Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Friday, December 23, 2016
R&B Superstar Aloe Blacc Illuminates Macy’s Great Tree Lighting Ceremony, San Francisco By Shelah Moody
Photos by Johnnie Burrell
Aloe Blacc and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
Happy Holidays from Streetwise Radio! We wish you love, prosperity and happiness in the Yew year! Thanks to Johnnie Burrell of International Media TV, Streetwise Radio was on hand as Grammy nominated R&B singer Aloe Blacc kicked off the holiday season in San Francisco, performing at Macy’s annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony at Union Square Park on Nov. 25.
Backed by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Blacc, known for his hits including “Wake Me Up,” “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man,” performed Christmas classics such as, “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway, Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song,” made popular by Nat “King” Cole and Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad,” in honor of his own Panamanian heritage. Blacc even put his own letter to Santa in Macy’s classic red mailbox on stage. One can only wonder what he asked for! Check out a clip here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XylxhxjeXM
Thanks for listening and tune in to a new and improved Streetwise Radio in 2017!
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Is groovy, smooth, jazzy and oh so soulful. This performance poet, actor and published author, brings awareness to issues that affect women. Through her music if you really listen to the lyrics, it speaks to what is going on in this crazy world today. This Brooklyn born poet, puts her poetry to music and makes a classic house sound. The deep drum beats in her music makes you want to move. Tantra Zawadi is one of the modern lyrical leaders and guardians of a timeless poetic tradition. Here are some of my favorite tunes from this outstanding artist, "Do It for Love", “Girl: A Choreospective”, "We Are The Stars" and “Above The Clouds”. Tune into Streetwise Radio and listen to this positive artist who speaks the truth Tantra Zawadi.
Who is Craig David? Is what I said, when I was asked to write a blog for Streetwise Radio. He is a singer, songwriter from the U.K. who rose to fame in 1999 with the single, "Re-Rewind" by Artful Dodger. Craig has released three albums, Born To Do It in 2001, Slicker Than Your Average in 2002 and Following My Intuition in 2016. Craig David has a style all his own. His music has that up-tempo R&B feel. The songs he sings have you thinking about life. Songs like, “Ain't Giving Up” and “All We Need”. Here are some more songs that I’m feeling, “One More Time”, “Change My Love”, “All The Way” and “Fill Me In”. If you have been sleeping on this artist like myself, Wake the Heck Up! From his first album to his latest Craig David has it going on. Tune into Streetwise Radio and listen to his songs.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
In the Kitchen with Ziggy Marley: Seven-Time Grammy Winner Launches Family Cook Book in Menlo Park, CA
By Shelah Moody with Safi Wa Narobi of KPFA F.M. Berkeley
“The food of my youth, and my wife’s Orly’s, continues to be the food of our adulthood. An Israeli of Iranian decent, Orly really understands food and family. She grew up in a stable family structure, and she places a high value on family meals. We eat a lot of Persian and Israeli foods at home. We celebrate Shabbat every week, along with Jewish Holidays like Passover and Hanukah. All of this has taught me even more about the relationship between food and family.”—Ziggy Marley
Having known Ziggy Marley, aka the Fly Rasta, for nearly three decades, I am convinced that this man has coolest job ever. Case in point, at press time, his latest album, “ZM” released on the family Tuff Gong Worldwide label, is currently at the top of Billboard’s Reggae Charts.
On Sept. 13, Marley, in connection with Tuff Gong Worldwide, MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation, presented a sold out panel on the History of Reggae music, which included Marley’s longtime drummer and famed Studio One sessionist Santa Davis, former radio host and Nyabinghi specialist Ras Michael and acclaimed singer/songwriter Lloyd “Bread” McDonald of the Wailing Souls. The elders on the panel were also friends and contemporaries of his iconic father, Bob Marley.
Chef Leonie McDonald, wife of Lloyd "Bread" McDonald is a major contributor to the Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook.
On Oct. 19, two days after his 48th birthday, the seven-time Grammy winner chose Kepler’s books in Menlo Park, one of the most affluent communities in the Bay Area, to launch his latest endeavor, the “Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook: Delicious Meals Made with Whole, Organic Ingredients from the Marley Kitchen” (Akashic Books/ Tuff Gong Worldwide, 2016). Incidentally, Menlo Park is best known as the Facebook headquarters (thumbs up emoji to that). #ziggymarley!
As my media colleagues and I took our seats and waited for Marley’s book discussion with “New York Times” bestselling author Adam Mansbach, I noticed the seats filling up with not only music lovers, millennials and bibliophiles, but entire families. Behind me, a restless toddler in the lap of his pregnant mom tugged at my hair and squealed “Iggy! Iggy!” in anticipation of seeing his favorite singer.
After the discussion with Mansbach, Marley remained in Kepler’s Books greeting fans and posing for photos until every book was signed.
The following night, Marley and his dynamic, mulit-cultual band played a sold out show at the historic Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco, an extended set of conscious feel good music including tracks such as “Conscious Party,” “Could You Be Loved,” “Black Cat,” “True to Myself,” “Butterflies” and “Amen.”
So, what did you do on your birthday this year?
Ziggy Marley: Played some music. I was on stage. The crowd in Duncan, British Columbia, sang “Happy Birthday” to me twice, and I didn’t really ask them to! I mean, twice; that was a first, that was a memorable moment. It was incredible!
So, you are a musician, husband, father, entrepreneur, Emmy winner, author, environmentalist and advocate of clean, non-GMO food. I knew you like to cook but I did not know you were a chef. How did the “Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook” come about?
ZM: I’m not a chef at all! Growing up in Jamaica, I learned to be an independent person, an independent man. I learned to cook so that I would not have to depend on anybody to cook for me.
