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Coffee Talk

Magazine

Jazz

The Smooth Jazz Alley “Looking To The Future” City of Hope Music Legends Women in Music Digital Edition

WINTER 2021 COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

The Artist Spotlight EDITION 2021 TheAmerican MusicWINTER Awards

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Wh o We A r e Looking to promote or advertise with us? CoffeeTalk delivers the convenience of a single point of contact in print, on-air or online. Whether you’re an artist, record label, festival, event organizer, restaurant owner, we can help! Standing strong as one of world’s leading voice’s in print, we offer uniquely tailored promotional and marketing strategies and campaigns to grow your brand. Featured to over 1,000,000+ followers (across all our network) with 93% of our dedicated fanbase aged between 42-68 we’ve got you covered. With a monthly reach between one and two million followers CoffeeTalk Jazz continues to grow meteorically, attracting 1000 new followers across multiple platforms every month. If you’re looking to get ahead promoting your brand to a truly global audience, look no further. Contact one of our dedicated team members let’s get started.

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w w w . c o f fe e t a l k j a z z . c o m c o f fe e t a l k j a z z COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

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Editor’s Letter Welcome To A New Decade!

W

hat began 13 years ago as an unlikely dream has become some of my favorite work. I treasure the CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine and the musicians and artist that bare their souls through sound while sharing their backstories, passion, and inspiration with our readers. Whether you’re an avid reader of our Winter 2021 edition or if it’s the first time you’ve physically held our magazine or downloaded our digital issue our mission, our purpose and vision are clear. We help indie artists and songwriter’s market and promote their, music and recordings in this new digital age. In the stories and pages ahead, I hope you’ll find something which sparks your interest and speaks to the music lover in you. You’ll enjoy our Cover story featuring Musicians Marco Montoya and Kevin Lewis

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known around the world as The Smooth Jazz Alley. Coming along with us as we shine a bright Artist Spotlight featuring Billboard #1 Soul/Jazz flutist, vocalist, and songwriter Ragan Whiteside, Musical Director, Composer and Keyboardist Jesse Thompson, Guitarist Eric Byak composer, producer as he blends Brazilian jazz, funk, and salsa. Baltimore Maryland is in the house Fusing soul, funky, creative & eclectic fellow musician Bassist Marcelli and his bandmates DeadDream have something to share. I’m so glad you’re here and I am grateful for your support. CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine is the number one source to find out what is happening in the world of jazz.

Bridgette Lewis Founder and Editorial Director Email: CoffeeTalkJazzRadio@msn.com


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Valentine’s Day

CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine Febuary 14th message

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Critics Choice Association (CCA)

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Angie Rose Blooms on Confessional New EP Unstoppable

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Let’s Eat Tips for eating healthy during the pandemic

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Culinary Kickoff Cook With Renowned Chefs + NFL Legends For Super Bowl LV

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The Future of Jazz

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City of Hope Jazz around the city

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CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio

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Black American Music Association

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Taste of Hope

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American Cancer Society

22: Let’s Ride 26: Interview with Marco Montoya 34: Interview with Kevin Lewis

Shot To the Head Photography

The Smooth Jazz Alley

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Honey County Featuring Dani Rose and Sofie

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Artist SpotLight

40: Composer Jesse Thompson

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50: Flutist Ragan Whiteside 56: Guitarist Eric Byak

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76: Q&A with Bobby Roebuck

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American Music Awards

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DeadDream Q&A With Founding Member Bassist Marcelli “Sky’s the Limit”


con ten ts

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Happy Valen

www.Godiva.com/Gift-cards 8

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entine’s Day CoffeeTalk Jazz Magazine & GODIVA CHOCOLATE Have partnered together to say: When words simply are not enough, send our Say It Simply Chocolate. Will You Be My Valentine? Godiva chocolatier has paired innovative flavors with the classic chocolate truffle for an unparalleled taste sensation and a fabulous go-to gift for everyone on your list. They’ll love the ganache filled truffles in flavors like Creme Brulee, Strawberry Creme Tarte, Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate Mousse and more. For over 80 years, Godiva® has been using only the finest quality ingredients to create chocolates and other confections that cater to the world’s most discerning chocolate connoisseurs and jazz lovers.

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THE CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION (CCA)

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he Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the film nominees for the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards. The winners will be

revealed LIVE on The CW on Sunday, March 7, 2021 from 7-10pm ET/PT, with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his third consecutive time. The show will continue its combined Film and Television awards format, honoring the finest in both cinematic and televised/streaming achievement. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be an in-person/virtual hybrid, with Diggs and some of the evening’s presenters filming from a stage in Los Angeles, and nominees appearing remotely from various locations around the world. About the Critics Choice Association (CCA) The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content.

For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com

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Angie Rose

Blooms on Confessional New EP Unstoppable Bronx-Bred Puerto Rican singer and rapper Angie Rose releases single, “Not A Monster,” on Capitol CMG and VME (New York, NY) January 20, 2021- Faith, and a love

Growing up in The Bronx, the birthplace of hip-

for God and hip-hop, propelled recording artist

hop, and around the influences by her Puerto

Angie Rose from the clutches of self-destruction,

Rican roots, Rose’s musical mindset has formed an

thus setting her recording career ablaze. As a re-

armor to withstand a world and an industry that

sult, Capitol CMG and VME announced the release

isn’t always welcoming to women holding a mic.

of Unstoppable, Angie’s new EP, out now on all

Rose, a South by Southwest Music Festival fave,

music platforms.

has graced stages across the festival spectrum with her signature blend of humility and barrio flow,

The project is led by “Not A Monster,” which

appearing on stages with Pardison Fontaine, Andy

topped Spotify’s Latin playlist. Bouncy beats,

Mineo, Christon Gray, and Oswin Benjamin.

quick-witted lyricism, and her soulful trademark hooks lace the tracklist, featuring anthems such

This Spring, you can catch Angie Rose perform-

as “7 Gold Chains”, that can be taken to the party

ing at the 25th Annual 100 Hispanic Women gala

or on a transformational journey. “Angels” demon-

, spreading her inspiring message of unstoppable

strates her divine belief in the protection she’s felt

resilience.

journeying through the insular storms of her life.

Follow : @AngieRoseMusik Website: www.AngieRoseMusik.com. 12

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eat let’s

Just because you’re limiting trips to the grocery store doesn’t mean you have to abandon healthy and delicious food. Eating healthy is always a good idea

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Tips for Eating Healthy During the Pandemic The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world. If you’re wondering about what foods to eat during the coronavirus crisis and what exactly is the best coronavirus vegan diet menu plan to boost your immune system, let start with the basic fruits and vegetables. Creating a well-balanced coronavirus whole plant foods menu plan is still very possible even with many coronavirus food shortages reported in many places around the world. Eating a vegan diet and the coronavirus food shortage is an opportunity to source other healthy vegan foods even when fresh produce is limited or unavailable. I discuss what foods to eat during the coronavirus crisis and what a coronavirus food list looks like which will give you the nutrition and calories you need to stay as healthy as possible even when fresh produce is in limited supply or out of stock?

