San Jose Jazz Fall Event

San Jose Jazz Fall Event
REZ ABBASI & JUNCTION Fri, Oct 28, 7:30pm - 10pm Cafe Pink House

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Streetwise Radio Black Music Month Exclusive—Veterans and Rising Stars Illuminate Grammy Pro Songwriters Summit in Oakland, CA

By Shelah Moody
This spring, veteran artist D’Wayne Wiggins and rising stars Kirby Maurier, Fantastic Negrito and Kevaun “Kevo” Williams led an evening panel discussion at the Uptown nightclub in Oakland, CA. The Grammy Pro Songwriters Summit, held on May 12, was presented by the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Four of the music industry’s most influential black artists performed, also spoke candidly about their experiences in the music industry and offered advice on both the creative and music ends of the business.
Chart topping singer/songwriter musician D’Wayne Wiggins of the R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone!, opened the panel with an acoustic guitar performance of one of his favorite R&B classics, William DeVaugn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got.” As the “OG” and moderator of the panel, Wiggins said he plays “Be Thankful” to this day because of its unforgettable hook: “Diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gangsta lean.”
Along with producing hits such as “Feels Good,” “Anniversary” “Lay Your Head On My Pillow” (inspired by the Spinners) and “Let’s Get Down” ( for Tony! Toni! Tone!, in the 1990s, Wiggins helped establish Oakland as a music mecca, producing hits for Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys and Keyshia Cole to name a few on his Oakland-based Grassroots Entertainment, which he runs out of his recording studio, House of Music.
Guitarist Kevaun Williams and SF Recording Academy Chapter President Michael Winger

For this writer, the highlights of the Grammy Pro Songwriters Summit were the ebullient solos performed by Miami, FL based R&B singer/songwriter Kirby Maurier, accompanied by Jamaican guitarist Kevaun “KevoGitz” Williams on the Epiphone Lespaul Custom Pro.
A 2016 Grammy Amplifier winner, Maurier is the founder of the Miami Museum of Music and released her debut album “Doing the Most” on Valholla Entertainment. Propelled by William’s soulful guitar riffs, Maurier wowed the panel members and the audience with her original love songs “I’m Just Sayin,” and “Paradise,” ( which she originally wrote for another artist.
Inspired by the “Gimme that Uh!!!” hook in “Paradise,” Wiggins mused at the double entendre. Fantastic Negrito proclaimed that he has an “Uh!!” and knows how to use it.” (Seriously, you can’t make this sh_t up!
I first saw Oakland local Xavier Dphrepaulezz perform about 20 years ago as leader of black alternative group called Death from Sex at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. Now reinvented as a semi-superhero, Fantastic Negrito, he describes his genre as black roots music—a mixture of R&B, blues and alternative. Fantastic Negrito described the highs and lows of his career as an indie artist, including a car accident which resulted in three weeks in a coma, a brief period running a ganja farm and mismanagement and neglect by his former record label.

Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito performed his wildly popular compositions, “An Honest Man,” and a song exploring the downside of relationships with an unforgettable hook, “Bitch Eat My Cancer.” (
Indeed, it was an honor for 26-year-old Kevaun Williams to perform with Maurier at the Grammy Pro Songwriters Summits in Oakland and Los Angeles. A graduate of Kingston’s prestigious Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, Williams played on Morgan Heritage’s 2015 album “Strictly Roots,” which won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. This summer, he will tour with chart topping Jamaican vocalist Etana, and the tour will include a performance at the 2016 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.
Both Wiggins and Fantastic Negrito praised the natural and firey chemistry between Williams and Maurier as a duo.
“It's funny, because two years ago, Kirby and her team had an open audition where my band auditioned and we were selected, “said Williams. “Two years later, she contacted me to work with her on the Grammy Pro Songwriters Summit Showcase which was my first show with her. I like working with Kirby and her team because they're super cool, down to earth and I believe they have the right approach to this business and I share the same sentiment also. And, of course the chemistry on stage is FIRE!!”
For more information, go to

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2016 And Streetwise Radio Will Be There.

Follow the Streetwise Radio Team at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival At Boonville ,California this weekend.
Check our Facebook Page for pictures and videos coming live from the Mendocino Fairgrounds.We will be Broadcasting on Ustream Live throughout the weekend. Check the Ustream button on our interactive player.Check Out Shaggy at the 2014 SNWMF on our On demand Channel. You will find clips on our interactive player.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Keeping up with the Skint-Ashians:

The U.K.’s Reggae/Punk Band Skints at California Roots Festival;By Shelah Moody

Who: Tastemaker Live & King of Kings Reggae present the Skints with 2015 Grammy winners Morgan Heritage, Jamere & Laza Morgan, Saane & Delight, Mellow Movement, King I-Vier, DJ Green B, 1 Blood, hosts Spliff Skankin and Show Nuff Entertainment Deecee's Soul Shakedown.

