sample: American Artist Takes Creole Culture Project to Berlin

Oh, o.k., an American artist is working on a colorful project about Creole culture in Berlin. Wait a second: What??? Exactly. And it is not just any project, but a big show entitled ‘HooDoo’ which defies description since it contains truckloads of genres.

For the premiere of this experience, Nick Sample and his wife Victoria Lucai chose a city called Berlin. Both of them play a double role in this endeavor. They are the creators of ‘HooDoo’ and the executive producers. For ‘HooDoo’, they moved from New York City to Berlin with their two kids.

In order to make ‘HooDoo’ at home, you will need a few ingredients. Get a brilliant nine-piece band capable of playing Zydeco, Rock and Funk in a convincing way. Add dark Louisiana woods along with some history of that fascinating region and mix those items with tons of culture from the Creole world.

Stir this very diverse blend of elements and bake it with the expertise Nick Sample brings in. The outcome will be a fascinating, wild, but also romantic brew containing stunning live music, immersive theater, performance which deserves that word and installation art.

Yes, the project is as avant-garde, diverse and funky as the city it will premiere in on April 10th, 2019. ‘HooDoo’ will run for almost six weeks, until May 19th.

The venue is a large circus tent at the ‘Spiegelpalast‘ location right behind Berlin’s ‘Bahnhof Zoo‘ station. Right now, 18 days before ‘HooDoo’ lifts off, the American band is rehearsing while handymen are constructing the wooden stage. Others are working on the costumes and the choreography.

At the makeshift production office, Nick Sample, Victoria Lucai, their German partners and their helpers are dealing with everything at the same time. This includes the content of the show itself, but also German bureaucracy, promotion, bills, the staff and resolving issues.

To a visitor, one thing is apparent immediately: Nicklas Sample is the cool and laid-back part of the production team. His big project ‘HooDoo’ does not only highlight some culture he has heard of or read about. Actually he is right in it, since he was raised in a Creole family. Therefore he is sharing and celebrating part of his own culture from America’s south.

Victoria Lucai has been active in Hollywood, working with Martin Scorsese, but mainly Quentin Tarantino, as his assistant. The projects she was involved in include one of the coolest and most soulful movies ever, ‘Jackie Brown’, but also ‘Kill Bill’, even ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and others.

‘HooDoo’ stands for a whole lot: Actors, dancers and musicians “bring to life compelling, intervowen stories”, it says in the official description. “Everything is possible here. Escape from the digital world and experience an alternate reality.”

Nick Sample is actually a Jazz and Soul musician. As musical director, he has worked with fellow artists such as Randy Crawford, as an upright bass hero he toured with his late father Joe Sample, a stunning Jazz pianist and founding member of the legendary Fusion group The Crusaders.

Imanuel Marcus spoke to Nick Sample (see video above).

Tickets for ‘HooDoo’ in Berlin are available here. Preview tickets are 26 Euro, regular ones 68 Euro.