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Vegan Diet

and Covid-19

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• Frozen veggies like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, and Brussel sprouts • Packet foods like lentils, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat • Fruit juices and green veggie juices, including pasteurized juices • Green powders like barley grass juice powder • Raw nuts bars – with dried fruits and nuts • Root veggies like sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, taro, pumpkin, and squash It is also important to understand that getting home deliveries of foods to eat during the coronavirus is also possible in some places so this option is worth checking out. I have covered the foods to include in your plant foods menu plan above but what about any foods you should avoid? Apart from the obvious highly processed vegan foods like cookies, cakes, and sugary donuts, for example. It is best not to go for any tinned foods unless you have no other options available.

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CULINARY KICKOFF Cook With Renowned Chefs + NFL Legends For Super Bowl LV SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 | 8-9 PM PET

J

oin Chefs Charlie Palmer, Michael Lewis,

follow along during the cooking demonstrations.

Michael Mina, and Adam Sobel as they pair

Use promo code PALMERCKO at checkout and re-

up with NFL legends to cook up their favorite big

ceive $10 off the ticket price! Purchase NOW to get

game dishes.

your tickets to the event.

Celebrity hosts Sage Steele and Liam Mayclem will

Make sure to bid in our virtual live auction to help

guide guests through the culinary demonstrations

support the three charities benefiting from this

and through the Hall of Legends Lounge with NFL

year’s event: All Stars Helping Kids, The Culinary

all-star Charles Woodson.You’ll receive recipes in

Institute of America and the Ryan Nece Founda-

advance via an exclusive recipe community on the

tion!

Whisk appso you can purchase ingredients and

Chefs Charlie Palmer and Michael Lewis

FEATURED DISHES BRIOCHE, BLACK RIVER CAVIAR SNAKE RIVER FARMS NY STRIP LOIN SHALLOT, MAITAKE MUSHROOM, PARSNIP

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7TH ANNUAL HALL OF LEGENDS LOUNGE ™ VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE Saturday, February 6, 2021 5:00 – 6:00 PM (PST) 8:00 – 9:00 PM (EST) Join us for this exclusive virtual experience where we will have two award-winning chefs and their teams cooking up their favorite dishes. We’ll then go live to the Hall of Legends Lounge™in Tampa, where we will be joined by sports legends and other celebrities. Purchase now to get your tickets to the event.

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This exclusive virtual experience will gathe wineries and celebrities to help raise funds 20

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er legendary chefs, legendary athletes, elite s for our charitable partners. COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

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Meet Two of the Smoothest Musician’s in Music

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New Album “Let’s Ride” The Smooth Jazz Alley’s follow up album “Let’s Ride” is finally here! The album has an incredible line-up of amazing guest artists such as Andy Snitzer, Eric Marienthal, Roberto Vally, Joel Del Rosario, Tony Guerrero, Carlyle Barriteau & much more. Feel free to check out the liner notes on our music page where you can see all of our special guests that were involved in the making of this project.

Three tracks were produced by top Smooth Jazz Producer Matt Godina who has worked with many top Contemporary Jazz artists. It was also a treat working with studio engineer Carmen Grillo (Tower of Power) on the mixing and mastering of this project.

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Skytown Staff U-Nam | CEO | Artist | Producer Steve Cohen | A&R | Artist Manager | Media Relations Michele-Marie Cohen | Production Assistant | Media Relations

www.skytownrecords.com

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www.Gucci.com COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

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Marco

Montoya

“Let’s Ride”

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Q&A

Smooth Jazz is another genre in a similar

Q: What’s your deliberation process for se-

genre that keep it moving along with the

lection of what track will make the cut on your CD? (How do you determine if a track is

in Salsa even though it is loved worldwide. situation. The cool part is there are plenty of newer artists out there interested in the great pioneers that are still relevant. That said, its audience is an older generation for

going to make the CD?)

the most part & I think that’s why we’ve seen

A: To me, every track that makes the CD

pared to what we saw in the 90’s. Passing

must be a radio friendly track. This sets a bar right out of the gate. Radio friendly meaning the quality, feel, flow & catchiness have to be at a certain level. I listen to many different genres of music and have found that a great hook along with something that catches your attention within the first 10 seconds are absolutely vital to catching a listener’s attention. If I see a track we are working doesn’t have those elements, then it either needs to be dumped, reworked or as Kevin & I say “taken through the shop” for some restructuring, or even to get a total & complete

a decline in radio stations over time comon that musical baton is vital to keeping dying genres alive, even if the next generation adds a modern twist to an already existing great sound of the fusion of genres we have come to know as Smooth Jazz. Q. What would you tell an inexperienced musician on his way to the top? A. That creating a top-quality album is only the beginning. That as an independent artist, marketing and promotion are equally as important as creating an album. They take

makeover.

the same time, effort & yes financial invest-

Q: How important it is to pass the musical

important not to skimp out on anything

ment. Back to the music, I think it’s super

baton to the next generation?

along the road to quality, from instrumen-

A: Passing the musical baton to the next gen-

cially the mixing & mastering.

eration is extremely important. I think the lack of this might be contributing to some of the dying genre’s out there. For example, I played Salsa music for many years and 97% of the musicians I performed with in the Salsa scene were in their 40’s & up. It’s like the younger generation isn’t really interested COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

tation, producing to the tracking & espe-

Q: Let’s take a page from the movie back to the future, if you go back and pull a musician from another›s era who would that be and why? A: That would be Art Tatum, aw yeah! There WINTER EDITION 2021

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are so many great Jazz pianists out there, Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and many more & they are all great, but the first time I heard Art Tatum I was completely blown away. I would love to see his piano playing up close and in person and make him play some of those crazy runs in super slow motion for me, lol! He was an amazing pianist & every time I hear his music I just enjoy listening to his insane talent, knowing what kind of discipline & expertise it takes to pull off what he does. Q: What’s the most important lesson you have learned from working with and collaborating with other artists? A: The most important lesson I’ve learned about collaborating with other artists is that if they really like a track you’ve created, you are going to get them to pour their heart into what they end up tracking. That means you don’t just send any track over to an artist you want to collaborate with. It gets back to having something of quality, something catchy, something that they can really feel because the more they can feel that track, the more you are going to get out of them. For example, when we received “Montgomery Station” back from Eric Marienthal, he sent us 3 great passes and we had the hardest time trying to decide which take would make the final cut because they were all above and beyond! Kevin likes to call this “problems you love to have.”