When: Sunday June 12, 8 p.m.

Where: 1015 Folsom Dance Club, San Francisco, CA

The Skints have a lot to celebrate this year. Since I first interviewed them at the 2015 California Roots Festival, the innovative, east London reggae/punk band embarked on an international tour in support of their latest album, “FM” on Easy Star records. They’ve hit the European festival circuit this year and in the U.S., they’ve opened for the likes of southern California roots band Tribal Seeds and Grammy winners Stephen “Ragga” Marley and Morgan Heritage.
The Skints’ sound is a fusion of roots reggae, dancehall, dub, R&B, punk and garage. “FM” has been described as a fitting tribute to the diverse radio culture in the UK that influenced them.
During Memorial Day weekend, (May 27-29), the Skints returned to the wildly popular California Roots festival, held at Monterey County Fairgrounds.
I caught up with the Skints-Marcia Richards (keyboards, melodica, vocals), Josh Waters Rudge (lead guitar, vocals), Jamie Kryiakides (drums, vocals) and John Doyle (bass) in the media lounge after their high energy performance on Saturday afternoon. I asked the Skints, who played the smaller OG stage at Caliroots last year, how it felt to be “upgraded” to the Bowl—the main stage-- which exposed them to a wider audience. Josh said that the upgrade felt “quite luxurious” and an added perk was having a posh dressing room across from Stephen and Damian Marley and the VIP Lounge.

The Skints’ one-hour set in the Caliroots Bowl, thick with smoke from at least 10 strains of sensimilla, consisted of original songs such as “Cost of Living,” “Culture Vulture,” “Rat-A-Tat,” “Laser Beam,” “Forest for the Trees” and “Eyes in the Back of My Head.” Given the Skints’ tight rapport with each other and the audience and their collective quick British wit, I asked them if they’ve considered a venturing into reality television.
“This is the first time anyone has seriously mentioned it,” said Josh. “Keeping up with the Skint-ashians… We should look into it.”
The Skints are advocates of live music and serious instrumentation. Marcia’s ebullient melodica solos are one of the highlights of a Skints show.
“When you play the piano, you can play the melodica,” Marcia explained. “It’s a direct mix between the flute and the piano, which are my two main instruments. I’m very influenced by Augustus Pablo. We used to listen to him in the car when we were driving to shows.”
In closing, I asked each member of the Skints to sum up the California Roots festival experience in a few words.
“It is the most friendly and warm place, both in weather and the vibe,” said Marcia. “These are some of the nicest members of the audience I’ve met during my career.”
“Glorious sunshine,” said Josh.
“Free edibles,” said Jamie.
John chose to be ambiguous in his response. “Sexuality!”

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Streetwise Radio Now On TuneIn

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Monday, May 16, 2016

L.A. Loves Prince Tribute Photos by Shelah Moody and Denise Robertson


It was a funky, purple party for one of the greatest artists of all time.
How do you celebrate a force that was aural and visual, who was singer, songwriter, musician and dancer, who was preacher, pimp and philanthropist?
On May 6, the City of Los Angeles presented a star studded, free concert at City Hall in honor of Prince Rogers Nelson, who was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen, Minn. at age 57. Another legend gone too soon. The multiple Grammy and Oscar winner left behind generations of fans who will have to learn how to cope with life after Prince. While the exact cause of Prince’s death is being determined, Prince’s fans continue to celebrate his life and party, in his honor, like it’s 2099.
When Prince’s death was announced on April 21, CNN devoted an entire day of coverage to remarkable life. Public buildings in cities across the country, including Los Angeles San Francisco, New Orleans and Minneapolis, Prince’s birthplace, lit up purple.
“Prince loved L.A. and L.A. loves Prince,” said activist Najee Ali, one of the organizers of “Prince Loves L.A.”
This was Prince’s second home. He spent a lot of time here; in fact, the video for his hit song, “Diamonds and Pearls” was shot right behind us, in City Hall. Prince was cremated so soon that L.A. fans didn’t have a chance to have closure; to say goodbye. Prince deserves a proper goodbye, so we decided to have a great, free concert for all of the Prince fans.”
Downtown Los Angeles was ablaze with color on the day of the celebration, and the trees surrounding City Hall rained purple blossoms. As fans queued outside City Hall, pop up vendors hawked bootlegged Prince R.I.P. T-shirts, hats, commemorative buttons, ribbons, music and other memorabilia from duffle bags. Seven-year-old Amari Evers, one of Prince’s youngest fans and a “retired” Prince impersonator, showed up in his purple/paisley best and his new haircut with the Prince/love symbol shaved into it.
                                                          Amari Evers

