Musicwoman Magazine Spring 2020

Page 1

Gathering great women musicians together and getting their music heard by multitudes!

Spring 2020

Issue #2




Ghent page 6

page 22

Jeannie Cheatham

table of contents

1. From the Editor by Dr. Joan Cartwright

2. Irene Robbins, International President P5

3. Features:

d Jeannie Cheatham, pianist, composer, vocalist by Mariea Antoinette P6

d Melba Joyce, vocalist by Diedre Johnson P8

d Sheila Firestone, composer, playwright by Elaine Bosik

d Paula Hampton, drummer by Dr. Joan Cartwright

d Lady Mack, guitarist by Dr. Joan Cartwright

d The Swingin’ Lenore Raphael by Barbara Connelly P18

d Jazmin Ghent: How To Make A Musicwoman by Deborah Ghent P20

d Biggi Vinkeloe talks with Amy Bormet, pianist, producer P22

d Chantal, Pianist in Shanghai by Erin Peng P24

4. UR2.Global Call to Composers: P26

Collaborate with Dr. Amelia Kemp and Sweet Honey In The Rock

5. Short Stories:

b How I Became A Talent Agent by Gail Boyd P28

b String Player’s Guide To The Universe by Randi Fishenfeld P30

b Theater Stage Playwright and Production by Mimi Johnson P32

b My Musical Journey by Linda Harris P34

b Swinging with Bassist Donald Jackson by Erin Peng P36

b Health Corner: On That Note by Lydia Harris P40

b Young Musicians: Know the Standards P42

6. A Short List of Women in Music by Jean Wald, Librarian, Deland University P43

Lady Mack Sheila Firestone Jeannie Cheatham Melba Joyce Paula Hampton Jazmin Ghent Lenore Raphael Amy Bormet Chantal Smith

From the Editor

This second issue of Musicwoman Magazine is full of good information from veteran women musicians. These women have mentored me during my musical career. They bring light to the difficulties faced by women musicians, throughout the decades, and tell their stories of overcoming sexism on and off stage.

The younger women featured in this issue are courageous icons in their own right. They are making their mark despite the barriers thrown up by the diminishing patriarchal society. Women are on the move in music and these young women are at the avant garde.

As our membership grows, more students are joining our non-profit organization Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. to collaborate with seasoned women. These students are honing their performance skills along with business acumen to be prepared to compete in the huge music market. We embrace their energy and welcome them into the fold of women in music.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you, our readers, to the second issue of Musicwoman Magazine. Most important is the work of our graphic artist, Jodylynn Talevi, who made my life less complicated by producing a beautiful magazine. We have yet to garner the advertisement needed to make this publication a success. But we believe that this is an indelible document that will move women musicians into the limelight they deserve.

Love and music,

3 south florida since 2007

Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.



Support women musicians!

Musicwoman Magazine©®™ TEAM

Publisher: Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.

Founder/Executive Director: Dr. Joan Cartwright –

Creative Director: Dr. Joan Cartwright

Executive Administrator: Mimi Johnson –

Social Media: Mimi Johnson; Marika Guyton; Libra Sene

Editorial Staff: Dr. Joan Cartwright, Cheryl Wooding

Creative Team: Lydia Harris, Jodylynn Talevi, Mimi Johnson

Contributing Writers: Irene Robbins, Mariea Antoinette, Deidre Johnson, Elaine Bossik, Deborah Ghent, Gail Boyd, Randi Fishenfeld, Jean Wald, Erin Peng, Lydia Harris, Biggi Vinkeloe, Mimi Johnson, Dr. Joan Cartwright


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For sale at Publix Super Markets, Barnes and Nobles Bookstores, and at Complimentary issues can be found year-round at select high-traffic locations and high-profile events through South Florida. Check our website and fb pages for up-to-date lists of events.

Cover photos: All photos of Jeannie Cheathan are by Meredith French

All photos of Jazmin Ghent by Nancy Jo Brown/106FOTO

Read Spring 2020 online:

Dr. Joan Cartwright, Executive Director Dr. Joan Cartwright, Executive Director


I started tinkling on the piano as a 3-year-old. Then, I was a 5-year-old getting up on stage and, at 7 years old, I was a teary eyed girl melting over making harmonies together in my first choir. It was at that moment I decided to bring that joy and sense of unity to others through teaching music.

Life led me to a degree in music and, unexpectedly, the fortunate opportunity of performing all over Europe. Teaching was not the only way to spread this love of music and spreading is still happening, today.

Joy is contagious! All the students and participants in my workshops and audiences singing and clapping with the music helped spread this love of music, transforming people from all walks of life, and promoting happiness in their lives.

