Saturday, October 27, 2018
#Metoo #TimesUP #OMG have you had enough of the hash tags yet? Lol some you readers and listeners are in the ‘know’ but for those who live a busy life I will give you the 411. On Soul City Blog Page.
Monday, September 3, 2018
Story and Photos by Shelah Moody
New Orleans loved Aretha Franklin. It is perhaps no coincidence that after the Queen of Soul’s transition was announced on major media outlets on the morning of August 16, torrential rains soaked Musicians Village in the 9th Ward and other parts of the city as if the universe were weeping. After the storm, there was calm.
In Pigeon Town, across the street from New Orleans jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis’ house, residents sat in their front yard and sang along to Franklin’s hits, “Respect,” “Natural Woman,” and “Jump to It,” which were played in heavy rotations on local radio stations.
As the city mourned and celebrated Aretha Franklin, I collected stories and memories from New Orleans musicians about the Grammy-winning music legend’s influence on Crescent City.
Who could be better to speak on Aretha Franklin’s impact than Dr. Brice Miller, trumpeter, vocalist and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy? I caught up with Miller after his Wednesday night gig with Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro in Frenchmen Street.
“New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, but it is also the birthplace o R&B, the birthplace of funk; and there’s this great gospel vibe here,” said Miller.
“Aretha Franklin was all of those things. She was multi-disciplined when it came to music. New Orleans is all of those things. Aretha Franklin represented the heart and soul of black Americana, of Black American music. She was borderless. That’s what New Orleans is; our music is borderless. It’s a gumbo. Aretha Franklin represented that. For someone of her caliber, there will be street celebrations and second lines. New Orleans is one of the most African Cities in America. We love our blackness. We celebrate our blackness. We appreciate our blackness. We cultivate our blackness. From the time her death was announced, there was an impromptu second line that took place under the Claiborne Avenue bridge in the Treme neighborhood. There have been smaller, impromptu parades and second lines since then. That’s how we do it. With the expansion of public art, both permitted and not permitted, in graffiti around the city, I can only imagine someone wanting to showcase their artwork by paying tribute to someone of Aretha’s caliber.”
Renown saxophonist Roger Lewis, aka the Dirty Ole Man, made jazz and R&B history as a member of Fats Domino’s band and a member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Lewis, who also performs with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra on Wednesday nights, said he received word via his Facebook account that a mural on a building in New Orleans was being painted in honor of Aretha Franklin.
“Aretha Franklin was one of the greatest female artists we’ve ever had,” said Lewis. “She will be missed. As a matter of fact, I ‘ve been listening to Aretha Franklin all week. How are you gonna improve on greatness? I never had the privilege of meeting Aretha. I wish I had. New Orleans was crazy about Aretha Franklin.”
Delfeayo Marsalis Maurice Trosclair
Trombonist Maurice “Big Meaux” Trosclair, also a member of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra reflected on Franklin’s legacy.
“As a musician, I feel that we’ve lost a really great role model for female vocalists because she pretty much set the standard for so many years. So many hits. So many great, great songs. It is truly a great loss for the music community and the world. Over the years, I’ve played with pop bands in New Orleans, many of which have had female vocalists. Not many could do it like Aretha Franklin, but many have tried to emulate her style.”
Abena Koosmon Davis, Steve Davis and Terrance Taplin
According to Grammy-winning musician Delfeayo Marsalis, the trombone is the one instrument closest to the human voice. Trombonist Terrance “Hollywood” Taplin of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra spoke on Franklin’s influence on instrumentalists.
“Aretha Franklin was a master and she was an inspiration to us all. She was extremely soulful. She was a person who all instrumentalists can look up to and mimic to get all of that sweet soul. We will definitely miss her but we are so thankful for her and the great music that she left behind. She will be with us forever.”
Acclaimed trombonist and music instructor Steve Davis, aka Stevie D., referred to Franklin as “The Truth.”
“She was an incredible, indomitable spirit,” said Davis. “I had the good fortune to be around her a few times in recent years in more of a jazz musical context and hear her actually scat sing once. There was a birthday party for her in New York and I was playing with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Stars. Several of us got to trade eights with Aretha Franklin over some rhythm changes. It was surreal. Her legacy will live forever.”
