U&I, a 72-year-old nonprofit that works to build opportunities of inclusion for veterans, adults and youth with disabilities, announced the lineup of artists performing on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas for the 29th Annual The Dash Experience.
DJ Throwdown Sam from Majic 94.5 will kick off the day mixing music at 4:30 pm with live entertainment throughout the evening featuring Paul Wall, Chris Pérez, Angel Cintron, Laci Mercede, ItsErnie, Scarlet Parke, XB Valentine, and Made Ent.
The Dash 2023 includes a certified 5k glow-run, a one-mile walk, shop small market, a kid’s zone, food trucks and live music. Registration for the race is now open at TheDash23.Com or participants can register the day of the event. The 5k is $30 per person and the one-mile walk is $20 per person. On-site registration and pre-race activities begin at 4:30 p.m. Registration increases to $35 for the 5k and $25 for the one-mile walk on race day.
Rapper and DJ Paul Wall began his career performing alongside fellow Houston rapper Chamillionare, with whom he released several albums. In 2005, he signed with Atlantic Records and became successful with his major label debut “The People’s Champ.” He was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Grillz," his collaboration with rapper Nelly.
Guitarist Chris Pérez, best known as lead guitarist for the Tejano band Selena y Los Dinos, married Selena nearly 30 years ago. He formed The Chris Pérez Band in 1998 with John Garza, Rudy Martinez, Jesse Esquivel and former Selena y Los Dinos keyboardist Joe Ojeda. The group’s debut album, Resurrection, was released in 1999 and won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. In 2010, Pérez formed the Chris Pérez Project with Puerto Rican singer Angel Ferrer, releasing "Todo es Diferente." Normally shy and introspective, in 2012 he wrote “To Selena, With Love,” a deeply personal account of their relationship.
Native Texan XB Valentine grew up in Georgetown but she’s lived in Dallas for the past year. The 25-year-old XB Valentine is an LGBTQ artist who came out at 21. In 2022, she officially became a part of the Roc Nation family. Her music is often romantic songs of a woman serenading another woman like “Hate the Way,” which features Chris Pérez on lead guitar. She’s an Official SXSW Showcase Artist.
Scarlet Parke is a Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and Grammy-featured artist, known for her unique blend of soul, pop, jazz, and electronic sounds. As the founder of Dreamgirl, a female artist empowerment brand, Parke is committed to promoting women's voices in music. Her recent album, "Dreamgirl" showcases her versatility as an artist with themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.
Italian-American R&B/soul/pop artist, Laci Mercede, is a singer, songwriter and creative force based in the LA area. Laci's sensual tone breathes life into her emotionally connected lyrics about love, life, and coping with change. The 24-year old's music has been featured on Billboard, LadyGunn Magazine, Voyage LA, and many other outlets.
San Antonio native Angel Cintron is a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and classically trained vocalist based in LA. Angel describes her sound as music for “sensitive gangstas.” As Angel continues to genre bend, experiment with her sound, and break all the rules, her focus remains on expressing her truest self while helping her fellow “over thinkers” to see they are not alone.
MADE Ent blends a mix of Detroit and Pakistan. Twan and Moneeb formed the group in 2010. They produce Rap, Hip Hop, R&B and Soul music. MADE is an acronym for Making All Dreams Evolve.
Detroit-born and Fort Worth-based rapper ItsErnie has made a name for himself as a rapper with tight bars. A dedicated student of the craft, his performances are trademarked by him guzzling liquor and Pedialyte onstage. In addition to his onstage antics, he also hosts a daily tik-tok series called “crazy bars I’ve heard,” which has racked up almost five million views.
In 1951, Jean Walker Bentley overcame cultural barriers and spoke out for disabled children and their families. She started the Children’s Development Center to meet the scholastic and socialization needs of children with special needs. In 1981, the Federal Government mandated that educating children with disabilities was the responsibility of public schools, so U&I shifted to be the answer for “Where do I go from here?” as individuals and families dealing with disabilities & other opportunity barriers move into life after public school.
Today, as one of the largest workforce development centers in DFW, U&I continues to meet the needs of disabled individuals by providing vocational training, job readiness training, paid work opportunities, transportation needs and community placement annually to more than 1,500 youth, adults and Veterans with all-types of intellectual, physical and/or mental health disabilities. More information about U&I is available at www.uandispreadthelight.com.