So, for someone like me, who is not that proficient in the kitchen, what recipe from the “Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook” would you suggest I start out with? I’ve got a stovetop, a microwave oven and a toaster oven and a blender. It’s sort of like your set-up here on the tour bus.
ZM: Hmmm…Try the Mancakes breakfast (pp. 16-17) and see how you like it. Breakfast is my favorite meal. That’s when I enjoy food the most, at breakfast time. Breakfast is the most important meal to me. It’s how I start my day.
So, the book signing --what did it mean to you this evening to have so many people show up and for you to be so giving and to sign all of those books?
ZM: Well, the people are giving to me so I give back. I reach out to people and then again I may attract new ears by talking to and interacting with people. It gives me a chance to reach out to different types of people; that’s what I like about it. It’s a new experience for me. Every new experience makes me grow. Even as I’m doing these things, I’m growing.
You’ve been touring with another Grammy winning reggae band, Steel Pulse, since 2013. How did that connection come about?
ZM: Well, the same agency that puts our shows together puts their shows together. Steel Pulse is one of my favorite groups and I’ve known David (Hinds) for a long time. It’s always good to see them again and share the stage.
So, there are two, very danceable songs that I’m addicted to on your latest album “ZM” —“Ceceil” and “Amen.” Tell me about the origins of those songs.
ZM: “Ceceil” is an “ex.” It could be anyone or anything or any country. Ceceil is just a metaphor. The refrain goes: “Why don’t you try to be loving, Ceceil?” It is so much more; it is not a love song to a girl named Ceceil. There’s a verse in the song that asks “When will war be the answer that you’re looking for?” To me, love and relationships always relate back to the world. The beat has some ska elements, but it also has an African beat in the front. In my mind, I’m paying homage to Fela Kuti. Sometimes I pay homage to Aston “Family Man” Barrett in my music because he inspires certain basslines. ‘Amen’ has a little more positive tone. It is an acknowledgement of what we are saying, like, here’s my truth, you know, and what do you think about it? Like when you are in church and the preacher says “amen!” and the congregation says “amen!”
Last month, you hosted a panel on the History of Reggae Music at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. I like what you said about how the foundation artists, like Ras Michael, Santa Davis and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald are your crew and that you are not leaving them.
ZM: Yeah, I grew up around the elders, I learn a lot from them and I have a connection to them in a way—a spiritual connection.
On the Grammy panel, you described yourself as an “old soul.”
ZM: Right! So you unnerstan what mi a seh! See it deh?
Piggybacking on the panel, would you ever consider teaching a university level course on reggae music?
ZM: I think that you have to teach it by doing it; you can’t talk it. I mean, you can talk it, yeah, but if you see how it’s done, then you realize that it’s real freedom; that’s how you learn, when you see it happening. So, it can’t be limited to a book or a lesson. It’s freedom; at least that’s how I do it, I don’t know about anybody else.
Ok, during your book discussion today, you named Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as one of your top three albums. I don’t know how I missed that connection after all these years, because it’s one of MY top three albums!
ZM: (Laughs). Yuh neva know dat?
What’s your favorite song on the album?
ZM: On “Thriller?” All of the song dem bad, mon. My friend and I, we used to dance like Michael Jackson when we would play “Beat It.” (hums a bit of the melody). My friend had the red jacket! There are certain times in your life that you always remember!
Did you ever meet Michael Jackson?
ZM: Mi tink me meet him when he come to Jamaica. And mi talk to him again when we was working on some kind of project. He seemed quiet and shy.
Given all of your accomplishments in the last two decades, is there an official “Ziggy Marley Day” somewhere or a key to the city?
ZM: There should never be a Ziggy Marley Day, come on! Mi all right! I don’t want just one day, I want a lifetime; I want generations (laughs).
Serves 3 to 4, Vegetarian/Gluten-Free
2 cups of flour or substitute gluten-free flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1/1 tablespoon salt
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds, Crushed
1 Tablespoon walnuts, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
4 Tablespoons Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon Coconut Oil or coconut oil of your own choosing
2 Cups water, or substitute coconut soy, almond, rice or whole milk
Mix all dry ingredients together, then add eggs, coconut oil, water and blend well
Spoon batter onto a hot grill
Once pancakes bubble, flip over and cook until golden brown.
Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Hey Soul Sister - An Elegant Evening with Train’s Nikita Germaine, Sunday October 30 By Shelah Moody
Who: An Elegant Evening of Jazz with Nikita Germaine
When: 6:30 p.m., Sunday October 30.
Where: The Fenix Live, 914 4th Street, San Rafael, CA
You may recognize the lovely and talented Nikita Germaine Houston from her world tours, TV appearances and high profile performances with the Grammy winning American roots rock band Train. Since 2012, Nikita Germaine, along with her cousin, acclaimed Bay Area vocalist Sakai Smith, have lent their stellar vocals to Train songs such as “Hey Soul Sister,” “Drops of Jupiter” and “Marry Me.”
Now, the sultry soulstress is re-launching her solo career under the management of Oakland-based trombonist, producer, musical director and Grammy Trustee Larry Batiste.
Join Nikita Germaine and special guest, Kenny Washington, for an elegant evening of jazz at the Fenix Live in San Rafael. Nikita Germaine will be accompanied by Tammy Lynne Hall-Hawkins on piano, Deszon Claiborne on drums, Gary Brown on bass and Kalin Joshua on saxophone. Stay tuned to Streetwise Radio for a full interview with Nikita Germaine. Hear Nikita Germaine on www.streetwisesd.com/radio. Thanks for listening!
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Up Close and Personal with Tanya Stephens at the 23rd Annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival By Shelah Moody
It someone had told me when I was 20 that 40 was so sexy, I would have never believed them!” --Tayna Stephens, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2016