Bass player Tim Ricketts and spoken word artist Derrick Harrell met 2001 in a class at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Harrell invited Ricketts to sit in on a studio session with Harrell’s hip-hop trio that was unnamed at the time. That session led to the decision for Ricketts to create a studio album with Harrell, as the trio’s principal bass player.
A year later, Ricketts joined a group of musicians with Harrell’s trio to form the group Black Elephant. Now powered by three vocalists, Harrell, rapper Damion Ellzey and singer-songwriter Element Everest, Black Elephant set the profile of one of Milwaukee’s most celebrated hip-hop bands. Overwhelming amounts of requests began to pour in for Ricketts and his group of musicians to perform gigs outside of Black Elephant’s genre of music. As a result, Tim went on to form the group Cigarette Break-named after Harrell quoted “She”, a Saul Williams poem. “The one she calls, On her cigarette break. Not the cause of it” Derrick said the newly formed group sounded like the feeling he got on a His Cigarette Break.
Cigarette Break has been among one of the city’s most progressive acts in contemporary music. From their 2002 debut until the the present, they have performed with several well known, national recording artists such as Conya Doss, Silm of 112, Eric Roberson, Tye Tribbet, Pamulla Williams, Tank, RL, and many more. Lead by Ricketts, Cigarette Break continues to perform at festivals, weddings, and clubs around the nation and is quickly becoming the most prolific and requested live music group in the city of Milwaukee. Comprised of Five musicians, occasionally joined by others: Drummer Olen Franklin, Guitarist Darrien Williams, Keyboardist Eric Lock, Saxophonist Tobias Canon, and Bassist Timothy Ricketts.
What’s goin on(Marvin) Sexual healing Crazy( Cee-lo) Keep you in mind Ascension Beautiful Open your eyes(Bobby Caldwell) What you won’t do That’s the way I feel about it( Bobby Womack) Women’s gotta have it( Bobby Caldwell) Happy feelings Between the sheets Sir Duke Master blaster Superstition Rock with you Remember the time Working day and night Before I let go Careless whisper Can’t stop the feeling Hey ya 24K magic Treasure This is how we do it Rolling in the deep