Aretha Franklin legacy is perhaps most apparent in New Orleans new generation of female R&B vocalists.
Stevie D’s wife, Abena Koosmon Davis, soul singer and musical director of the Resistance Revival Chorus, sees Aretha Franklin as a freedom fighter.
“One of the most compelling things about Aretha Franklin was her music and the passion for social justice in her voice. I think she was a voice that called to other voices. She was a voice that encouraged other voices to sing out. I think ‘Respect’ is an incredible example. Whenever there is strength of spirit and strength of righteousness, it comes out in the music.”
I caught up with neo-soul singer Mykia Jovan (who is seven months pregnant) at her Sunday gig at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street, where she performs R&B covers and original songs from her debut album, “Elliyahu.” Jovan, who is still riding high from her performances this summer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Essence Festival, reflected on the Queen of Soul.
“There’s never going to be another voice like hers. I feel that we should have done a better job at giving Aretha her roses while she was still here. I am so grateful to have her as an ancestor and I know she will influence many artists for many years to come.”
Stopping at a local restaurant after her Friday Night gig at the Blue Nile, New Orleans soul artist Tonya Boyd Cannon honored Aretha Franklin, who she referred to as “Auntie.” On Sept. 7, Cannon will join some of New Orleans finest will dedicate their First Friday Series at the Treme Hideaway to Franklin.
Tonya B Cannon
“We will celebrate Aretha Franklin in the best way we know how,” said Cannon. “Auntie Aretha is not just a queen of soul, she’s an architect. She paved the way for so many artists like myself and so many genres. As a preacher’s kid myself, I can relate to her story because I went through the same things.”
Ben E Hunter
New Orleans Afro-Caribbean artist Ben E. Hunter, who currently opens for Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at Snug Harbor on Wednesday nights, feels like Franklin feels like Franklin was a dear friend who lived next door, although they never met.
“Let me tell you, she made me feel like a natural man,” said the acoustic singer/songwriter/guitarist. “I grew up with Aretha Franklin. I love Aretha Franklin. There’s no one else like her. There will never be another Aretha Franklin. Her voice is of the angels.”
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Friday, July 6, 2018
Mykia Jovan performs at 8 p.m., Friday, July 6, Good Vibes Superlounge, 2018, Essence Festival, Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA. essence.com.
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Monday, July 2, 2018
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Born in 1951 in Detroit Michigan, Mark Anthony Rael, musician, singer ,songwriter, and music producer, made his singing debut at age 12 with his bad, “The Human Race.” Mark’s singing career was launched with Capital Records in Hollywood, California at age 22. In 1980, Mark was asked to join the band “The Knack” (My Sherona) as lead vocalist, but declined to further his solo career.
Mark has produced and written globally with Belizean Artist Ras Indio, Jamaican Artist Dillgin Tony Bailey and Swedish-African Artist Aminatah. Closer to his home in Los Angeles, California, Mark produced numbers of local Hip Hop Artist.
Presently living in San Diego, California, Mark is completing a new album comprised of composition using orchestra, rock, reggae and other exotic rhythms to formulate a fusion of sound with this album. Mark is currently in the works of forming a band to play live worldwide.
Soon to be released are five new albums including Celtic, R&B and other styles. “For Not the Muse” was written, performed, produced and mixed by Mark.
You can purchase his CD here.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
THE MAN WITH MANY FACESBy Ammero
What’s good America? How was the weekend? Like most of us we got a chance to see Childish Gambino AkA Mr. Donald Glover on SNL dropping his new hit single “ This is America” and just when you think you got over the whole Kanye West rants Childish Gambino drops a thought-provoking video that did not lack in imagery or wordplay. Childish Gambino has made headline an not based on the fact he was thoughtless but for the fact he was thoughtful.
