CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine Spring 2022 V2

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COFFEETALK JazzMagazine Music Producer David Williams The 64th Annual Grammy Awards HBCU Colleges are leaving a legacy Delfeayo Marsalis Modern Day Jazz

MAY 2022

Scan here to read

A World Of Bliss Markus Zahrl




Norah Jones and Christian McBride

David Williams

Performing Together for the first time


Markus Zahrl Feature Story A World Of Bliss


Jonathan Anderson Anderson Music Group


Gift of Music Foundation Instrustment Donation Program

Musicbox Artist Spotlight


NAACP Image Awards The 53rd NAACP Image



Tanya Stephens

Niecey LivingSingle

Reggae Artist Spotlight


Delfeayo Marsalis A New Orleans Big Band Joy Explosion

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Arts and Culture Director Lee Daniels and Singer/Actress Andra Day

94th Annual Academy Awards.

64th Annual Gramny Awards The CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine family made a stellar showing at the 64th annual Grammy Awards

Music Watch Artist Spotlight


Inside the 94th Academy Awards Governors Ball 2022

Let’s Keep it social Find Us On Social Media

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offeeTalk Jazz Magazine is proud to feature acclaimed Austrian Saxophonist, Composer and Educator Markus Zahrl as our featured artist and cover story. I am elated to have Markus grace the CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine Spring cover representing our National and International award-winning brand. In this issue we have profiled indie artist and veteran musicians leaving and indelible footprint on the musical landscape. In every coveted issue we share glimpses into the lives of incredible artists providing comprehensive in-depth coverage on the gifted Men and Women we spotlight who peek our curiosity. Through the artist eyes we learn about their drive, tenacity, and talent. Our readers are often interested on how each artist reinvents themselves and what makes them tick. We dig deep we want to know why they play, sing, write and compose music so effortlessly to say they showed up in a big way is an understatement. We launched CoffeeTalk in 2011 with a mission to share the backstories about what it takes to maintain stamina in the unpredictable and sometime rocky music industry. Welcome! HBCU Historically Black Colleges The 64th Annual Grammy Awards Singer Songwriter Niecey LivingSingle Ann Mincieli Audio Engineer and Producer Music Producer and Keyboardist David Williams Award-Winning Music Executive Jonathan Anderson Artist Spotlight Reggae Sensation Tanya Stephens Director Lee Daniels and Singer and Actress Andra Day

Alicia Keys Pianist, Author, and Songwriter Five-time Grammy Winning Bassist, Composer Christian McBride Eight-Time Grammy Winner Singer, Songwriter and Pianist Norah Jones Delfeayo Marsalis Multi-Grammy Winner Modern Instrumental Jazz Artist Austrian Saxophonist, Composer and Educator Markus Zahrl our Feature and Cover Story CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine focuses and connects with thousands of music fans all over the world on all thing’s music. After surveying what our digital readers wanted to see and hear we celebrate music in all its glory with varying colors of jazz, swing, R&B retro soul, classic tunes, and the big band sounds of modern jazz. You can follow our content through multiple platforms including our social media channels and though our website. We will keep you informed on celebrity news entertaining stories while getting up-close and personal. With a subscription to CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine you will receive a quarterly magazine that balances human-interest stories for an entertaining and thoughtful read. You will be one of the first to receive information about jazz festivals, great venues and upcoming events. Order your subscription today get informed about the music business, technology, current events, and more. Our Cover price is $9.95 per issue, CoffeeTalk Media LLC, currently publishes our Magazine four times annually. Enjoy a bit of jazz in your Coffee,

Founder and Editorial Director

Norah Jones and Christian McBride Perform Together for the First Time. The two stars joined forces for a New York event benefiting the Jazz House Kids program

Norah Jones (L) and Christian McBride chat between songs at the 6th Annual Ralph Pucci Jazz Set, New York, (photo: Richard Conde) They’re two of the biggest stars in the current jazz firmament. They both developed their chops in prestigious high-school and college performing arts programs. They’re both noted for their down-toearth demeanors and their love of the musically eclectic. They have plenty of friends in common. But until last night (Feb. 28), singer/pianist Norah Jones and bassist Christian McBride had never played together.

The performance that brought this long and surprising 0-for-0 streak to an end took place at the Ralph Pucci furniture and lighting gallery on West 18th Street in Manhattan. It was the sixth annual Jazz Set event to be held there for the benefit of Jazz House Kids,

“We don’t just talk we CoffeeTalk”

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rather than the norm; more often, she used the keyboard to build lines that either mirrored her singing or offered counterpoint to it. As for that singing, it roamed wide and free, barely paying heed to such niceties as bar lines, following the feeling wherever it led.

the New Jersey-based music education program headed by McBride’s wife Melissa Walker (McBride also serves as the program’s artistic director). Short—five songs as a duo plus two jams with selected Jazz House Kids students and alumni—but definitely sweet, Jones and McBride’s set was, the bassist said at one point, “the first, I hope, of many.” More than a few members of the packed house must have been hoping the same thing. McBride welcomes the

special guest (photo: Richard Conde) Beginning, at Jones’ request, with an authoritative solo by McBride (which he executed under mild protest— “You really want to start this way?”), the pair soon locked into a rootsy cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart.” Hearing Jones in this stripped-down setting shone a brighter light than usual on her approach to the piano. To say she accompanied herself was true yet not precise enough. Striking chords at regular rhythmic intervals was the exception

Jones’ freedom did occasionally collide, in a polite way, with McBride’s deep rootedness. During the next two songs, a torchy take on “The Nearness of You” and Jones’ own, more uptempo “Begin Again,” there were brief moments when one could detect slight disagreement between the players regarding matters of groove. But you can probably put that down to short rehearsal time. And any such complaints had to be laid aside once the duo commenced a gorgeous rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Fleurette Africaine,” complete with enchanting wordless vocals from Jones. The rest was all fun. Several Jazz House kids, including a charming 12-year-old alto saxophonist named Miles, joined in for a stroll through Joe Zawinul’s

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“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and who couldn’t be envious of the young bassist and pianist who got to trade fours with McBride and Jones on a 12-bar blues? Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without airing Jones’ megahit “Don’t Know Why”—which McBride announced with a chuckle as “You Know What.” Twenty years since that song first took over the world, Jones sounds a bit more weathered singing it, unsurprisingly, her voice carrying a raspier edge. But she can still pull listeners in with a down-home whisper and then send the chills with a churchy fullthroated moan. McBride’s sympathetic and intelligent backing, also unsurprisingly, was perfect for the job. May there be an encore soon.  Norah Jones performs at the 6th Annual Ralph Pucci Jazz Set, New York, February 28, 2022 (photo: Richard Conde) If this description makes you wish you were there, you can be, kind of. From March 20 to March 26, a video recording of the show—which was streamed live—will be available online for a price, the entirety of which goes to support Jazz House Kids. For tickets and more information.

Visit :

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MARKUS ZAHRL Feature Story

a contra point to the challenging times we have to face in the world right now. Music is a source to stay positive.“ All eight tracks of A World of Bliss were produced and written by Markus. Two songs—“Dreams Come True” and „Joyful Life“ were composed more than 10 years ago. Markus found them again during the planning process and rearranged them for the new Album. They fit perfectly into the mood of the whole project.