One fan known as Cody the Funky White Boy said he’s seen Prince perform more than 100 times and had the rare opportunity to hang out with His Royal Badness at Paisley Park. I asked Cody a burning question, what did Prince smell like?
“He wore a floral scent; he smelled like flowers,” said Cody. “He was the sweetest, funniest dude. One night, after a concert, he even invited me to his house. I got to watch that night’s concert with him, and he was critiquing himself, and cracking jokes. It was amazing. We stayed up until 8:00 in the morning. ”
On the steps of LA City Hall, civic leaders, spiritual leaders, glitterati and artists who had worked with Prince over four decades paid tribute to the Purple One.
“I didn’t know Prince, but I met him,” said Ali. “He had a great heart and a great spirit, and I know for a fact that Prince was not just a musician, he was an activist. Prince believed that black lives matter. That’s why he donated, that’s why he gave to a lot of causes to support our community, but he gave quietly. Whether one person or a million people show up today, the fact is, Prince is a legacy that will be unequalled. His music will last forever. I’m just grateful to see so many fans out today. We’re gonna have a big party and have fun. I know that right now, Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Tupac and so many others are jammin’ in heaven right now.”
DJ R-TISTIC, revved up the crowd with Prince’s greatest hits such as “Let’s Go Crazy,” “1999,” “Raspberry Beret” “Sexy MF” and “Glamorous Life,” which Prince produced for his superstar protégée, percussionist Sheila E. Emcee Tammi Mac of Radio Free 102.3 KJLH FM showed the audience how to do the “Bird” dance, inspired by the eighties hit recorded by Prince protégées Morris Day and the Time. Even the sign language interpreters had fun interpreting songs like “I Feel for You” while dancing at the same time.
Michael Bernard Beckwith, New Thought minister, author, and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, CA, blessed the stage and called for a moment of silence for Prince.
Let us think, just for a moment about all of the sweet memories that Prince gave us,” said Beckwith. “Think about the inspiration; think about the creativity, the celebration of life. Think about the philanthropy, the activism. Be aware that all of those spiritual qualities never were born and will never die. They continue to unfold in a great and mighty way. Prince was a man who left nothing on the playing field, who gave us everything he had, who lifted us up into the stratosphere of celebration so that we could ‘go crazy’ for God.
                                                     Morris Hayes

                                           Marva King , Maya and Nandy

Backed by members of Prince’s New Power Generation Band, including keyboardists Cassandra O’Neal and Morris Hayes, an incredible and musically diverse line up of guests artists honored Prince in song. Eric Benet performed Prince’s 1970s breakthrough song, “Wanna Be Your Lover.” Rahsaan Patterson performed “Pop Life,” and Deitrick Haddon performed “Raspberry Beret” and “I Would Die 4 U.” Faith Evans performed “I Feel for You” which became a hit for Chaka Khan in the eighties. Afro-ed vocalist Marva King performed “Kiss” accompanied by Prince twin dance sensations from Australia, Maya and Nandy McClean. One of the best vocal performances of the evening was delivered by singer/songwriter BJ the Chicago Kid, who sang a fiery sensual falsetto version of Prince’s ballad, “Do Me Baby.”

                                                       Cassandra O'Neal

                                                          Aloe Blacc

Singer/ activist Aloe Blacc received a 2015 Grammy nomination Best R&B Album for “Lift Your Spirit,” and is perhaps best known for his international hit, “The Man.” Wearing a purple velour jacket, Blacc honored Prince with his version of “Diamonds and Pearls.”
“Prince is such an important piece of the fabric of music,” said Blacc. “Historically, he was one of the most brilliant musicians, one of the most brilliant songwriters, one of the best entertainers you can imagine. We will never forget what Prince has given us. Because of what he was able to do and the footsteps he walked, doors opened for artists like myself, who can now stand on stage and share with you the music that I create. Prince is “The Man.”