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Q: You’ve accomplished a lot in your music journey what are you most proud of? A: I think up until now I am most proud of the album that Kevin & I have put together with “Let’s Ride”. I never imagined that some of the guest artists on this album would have ever playing on music that I had been a part of writing & creating. One thing that I really appreciate is the talent Kevin brings to The Smooth Jazz Alley. Yes, he is a drummer, however most people don’t even know the ear this guy has & how much attention to detail he has in music from a producer perspective. You would never know unless you sat with him in the studio to dissect a track. Kevin & I not only think alike,

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A: What impresses me the most about a successful musician is the detail they put into their craft, along with how knowledgeable they are about music in general, not specifically just the instrument they play. I think a successful musician can hear everything going on in a song & take all the detail of the song into consideration in how they insert their talent into the mix. Q:What would your family say is your best quality? A: Okay here is one of those Ms. Bridgette curveball questions…I knew one was coming, lol! Well I think my family would say my best quality would be the ability to push we listen for the same things in music also which makes a huge difference when you’re working with someone in the studio. I haven’t found too many people that can think of details on a track that I haven’t already thought of & that’s what Kevin brings. This album is the result of that dynamic & to have the guest artists that Kevin brought in, well that just puts it over the top of an accomplishment that I am super proud of. Making the first-round ballot for a Grammy consideration in Contemporary Instrumental this past October was just a bonus! Q: You’re a world class musician what impresses you most about a successful musician? COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

through trials that come at me while I’m on my way to taking care of business or working toward a goal & not giving up when there is a setback. If that’s what they would say, then I would attribute that all to the Lord who gives me the ability & strength to do that. Q: How important is continuing education in this music business? A: I think continuing education is super important, especially in the world we are in where technology is constantly changing & evolving. I mean there is new gear coming out every year, not to mention new computers, phones, etc. That said, continuing education in your instrument is a constant, WINTER EDITION 2021

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whether it be learning what you can from

of love & passion, but most of all hope. Hope

other musicians, networking/collaborating of something good coming into your future. with other artists to see how they are doing It’s like when Friday arrives & you can’t wait things, etc. I know that just in recording,

to see what new releases come out that week.

there are endless techniques, new software You know there will be a mixed bag of stuff, constantly coming out, old software getting but the unexpected surprise of a great song updated features, I mean it’s a constant evo-

that stands out & catches your attention, now

lution on multiple fronts. That’s not even in- that’s something! A song that just makes you cluding marketing, social media and other

feel good. That track you click and drag into

trends that independent artists have to be on

your library that you’re going to keep on re-

top of constantly.

peat. I relate it to the hope that God is going to bring you a great unknown blessing when

Q: What has music taught you?

you least expect it, yes, even in a world filled with a bunch of “stuff.”

A : Music has taught me how to be creative, how to express myself, how to take multiple approaches towards a common goal, and how to just be free to be me. Music has taught me it adapts to my moods, whether I’m irritated, happy, sad, excited, depressed or whether I just feel like meditating. Music has shown me how to catalog my life, take me back to when I was a child, remembering good times, good experiences & bad. Music reminds me

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Meet Kevin Lewis “The Man Behind The Music”

Q&A

The Smooth Jazz Alley. Out sourced for other feels might incorporate Jazz Producer Mr. Matt Godina who is always in the shadows of The Smooth Jazz Alley. Matt Godina knows the formula of which we stride for. That said, we tend to have a vast amount of materials to work within Q: What’s your deliration process for selecting what

and pending a feel that that may be absent that we may

track will make the cut on your CD?

call upon Matt AKA “Mayter” sometimes an album cover’s name may carry a term of endearment.

A: Like most musical artists, The Smooth Jazz Alley has a sound and within that sound flow and feel from

Q: What’s the most important lesson you have learned

one track to another is part of the process. Weather

from working with and collaborating with other artists?

an up temple or slow temp; the tracks excitement, scenic landscape, and points of view help shape the track

A: Getting excited about an idea may not be the other

“order” selection process.

person’s passion it may cause you to miss minor details which may affect your track. For example; there may be

Q: While reviewing a potential producer for your cur-

something played differently than what was originally in-

rent project “Let’s Ride” how do you determine which

tended, because of your excitement you could overlook

tracks will actually make it the final cut for your CD

the fact that one note could gives the track a different

project?

meaning or landscape not intended. I am most proud of the fact that Marco and I continue to put God the Father

A: The Smooth Jazz Alley in the past has used only one other producer otherwise written and produced by

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first as it relates to our musical plans.


As a drummer I am most proud of my ability to hear

I hear melodies and I have the uncanny ability to cre-

things that are not rhythmically but a mear melody

ate what I hear while translating it into a drummer’s

before it is actually played. I am most proud of my

sound. My process intrigues Marco as we are the perfect

collaborative mind, and being able to bring my mu-

pairing combining drums and keys. We are highly unusu-

sic thoughts to life. However, there is a double edge

al and not the typical duo.

sword to that mindset it may be beyond what someone else can conceive at that moment in time, (this statement doesn’t apply to Marco). However, because Marco and I think alike it does not mean that we do not have a difference of musical opinion, we do. A musical opinion is the artistry of the person creating it. Our musical opinions are unique and fueled with passion.

We respect each other tremendously giving each other breathing room as we walk out the process of creating our own musical legacies

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What impresses me the most about a musician is how well his or her thought process and approach is. Also co-existing within the ability to market his or her thought process as a brand. Music has taught me humility and humbleness more than I already possessed. It has also taught me to say what I am thinking that my direction in terms of sound and feel is clear and up front.

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WINTER EDITION 2021 www.SmoothJazzAlley.com

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Honey

County musical landscape: a place where the songs are anthemic, the harmonies are soaring, and two empowered women run the show. It’s a sound that’s taken Honey County around the world, from international shows in the Middle East and Africa to performances at American festivals like Stagecoach and CMA Fest. Along the way, they’ve earned raves from Rolling Stone Country, the LA Times and Billboard. Their songs have been featured in NFL commercials, HBO’s True Blood, CW’s Roswell and three episodes of Yellowstone.