World of Bliss begins within ourselves - with the first thought of how we want the world around us to be and what we do to make it a magic place. Music reminds us of this vision and helps us make the world a better place.” explains Markus Zahrl about the title of his new Album. A World of Bliss is Markus Zahrl´s first full album as a leader. It follows his EP Celtic Dance, released in 2020 (which had 3 songs in the Top #10 Smooth Jazz Listener Countdown). Featuring eight new original songs, the music is an inspiring and uplifting collection that will be released digitally on April 30, 2021. Markus says, „This new album is

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The song „Good Vibes“ was inspired by the „handpan“Instrument that Markus loves to

play. This is a wonderful instrument on which he gets many ideas for his musical life. 2 songs (Chilling in the Nature, Spring is in the house) were a continuous process of the last years to find the final expression of that mood. Especially the musical ideas of band members - Werner Köck, Wolfgang Köck, Harry Hauser and Christian Grobauer made the songs to a wonderful masterpiece. (as with all the songs on the Album) A World of Bliss, Something New and You light up my Love were composed during the pandemic period, and they rein-


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forced the theme of the record, of staying strong and positive even when the times are tough. Markus Zahrls’ personal relationship with music started at the age of 5 years with playing the drums. At 16, he picked up the saxophone and immediately loved it, and it was pretty much the only thing he wanted to do in his life. At 17, he joined his town’s the local big band and turned pro at 19. In the 1990s he studied at the Conservatory of Vienna (jazz saxophone) and at the Berklee College of Music Bosten/USA. Markus was a sideman for artists like Kirk Covington, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Dobbins, Concert Jazz Orchestra

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Vienna, Rounder Girls, Russkaja, Hot Pants Road Club, Waldeck, Andy Lee Lang and many more, touring and doing sessions for many years before releasing his first solo EP in 2020. His EP immediately reach top 10 of Smooth Jazz Listener Countdown with 3 song and gained international attention. Markus, who lives in the Vienna/ Austria area with his wife and his son, says after finishing the recordings for this album: „I can’t wait to play this new music live. Playing live is what I love the most. Every time I go on stage, I enjoy the deep connection and the energy between the audience and the artist. It creates a magi-

cal space where wonderful things happen.“ After being in the music business for 30 years, „I still want to make the world a better place I want to heal it in some way and help the people who are interested in my music to reach a place where there is love, joy and no suffering.“ That’s what I wanted to express with this song, and what I´m deeply convinced We are pleased to announce that the album “A World Of Bliss” has already reached #13 on the Smooth Jazz Radar Chart and #49 on the Smooth Jazz Top 100 Album. CONNECT WITH MARKUS

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QUESTION’S & ANSWER’S WITH MARKUS ZAHRL Q. Is there another musician you’ve mentored or trained? I have been teaching students who want to become musicians for almost 30 years. So this task is my daily business. Not only do I teach

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saxophone students, but I have also led big bands for over 25 years where we play all types of big band literature.

Q.Have you ever taught anyone how to play an instrument? Describe this experience? ​I have been teaching saxophone, flute and clarinet for 30 years and work with students of all levels. Here in Austria we have a great musical education system. If someone wants to become a professional, it starts here. Then he can apply to the music universities.

there is no performance anxiety. I see the performance as a whole, as a space created by the audience and the artist.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you? I remember my teacher saying, “Every note you play without the right intention is a wrong note.“

practice. This keeps my body and mind in balance. Another central theme on tour is to have fun and enjoy the time.

Q. What’s your process for dealing with performance anxiety? ​I have found that the problem with performance anxiety for me is when I think too much about myself and not about my intention and how I want to help others with my performance. When I have the deeper intention in mind,

Q. How would you handled traveling and being away from your home for an extended time period while you were on tour? ​The most important thing when I’m on tour is my daily meditation and yoga

Q. Tell me what your first music teacher was like. What lessons did you learn from them that you still use today? ​I had my first music teacher at the age of 5 when I started learning drums. Mr. Gratzl was the perfect first teacher because his lessons were a perfect mix of structure, improvisation and fun. This is the teaching concept that I still use with my students.

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Q. Have you ever participated in any music competitions? Did you win any prizes? I had the honor of receiving a scholarship for Berklee College of Music. Q. What would you do if you made a mistake during a performance? I don’t know about other musicians, but for me mistakes are part of performing. Of course, it depends on how serious the mistake was, but mostly I try to stay relaxed and use them as a wonderful chance to create something outside my usual musical habits. Q. How would you previous bandmates describe you and your musical work ethic? ​I think they would highlight my patience, determination, creativity, and social empathy, and give the musician the space to participate in a project with his or her unique musical ideas. Q. Are there any past instructors you look up to? What qualities did the have that you admired? I think of my saxophone teacher George Garzone at Berklee Col-

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lege of Music. On the one hand, he had a great ability to encourage my creativity in music and to think outside the box. On the other hand, I was very impressed with his own skills on the saxophone and his extensive musical abilities in all styles of music. Q. If you could sit down and have piping hot coffee with a past or present musicians who would it be and why? It would be a great honor for me to have a hot coffee with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Both are great musicians. I love how they combine their musical lives with their own spiritual lives. Q. What type of musician would you prefer to colloborate with? ​For more than 30 years, the Yellowjackets have been one of my favorite bands. I love the way Bob Mintzer plays the saxophone, and the band together has such a unique sound and style. They have created a whole different musical universe.

Music Submission coffeetalkjazz

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Secure your reservations directly on our website or with your travel professional to secure the best rates. Whether you stay with us for several days, weeks, or months, we will ensure your experience is both relaxing and productive with thoughtful amenities and personalized service. We look forward to welcoming you soon. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members will reply promptly.

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Award-Winning Music Executive

Jonathan Anderson CONNECT WITH BART ORR: Instagram: @bart_orr | Facebook: /barthologhy Website:

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ABOUT ANDERSON MUSIC GROUP In 2021, Award-winning music executive Jonathan Anderson launched a new boutique label for artists, songwriters and producers. “The process is multifaceted and deserves our full attention if you want to be successful. Here at AMG we are dedicated to the process.” Anderson Music Group is home to Lawrence Flowers & Intercession, M.K. Ngenge, and Bart Orr.


For Immediate Release: MEMPHIS, TN (Friday, April 4, 2022) - - Grammy® Award Nominated, Billboard chart-topper and Stellar award-winning producer, songwriter, and musician Bart Orr celebrates his first win at the 53rd NAACP Image® Awards. As a co-songwriter (Justin Pearson, LaTia Mann, Phillip Bryant, Tamela Mann, Tiffany Mann) he was awarded for Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song for Tamela Mann’s Billboard #1 hit song “Help Me,” featuring The Fellas. The song hit the #1 spot on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay Chart in September 2021, spent 4 weeks in that position and to date has generated over 5.4 million audio streams. The Memphis, Tennessee native who’s insanely famous on his Instagram and YouTube social media platforms kicked off 2022 on a high note with his contemporary jazz instrumental album NO FEAR. Released on January 31 via Anderson Music Group, the 10-track project is produced by Bart Orr and Jonathan Anderson. Marketing efforts powered by BMo Designs and publicity by HARDY PR.

