Farewell to FOURFOUR.COM

FOURFOUR.COM has recently informed O.Z Bangaz Music that they are shutting down shop as a business as of December 1, 2018. As a result we will no longer update this site. We are in the process of building a bigger and better site that will be made avaliable to the world and the BANGING fans that have shown so much love over the years, before or by December 1, 2018.

For news on shows or other O.Z Bangaz happenings, go to our social media on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK in the meantime. Once again. Thanks for all the support.


O.Z Bangaz Slays the Stage at Chicago Route 66 Classic Car and Bike Show

O.Z Bangaz slayed the stage at the 2018 Route 66 Classic Car and Bike Show. For more photos and footage from this event, follow O.Z Bangaz on Instagram at "o_z_dawn" and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ozbangaz


Victory Gardens Theatre and Storycatchers Theatre Partners with Lette and Changing Voices

    On April 29, 2018 O.Z Bangaz co-directed a #performance of #StorycatchersTheatre's "Pipeline" which followed a performance of Victory Gardens' Lette. A show about a woman named Lette who struggles to find work, repair relationships with her familly and children after doing 7 years in prison and being released.

 #Theatre #Art #SocialJustice #Chicago#MUSIC #Advocacy ‬

O.Z Bangaz Featured at Hot Sauce Poetry

    On Friday April 27, 2018. O.Z Bangaz blazed the stage at Hot Sauce Poetry

O.Z Bangaz Helps Storycatchers Theatre Raise $80,000

On Apriil 21, 2018, O.Z Bangaz helped #StorycatchersTheatre to raise over $80,000 at their annual Spring Benefit. The money will go to Storycatchers' programs that teach court involved youth to consider thoughtful life choices through the process of writing, performing, and producing original musical plays that are based on personal life stories.

#CourtInvolved #SocialJustice #ArtsEducation #Chicago #Fundraising

Kennedy Forum 2018

I was blessed to be invited to perform at the 2018 Kennedy Forum with Storycatchers Theatre. I got to hear some of Chicago’s brightest and greatest talk about how they are bringing awareness to and creating solutions and legislation for issues concerning mental illness and substance abuse. It was a great experience and opportunity. I was so honored to be on the same stage as as Common and Patrick Kennedy. 

#KennedyForum #Chicago#mentalhealth #socialjustice #performanceart#StorycatchersTheatre

 #OZBangaz #Ozivell

O.Z Bangaz Wins American Famiily Insurance's 2017 Dreamers and Doers Sweepstakes

  On November 17, 2017, American Family Insurance declared O.Z Bangaz its 2017 Dreamers and Doers winner for all the good work he's been doing in marginalized communities of Chicago. O.Z stated, "I got to be in an #AmFam commercial because I #DreamFearlessly. I’m in with the #DreamersAndDoers are you? S/O to @kuumbalynx for letting us use their space for filming. I’ll keep everyone posted when the commercial comes out."

#DreamFearlessly #Winner #BecauseOfThemWeCan #Hope #MakingADifference #Leader

3 Mics Thursday Live Music Series

    O.Z Bangaz's show at the #ShapiroBallroom with #ChicagoCreed was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out to show love! I appreciate you dedicating your time to hear my craft!

#ImPossibleEP #OZBangaz #HipHop 

#Fans #Support #GoodMusic #RisingStar #Chicago #ShapiroBallroom #ChicagoCreed

O.Z Bangaz Performs at REFUGE LIVE - Chicago


O.Z Bangaz will be performing at the Refuge Live in Chicago with special guest on May 11, 2017. He will be performing various mixes of his EP:"I'm Possible".

Monster! Monster! Monster!

The photo was taken baskstage at Steppenwolf Theatre with members of Storycatchers Theatre and Fifth House Ensemble. The performers in the picture were waiting for the "Monster" production to end to do a post show performance and discussion about Mass Incarceration.

    O.Z Bangaz's charity: Storycatchers Theatre partnered with Steppenwolf Theatre to tour Steppenwolf's adaptation of Walter Dean Meyer's Novel: Monster to juvenile detainment facilities like the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, The Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville, and the Illinois Youth Center in Chicago. The novel and the play tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16 year old Black male who is on trial for murder. Steve is traumatized by the experience of his incarceration and begins writing about his life and trial as if it is a screenplay.