Our Story

Honey County has left its unique mark onstage, on-air and in the recording studio. Fueled by an appreciation for the country artists who›ve come before them and an appetite for break-

Rooted in southern storytelling, punctuated

ing new ground, Honey County is excited to

by pop hooks, and brushe d with California

release new music and chase down new hori-

sunshine, Honey County is a harmony-heavy

zons.

country duo featuring Dani Rose and Sofie Lynn Formed in Los Angeles, the band also has roots in the Bible Belt and Texas. That diversity is reflected in Honey County›s music,

For more information visit:

www.HoneyCounty.com

a blend of contemporary country and timeless pop/rock that makes room for Nashville twang, West Coast harmonies and everything in between. Rose and Lynn created their own COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

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Artist Spotlight Jesse Thompson Composer, Producer & Music Director Jesse Thompson aka “JTJazz’’ is an up and coming pro-

thirteen instruments, the piano being one of them. Not

lific and energetic musician, composer, and bandlead-

only was JT musically influenced by his parents, but

er. JT is a native of Dayton, Ohio which is also known as

also by his oldest brother, Marvyn Wheatley, who re-

“ Theland of the Funk.’’ Being the son of a father who

corded and played with Dayton’s own R&B group, Slave .

was a professional jazz drummer and a mother who was

During that period, JT spent quite a bit of time with his

a church organist/pianist, JT got his gift naturally and

brothers hanging out in the studio with R&B artists such

started playing the drums as his first instrument at the

as: Slave, Roger Troutman & Zapp, Steve Arrington ,and

age of five.

others. As a passionate artist, these interactions added fuel to his creative fire, which ultimately resulted in

By the time JT was twelve years old, he played a total of

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him making the choice to produce and perform mu-


sic on regular basis. Although JT is a diverse musician, his primary focus is in the jazz/urban genre. His style is a mix of guts and glory while using a multitude of approaches to seduce the keys. JT’s music can be described as smooth, soulful, melodic, groovy, and straight from the heart. Great influences such as: George Duke, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, Alex Bugnon, Jimmy Smith, Billy Preston, Jeff Lorber, James Lloyd, Bob James s, and others, still have a major impact on his musical journey, which make his unique creations memorable and timeless.

The new single, “Weekend Groove”, which features jazz flutist, Althea Rene, is his first and latest release. Along with this project, JT is also very involved with many other projects such as: iHeartRadio Live Show, Derby Jazz Fest, Tampa Heritage Festival, Southern Tier Festival Elmira New York, Westerville Summer Concert Jazz Series, Jazz Kitchen Indianapolis, Dearborn Jazz on the Avenue, Tangiers Akron, and Newark Jazz and Rib Festival. Although the pandemic is currently putting a lot of live performances on hold, JT is looking forward to more collaborations, as well as getting back on stage with many of his colleagues.

One of the beautiful aspects of the internet is the ability to connect and work digitally with people nationwide and abroad. JT welcomes more of that and thoroughly enjoys the connections he has made with dynamic musicians from around the world.

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QA &

With Jesse Thompson Q. Is Music therapeutic for you? A. Yes. Music is a very effective type of therapy and it helps to create the right atmosphere for me.

Q. At what age did you realize you had a gift to play, write and understand music? A. It was the age of 5 when I first learned to play my first instrument (drums). But the age when I truly discovered that I really wanted to do music was the age of 12 which by that time I was playing thirteen instruments.

Q. How important is it to understand the business side of music? A. Understanding music business is extremely important. Creating music is the beauty of it all but if you don’t have an understanding of the business or have a team that works with you who understands the business side, then your infrastructure becomes weak and takes the chance of missing opportunities that could take your music to the next level. Also, understanding the business side can protect you in many ways such as legally in dealing with copyrights, publishing, ownership, LLC, administration, and so much more.

Q. Tell us two things we don’t know about you? For example, do you like sports and if so who’s your favorite team?

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is being approachable, humbled, willing to help others, and willing to share. It’s one thing to be well-trained as a musician but it’s another when you are a genuine person who treats other people how they would like to be treated.

Q. Walk us through a day in the life of Jesse Thompson? A. My day consists of drinking my favorite type of coffee in the morning, attend my morning conference call meetings, address my work tasks, working in the J-Spot (my studio), creating, writing, and practicing music, spend time with family by watching movies or playing board games, and I also enjoy working my home theater room.

Q. You’ve been a part of the amazing music group NexLevel for a few years. You all have literally been a band of brothers. You’ve now embarked on a solo project. A. I love sports. I’m a father of some athletic children so I made sure to be at all of their games throughout their school and college years. I’m also a Lakers fan and one day I’m going to attend a game via court side seating. I enjoy doing home renovation type projects such as building a room, or remodeling, the handyman type of projects.

Q. Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what is it? A. I’m an IT Technology Engineer. I’ve implemented and supported various networks, built and supported network security framework, and implemented event

What was the impetus behind writing and creating a solo project? A. I’ve always wanted to have my own project and brand since I was younger. It’s time and time is of the essence. So I wanted to have something to leave for my children and grandchildren in making them proud and to share with the world. I wanted to accomplish this goal yet while staying connected to the brotherhood of NexLevel and share the stage with many other artists such as: Eric Darius, Althea Rene, Jeanetter Harris, Willie Bradley, Nick Colionne, Alexander Zonjic, and many others.

streaming using Confluent Kafka technology.

Q. You’re a world class musician, what impresses you most about a well-trained musician? A. What impresses me about well-trained musicians

COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

Connect with Jesse

www.jtjazz.com WINTER EDITION 2021

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ADVERTISE WITH US “Enjoy a Bit of

Jazz

in your Coffee....” Reach jazz enthusiasts around the world through advertising with us! CONTACT BRIDGETTE CoffeeTalkJazzRadio@msn.com GIVE US A CALL! PHONE : +1 (562) 544-8102

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The Future Of Jazz

The Edward B. Bass Gift of Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the beat of music alive in our schools. It is our mission and passion to provide music enrichment opportunities for youth in our neighborhood. We refer to this endeavor as “the worthy challenge with joyful rewards.” One of the greatest rewards is recognizing that a child’s life will be changed by receiving musical instruction or being exposed to a variety of music styles. We are dedicated to keeping the beat of music alive in our schools.

We are supporting young musicians and their music dreams with instruments, classes, and educational resources through your generous donations. We invite you to give and support the future of Jazz through the Edward B. Bass Gift of Music Foundation.We thank you for supporting the vision to make a positive difference in the community. Every person has a memory where music plays a role.

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FLUTIST S

RAGAN WHITESIDE oul Jazz flautist, vocalist, and songwriter

gious Harid Conservatory, where her sound was

Ragan Whiteside is at it again with her lat-

honed with the tried-and-true classical training,

est single, “JJ’s Strut” from her upcoming

graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance

release Five Up Top. “JJ’s Strut” is a feel-good song

degree.

for the ages, treating the listener to a much needed 4-minute break from the craziness of 2020. It

Ragan then found herself back in her hometown

is the 3rd single from Ragan’s upcoming album,

of New York and immersed herself in the world

continuing the streak of consecutive 6 Billboard

of jazz, funk, and R&B, going on to collaborate

Top 10 hits “Reminiscing”, “Jam It”, “Early Arriv-

with contemporary heavyweights such as Patrice

al”, “See You at the Get Down”, and Billboard #1

Rushen, Bob Baldwin, Kim Waters, Chieli Minuc-

and Smooth Jazz Network’s song of the year “Co-

ci, Frank McComb, and many more. Since her

rey’s Bop,” which made Ragan the first female

debut with Class Axe, Ragan honed her arranging

flautist to hold the #1 spot on 3 major smooth jazz

and songwriting skills alongside Bob Baldwin

charts simultaneously.

and acclaimed producer/arranger Dennis Johnson, and focused on the deeper inner workings of

“She has made the flute an integral part of this

producing and releasing music. The albums that

format,” said veteran sax player Walter Beasley of

followed, Evolve, Quantum Drive, and Treblemak-

her work. “Huge!” And he is right. With a tour-

er, explore a wide range of Contemporary Jazz,

ing portfolio that touts major events such as the

incorporating elements of Funk, R&B, Fusion and

Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Mallorca Smooth Jazz

more, leaving no aficionado wanting.