For Bart, music represents an all-encompassing surrender, a pledge to self-honesty or what he calls Barthology, the truth that’s too good to be true. Download or stream NO FEAR here: Track listing: 1. Trey 2. The Walk 3. Confidence 4. The Diadem 5. No Fear 6. No Fear (Reprise) 7. The Process 8. Proverbs 17:22 9. What A Friend We Have In Jesus 10. Blessings

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine 22



n 2004, Reggae star Tanya Stephens released her notable album Gangsta Blues. Among the 14 tracks, Tanya’s song “What A Day” is catching the attention of Reggae enthusiasts again. The lyrics stand out against the backdrop of events in the Ukraine: What a day when war becomes a thing of the past, and peace, we will have it at last, and life is finally worth its cost, what a day. When men finally live what they teach, and love ain’t just a concept we preach and blood no longer runs in the streets. “What A Day” was produced by Philip ‘Fattis Burrell,’ written by

Tanya Stephens and co-written by Mitchum Chin. Just as the song was written and recorded in 2004 in response to events then, the songs lyrics come full circle to events today.

given the world a catalog that stands the test of time. Tanya is one of our female focuses in the 2022 Women of Reggae calendar.

Tanya is one of Reggae’s heroes. Her foresight and honesty recorded in song has

What a day when war becomes a thing of the past, and peace, we will have it at last, and life is finally worth its cost, what a day.

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Jazz Events Guide MAY 3-8, 2022 SMOOTH ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS Algarve Smooth Jazz Festival Algarve, Portugal Europe’s Soul, Funk & Jazz Party in Portugal on the stunning cliffs of the Algarve at Pine Cliffs Resort featuring PETER WHITE, MINDI ABAIR, PIECES OF A DREAM, EVERETTE HARP, ERIC DARIUS, JONATHAN FRITZÉN, GREGG KARUKAS, KEN NAVARRO, FOUR80EAST with more artists to be announced soon! JUNE 3-5, 2022 THE SUBURU The Subaru Newport Beach Jazz Festival Newport Beach, California, USA The 26th Annual Subaru Newport Beach Jazz Festival returns to the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, California! The festival will feature CEELO GREEN, BRIAN CULBERTSON, BRIAN MCKNIGHT, ERIC BENET, MORGAN JAMES, and many

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more! Join us for 3 days of world-class jazz, R&B and soul music! JUN 4, 2022 AZUR EQUITIES South Florida Smooth Jazz Festival Miramar, Florida, USA Enjoy an evening of incredible music featuring two-time Grammy and Double Oscar Award winner, PEABO BRYSON, Latin Grammy Award winner Flutist NESTOR TORRES, and Award winning,

urban jazz pianist, KAYLA WATERS and Festival Host and, also performing, sax great KIM WATERS! Sponsored by Azur Equitites at the Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater. Tickets on sale now!

JUNE 5, 2022 UNLIMITED ENTERTAINMENT Jazz On The Bay Tampa, Florida, USA Jazz on the Bay at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa featuring South African guitarist JONATHAN BUTLER, keyboardist extraordinaire ALEX

MUSIC WORLD’S HOTTEST JAZZ EVENT guide Capture The Rhythm Art & Jazz

BUGNON, legendary contemporary jazz ensemble, HIROSHIMA and Tampa’s own SHAWN BROWN. Buy Tickets! JUNE 10-14, 2022 Jazz Legacy Decade of Excellence PT 1 Hampton, Virginia, USA Celebrating a Decade of Excellence Gala Weekend Part 1, “Summer Jazz,” June 10-12, with a 3-Day Uniquely Jazzy Experience featuring and all-star line-up including MARCUS MILLER, HIROSHIMA, MARCUS ANDERSON feat CEELO GREEN, GREGORY PORTER, RICHARD ELLIOT, KEIKO MATSUI, KIRK WHALUM, REGINA BELLE and many more supporting jazz and music education! Part 2 of the celebration takes place on November 10-13, 2022! JUNE 18, 2022 LEGENDS OF THE GAME Capture the Rhythm Art & Jazz Series Augusta, Georgia , USA Capture The Rhythm Art & Jazz will featuring World-class Concert events at Premier venues featuring some of the most popular Smooth Jazz and R&B artists including MICHAEL LINGTON, LINDSEY WEBSTER, BRIAN SIMPSON on JUN 18, SPECIAL EFX ALL STARS, JEANETTE HARRIS & ALTHE RENE, SHAWN RAIFORD; CAROL ALBERT on JUL 23 and EUGE GROOVE w/ JULIAN VAUGHN on SEP 24. Tickets ON SALE NOW


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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Niecey LivingSingle A Multi-Award Winning Artist Niecey LivingSingle is blessed with a 5 Octive Range and she has sold out Yoshi’s, The California Theater, and numerous social events, throughout the Las Vegas & The San Francisco Bay area. Forming her own band in 2006, Niecey & The Obamas has opened for Lenny Williams, Howard Hewitt, Tony Terry, Tony Toni Tone, Charelle, Tom Browne, The Whispers, After7, the dramatics, Lakeside & Delfonics. Adding to her resume in 2017 as an independent recording artist, Niecey’s cd titled seven 7 earned her the bay area’s people’s choice award in 2019 & 2020 best r&b vocalist & original song awards, 2018 -2019, and Las Vegas 2020 entertainer of the year award.

In 2017 Niecey began working with song writer & producer Mickel London. Their cd titled Seven 7 single “This is my Life” in 2022 was selected theme song of the year for the 1st black lives matter event at San Francisco state, and has remain in rotation on 89.9 kpoo radio. Be on the look out for this power house. once you hear her angelic voice and catch her in action on stage, you will never forget, Niecey LivingSingle.

Niecey latest project recording with Lenny Williams, has also worked with Grady Wilkins, former musical director for the Whispers, Levi Seacer former musical director for Prince & Greg Crockett, former musician & producer for Motown.

SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: Facebook:

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Q. What made you want to become a Singer? I was inspired by my late aunt Jewel; she was a singer in the 60s with her husband. They were a duo called Baby Jewel and Vernon Garrett. They opened for Ike & Tina as well as many other wellknown artists in the 60s. I never met my aunt, but I grew up wanting to be just like her. Q. What musical accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to 10 years? In the next 10 years I see myself becoming an inspirational inde-

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Niecey LivingSingle

pendent recording artist and top 40 artist sharing the gift of music around the world Q. Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music? I have no hobbies or interest outside of music. Music is my life 24/7 365 days of the year. Q. What is it about music that makes drives you? Music is my consoling factor, whatever I’m going through, I write about it. Some of the best music that touches the world are true experiences from artist.

Q. Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being an indie artist? My favorite part being an Indie Artist is writing and collaborating with my awesome producer song writer Mickel London and other producers creating music. My least favorite part of being an Indie Artist, is that there’s not enough hours in. a day to do what I love to do and that is sing and perform.

10. Every movie has a favorite soundtrack. What movie or television show comes to mind? My favorite movie soundtrack and movie is the Wiz with Stephanie Mills, Michael Jackson and Nipsey Russell. The Wiz in 1978 was the 1st movie I ever saw at the age of 10 in a theater and the 1st time I was able to identify seeing Black artists sing, dance, and perform.