With love,

All photos of Irene Robbins are by Mauro Cionci Jeannie Cheatham All photos of Jeannie Cheathan are by Meredith French

Interview with JEANNIE CHEATHAM by

Mariea Antoinette (MC): My first question is, how did you come to music as a child and did you study music theory?

Jeannie Cheatham (JC): Yeah to both. I did some music like most black kids, through church. I started playing for church when I was about five years old because the one-armed piano player we had went to Detroit.

MA: One arm?

JC: He did. He had one arm cutoff, but he would play enough for the church to do the hymns and sing. But we didn’t think it was anything because he got over the keys. So, I took over when I was five years old. But I didn’t take over, formally, until I went to school at six years old. I took lessons from a piano teacher that came around once a week on Saturday. Mr. HH, who came from London, England, Arthur Riley.

MA: Was he a white guy or black?

JC: He was white. I got a thorough browning in classical music with him because I took lessons with him until I was thirteen years old. I used to play classical music and church music.

MA: Nice mix! You had the gospel and the structure. That was a good balance.

JC: Exactly. It made for a good background. He was very strict. He used to make me practice scales with pennies on the back of my hand.

MA: Oh wow, for a good hand position?

JC: You betcha!

MA: Well, I had a Russian teacher, so I know that whole drill.

JC: You know what I’m talking about, then.

MA: Yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about!

JC: The whole routine, they’re very thorough.

MA: You have to play it right.

JC: Yeah. A couple times I wanted to go out and play ball. But I was taking my lesson and he said

“Mrs. Evans, Jeannie is not ready to study, today” and he’d get up and walk out.

MA: What?

JC: Yeah.

MA: Well, you know that’s that the foundation, ya know, the strictness because they want it right.

JC: Yes. I wouldn’t give anything for the grounding and foundation, the fingering. All the musicians said, “You got perfect fingering.”

MA: Technique!

JC: It also teaches you not to have problems with your hands. I’ve never had problems with my hands, carpal tunnel or any of that stuff. No. They gave exercises to make sure I didn’t get arthritis.

MA: That’s interesting because I’m a harpist. A lot of the harpists that have been in the game for a minute have problems with their hands. But I had a Russian teacher. I don’t have issues with my hands at all and she said, “If you do the technique right, you can play forever.”

JC: Forever. That’s right!

MA: Do you compose music?

JC: Yes. All the albums we recorded is my music. Jimmy [Cheatham] did the music and I did the writing. We have 10 or 12 albums with our label Concord Records. People are still buying them and what amazes me is they always say that a band or orchestra lasts about seven years. Unless they change the track you gotta keep reinventing yourself. But they’ve been playing with Speed Records, since we recorded in 1980’s and they’re still playing it, all over the world.

MA: And probably a lot more. I would think maybe in Europe.

JC: All over the world.

MA: Yeah, because they have an appreciation for your music.

Con’t on page 53

Melba Joyce


From the Swingin’ Sixties to 2020

Melba Joyce Is Still The Toast: Veteran Singer’s Life Has Not Been Without Hardships

Some people just know. Veteran jazz singer Melba Joyce is one of those who knew pretty early. She started singing for anyone within earshot at age five. The mellifluous earfuls were not polished, but there were signs of what was to come. From clubs in the Big D, Dallas, Texas, to Ronnie Scott’s in London, to singing backup for Smokey Robinson, plus appearing with so many jazz greats, hers is a life with so much life!

In September 2019, Melba Joyce celebrated her 80th year on earth but she has not slowed down. When not on tour in some foreign country, she is loving her New York apartment, hanging out with her family - sons Keith and Karl and their younger sister, singer Carmen Bradford, or teaching music at Medgar Evers College. This Dallas transplant is always working on music for herself or friends. During the interview, Melba fluttered from one subject to another, just like a chanteuse singing a medley of songs. However, the subject fluttering is the fun part.

DJ: What are you working on right now?

MJ: I am collaborating with the lyricist of Sounds from a Slave. He is one of my colleagues at work and I am adding the music. I have not been successful with that yet. I have had to work for a while but since he is retiring, I really need to get to that. If I don’t get to it soon, he will think I am not taking care of business. Also, another composer has written music he wants me to sing.

DJ:You work so much in other countries, what ithe difference between them and the US in terms of jazz appreciation?

MJ: People in foreign countries appreciate jazz more than they do here. People seem to love it and want to hear it so badly. My grandson asked me how many countries I have been to. I counted and it was 60.

DJ: Please mention a few countries.

MJ: Russia is one. I have been there eight times. But I changed my number and did not give it to the producer. I never had her number. She

called me at six in the morning saying, “We really would like you to come.” Russia was really something to me.