Festival, and Capital Jazz SuperCruise, Ragan Whiteside has firmly established herself and her

In addition to Performer and Composer, Ragan

sound, and continues to take it further as she

has added Radio Personality to her repertoire.

adds exciting nuances to her already energetic

She can be heard on WCLK 91.9FM, Atlanta’s Jazz

show.

Station.

A natural musician since the age of five, Ragan

Ragan Whiteside is a resident of Atlanta, GA and

found her way to the flute after the piano, the

tours globally. Check out Ragan’s new EP, Five Up

violin, and a turn with the drum set. She attended

Top, available now!

the Cleveland Institute of Music and the presti-

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Q. Who or what inspired you to make music?

With

Ragan Whiteside

&

QA

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I had a lot of influences coming up, from my uncle, Kenny Whiteside who was an extremely talented performer (both solo and with the doo-wap group the Cleftones), to watching Kathleen Battle at the Metropolitan Opera dress rehearsals. I developed a love of music and a love for the stage from a very young age and it has never left me.

Q. What is your creative process like? Believe it or not, I get most of my ideas when I’m in the shower. Whatever form the idea takes, whether it’s a melody or a groove, I hum it over and over until I can get to my phone and record a quick reference. Then when the kids go to sleep, I’ll sit at the keyboard and start developing the tune.

Q. What musical team of producers would you most like to collaborate with? Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder.... the list goes on and on.

Q. What is your favorite song to perform? Any song that touches the audience enough to get them on their feet is my favorite song to perform. It’s all about feeling that positive energy.


Q. Which famous musicians do you admire? There are so many and I admire them for different reasons, so it’s really tough to list them all. Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Take 6, Patrice Rushen, Bob James, Kathleen Battle.... I’m a little all over the place!

Q. What is the best advice you’ve been given? Learn the business, develop a thick skin, and stay humble. All three of those things are key in surviving and thriving in the music business.

Q. If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? I would love to see more balance with male and female musicians. I recently saw a festival line-up with 24 artists and only 2 of them were women.

Q. What’s next for you? We are working on my next album and also gearing up to add more artists to our label, Randis Music. Time to take things to the next level!

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City of Hope CityofHope.org/holidaybenefit. 54

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Jazz Around The City City of Hope announced today that its industry groups, including music, fashion, food, beauty and more, will team up to host a Holiday Benefit fundraiser on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in support of City of Hope’s mission to ultimately eliminate cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Award-winning actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland will be the evening’s featured musical performer. The event will be hosted by comedian Ben Gleib. Inspiring “America’s Got Talent” semi-finalist Caly Bevier will also deliver a special performance. Additional artists and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Stories That Inspire The virtual Holiday Benefit will feature an extended pre-show experience, musical performances, comedy sets and celebrity guest appearances. The pre-show experience from 4-6 p.m. PT will be an immersive opportunity for guests to walk the digital red carpet, join networking breakout rooms, have their digital caricatures drawn and enjoy additional sponsored content – all leading up to the main show, which will run from 6-7 p.m. PT.

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CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio 56

CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio shares its concern regarding the lack of interest in preserving radio. Our focus has been to bring radio back through our online digital platform and we’ve succeeded in a BIG way with our award-winning LIVE radio podcast. We have music storytellers from very corner of the globe. Enjoy the ladies and legends of Jazz, Sunday’s Gospel Brunch is sure to please and Saturday Night’s Carefree drive will relax you as you unwind leaving your cares behind. Our Arts and Culture series will educate and entertain you shining a light on Actor’s from stage, television and film. If you prefer your music a little spicy enjoy our Jazz on the Latin side show. And last but not least for the R&B lover in you enjoy our Soul Session series each week.

Listen to the Podcast: www.blogtalkradio.com/msbridgettelewis

WINTER EDITION 2021


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Artist’s Spotlight

Eric Byak

E

ric’s instrument of choice is the guitar and

exactly what the title suggests. It is never static or

he plays it with such incredible passion

boring. Each song has the strength to stand on its

and emotion you realize that it is a talent

own and the ability to transport you, the listener,

that can only be described as a God-given gift. His

to another time and place. When each track comes

original compositions are electrifying. His style is

to a close, the realization of the present location

incredibly versatile. They have the power to con-

creates a soft landing. Eric has recently added his

jure up every conceivable emotion from laughter

own voice, which had been silent for 15 years and

to tears“ Journey of the Heart’, his first album, is

stronger than ever before, will make its debut on

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the 2nd album. One of the most recent additions

His music is a classic combination of Smooth Jazz

to his repertoire is a song simply titled, “African

with Funk/Rock Elements including Eric’s own

Skies”, a tribute to his favorite Disney film, “The

special touch. Eric’s guitar work has been desc-

Lion King”. From the very first note this brilliant

ribed as seductive, intertwined with Classic Jazz,

composition is mesmerizing. It’s not difficult to en-

Breezy Funk, smitten with sensuous, exotic Brazi-

vision the continent of Africa, exotic animals run-

lian rhythms.

ning in herds across that country’s vast open plains Eric Byak has worked with some of the best in the music business: MCA/Universal, Amblin Entertainment, RCA/Tri-Star, American Express/Destination Group , Disney, BuenaVista TV. Past performances include: Playboy Jazz in Central Park. Malibu Arts Festival Temecula Wine & Jazz Festival, and the celebrated Pageant of the Masters/Festival of Arts. Eric has also programmed arranged and played in countless TV and video projects, as the master guitarist/synthesist. He is a talented composer as well as musician, he is one of the finest and he works with many celebrated musicians.

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&

QA

Arts Education is critically important for the development of our children. Because those decisions are primarily influenced by politics/ politicians that are clueless and do not realize the importance of developing the right side of the brain and the role it plays in developing a well-rounded student. Music brings about a higher level of society. Q. What’s one of the most common mistake art-

Eric Byak shares his music journey.

ists make when starting in the music business? Not understanding there is an enormous difference between music and the music business. Boy are they in for a surprise. Q. With the fragile economy do you think people look to music to give them hope?