Q. If you could have piping hot Coffee with any musician past or present, who would it be and why? My choice would be prince. Why ? Prince was a genius as a musician and artist before his time and highly intelligent. Never afraid of breaking down barriers.

I didn’t grow up hearing Motown music or knowing who Michael Jackson was or watching Soul Train like my friends did on Saturday mornings. Once I watched the Wiz, at 10 years old I knew what I wanted to do, and that is sing !

Prince in my opinion is the reason independent artist exist today. Prince signed in 1977 at the age of 18 and took control of his career in the 90s. Battling with the labels making it publicly known to other upcoming artists across the globe that it is important to know the business, have good lawyers, and to read contracts. Outside of being one of the greatest artists of all times in the world Prince demonstrated the power of knowledge.

Q. Who is the best male or female singer of all time? Whitney Houston

Q. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you’re not performing? When I’m not performing, I listen to gospel, the Beatles, Elvis, opera, and Country and Western Music. I was adopted and this is the only music that I was allowed to listen to growing up in my home. I learned to like it as a child and as an adult I still enjoy listening to Johnny Cash. Q. Did you remember the first music concert you purchased tickets for? Freddy Jackson Q. What would your life be like without music? I have no idea what my life would be without music because music is my life.

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COFFEETALK Jazz Podcasts CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio serves as a premier global internet radio. We are the number one rated source bringing you music storytellers from every corner of the globe. We have introduced accomplished book authors, film makers, music industry leaders, touring musicians, legends, innovative music scholars. We interview a diverse group of songwriters and vocalists whose voices enlighten, educate, engage and inspire the listeners through music and the written word.

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OUR STORY LOCATED INSIDE FLEA STYLE AT THE STAR IN FRISCO. Whether it’s a family recipe or treasured silver tray, we believe it’s important to honor things from the past. Heirloom Haul is a modern take on the classic tea room serving scratch-made sandwiches and salads in a pretty setting that celebrates small businesses and unique style. Nestled inside Flea Style, a beautiful 6,100-square foot retail emporium for handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind lifestyle goods, our fast-casual dining concept serves dishes that utilize ingredients and products from local farms and American small businesses. Enjoy our fresh farm-to-table food inside the main dining hall, outside on our sprawling patio or in our studio space for a private party or gathering. We believe there is something to celebrate everyday--that’s why we designed our locations to host private events, social gatherings and celebrations of all kinds. We require a 2-hour minimum for all event spaces. See our event packages for each location.

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FARM-TO-TABLE FRESH Heirloom Haul is a fast-casual restaurant located


inside sister store, Flea Style at The Star in Frisco, TX

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GIFT OF MUSIC FOUNDATION Instrument Donation Program Donated musical instruments drive many of the things we do at The Gift of Music Foundation.


he Sara J. Miller Gift of Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating greater accessibility to music programs, instruments, teachers, and the overall benefits of music education. It is our mission and passion to provide music enrichment opportunities for youth in our neighborhood. We refer to the endeavor as “the worthy challenge” with joyful rewards. ​

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SJM Gift of Music Foundation takes arts education and music back to school. Founded in 2009 as a response to an ongoing nationwide decline of funding and lack of prioritization for music education, our organization is diligently working to ensure access to music for the country’s at-risk youths. We do this by forming critical partnerships with music teachers, public schools and organizations to reinforce our core belief that music matters!

Through our foundation we are fully committed to arts education in schools. This program was started to assist in replacing music classes that have been eliminated by public schools. Studies have proven that students who learn music benefit in many other ways during this essential age window in a child’s overall development.

As school budgets are stretched thin and arts-based programs are often the first to be eliminated or downsized, we believe it is a major priority to take action to keep music education in our schools. Our mission and passion are to bring the transformative power of the arts education back to schools. We choose to educate and inspire the next generation of musicians through the Sara J. Bass Gift of Music Foundation. ​ Donate an Instrument Musical Instruments are the lifeblood of our mission. If you have a musical instrument of any type that is no longer being used, donate it to The Gift of Music Foundation. We’ll ensure it contributes to our efforts to provide instruments to kids who may not otherwise be able to afford them. Email:

Increases in cognitive and social skills are real. Students who learn music frequently perform better in academic areas and in the growth of crucial life skills.


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The 53rd NAACP Image Awards, presented by the NAACP, honored outstanding representations and achievements of people of color in motion pictures, television, music, and literature during the 2022.

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“Delfeayo is, in many ways, the most fun of the Marsalises. He’s the family trombonist. And record producer. And he seems to be the family wise guy, too!” - Buffalo News “Delfeayo Marsalis is A Merchant of Joy!” - DownBeat Magazine A New Orleans Big Band Joy Explosion!!!

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When Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra hit the stage, audiences are guaranteed to—as the lyrics go—have a jazz party, all night long! Since 2008, UJO has been stretching the boundaries of what is expected from big bands, playing with an extraordinary sense of joy and fun that could only come from New Orleans. With influences from Louis Armstrong to Count Basie, James Brown to J. Cole, Marsalis and UJO performances help free the mind,

Marsalis’ experiences performing with music legends Ray Charles, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Fats Domino. “The model of the band is that we can play music from any decade, with conviction and authority,” said Marsalis to the Santa Barbara Independent. “One minute you’re in the streets of New Orleans, the next at the Apollo, in a Mississippi juke joint or at a soulful church function. We’re definitely a feel-good band that focuses on entertaining folks from the first note to the last!” The Broad Stage Artistic Director, Rob Bailis, says that “Delfeayo is one of Jazz’s most treas-

warm the heart, and heal the soul. The addition of vocalist—and The Voice semi-finalist—Tonya BoydCannon adds an electrifying element that engages audiences through call-and-response chants and gospel-inflected sing-a-longs. WRTI Radio Philadelphia notes, “The music is simultaneously progressive and traditional, containing musical influences from across the jazz and blues universe and unmistakably rooted in the grooves of New Orleans second line.” UJO’s unique approach stems from

ured artists. He is extraordinary in the field – he is holding down the tradition of New Orleans jazz. He is literally the culture bearer of the tradition at the height of his powers.” Tickets starting at $45 are available at thebroadstage. org or by calling 310.434.3200, or visiting the box office

at 1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401, beginning three hours prior to performance. At the age of 17, Marsalis began his career as a producer and has to date produced over 130 recordings garnering one Grammy award and several nominations. In 2000, he formed the Uptown Music Theatre, a non-profit organization that empowers New Orleans youth through dramatic arts training. He has written 18 musicals and composed over 100 songs that help introduce kids to jazz through musical theater. His Swinging with the Cool School “soft introduction to jazz” workshops have reached over 7,500 students nationally. Marsalis has a dual bachelor’s degree in music performance and production from Berklee College of Music, a master’s in jazz performance from the University of Louisville and was conferred a doctorate from the New England College.