    Storycatchers Theatre runs a program called Changing Voices that teaches court involved youth between the ages of 16 and 24 to write, perform, and produce original musical plays based on their personal life stories. The Changing Voices program is an employment program where court involved youth work 30 hours a week, making $10.50 an hour to tour their dramatized personal stories all over the City of Chicago.

    O.Z Bangaz trained Storycatchers youth and assisted steppenwolf Theatre in creating and facilitating pre and post show workshops. The collaboration was a huge success!

A Million Dollar Banging Investment for a Banging Organization.

    In October of 2016, O.Z Bangaz's charity: Storycatchers Theatre recieved a million dollar investment from the investment group "Chicago Beyond" to expand the "Changing Voices" program. Storycatchers Theatre teaches youth to consider thoughtful life choices through the process of creating, performing and producing original musical plays based on personal life stories.

    Storycatchers primarily works with court involved youth. The Changing Voices program is for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who have recently been released from a detainment facility or are court involved. They are employed in the theatre arts. The ensemble tours Chicago performing original musicals that teach and inspire audiences to understand individuals with traumatic backgrounds. The participants of the program are taught to be agents of change in their families and communities, in addition to artist.

    O.Z Bangaz has been helping Storycatchers develop youth art programs since 2003. To learn more about Storycatchers Theatre visit http://www.storycatcherstheatre.org. Click the Chicago Beyond logo above to watch the Chicago Tribune report on Chicago beyond and Storycatchers Theatre. or paste the following link in your browser.    ----> http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/88325169-132.html

EP Debut a Success!

    On July 29, 2016 O.Z Bangaz publicly debuted his EP "I'm Possible with a live performance for a packed house at the North Bar in Chicago. "I Can't believe the crowd was singing as many of the lyrics that they were. They've really been listening to the music." O.Z stated. i could not have asked for a better crowd or experience for the first public performance of the EP, continued O.Z Bangaz.

    For his finale, O.Z Bangaz blended lyrics from his song "I Put That On Me" with the track from "All the Way Up", creating an explosive live performance. You have to watch this talented Chicago emcee rip the mic on this song!. "This is just the beginning! we have much more coming!", declared O.Z Bangaz.

Get O.Z Bangaz Music at Your Favorite Retailers

    O.Z Bangaz's EP: "I'm Possible" is avalable at over 60 online retailers for streaming, digital download , and purchasing. This includes the following sites: Bandcamp.com, iTunes.com, AppleMusic.com, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and more.

    BANDCAMP haas the EP for sale at the best price, and gives 100 percent of the profits to the artist.Please support O.Z Bangaz by purchasing the project through bandcamp at ozbangaz.bandcamp.com. Click the links below to visit the sites.







Purchase O.Z's EP on Bandcamp! Only $4

    O.Z Bangaz's EP "I'm Possible is now available for sale on bandcamp.com at ozbangaz.bandcamp.com. The EP is a $4 digital download. The EP is also available on ITunes and Amazon. Click the picture below to purchase and or listen to entire EP.




February 26, 2016 I'm Possible is Released

    O.Z Bangaz kicks off the release of his EP I'm Possible with the the debut of the video OF the first single titled "What's Your Name? At first listen, this may sound like another braggadocios rap song, but it's a little deeper than that O.Z says. "My inspiration for making this song was the various ways people attempt to ask me who or what I am. Usually when I get that question it's someone asking me very politely or in a very disrespectful way about Albinism. So the lyrics to this song are primarily responses that I have given people. Depending on my mood and how the interaction is, determines whether my response is straight forward, sarcastic, witty and clever, or just as disrespectful as the person asking the question.

    Most people think Albinism is an ethnicity or race. When I tell them that I'm Black and that Albinism is a medical condition that exist in every part of nature, they are confused. This either leads to me explaining that there are White, and Japanese people with Albinism and so on, or the person telling me that I'm lying and that there is no way that I'm Black. O.Z continues by saying, " After having so many people tell you that you are lying when you are telling the truth, you start to get creative with responses. Thus the lyrics:







O.Z Bangaz Lectures at Notre dame / Shakespeare in Prison Conference

   Ozivell "O.Z Bangaz" Ecford and Meade Palidosfki recently trained 20 adult artists and academics at the Shakespeare in Prison Conference at the University of Notre Dame in the process of turning personal stories into original musical plays.