As evening segued into night and after several white doves were released at City Hall to the tune of Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” the crowd’s excitement built in anticipation of a surprise guest. The crowd roared when another icon and creative force, Stevie Wonder, emerged on the stage, leading the band in an all rendition of Prince’s theme song, “Purple Rain.” Incidentally, Wonder is also the owner of one of the event’s sponsors, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH FM. Ironically, Wonder was called upon to sing at the funerals of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole in the span of less than a decade. In an interview with Larry King, Prince cited Stevie Wonder as one of his greatest inspirations.
Wonder thanked the city leaders, artists and fans for coming together to celebrate the life of one of the greatest artists in history.

 “What a celebration, what an incredible life—the music, the legacy that he gave us,” Wonder said from the stage. “I think the only thing we can do, in the spirit of Prince, is to truly love one another and come together. We can’t just talk about it; we’ve got to be about it.”

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Streetwise Radio Exclusive: Up Close and Personal at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards Story and Photos By Shelah Moody

There were many magic moments as well as many surprises at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles on Feb. 15. Once again, the Recording Academy put on a lavish production, honoring their peers for excellence in music.
Sunday, Feb. 14: Checking In:
         Dr. Cherilyn Lee and Shelah Moody

My Grammy experience began on the Sunday before the awards ceremony , when my gal pal and “non-date” for the event, Dr. Cherilyn Lee and I picked up our tickets at the Staples Center.

Peter Moore and Jan Haust. 

While waiting in line, we struck up a friendly conversation with two casually dressed men, Peter Moore and Jan Haust. who, unbeknownst to us, were Grammy nominated engineers from Canada who’d arrived with legendary producer Steve Berkowitz. The next time we saw the trio, they were suited up, coiffed and accepting the Grammy for Best Historical Album “The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol 11: Bob Dylan and the Band” live on the Grammy stage.

Shannon Sanders

As I presented my identification and filled out the necessary paperwork to collect my Grammy tickets, I was told by the young man at the computer terminal that George Clinton, the high priest of funk, sat in the same chair I was sitting in to pick up his tickets the day before! As the Funkateer Number One would say, free your mind, and you ass will follow!”
During Grammy week, you will run into a lot of music industry movers and shakers; many who work behind the scenes to create the music As luck would have it, on our way out of the Staples Center, we ran into acclaimed producer Shannon Sanders, President of the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy, who is known for his production work with India.Arie.
Monday, Feb. 15, 1 p.m., 58th Grammys Premiere Ceremony
Every year, my favorite part of the Grammy experience is the Premiere Ceremony, the non-televised, more intimate portion of the event where awards for jazz, R&B, reggae, classical, world music, regional roots and technical awards are presented off camera. This year, the Premiere Ceremony took place at the Microsoft Theatre, which is adjacent to the Staples Center.
A Salute to the Greats
The Ray Chew Orchestra opened the ceremony with a medley of hits by the music icons we lost at the beginning of the year, including Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire (“Fantasy”), Natalie Cole (“This Will Be”) and David Bowie (“Let’s Dance”). Recording Academy chair John Poppo delivered the welcome, and I believe someone at one point, went over the house rules and the time limitations for winner acceptance speeches.

               Anoushka Shankar

It was indeed a super cute moment when regal presenter Anoushka Shankar, nominee for Best World Music Album, announced the first award of the afternoon, which went to Taylor Swift for Best Pop Vocal Album –“1989.”
Jack Antonoff, one of the producers on “1989” accepted the award for Swift, who was in the middle of rehearsals for the televised ceremony. Onstage, he called the megastar on her cell phone to inform her that she had won. Here’s the gist of the dialogue that transpired.
Antonoff: “Taylor, this is Jack, I’m not doing a bit; we just won Best Pop Vocal Album!”
Swift (to her team): “We won Best Pop Vocal Album!”
Antonoff: “Like, I’m dead serious, I have the phone jammed into the mike; we won!”
Swift: “Is James Taylor there?”
Antonoff: (to the audience): “Is James Taylor here?”
Swift: “Can you tell James Taylor I love him?”
Audience: Laughter.
Swift: “Can somebody find James Taylor and tell him I love him?”
Audience: Laughter.
You see, not only was James Taylor also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, Tayor Swift is his namesake. How’s that for irony.
Side note: a big thank you to Swift and the Grammy production team for giving the audience small white bracelets that lit up during her performance of “Out of the Woods, turning the Staples Center into a sea of diamonds. Dear Taylor, if you reactivate my bracelet so I can wear it all day, I will stop following Yeezy on Twitter for an entire month!
It was a good year for women at the Grammys, of course Swift winning Album of the Year, Meghan Trainor winning Best New Artist and front woman Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes winning Best Alternative Music Album (“Sound and Color”). Women also excelled in the jazz and instrumental categories.
           Maria Schneider

Cecile McLorin Salvant

Hawaii native Keali’i Reichel, nominee for Best Regional Roots Album (“Kawaiokalena”) presented awards to Cecile McLorin Salvant, Best Jazz Vocal Performance--“For One to Love” and Maria Schneider Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocal, "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" recorded by the Maria Schneider Orchestra and David Bowie and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album "The Thompson Fields.”