What Broad Stage Debut Delfeayo Marsalis & The Uptown Jazz Orchestra When Friday, May 11, 2022 | 7:30PM The Broad Stage |

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rom New York Times bestselling author and 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Alicia Keys comes a new authentic and poignant coming-of-age young adult graphic novel, about finding the strength within when your whole world changes in an instant. Lolo Wright always thought she was just a regular fourteen-year-old dealing with regular family drama: her brother, James, is struggling with his studies; her dad’s business constantly teeters on the edge of trouble; and her mother . . . she left long ago. But then Lolo’s world explodes when a cop pulls a gun on James in a dangerous case of mistaken identities. Staring down the barrel, with no one else to help, Lolo discovers powers she never knew she had. Using only her mind, she literally throws the cop out of the way. Problem is that secrets like Lolo’s don’t stay a secret for long. Skin, a dangerous dealer with designs on taking over the neighborhood,

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hears of Lolo’s telekinetic abilities and decides that he needs her in his crew. Skin might not have Lolo’s powers, but he’s got nothing to lose and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. And what he wants is Lolo. Lolo’s not willing to let Skin use her to hurt the people—and neighborhood—that she loves. But it’s going to take a whole different kind of bravery to stand-up for what’s right, especially after Lolo’s mom returns

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suddenly and turns Lolo’s whole world upside-down. For too long, it’s true, Lolo’s had her head in the clouds, but this time, it’s on her . . . and she’s not backing down. Girl on Fire is a young adult graphic novel about a girl who’s a flame. It’s the first-ever graphic novel from beloved GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Alicia Keys, co-written by Andrew Weiner and illustrated by Brittney Williams.

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Director Lee Daniels and Andra Day Writer, director and producer Lee Daniels and Grammy-nominated singer and actress Andra Day joined The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart in a Washington Post Live interview today to discuss their new film, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” addressing how working on this film helped them understand the legacy of Billie Holiday more deeply, the importance of this film at the current moment in American history and what they would like audiences to take away from it.

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Notable soundbites are below. Video can be used on-air with mandatory on-screen credit to The Washington Post. Online, video should be embedded using the embed code: https://


ee Daniels on what influenced his approach to Billie Holiday’s life: “Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, sent me this beautiful script that really depicts the government breaking her down, coming for Billie Holiday, and really trying to cripple her as an artist for singing ‘Strange Fruit,’ which was about lynching Black people. And that wasn’t the understanding of Billie Holiday that I had. I thought that she was a troubled jazz singer that got in trouble with the law, and did drugs, and was fashionable. I didn’t know that she was a political activist. And I pride myself on being smart about our history, and I thought to myself, if I don’t do this, I don’t know, I had to do it. I thought also, how many other stories about our people have been hidden?” Andra Day on developing a deeper understanding of the legacy of Billie Holiday: “For me it wasn’t different, it was just deeper. It was deeper, it was more solidified, it became more crystalized. She is my foremost inspiration, that’s where Day comes from in my artist name. It all came together when I remembered, once we did all of this and I see what Lee’s put together, it’s like yeah she was doing all of this pre-civil rights. There was not a movement to support her. And I cannot stress that enough, it was not that she had this whole great community and this movement, and this sort of army behind her. It was just her and her broad woman shoulders. You think that, you know, her community of people loved her, but she would also be penalized. The NAACP sort of wrote these violation cards about behavior.

I think what it really made me realize, was first of all, it made me just love her, and be so grateful to God to her and for her. It made me realize my own strengths as a Black woman and it just made me realize what we are capable of as people. And the fact that she was doing all of this with all of this trauma, with all of this pain, and all of this loss, that she was still victorious. That made me realize that her addiction is an illness, how could this woman have done all of this without some type of battery in her back? I think it manifests differently in our lives but she was just trying to be healthy, she’s trying to be well. It just deepened my loved and my gratitude for her.” Lee Daniels on the importance of this film at the current moment in American history: “I can only do what’s in my spirit, what leads me to my spirit, and I think SLP wrote this for the same reason I wanted to direct this. You feel what’s in the air, and we felt that George Floyd was going to happen, it was just a matter of time. It was in my spirit. I haven’t told you this Andra, but I was on the set of ‘Empire,’ my TV show, and Taraji [P. Henson] had a son that was 19, Terrence Howard had a son that was 19, my son was 19 at the time, we all looked at each other and all of our sons were on probation for petty stuff. And it was no coincidence that they were three men, three boys, in three different parts of the world in the United States, all on probation. If we didn’t have the money to keep them out of jail, who knows what would have happened. So when I did this, this was really

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about how we were feeling in America. How as a Black man I feel in America. This movie was a call to arms.” Andra Day on what audiences should take away from this film: “The big message is that you need to know the truth that Billie Holiday was the godmother of the civil rights movement as we know it today, and so we should be saying thank you to her. And then I think to piggyback off of that, what Billie would want is now for us to go look at other people’s stories, to excavate, and to find more stories. The world went crazy last year when they found out Beethoven was African, why is there such a desperate desire to suppress our stories, or tell untruths about our heritage? So the idea is to do what Lee did, pop the top off, tell more and more, there should be a flood of Black and marginalized people’s stories, because we have not historically told them, or told the truth about them. I want them to say thank you to her and I want

them to continue to seek out the truth as she lived her fight.” VIEW CLIP Lee Daniels and Andra Day on their new film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” Writer, director and producer Lee Daniels and Grammy-nominated singer and actress Andra Day joined The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart in a Washington Post Live interview today to discuss their new film, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” addressing how working on this film helped them understand the legacy of Billie Holiday more deeply, the importance of this film at the current moment in American history and what they would like audiences to take away from it. Notable soundbites are below. Video can be used on-air with mandatory on-screen credit to The Washington Post.

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CoffeeTalk Shop It is official Coffee Talk JAZZ Radio and Magazine continues touching the WORLD through jazz. Our fan shop has a delightful selection of t-shirt apparel merchandise for Men, Women and Kids. You will see musicians and artists around the globe wearing their CoffeeTalk Tshirts.



Place your single or bulk order now for your next group event. Send your shopping inquiry to for a quick response or send a text to (562) 544-8102 with your order. S - M - L - XL - $35.00 each, plus shipping. HATS - $25.00 plus shipping.


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TLANTA, GA – HBCU Culture Legacy Foundation 501c3 proudly presented The HBCU Culture Homecoming Fest & Battle of The Bands. This highly anticipated annual event will kick off Saturday April 23rd with The Fan Festival, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Perpetually overflowing with a wide variety of exciting activities. During the festival attendees enjoyed Live Performances, Drumlines, featured High School Bands, and a College Career Fair which included sponsors such as DoorDash, FBI, Morris Brown College, and the US Army. The festival also boasted a wide variety of vendors, free Covid testing, as well as delicious local eateries such as Slutty Vegan. Five marching bands from HBCUs battled it out at The Gas South Arena – Alabama A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Benedict College, South Carolina State

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University, and Alabama State University. This event attracted over 14k sought-after band performers, HBCU alumni, and supporters from across the nation. During the show, was a live performance by Artist / Producer Jor’dan Armstrong, and an honorary ceremony for Dr. Kevin James, President of Morris Brown College & Maja Sly, Serial Entrepreneur / Business Coach. This event kicked off the HBCU Culture $1 Millon Dollar Scholarship Initiative for 2022. Proceeds from tickets and sponsorships were devoted directly to meet their goal. From Saturday’s event the foundation raised $253,000 towards this goal, and $30,000 of those funds were donated by Gas South. It is with honor to announce the upcoming HBCU Culture Homecoming Fest and Battle of the Bands, will be held on November 6th in Charlotte, NC!