    O.Z and Meade were representing Storycatchers Theatre, which teaches youth to consider positive life choices through the process of creating, perforiming, and producing original musical plays that are based on personal life stories. Storycatchers specializes in working with court involved and detained youth, but not solely.

     O.Z Bangaz stated, "I am very proud of what we accomplished here at this conference. We taught our workshop participants a process in 2 days that normally takes at least 12 weeks. They dived right in. They shared so much of their passion, expertise, and talent with us that I learned as much as I taught. I definitely added some tricks to my teaching artist bag.

    O.Z further stated, the SIP conference is a conference that should continue to happen and perhaps more often. The people here are truly brilliant and working tirelessly to help incarcerated individuals with redemption, reintegration and the lenses that paint incarcerated individuals as anything other than human beings, even if flawed human beings. why someone may have gotten incarcerated is not as Black and white as some people would like to make it. there is a lot of gray area. Violent actions and broken laws have many attributes and symptons. Cure the symptons, prevent the crime.


Holy is the Spirit of Chicago

    O.Z Bangaz got his start in the music business as a drummer. He attended a Baptist church when he was a youth, and got his first professional gig playing drums for that church. Gigging as a drummer for hire is still part of O.Z Bangaz's artistry.

    O.Z was more than thrilled when Jerome Collins (Gospel Recording Artist), asked him to play drums for a set he was doing on the Spirit of Chicago for their annual Gospel Brunch. The music Jerome performed was from his debut project "Second Life". Jerome and O.Z Bangaz have been friends and have collaborated on art projects together for years.

Jerome Collins (center), Ozivell "O.Z Bangaz" Ecford (Right), and the rest of the Jerico Band aboard the Spirit of Chicago Cruise.

O.Z Bangaz playing drums for Jerome Collins.

O.Z Bangaz Gets a Detention

    O.Z Bangaz was featured in a storytelling event hosted by Chicago's own Story Club Northside. The theme of the event was "Detention". O. Z shared a story where he waged a war of principles wit the security staff at his high school.

    "The security staff told me the reason that I was expected to where the uniform of a White collared shirt and Blue slacks, is for my own protection against gangs. What they didn't realize was that the predominant gang in my hood also had claimed the uniform of White tops and Blue bottoms. So were they really protecting me or causing me to assimilate?"

        _O.Z Bangaz

    O.Z's story resignated with the audience so much that the Chicago tribune featured him a week later in the "Live Lit"section. O.Z Bangaz plans to do more storytelling events in the future.

Man of the House Performance Attracts Big Guests

Storycatchers Theatre teaches youth to consider thoughtful life choices through the process of creating, performing and producing original musical plays based on personal life stories. Most of the youth that Storycatchers works with are "court-involved" youth

.Ozivell "O.Z Bangaz" Ecford directed Storycatchers Theatre's staged production of the original musical "Man of the House" on June 26, 2015. The musical was written by residents of the Houston Center at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. The show addressed issues of broken family structure and decisions made while living under the stresses of poverty. The musical got the attention of two big guests who attended the June 26, 2015 performance. The youth were very excited about seeing Toni Preckwinkle and Justice Anne Burke in their audience. Both ladies really enjoyed the show and were gracious enouf to congradulate the youth performers one by one after the performance.


Anne Marie Burke, is an Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the First Judicial District. Burke was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 1995 and was elected to the seat in 1996. Burke is also among the founders of the Special Olympics. To learn more about Justice Anne Burke click here.





Toni Preckwinkle is the current Cook County Board President and a former alderman in the Chicago City Council representing Chicago's 4th ward in Cook County, Illinois, United States. She was elected on November 2, 2010, as President of the Cook County Board, the Executive Branch of Cook County government. Preckwinkle first sought office in 1983 and was defeated twice before securing election in 1991 and subsequently being re-elected as alderman four times. To learn more about Toni Preckwinkle click here.



Success at the Symphony Center

On June 12, 2015 Ozivell "O.Z Bangaz" Ecford performed Frederic Rzewski's "Coming Together"and "Attica" with the Civic Orchestra and Citizen Musician Fellows of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Sympny Center in Chicago.

Frederic Rzewski's "Coming Together" is unquestionably one of the great Minimalist masterpieces, and this first recording of it is absolutely incredibly amazing. It's ridiculous that it's never been re-released.