           Joey Alexander

Twelve year-old nominee Joey Alexander may have been too young to attend many of the Grammy parties, but the Indonesian jazz prodigy delivered a performance of Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Dance” on the grand piano with the grace and mastery of the elders.
One of my proudest moments was seeing a group I have literally come of age with and interviewed many times--Morgan Heritage--win the Grammy for Best Reggae Album, “Strictly Roots.”

Morgan Heritage

Morgan Heritage, who became known for fusing roots reggae with R&B and blues, have been consistently touring and recording since their first album, “Miracle,” was released in 1994. That was year I first saw them perform at Reggae on the River. Incidentally, Morgan Heritage was hot on the circuit last summer as part of the Marley family’s “Catch a Fire” tour and the Jamrock Reggae Cruise 2015. Lukes Morgan even toured as a sound engineer and manager of the up and coming band Raging Fyah.
The Ray Chew Orchestra played Bob Marley’s “One Love” as siblings Gramps, Peetah and Lukes Morgan, dressed in natty black suits, made their way to the podium to get their Grammy gold.
“Yeah, we comin’ from Jamaica, so we say, give thanks,” said Peetah. “First, we’d like to thank the Most High, Jah, for blessing us. We want to say thank you to Jamaica and thank you to our family in Brooklyn, New York where we were born and raised, and also Springfield, Massachusetts. We’d like to thank our fans in Africa, Europe—everywhere; reggae music is global, if you didn’t know, we’re gonna let you know. We want to thank everyone who participated on this album—our producers, songwriters, musicians, all of the guests— Eric Rachmany, Rebeloution, J. Boog, Jamere Morgan, Gil Sharone. Shaggy and Chronixx. We want to thank our parents, bless up, our sister, Una, big up yourself, Mr. Mojo, big up yourself, Jamaica, big up unu self. We want to thank VP Records, which have been our label over the years, Randy Chin, Christy Barber. We’d like to thank the Marley family—our friends, our brothers. In Jamaica, when we feel good, and this is making us feel good, we say irie mon, seen? Irie!”
“Yeah mon, we are happy to be here amongst the best in music, from songwriters to engineers to musicians,” said Gramps Morgan. “Big up to all of the nominees—Rocky Dawuni, Barrington Levy, Luciano, Jah Cure. This one’s for Jamaica. I live in the city of Nashville and I’m so proud to be amongst such great musicians. We love you!”
Rocky Dawuni, a superstar in his native Ghana, was proud to represent his country as a nominee for Best Reggae Album (“Branches of the Same Tree”). Like Morgan Heritage, Dawuni is one of the unsung heroes of the genre; this was his first nomination. For Dawuni, the symbolism of his nomination also points to the continuing rise of the African foundation of the global sound and represents the deeper roots of reggae in terms of its African origins and identity.
Dawuni described his Grammy experience from an artist’s perspective.
“The Grammy event was such an intense spectacle,” said Dawuni. “After we picked our nominee accreditations, we went through metal detectors and met with my publicist at the beginning of the red carpet. The publicist went ahead of us to schedule the slots with the global media that had lined up to pre-arrange the interviews, photo opportunities, etc. I then proceeded to meet and interview with outlets including from CNN, Reuters,, BBC and KTLA. From this point I was ushered to a grand photo session with photographers from outlets from all around the world. This whole process lasted for close to two hours. We were then ushered into the main hall of Microsoft Theatre where the pre-telecast was taking place and where most of the awards including ‘Best Reggae Album” were announced.’ When this ended we moved to the Staples Center where the televised portion of the awards took place. It was a fantastic evening checking out all the performances. Kendrick Lamar’s performance, in my opinion, was the highlight of the televised portion.”
African Funk diva Angelique Kidjo, who hails from Benin, won the Grammy for Best World Music Album for the second year in a row. “Sings” was recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg.