pproaching his senior year at an HBCU College, due to experiencing tragedy & the loss of his father. Founder Frank Johnson was forced to make the decision to drop out & help provide for his family. Established in 2018 founders Frank & La Keisha Johnson developed HBCU Culture Legacy Foundation 501c3, with a vision to provide reliable resources to HBCU institutions & students. From year to date, the foundation has successfully provided over $650,000 in scholarships and educational experiences to over 3,100 students. These much-needed funds help to ensure that no student loses a good quality education due to the lack of funds & will not have to make the same decision Frank Johnson once made. After unprecedented growth, the foundation continues to build on its success by increasing community outreach and create unique opportunities for HBCU students in the years to come. For more information about HBCU Culture Homecoming Battle of the Bands or to learn more on how to donate towards the $1 million dollar scholarship goal. Media Inquiries Contact:

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ith years of experience, we are offering artist interview services for singers, bands, musicians like you and post it on our website. Our team of experts will review your music and gather information about you then we will make an interview question set. Once you answer those questions and send those back to us we will post it on our interview section. •

Promote yourself by featuring your music and work in our Artist Interview section.

If you desire an Artist Interview submit your music send us the details about your music. Our team will review it and send you an artist interview questionnaire.

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We can also offer paid promotion in various social media (Instagram and Twitter), music blogs along with Music EPK Design Services.

You interview will be featured into Google News, throughout the CoffeeTalk Jazz Network and Music Entertainment weekly newspaper.


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The 64th Annual Grammy Awards

The CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine family made a stellar showing at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, held April 3, 2022 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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ur members and affiliates earned trophies in 53 categories, led by Jon Batiste, who took home five Grammys (including Album of the Year for We Are) and gave a life-affirming performance of his Grammy-winning song “Freedom.” 2021’s break out pop

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star Olivia Rodrigo earned three Grammys including Best New Artist. Chris Stapleton dominated the country categories with three awards, while Jazmine Sullivan earned two in the R&B field for her critically acclaimed album Heaux Tales and single “Pick Up Your Feelings.”

Longtime Bruno Mars collaborator Christopher Brody Brown took Song of the Year and Best R&B Song for cowriting “Leave the Door Open,” and ASCAP member Michael Romanowski was the king of engineers this Grammy night, taking three honors - including a Best

Immersive Sound Grammy that was postponed from last year. Foo Fighters took the rock triple crown of Best Rock Song (“Waiting on a War”), Best Rock Album (Medicine at Midnight) and Best Rock Performance (“Making a Fire”), nine days after the

SONG OF THE YEAR “Leave the Door Open”

Christopher Brody Brown, songwriter (Silk Sonic)

tragic death of their drummer Taylor Hawkins; while the band was understandably absent, Billie Eilish paid tribute to Hawkins by wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his face as she performed her song “Happier Than Ever.” The Grammys stage hosted memorable performances across the genre spectrum, from Justin Bieber to BTS, Cynthia Erivo to show closers Brothers Osborne. All in all it was a supportive, heartfelt Grammys show – just what

we all needed. Batiste nailed the vibe perfectly during his Album of the Year speech: “I believe this to my core, there is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor...The creative arts are subjective, and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is made and it’s almost like it has a radar to find the person when they need it the most...I just put my head down and I work on the craft

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every day. I love music, I’ve been playing since I was a little boy. It’s more than entertainment for me, it’s a spiritual practice...Every single artist that was nominated in this category I actually love and have had out-of-body experiences with your music. I honor you and this is for real artists, real musicians. Let’s just keep going. Be you!”

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Congratulations to all our Grammy Awards winners Album of the Year We Are Jon Batiste Hot 8 Brass Band, Autumn Rowe & Trombone Shorty, featured artists; Jon Batiste, King Garbage, Kizzo (BUMA) & Autumn Rowe, producers; Jon Batiste & Kizzo (BUMA), engineer/mixer; Troy Andrews, Jon Batiste, Zach Cooper, Vic Dimotsis, Kizzo (BUMA) & Autumn Rowe, songwriters Best New Artist Olivia Rodrigo Best Pop Solo Performance “drivers license” Olivia Rodrigo Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album “Love for Sale” Tony Bennett Best Pop Vocal Album “Sour” Olivia Rodrigo

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Best Dance/Electronic Music Album “Subconsciously” Black Coffee (PRS) Best Contemporary Instrumental Album “Tree Falls” Taylor Eigsti Best Rock Performance “Making a Fire” Foo Fighters Best Metal Performance “The Alien” Dream Theater Best Rock Song “Waiting on a War” Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, songwriters (Foo Fighters) Best Rock Album “Medicine at Midnight” Foo Fighters

Best Alternative Music Album “Daddy’s Home” St. Vincent Best R&B Performance “Pick Up Your Feelings” Jazmine Sullivan Best R&B Song “Leave The Door Open” Christopher Brody Brown, songwriter (Silk Sonic) Best R&B Album “Heaux Tales” Jazmine Sullivan Best Melodic Rap Performance “Hurricane” Featuring The Weeknd (SOCAN) & Lil Baby

Chris Stapleton, songwriter (Chris Stapleton) Best Country Album “Starting Over” Chris Stapleton Best Jazz Vocal Album Songwrights Apothecary Lab Esperanza Spalding Best Jazz Instrumental Album “Skyline” Gonzalo Rubalcaba Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver” Christian McBride Big Band

Best Rap Song “Jail” Shawn Carter, songwriter (Kanye West Featuring Jay-Z) Best Country Solo Performance “You Should Probably Leave” Chris Stapleton Best Country Duo/Group Performance “Younger Me” Brothers Osborne Best Country Song “Cold”

Best Latin Jazz Album “Mirror Mirror” with Chucho Valdés Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “Believe for It” Dwan Hill, songwriter Best Contemporary Christian Music Album “Old Church Basement” Maverick City Music Best Tropical Latin Album “Salswing!” Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta

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Jon Batiste & Trent Reznor, composers Best Song Written for Visual Media “All Eyes on Me” [From Inside] Bo Burnham, songwriter (Bo Burnham) Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella “Meta Knight’s Revenge” (From Kirby Superstar) Charlie Rosen & Jake Silverman, arrangers (The 8-Bit Big Band Featuring Button Masher) Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals “To the Edge of Longing (Edit Version)” Vince Mendoza, arranger (Vince Mendoza, Czech National Symphony Orchestra & Julia Bullock)

Best American Roots Performance “Cry” Jon Batiste

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package “All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edi-

Beauty in the Silence “Soja” Best Global Music Album “Mother Nature” Angelique Kidjo Best Spoken Word Album “Carry On” : Reflections for a New Generation from John Lewis/Don Cheadle Best Comedy Album “Sincerely Louis CK” Louis C.K. Best Musical Theater Album “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” Emily Bear, producer; Abigail Barlow & Emily Bear, composers/lyricists (Barlow & Bear) Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media “Soul”

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tion Dhani Harrison (PRS) & Olivia Harrison (PRS), art directors (George Harrison) Best Historical Album Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) Joni Mitchell, compilation producer (Joni Mitchell)

Best Immersive Audio Album (2022) Alicia Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Ann Mincieli, immersive producer (Alicia Keys) Best Immersive Audio Album (2021) Soundtrack of the American Soldier Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer (Jim R. Keene & The United States Army Field Band) Due the COVID-19 pandemic, the 63RD GRAMMY Awards Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee meeting was postponed until after last year’s GRAMMY Awards. The committee has met and the nominations for the 63rd GRAMMYs are being voted on and the winner presented as part of the 64TH GRAMMY Awards.