Q. Where did you love of music come from?

Yes, and beauty and a five -to-six-minute vaca-

It started with the Beatles and grew into jazz and

tion.

Latin variations. Q. Prior to getting ready for a “Live Venue” any Q. Who or what has been your greatest teacher?

practice rituals before you hit the stage?

Jesus Christ for all the life lessons. Duke Mill-

I will often say prayer inviting spirit to guide my

er, Lee Ritenour , Tommy Tedesco, Eddie Arkin.

hands and creativity then the music in itself be-

Jamie Glaser were all my guitar mentors.

comes a vibrational prayer.

Q. How important is it to pass the music baton

Q. Prior to writing your CD, did you have broad

over to the next generation?

idea or sense of what flavor your CD would

Music is one of the most beautiful gifts from

take?

God and every generation has a different way of

I will usually pick a genre and underlying

expressing it. Teaching guitar has been one of my

rhythms and the rest I allow to unfold sponta-

greatest joys in Passing the baton.

neously from spirit. I believe our brains are like radio receivers and we channel what is out in the

Q. Why do you think music programs are the

ethers . our years of practice facilitate making

last programs added to the school curriculum

the notes come alive.

but the first program to cut?

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Q. What’s the key to building successful relationships in the music business? Working with people I enjoy being around people with similar styles, Not being intimidated by musicians with the higher levels of ability but rather embrace them and learn from them and build genuine friendships. Q. As a touring musician you’ve visited many Ports of Call. Do you have a favorite city of country you’d like to revisit? I can’t wait to one day to return to the beautiful city of North Hollywood, California and experience the honeysuckle in bloom.

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CoffeeTalk Jazz Radio Now Accepting DIGITAL SUBMISSION

Smooth Jazz | Contemporary Jazz New Urban | Gospel | R & B Fusion | | Soul / Funk

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COOKING WITH JAZZ

Chef Scott Howard

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BLACK AMERICAN MUSIC ASSOCIATION And Georgia Entertainment Caucus (gec) Announces the formation of the Black Music & Entertainment walk of fame. Today the Black American Music Association (BAM) and

and film producer, Dallas Austin, R&B Singer, songwrit-

the Georgia Entertainment Caucus (GEC) announced the

er, producer, Sean Garrett, Entertainment Executive &

formation of the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of

Head of Artist & Talent Relations at Spotify, Chaka Zulu,

Fame (WOF). The momentous event featured remarks

Georgia House of Representatives members Rep. Mir-

from BAM Founders, Michael T Mauldin and Demmette

iam Paris, Rep. Park Cannon, Whip William

Guidry, and GEC Founders Georgia State Representative

die, Director, Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment

Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton. Also in atten-

at City of Atlanta, Phillana Williams and Atlanta City

dance, was renowned artist, D.L. Warfield, who is creat-

Council

ing the official WOF emblem that will be embedded in

the BAM and GEC team with a proclamation from the

the sidewalk representing each inductee. The emblem is

City Council.

being created in collaboration with sculptor and histori-

an Ed Dwight. Located in the historic downtown Atlanta

Known as the “Capital of the South,” Atlanta has long

area, the WOF will reside on the sidewalks of Martin Lu-

been the mecca of Black music and entertainment and

ther King, Jr. Drive and Northside Drive, 1 AMB Drive,

the WOF will be a key addition to showcase the industry’s

NW, Atlanta, GA 30313. The event was hosted by the

greatest contributors. With both a national and interna-

Mercedes Benz Stadium.

tional appeal, the WOF will honor the iconic individu-

Also in attendance were musician, songwriter, record

als and organizations that have impacted Black culture

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member, Antonio

Brown,

who

Bod-

presented


and community alongside those who continue to lead us

respect for the individuals of color that helped pave the

into the future. Groundbreaking for the WOF is slated

way for our entertainment professionals.”

for late December, weather permitting, with an official

inaugural celebration scheduled for January 2021 over

“I’m extremely proud to be a part of this initiative to cre-

M.L.K., Jr. weekend.

ate the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame,”

commented Catherine Brewton. “Not only does Georgia

“As a proud Black man in America, who has been a part

have deep roots in black music and entertainment, but

of the professional entertainment community for 45

Atlanta continues to be the center of black excellence.

years, I’m elated to have the opportunity to help usher

This walk of fame will symbolize, memorialize, and cel-

into Atlanta, Georgia, this historic and innovative inter-

ebrate many of our black creatives and entertainers who

national Walk of Fame,” shared Mauldin. “Represent-

have made significant impacts both here and around the

ed as the “Eternal Crown Jewel of Black Culture,” there

world.”

could be no

better location in the world than M.L.K., Jr. Drive to pro-

About Black American Music Association (BAM)

file the heritage, legacy and future of our global Black music and entertainment culture.”

Founded in 2017, BAM a 501(c)(6) membership pro-

fessional trade organization, dedicated to preserving,

“Black American Music, as an art form, is the driver

protecting and promoting the legacy and the future of

of Black culture, which drives popular culture world-

AUTHENTIC Black American Music as an indigenous art

wide. So, it is fitting that we honor those who are the

form. Black American Music is a major piece of the foun-

‘bedrock’ of culture,” stated Guidry. The Black Music &

dation of the African American experience. BAM pro-

Entertainment Walk of Fame will be a permanent mon-

vides music industry professionals, creators, scholars

ument to achievement in Black excellence. We are de-

and music industry stakeholders with opportunities to

signing the Walk of Fame in hopes that it will become a

transform global cultural relevance into community rel-

popular tourist destination, illuminating our rich cultur-

evance that will empower future generations through

al heritage.”

professional training, education, preservation, financial

literacy and advocacy.

“I am ecstatic to be a founding member of the Black

Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame. This initia-

About Georgia Entertainment Caucus (GEC)

tive makes me so proud, with everything going on in

The GEC is an Atlanta-based organization that focuses

the world African Americans need some positivity

on bridging the gap between the Georgia Political Sector

and hope  and the Walk of Fame will bring just that,”

and the Entertainment industry. GEC was founded by

shared Georgia State Representative, District 39, Erica

Georgia State Representative, Erica Thomas, and Broad-

Thomas. “ This symbolic gesture proves that we as a

cast Music, Inc. (BMI) executive, Catherine Brewton.

community have come a long way and although we have

many miles to go this effort shows an overall sense of

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Rhythm & Style 66

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STEPHEN’S SIGNATURE


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Taste of Hope Reimagined culinary event will celebrate NYC restaurant industry, raise funds for cancer research 68

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This year’s Taste of Hope will recognize James Beard Award-winning culinary

honorees, Chef

Michael

White (Marea) and Chef Joseph ‘JJ’ Johnson (Fieldtrip). Mark D. Friedman and Jamie Koff return as event co-chairs,

and

CBS

News’ Chris

Wragge returns at emcee. The event will feature special appearances

and

performances

Chef Michael White, Chef Joseph ‘JJ’

Cannavale, and more. Event guests

Johnson

will also have the opportunity to

The (ACS)

American will

host

Cancer

hear first-hand how cancer contin-

Society

ues during the pandemic and the

the 15th annual

Taste of Hope virtual

devastating impact covid-19 has

celebration

had on life-saving programs and

on Friday, December 10, 2020. The

services from two time cancer sur-

event will celebrate New York City’s iconic

restaurant

industry

vivor, communicator, Coach and Au-

and

thor of Make Room for Joy, Vanessa

raise critical funds for cancer re-

Joy Walker.

search and local patient service pro-

grams offered by ACS.