"Coming Together" is an extremely simple piece. It's really nothing more than a short text read over a repetitive, fast sequence, much of which is played in unison. But the overall effect it creates is of a very slow build up of tension to an incredible climax after 19 minutes.

The text comes from a letter written by Sam Melville, who was an inmate at Attica prison, and was one of the leaders of the 1971 Attica riots, where Melville was killed.

The music starts with the piano playing fast rhythmic notes while most of the other instruments playing longer tones over this foundation. Gradually the other instruments start to play faster until they're all playing in a fast, tense unison.The performance was a huge success!

Todd Rosenburg, the main Photographer for the June 12, "Coming Together" event at Symphony Center, was gracious enough to give us photos from my performance. CLICK THE PHOTO LINK UP TOP TO SEE MORE PICS.


O.Z Bangaz nails movie audition with Excellent Dramatic Interpretation.

O.Z Bangaz auditioned for a movie called Open Windows. The casting diretors were blown away by Ia dramatic Interpretation that O.Z did, where he plays 5 different characters. They recorded it and posted it on Facebook where impressed many viewers from social media. O.Z has been cast in the movie which is scheduled to premire in a year.

In the video O.Z Bangaz is performing a monologue from a play called Lost and Found and Chi Town. It's a dramatic interpretation. The whole thing is about 10 minutes long. he portrays about five characters. One of them is a mom strung out on drugs. The monologue shows the travels of a youth trying to find his stepfather. He believes that if he finds his stepfather, his stepfather will save him from the unpleasant circumstances in which he is currently living. It is based on a true story of a youth from 30 years ago.

Watch and enjoy. Let us know what you think. If you would like O.Z to come to your school or church to perform this peace with a discussion segment, or have a film or video project that you'd like to pitch to O.Z; visit the Contact page now.


O.Z Bangaz Travels Down the Rabbit Hole to Wonderland

On May 18, 2015, O.Z Bangaz was in a production of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". It was a part of fundraising efforts of Compass Creative Dramatics (CCD). CCD trains youth of all ages to perform adaptations of well known musicals in week long intensives. The work is really impressive. I invite you all to explore the experiences they create. They are wonderful to watch and wonderful for the youth they service. Check out more photos in the photo gallery.

O.Z directs "Man of the House"!

On April 17, 2015. Storycatchers Theatre presented a preview performance of the first 30 pages of the 1 act play "Man of the House". On June 26, 2015, the fully stged production of "Man of the House" will open to the community. This is a Storycatchers Theatre production of the play in its entirety. Storycatchers is the official charity of O.Z Banagz. Storycatchers Theatre prepares youth to consider positive life choices through the process of creating, performing, and producing original musical plays that are based on personal life stories.

Most of the youth that Storycatchers Theatre works with is incarcerated youth. Through writing and performing personal stories, the youth learn empathy, teamwork, tact, commitment, trust, and success. O.Z has co-composed music for this production. He is also directing it. It is sure to be a moving experience. I invite you to visit storycatcherstheatre.org to RSVP for the performance.

The performance is June 26, 2015 at 6PM. It will be in the 2nd floor chapel of the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. refreshments will be served after. Must RSVP and be over 18 to be admitted.



O.Z Bangaz performs at Civic Chamber with Hubbard Street 2 and Citizen Musician Fellows
7:30 PM
Rzewski, Prokofiev, Pärt, Tenney
Friday, June 12, 2015


Join musicians of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and narrator Ozivell Ecford / O.Z Bangaz for Coming Together/Attica, Frederic Rzewski’s monumental, semi-improvisational, early-minimalistic masterpiece chronicling the 1971 Attica Prison riots. Paired with works by James Tenney and Arvo Pärt and featuring original choreography by dancers of Hubbard Street 2, this program serves as the season finale performance for the Civic Orchestra and its eight Citizen Musician Fellows. Admissions includes complimentary beverages.

Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone 312-294-3000
Fax 312-294-3329

Learn more at http://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=7542

O.Z Bangaz Nominated for Another 3 Arts Award

O.Z Bangaz has been nominated for another 3 Arts Award for his work in the city of Chicago as an activist and Teaching Artist. He is particularly being recognized for his work with court involved and incarcerated youth.

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