Angelique Kidjo

The African funk Diva danced her way to the stage and began her speech with an a cappella African thank you song in her native language. Her conductor, Gast Waltzing had a vison that African music could also be classical music, Kidjo said.
Kidjo dedicated her Grammy to all of the African classical musicians in her country and the new, vibrant generation of artists from Benin who are continuing the tradition.
“Africa is on the rise, Africa is positive, Africa is joyful,” said Kidjo. “Let’s get together and be one for music; and say no to hate and violence, through music.”
Mega producer Jimmy Jam, who reunited in 2015 with his partner Terry Lewis to produce Janet Jackson’s number one album “Unbreakable” presented the awards in the R&B category. The Weeknd, who also a 2015 Oscar nominee for the Fifty Shades of Gray” sountrack, earned two Grammys for Best R&B Performance, “Earned It” and Best Urban Contemporary Album, “Beauty Behind The Madness.”
Members of D’Angelo’s Vanguard accepted the Grammy for Best R&B Album, “Black Messiah.” 

Kendra Foster

Singer and co-writer Kendra Foster accepted the award for Best R&B Song, “Really Love,” from “Black Messiah.” As a nod to Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 performance of “Formation,” a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers, Foster raised her fist in solidarity with struggling communities during her acceptance speech. See link:

 Lalah Hathaway

It was a proud and tearful moment for Lalah Hathaway, who won the award for Best Traditional R&B performance for “Little Ghetto Boy,” originally recorded by her father, R&B great Donny Hathaway.
“Thank you, my father, for leaving a song for me to give to the next generation,” said Hathaway. “I’m so honored to be in the traditional rhythm and blues category; because I’ll stand for soul music all day. Thank you to all the people I was nominated with—Faith Evans, Jasmine Sullivan, Charlie Wilson, Tyreese. I love all of y’all. We’re all out here trying to say the same thing; that rhythm and blues is alive and well.”
The 58th Annual Grammy Awards Telecast—Staples Center
By 5 p.m. the Recording Academy’s biggest night, had officially kicked off. Trombone Shorty and his band led a second line through the audience as a tribute to New Orleans’ acclaimed pianist/composer Allen Toussaint, who made his transition in 2015.


Alas, no major event is pulled off without a bit of controversy and a bit of sadness. Adele’s highly anticipated return was marred by a technical malfunction but she sang through it like a champion.
As a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy and Maurice White’s passing, Stevie wonder and Pentatonix performed “That's the Way of the World,” with Wonder, a longtime activist, sneaking in the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Lady Gaga performed the most creative tribute to David Bowie to the extent of emulating his hair and wardrobe as well as his grand, androgynist persona.
Blues great B.B. King was memorialized with an an all-star jam featuring Bonnie Rait and Chris Chris Stapleton.

Natalie Cole

However, any of her peers and family members found it shameful that there was no televised musical tribute to Natalie Cole, who had received nine Grammys and 21 Grammy nominations in the categories of R&B, pop and jazz. Cole died of congestive heart failure on Dec. 31, 2015 at 65. Cole had overcome many tragedies and obstacles including drug addiction, hepatitis C, and a kidney transplant. Cole was active within the Recording Academy, several charitable organizations and was even honored as the MusiCares Foundation’s Person of the Year in 1993.
We hope that Natalie Cole will receive her due during the 59th Grammy Awards Ceremony.
At the 58th Grammys San Francisco Nominee Celebration in January two of Cole’s peers, producer and Grammy trustee Larry Batiste and trombonist Wayne Wallace, 2015 Grammy nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album, commented on Cole’s legacy.
“I worked with Natalie a couple of times; I was in her backing band,” said Wallace. “It’s a loss; I’m sorry that it happened. The gentleman that helped me buy my first house was Natalie Cole’s road manager; he told me some stories about her trials and tribulations. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the child of an icon like Nat “King” Cole.”
“It’s hard to come up with a famous father, (Nat “King” Cole), like she did, but what I love about Natalie is that she really showed that she had her own talent,” said Batiste. “I know that her gift came from God first and then through the veins of her father. What I also love about Natalie is that she was able to start with R&B and move over to jazz, and her last album, (“Natalie Cole en Espanol”), was a Latin album. I remember being so surprised at the Latin Grammys when she had three nominations. When you look at Natalie Cole, you see (her father’s) legacy, and then you realize she represented music in all genres. She was so global and I love her. She’s an inspiration.”
For a complete list of 2015 winners, go to Here the Grammy winners and nominees on