Taste of Hope is the American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, by Sting, Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad), Mario Cantone (Sex and the City), Chef Jean Todd

Georges (The

Fulton), Chef

English (Figs), Chef

Aaron

Sanchez (MasterChef ), former football player Harry Carson (HOF NY Giants), Amy Ryan (The Office), Peter Onorati (This is Us), Harry Lennix (Blacklist), Alysia TNB), David

COFFEETALK JAZZ MAGAZINE

Alan

Reiner (OIBasche, Bobby

wine, and spirits event. In a normal year, Taste of Hope provides 700+ guests the opportunity to enjoy bites from New York City’s top restaurants and philanthropic chefs, and sips from leading winemakers and spirit brands. Due to safety precautions, this year’s event will be a reimagined virtual party, celebrating the work of local chefs and New York City’s

culinary

community,

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69


first-ever virtual Taste of Hope.”

menthal, Jennifer Cayetano, Gail

Eissenstat, Nicole Filingeri, Juan

Now

in

its

15th

year,

Goulbourne, Rachel Halperin, Liz-

Taste of Hope has raised over $1.8

ziee Jerez, Lauren Kaufman, Wayne

Million to support the Ameri-

Margolin, Melanie McManus, Sari

can Cancer Society’s mission and

Pollack, Kim Poulos, Meredith Rinn,

goal of eliminating cancer as a ma-

Susan Santoro, Linda Shapiro, Scott

jor health problem. There is no cost

Sheehy, Melissa Siegel, Brittany Ste-

to attend this year’s virtual event,

venson, Jennifer Valentine, Vanessa

but a donation is appreciated. To register,

visit

TasteOfHopeNYC.

o rg . and honoring cancer survivors and loved ones lost to cancer. A preshow featuring cocktail demos from mixologists at Golden Grove Global and Pepsi Co will air at 6:45pm, and an after-party hosted by DJ Spin Diesel with livestreamed performances will immediately follow the main event.

like

Attendees also will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction prizes donated from leading organizations including: a coveted table at Rao’s, 1-1 Private Virtual Cooking Demo with David Burke, Dinner for 10 Guests at their home with Chef Michael White, and more.

“The

Walker and Chelsea Whitney.

American so

Cancer

many of New

Society,

York City’s

restaurants, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But can-

This

year’s

Taste of Hope execu-

tive committee includes Drew Blu-

Taste of Hope sponsors include Arbill, Eurostruct Inc, KGI Design Group, Leumi Bank, McIntosh &

cer hasn’t stopped, so neither will we,” says Chloe Lipman, executive

To learn more about the Ameri-

director for the American Cancer

can Cancer Socierty . log on to :

Society of Greater

wwww.americancancersociety.

New

York City.

“On November 10, I want everyone to do two things: order dinner from your favorite local restaurant, and join us online as we fight cancer and celebrate the spirit of New York’s indomitable culinary industry at the

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org


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Shot To The Head Photography Bobby Roebuck

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Q &A

with Bobby Roebuck

Q: When and why did you become a photographer?

A: I became a photographer in 2009. I am a visual artist, I draw and paint portraits of people; in preparation for my drawings, I developed the need to photograph my subject matter and study the close-up images of their faces and fascial expressions. Additionally, I enjoyed photographing musicians from the stage pit during various jazz festivals and musical performances.

Q: Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing style, and career? A: My best friend Robert Brown, for more than 30 years is a photographer, he shoots family, events and still life. I would assist while he photographed or directed film assignments. Also, Mr. Brown even processed his own photo film in his dark room.

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Rob-

ert Brown, influenced me by demonstrating his commitment to his craft and professionalism toward excel-


lence, while constantly pushing to

A good picture includes the drama

passion in the jazz artist demean-

the next level. He is a wiz with light-

shown in the image through the use

or to make a GREAT picture. As

ing techniques, which I use lighting

of lighting, shadows, and varies an-

a photographer, I have the ability

to aid in capturing the essence of the

gles of the shot. The composition of

to narrow my focus to specifically

artist musical expressions.

I also

the subject matter makes a good pic-

concentrate on a primary subject

have the same commitment and it

ture, along with fast shutter speed.

matter. I use patience to get the

has helped me grow my photography

Additionally, timing is crucial to cap-

prime shot, while tuning out most

career

ture a great picture.

other distractions.

Average photo-

graphs have limited details and may Q: Exactly what it is you want to say

miss the expressive moments in the

Q: How did you develop an interest

with your photographs, and how do

event.

in photography?

you actually get your photographs to

A: As a jazz enthusiast, I have at-

do that?

Q: What type of editing software do

tended varied jazz festivals and I

A: My intent with my photography is

you like to use for your completed

got to know the musicians person-

for the audience/viewer to see and

photographs, and what do you like

ally. I begin taking pictures as a

feel the energy of the performer

about it?

hobby along the stage pit; because

though my lens, almost imagining as

A: The editing software I use is called

of my art background, often times

if they were at the jazz events. I am a

Adobe Lightroom.

I like the sim-

the shots I got were very dramatic

patient photographer, capturing the

plistic use of the software and I try

from using stage and natural light-

moment when the light goes down

to keep the editing basic. My goal

ing. Jazz musicians offered to pay

or the natural light penetrates their

is to have the settings for the imag-

for my shots for their promos and

skin or gestures. Waiting for the vibe

es correct in my camera, therefore it

marketing materials.

within the performer to resonate.

requires minimal editing. I like the

couraged by jazz talents and pro-

end results for the post editing pro-

motors.

I was en-

Q: What equipment is a must-have

cess is to have the appearance of fine

for you no matter where you are go-

art. The reasoning behind this pro-

Q: What equipment do you prefer

ing to be working?

cess is for the photograph to have its

to use?

A: My most important equipment is

own unique characteristic.

A: The camera I prefer to use is a

my camera bag, which carriers my

Canon 6D DSLR, however any cam-

2 camera bodies, the Canon EF 70-

Q: What details do you believe make

era is good. It’s how the photogra-

200mm f/2.8 L lens, Canon EF 24-

the best photographs? How do you

pher creates with his/or her cam-

70mm f/2.8L lens, different batteries,

go about focusing on them in your

era.

and strobe lights. Along with my cre-

work?

ative thoughts and imagination.