Michael Romanowski, mastering engineer (Chanticleer) Best Choral Performance Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Leah Crocetto, Mihoko Fujimura, Ryan McKinny, Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Morris Robinson & Tamara Wilson; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus & Pacific Chorale) Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Beethoven: “Cello Sonatas - Hope Amid Tears” Yo-Yo Ma Best Classical Solo Vocal Album Mythologies Sangeeta Kaur & Hila Plitmann; Danaë Xanthe Vlasse, pianist (Virginie D’Avezac De Castera, Lili Haydn, Wouter Kellerman, Nadeem Majdalany, Eru Matsumoto & Emilio D. Miler) Best Classical Compendium Women Warriors - The Voices of Change Mark Mattson, producer Best Contemporary Classical Composition Shaw: “Narrow Sea” Caroline Shaw, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Gilbert Kalish & Sō Percussion) Best Music Video “Freedom” Jon Batiste Best Music Film “Summer of Soul” (Various Artists) Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, video director

Best Engineered Album, Classical Chanticleer Sings Christmas

Lifetime Achievement Awards Honorees Bonnie Raitt Grandmaster Flash Salt-n-Pepa Talking Hea

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LOVE OF ENGINEERING Gearhead To GRAMMYs: How Audio Engineer Ann Mincieli’s Love Of Tech & Collabs With Alicia Keys Have Influenced An Industry Ann Mincieli has become a major name in audio production and engineering, collaborating with Alicia Keys on a variety of projects. She recently won a GRAMMY for Best Immersive Audio Album — a feat that puts her in a rare category of audio professionals. GRAMMY-winning recording engineer Ann Mincieli first met a young, inquisitive Alicia Keys in the elevator of Quad Studios’ New York building. Keys had signed a publishing deal with Columbia Records when she was 15 years old, and was interested in learning more about the two-inch tapes Mincieli was carrying. “The tapes were heavy and she was asking me all these questions. I didn’t even realize who she was. I was a little standoffish because I was like, ‘Who’s asking me all these questions?’” Mincieli says. Twenty-plus years later, the two have formed an acclaimed creative partnership that has resulted in multiple GRAMMYs for both Keys and Mincieli. “Our relationship is more about collaborating and less about Oh, you’re a producer and you’re an engineer and you’re a writer. We’re all artists,” Mincieli says over Zoom. After being Keys’ studio coordinator for a num-

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ber of years, the two creatives partnered to open Jungle City Studios, a state-of-the-art recording facility that houses both vintage and modern technology. “After working with Alicia in studios around the world, I took the best of what I saw from my experiences,” Mincieli says, adding that her retro-futuristic engineering style pairs well with Keys’. “It’s exciting because we became the hub for a lot of artists. We teach the technology of being retro and futuristic.” At the 64th GRAMMY Awards, Mincieli won her third GRAMMY for Best Immersive Audio Album for Alicia. The album was recorded using Sony’s 360 Reality Audio technology, an audio format that mimics surround sound and brings a 3D experience to music. Following her most recent win, Mincieli is now one of a small collective that have won a GRAMMY for both engineering and producing.

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spoke with Mincieli over Zoom to discuss her musical partnership with Alicia Keys, what it takes to navigate the music industry as a woman, and the importance of emerging audio technology. Can you explain the difference between a mixing engineer and a recording engineer? AAs a recording engineer, you’re starting with a song, in a lot of instances, from scratch. You’re getting rough mixes every night and your job is to keep evolving the song through the entire recording process. This includes the overdub process, the arrangement process, any lyric changes, or additional parts the producer, writer, or artist may want to add in. Then there’s a phase where we mix

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the album. The recording engineer’s rough mix is basically the reference point where the mix engineer starts. It’s your job as a recording engineer to make sure the mixing engineer has all of the proper files and arrangement versions that they need. The mixing engineer takes the track and mixes it by combining all of the various audio elements. Some mixers may work on one or two songs. Some mixers work on whole albums. There are no rules at the end of the day: If I’m a recording engineer and I’m making the cake from scratch, the mixing engineer is putting a lot of the flavor and icing on. They are also responsible for that top finish.

What was the inspiration behind opening Jungle City Studios? Did you foresee it being the premiere studio that it is today?

is history for us. We started in her basement studio; each year we evolved as the industry twisted and turned.

Definitely! When I choose to do something, I put blinders on and I really focus on the end goal. f you start to look at all the negatives, then you really derail yourself from the initial end goal. I’ve learned this through my journey as an engineer. There are all these long hours and many negative aspects that come with the job, but I try to block that stuff out and focus on the goal.

What I love most is I was a gearhead and she was a gearhead. Alicia loved technology. I loved technology and fast-forward to today I’m heavily involved with our digital strategies. Like how do we convert social media followers to customers? How can we partner with companies like Native Instruments, iZotope, and SoundCloud?

My sister was the person who really pushed me to open up my own studio, but I started building studios with Alicia at the end of 2003. She always was a person that had a studio in her house — she started working out of her bedroom studio in the early ‘90s. Once we started collaborating, she had a great setup in her Harlem apartment and in her house in Queens. The thing that I love is most artists had their version of a studio in their house. It’s just evolved now, technology allows you to do more. Eventually, Alicia officially opened a studio just four miles from her house — she named it Oven Studios. That’s where I really cut my teeth, and learned about designers and studio designs and acoustics. It was then that the concept was born for me. At the end of 2008, we found what’s now one of the first buildings that were built for the Hudson Yards in Manhattan and it’s in a really cool location. We’re right in the heart of the city but away from the hustle and bustle. Artists can walk around and not be in the middle of Times Square — it’s the perfect combination. When we moved in we took over two penthouse condos and two additional condos on the 10th floor. Fast forward to today, I moved Alicia’s studio from Long Island. She has two floors in my building, so it’s one great big community. We do photo and video shoots, and our studio is often featured on TV. It’s such a multi-purpose facility, which is way beyond our goals, which is incredible. How did your creative partnership with Alicia grow over the years? So it started very small and we incremented up. I got to record and work on the Diary of Alicia Keys album. After the album was released, we traveled the world. The end of 2003 is when she bought her own musical playground, Oven Studios. And the rest

We have a piano plugin with Native Instruments. It’s 12 years old, which demonstrates that we are very much ahead of the technology. There’s nothing that we don’t do together, whether it’s a big ad by Amazon, or me suggesting to the GRAMMYs that Alicia hosts. We really work on music together in the studio and out. This allows us to consider how we make the music reach far and wide, and we always find ways to push each other and help each other grow. What does this most recent GRAMMY win for Alicia mean to you? To be recognized by your peers in this way is pretty amazing. Especially because of this important technology… and the fact that I produced each song. It’s much harder to keep the integrity of the mixes because there are 10 different mixers, mixing the stereo versions, and there are 10 different producers. So I was tasked with keeping the artist’s vision of each song, and making sure we can evolve the mixes into the immersive format while maintaining the integrity of the mix, so it’s a hybrid. I don’t think there are many people who won a GRAMMY for producing engineering, and I will go on to say that there are not many women who won a GRAMMY for producing and engineering. What would you say has been your biggest obstacle navigating the music industry as a woman I think the biggest obstacle overall in the music industry is women are placed under a microscope. In my experience, I haven’t been prohibited because I am a woman, but I had to really work hard. And not that I didn’t want to. It’s just guys can be mediocre and get further in the business, but as a woman, you know you’re really being judged. What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to be an engineer?