Donald Glover or Childish Gambino or like I like to call him the man with many faces is a rarity in today's music/entertainment scene. When he's not killing the TV scene with his hit show on FX or winning Grammys the NYU graduate is constantly showing his creativity and imagination which is lacking in the game right now. On his newest single ‘This is America’ Glover shows how much depth he has and how he sees America thru his own lenses. Now a lot of people related the video to the struggle of today's African -Americans an I can see that. There was a scene reminiscent of the church shooting in South Carolina in which Glover mows down a church choir with an automatic weapon. Glover also uses clever lyrics to provide an interesting outlook into the everyday life of young Americans. The track which was very rhythmic with a trap feel used African dance and sounds to provide a backdrop for the shirtless Gambino. Most people I spoke with felt he was speaking to the struggle of black America but I took another view to it.
In my perspective, I think he was talking about the struggle or the things we all see in America. What I took from it was people do whatever they want to steal, kill, etc and don't care who it affects. Also, he had help doing all those bad things he did (ie friends, family, yes men) and in the end, he was running from all of it by himself. I know that Childish Gambino is thoughtful and is very deep so i would like to believe he was going deep on this one.
America you and I know both violence is not just restricted to one community so i think he was showing how our American culture can be loving and a detriment to us also. Showing us how we as a nation may value some things that aren't always good but they are a necessary part of America.. In all, I loved the video love CHILDISH GAMBINO any time a song can make u think then its worthy of praise. Childish Gambino is on tour now. Check out the video comment on the blog and make sure to tune in. once again be thoughtful of your actions and go in peace.. Thanks an I'm gone...PEACE
Childish Gambino “This Is America” Hit Music Video by Donald Glover
By Carol Ealey
Donald Glover’s talent was on full display this past weekend when he hosted Saturday Night Live. He’s an actor but with his performance via his alter ego Childish Gambino we witnessed a dynamic performance of his new video “This Is America”. Watch the full version on YouTube several times to catch all of the symbolism in the video. The video is dark, and harsh, and smacks you in the face about gun violence in America, specifically gun violence against black Americans. His interpretation of the gun violence is what makes this video important and relevant for today. The symbolism from gun violence to a looming apocalypse, with hidden meanings, will definitely generate useful discussion about our violent America. So here’s my take on what I think the symbolism means in the video. The man strumming the guitar - At the beginning of the video, a man who looks like Trayvon Martin's father plays the guitar. It's a moment that gives a nod to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Glover shooting the man playing a guitar - The guitar-playing man ends up with a hood covering his head as Glover strikes a Jim Crow pose before shooting him. Throughout the video, Glover’s dance moves reference Jim Crow blackface musical themes and popular South African dance moves. The red cloth - This piece of fabric - brought out by a well-dressed man - is used to carefully cover the gun Glover used to shoot the guitar-playing man. It alludes to the fact that guns are prized above people to many Americans. As the dead man's body is dragged off-screen, Glover continues to smile and dance as if nothing is wrong: as if a black body isn't worth as much as the gun that was used for murder. The murder of the choir - Glover addresses gun violence by shooting an assault rifle at a harmless church choir. It's a reference to the 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The kids dancing - A group of kids who dance around Glover represents how the world consumes social media and entertainment as the world burns around them. The kids are wearing uniforms that South African students wear and are dancing to Bloc boy JB's shoot dance to the gwara-gwara - a South African dance. The dancing also seems to be a sense of pride and protection from the chaos of the world. Glover’s lyrics – Throughout the video Glover references rap themes of “Black man get your money”, “Living Large” , “We Want to Party”, while continuing to dance seemingly oblivious to the chaos going on in the background of murder and mayhem in the black community. Traffic Stop Killings and Older Cars – the older cars in the video with their doors ajar reference the murder of Philando Castile who was murdered in his late model car and all of the other black men murdered in and around their cars at police traffic stops. Hooded figure on a horse - A hooded figure riding a white horse gallops across the screen so quickly you might miss it, but it is likely a reference to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Bible. In other words, it refers to the end of the world. According to the Bible, the first horse was white, which mimics the imagery found in "This Is America." At the end of the video Glover is running wild-eyed in the warehouse which seems to reference the movie “Get Out” as he looks to escape. It references “the Sunken Place”, the mental space where the main character Chris goes after he’s been brainwashed, unable to control his body. Hopefully, this video will force discussions about gun violence in America, race relations, and our seeming wiliness to accept America’s love of guns, merrily singing and dancing while America ultimately implodes. This Is America! C. Ealey