A: I believe, the detail facial expres-

Q: What makes the good picture

sions, the smile, the sweat on the

stand out from the average?

brow, the arm gestures, captures the

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Spectacu

Premiere Performances Take Center Stage At the American Music Awa P. Henson Thrills and Surprises as Host of Music’s Hottest Night (AMA) with three wins a piece, bringing Taylor’s

intimate and heartfelt special collaboration of

record for most career AMA wins to a whopping

“Only Love.“

32. The hottest night in music included thrilling exclusive world premiere performances as well

The Weeknd lit up Downtown Los Angeles with

as an energizing fun-filled opening number by

an electrifying performance of “In Your Eyes,”

AMA host, Taraji P. Henson. The first-time AMA

featuring saxophone legend Kenny G, and “Save

host dazzled fans with a beat pumping dance

Your Tears,” accompanied by a vibrant fire-

routine, unexpected surprises – including a

works display.

visit from America’s favorite TV music mogul – Cookie Lyon, and glamour and sophistication

Billie Ellish gave a spectacular world premiere

with nine wardrobe changes.

performance of her new song, “Therefore I Am,” with an appearance from her brother and

Show performance highlights included:

producer, Finneas, who accompanied her on the guitar.

One of the most memorable moments of the night was Justin Bieber’s powerful opening

Rapper Nelly energized fans with a perfor-

performance of his songs “Lonely,” with Benny

mance of his hits from his debut album, “Coun-

Blanco on piano, and “Holy,” brought to fans by

try Grammar,” celebrating 20 years since its re-

T-Mobile.

lease. Surprises included legendary

Shawn Mendes and Bieber’s world premiere

Comedian Cedric The Entertainer – with an

performance of their newly released single

intro parroting his skit on Nelly’s first album –

“Monster” set the stage for the collaborations

and St. Lunatic City Spud, who joined Nelly for

to come throughout the night.

“Ride Wit Me.”

Katy Perry was joined by Darius Rucker for an

Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, steamed up the

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ular World

ards Taraji

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stage with a sultry rendition of “Pa’ Ti” and “Lone-

with their fan-favorite, chart-topper “I Should

ly.” The duo rehearsed 50 hours in less than two

Probably Go To Bed.”

weeks to deliver the jaw dropping, world premiere performance to the stage.

24KGoldn + Iann Dior took to the stage for a spirited performance of their chart-topping hit “Mood,”

Megan Thee Stallion brought hot girl energy to

against a lively backdrop of kaleidoscopic visuals.

the stage with the world premiere performance of her body confidence anthem “BODY.” Earlier

Shawn Mendes stunned fans with an evoca-

in AMAs weekend, Megan The Stallion connected

tive performance of “Wonder” delivered with

with a lucky group of her fans for a virtual hang-

soul-stirring

power.

out via Messenger Rooms Lil Baby commanded the stage with a striking perHip-Hop/R&B legends, Bell Biv DeVoe did not dis-

formance of “Emotionally Scarred,” with a mes-

appoint with their high energy performance of

sage expressing the importance of mental health.

their hits, “Do Me (Remix),” and “Poison,” ending their heart thumping dance induced performance

BTS closed out the night, remote from Seoul,

with a sign of unity by raising their fists.

South Korea, with a vibrant nearly six-minute performance of their newly released song ”Life

Dan + Shay had everyone singing along at home

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Goes On” and fan favorite hit “Dynamite.”


Winner Highlights of the “2020 American Music

The Weeknd took home three honors for Favorite

Awards:”

Male Soul/R&B Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Song.

Taylor Swift led the pack winning the most coveted honor of the night, Artist of the Year, as well as

Nicki Minaj won two AMAs for Favorite Female

honors for Favorite Music Video for her pop hit,

Rap Artist and Favorite Latin Song for her hit col-

“Cardigan” and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist.

laboration, “Tusa,” with Colombian reggaeton

In her remote acceptance speech from the studio,

artist KAROL G.

Swift revealed she is now re-recording her previous albums.

Doja Cat walked away with two wins for Favorite New Artist and Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist.

Justin Bieber earned three AMA wins for Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist, Collaboration of the Year

Becky G. gave an inspiring acceptance speech for

and Favorite Country Song, the latter two for his

her Favorite Female Latin Artist win, honoring

team up with Dan+Shay for their song “10,000

Latin artists and others who inspired her to fol-

Hours.”

low her dreams.

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www.theamas.com

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Deaddream

Q&A

With Founding Member Bassist Marcelli “Sky’s the Limit” 90

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Q. Who is your music for?

A. Our music is made for the masses who are looking for something a little different. We don’t like being put in a box or category. Sometimes we›re jazzy, sometimes funky, maybe soul or pop but it’s always what we feel and vibe from the heart. We call it Fusion Soul.

Q. When you’re reviewing a potential music producer for your next project. What determines if you would use him or her on your next CD?

A. We are a self-contained band who writes, produces and record all our own music ourselves. If we needed to collaborate with a producer in the future, it would have to be someone who follows the old formulas from the greats before us. Originality, real instruments, real players and the love of the music.

Travis Higgins- Piano & Keyboards

Q. Prior to writing your CD, did you have a broad idea or sense of that flavor your CD would take?

A. It’s funny, when writing our CD or any music, there is no prior. We just sit down and played. What we feel is what we record. The band is the flavor, we don’t follow a flavor.

Q. How important is in to make sure that you are diverse in your music career?

A. It’s important for us to be diverse in our music career because we are a diverse band. We come from all walks of life but we become one on the music and it’s truly amazing.

Jerold “Jeroldbsax” Baker- saxophonist

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Q. Tell me about a life defining moment when music

Now there’s nothing wrong with our new ways, but I en-

brought you through a tough time?

joy the days of figuring it out yourself. Now I’m in love

A. I personally had a life defining moment when my

with the 80’s because it brought us so much diversity,

brother passed and then my Father passed away from de-

tremendous funk bands, great jazz acts, UK pop and new

mentia. It was my music that brought my out my depres-

wave legends, Hip-Hop forefathers who I all owe my tal-

sion. I got with my boys and put my band together and

ent and respect!

here we are. I hope I made my brother and Pop’s proud.

Q. When I listen to music it transports me to different places in my mind. Would you say that music is a mark-

Get Social with DeadDream

er of memories? And if so, which decades speaks to you

Instagram: Deaddreammusic & @marcelli358

most and why?

Twitter:

DeaddreamMusic

YouTube:

Deaddream

A. Music transports me all the time and definitely is a marker of memories. My parents kept me in time with music from the 60’s & 70’s. Music was strong but simple. No computers, samplers or Auto tune, just the talent.

“W”- Guitarist

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