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I would say just focus on being good and you’ll gain the respect in the room. Studying and working hard is what’s going to allow you to stand out. That’s how I pushed through the industry. You have to know that you really want to do this. You have to know that it’s not glamorous. A lot of

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times on social media, It’s like, “look at me. I’m in a studio.” But when it comes down to it, do you know your stuff beyond Instagram? You have to be competitive and you have to study. I believe if the focus is on being great, the women will outshine the men.

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Musicbox Artist Spotlight



The Backstory

avid started out his musical

industry his entire adult life for vari-

career as an MC/DJ during

ous independent record labels, he

the iconic era of Sugar Hill

was able to understand the driving

Gang, Kurtis Blow, and Grandmas-

mantra of “brand before the band”.

ter Flash. Having spent many of his

With the Funktastic Players’ band,

early years producing rap acts, like

Williams is focusing on constructing

all producers from the era, Williams

an immortalized brand image both

sampled soul, jazz, and funk records

nationally and internationally. The

from the 70s.

group released their first CD, ‘Generations’ six years ago and are only

With a thirst to re-create his own

moving onwards and upwards.

original soul and jazz music, he went beyond just sampling musical compositions. As the years passed by, the talented artist found himself finally free to do the music he always wanted to do and just the way he had in mind. Having worked in the


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DAVID WILLIAMS Q. Do you have a favorite piece of music that you worked on? I have several but not so much for the music but for the video that I put together and produced for them. I wrote a song called Trash Talking Remix and the video I did for it is still one of my all time favorites. Kevin Croom, my writing partner, and I wrote a beautiful song called Daydreaming and I love the video I put together for it as well. We did a remake of James Brown’s Get Up Offa That Thing and I loved how that video turned out. Summer winds, from our latest project, is one of my favorites. The video fits so well with the music! Q. What genre of music do you produce? These days I only write and produce my brand of funk influenced jazz although I will, for the fun of it, write an old school, lo-fi, boom bap hip-hop track just to see if I still have the chops.

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Q. I’m certain you’ve produced several artists that would probably be considered RnB, funk, or contemporary jazz? I’ve been doing this for a long time! Back in the 80’s I was hired to produce hip-hop artists. In the 90’s I got hired to bring my hip-hop knowledge to writing for r&b acts. By the mid 90’s I was lead engineer and partner in Platinum Vibe Studio and wrote music for customers in whatever style or genre they wanted. These days I primarily write my funk influenced jazz. Kevin and I also produced a song called Sunset Groove for jazz guitarist Dave Prince. That song was picked up by guitarist U-NAM on his The Love Vault CD. Q. How would you describe your workstyle? Kevin and I collaborate via email. I have my own lab and he has his. We pass songs back and forth until all our ideas are fleshed out. For bass I email the song to

Adrian Norton who records his bass line at his spot. I then email the song to Marcus Mitchell, our sax player. Marcus has his own lab and records his lead sax there then he sends it back to me for final mixing and mastering. The internet is a wonderful thing! We rarely see each other during the whole process but we stay in constant communication with each other until the project is completed. This is how we’ve always worked so when COVID came along nothing changed. There are times when musicians will have to come to my place to get recorded but for the most part I work with people who have their own studio set ups! My advice for those who want to do this is to invest in your own home studio and high speed internet. My current project Full Circle was recorded completely through email! Q. I’ve worked with many music producers over the years. Most productions are hardly ever started and finished in the same calendar year. Share and describe to the CoffeeTalk Jazz readers the stages a song goes through before it is finally written, produced and then mastered? I would like to first say that I only write when I have to these days so projects start when I have one to work on. Early on in my career I would write just to be writing and I accumulated a backlog of songs that just sat there. Now, projects start by listening to those old songs to see if they fit the bill for what I’m looking for. Full Circle, our current project, is a good example of that. Kevin and I looked at old songs, some of which were 10-20 years old and brought them back. That’s how we came up with the name Full Circle. Full Circle was put together in about 4 to 5 months and all the new songs were written in that same time frame. Q. Mixing, engineering mastering can be time consuming. What is the first thing you listen for when listening to a new

recording? I generally listen to how good a mastering job was done on the song. For me it’s about Impact, clarity, stereo panning and a wide stereo field. Q.What is the one thing every song must have for it to feel solid? A song absolutely has to have great rhythm. That comes from my hip-hop roots. The first thing I notice about any song is the beat and the bass line. I wrote a song a couple of years ago called Master Class.The song was a series of funky old drum tracks and rhythm guitar. The point of the song was to show you didn’t need much to be funky! Add contemporary jazz chord structure and a lead instrument and you have the formula of what we do. Q. When most artists come to you, do they typically have ideas for songs, like the basic chords, the hook? And where can you take it from there? I mentioned earlier Kevin and I produced an album for jazz guitarist David Prince. Dave would sit at his kitchen table with an acoustic guitar and a digital recorder and would hum and play his idea out. We took his recordings and crafted all his ideas into some great tunes. To be honest I prefer to work this way. Q. Tell me what your first music teacher was like. What lessons did you learn from them that you still use today? I had no music teachers. I am completely self taught. What I had were detractors, musicians that said I would never be able to do what I’m doing. They motivated me to succeed, to push forward, to prove them wrong! In my career I have probably done every job in this industry and the most important thing I learned along the way is to always be ready and willing to learn and grow. I spend more money than I make but investing in myself has paid satisfying dividends.

CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine 73

94TH ACADEMY AWARDS CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine 74

Inside the 94th Academy Awards Governors Ball 2022


he Governors Ball is the first stop of the final night of an exhausting and bitter aaward season, where nominees, both winners and losers, can finally breathe, thankful that their months of staying on brand and on message has come to a close. It takes place just a few escalators up from the Ray Dolby Ballroom

itself, a short ride that in most years helps give the party a rarefied feel. Not this year, when all anyone could talk about was the slap seen around the world. It was top of mind for most conversations.

tions are her,” Ms. Wegner said, adding that if it weren’t for Ms. Campion, none of them would have been in that room. “I have nothing at all to complain about.”

The team at Netflix, which was nominated for 27 Oscars and won only one, partied like they were the belles of the ball. Ted Sarandos, the co-chief executive of Netflix, belted out the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” while his marketing associate Albert Tello mugged with Jane Campion’s best director Oscar for “The Power of the Dog.” Ms. Campion swayed with Lisa Nishimura, another Netflix executive, while D.J. D-Nice kept the tunes going. Ari Wegner, who lost out on making history as the first female cinematographer to win an Oscar, didn’t appear worse for wear, thrilled that Ms. Campion nabbed the prize. “All of our nomina-

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