DJ: When did you first know that you could sing?

MJ: When I was about five.

DJ:What was your parent’s reaction?

MJ: Well, my grandmother was very encouraging. She sang along with the radio all the time. She taught me to read and bought me a book of lyrics. When I five, Paula was a young girl in my neighborhood was taking piano lessons. She knew my father was a singer. We lived on the same street, at opposite ends of the block. My cousin lived across the street from the girl. One day, she crossed the street to tell me that she would like to teach me some new songs. I learn songs and we sang together. Paula’s family lived in a two-story house with a big backyard filled with toys, a sandbox, a slide, a tricycle, and other fun things. She and her brothers had outgrown the toys. So, I enjoyed their backyard when Paula was finished teaching me new songs.

DJ: What happened next?

MJ: I got bored. She was learning to play. I was just an impatient little girl. Eventually, I took piano lessons.

DJ: How did you balance raising kids and doing all that?

MJ: I found a way, if I had the jobs. My husband cooperated with me. I could not have traveled if it were not for him. I started traveling when my kids were eight or nine. I had a babysitter, but I didn’t leave home to go on the road until they got to that age when they could cook for themselves. Before that, I sang in Dallas with The Redtops. I went to jam sessions and the guy who produced the jam sessions had me sing with the house band. Some of them worked with Ray Charles. I had a wonderful experience with them.

I was involved with a group called the Jazz Society. We learned that Louis Armstrong was coming to town and got cheap tickets. The concert was at the State Fair Music Hall, a part of the Texas State Fair. That night, the woman Con’t on page 55



Sheila Firestone, M.S. Ed., composer, has been a student of musical composition since 1987. Her most recent works include Miriam and the Women of the Desert, a musical journey into the Exodus told through the eyes of Miriam the Propehtess, to be premiered in 2019. Waters of Transformation, which was the second place winner in the first Vinnie Rheam Music Award. Third World E-Waste Graveyards, The Grandchildren’s Suite, The Pandora Triptych, preludes, choral pieces and Ancient Blue Threads, a collection of original sacred songs and settings of traditional words with original music. Sheila is a Past President of the Boca Raton Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. She has served as Secretary for the State of Florida for the National League of American Pen Women, and First Vice President for the Florida NLAPW. Firestone is the composer of a new musical, Miriam and the Women of the Desert.

EB: How did you come to music as a child? Did you study music theory?

SF: As a young girl, I had private piano lessons where I learned fundamental theory and how to improvise. My music teacher encouraged me to apply to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). When I was accepted at BAM, I went there for weekly piano and theory lessons. My first piano recital was there. I studied privately and joined the band at my junior high school.

EB: Do you compose music? If so, how many songs have you composed? In what genre?

SF: For many years, I was a teacher of gifted children and I used music in the classroom. When I was 45 years old and about to begin a doctoral program in education, melodies started coming into my mind. That’s when I turned to studying composition with a private teacher. I have been on this journey ever since. I had three influential mentors. I wrote instrumental works, including canons, preludes, a symphony, suites, a sonata, a chaconne, a brass EBuintet, a string trio, a rhapsody, an album of new age music with many individual songs, three children’s

SSheila Firestone

educational programs with accompanying songs, an album of prayers set to music and, most recently, a musical, Miriam and the Women of the Desert.

EB: Do you have a publishing company with ASCAP or BMI?

SF: My publishing company is Songs for a New Day. I am an ASCAP member.

EB: Are you aware of the challenges women face in the male-dominated field of music?

SF: When I started my journey in composing, I had no idea there was a bias against women or how difficult it would be to get my music out into the world. There are far fewer female than male composers. It’s a fact. But I’m not certain why.

EB: What advice do you have to younger women entering the world of music performance?

SF: Become well-grounded in theory. Be a perfectionist when it comes to your music being performed. Continue studying. There’s always something more to learn musically. Find the best performers to perform your work. Be grateful for your friends and friendships with other musicians. Never take your mentors for granted. They are a blessing.

Sheila’s signature accomplishment, Miriam and the Women of the Desert was presented to audiences in Florida in 2019. She produced, directed, and wrote the libretto for this beautifully articulated musical. The Biblical story of Miriam and the women who surrounded her was told in a fully-staged production with a cast of seven professionally-trained singers and an instrumental ensemble led by Loni White on keyboards. The performers wore costumes that recreated Biblical garb and the projected scenic designs depicted the mood of the desert. The story of the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt is seen through the eyes of Miriam, a prophetess and the sister of Moses and Aaron.

The production takes audiences on a musical journey, exploring family relationships, many forms of love, and generational heritage. Though the story dates back thousands of years, it is a

metaphor for today’s women’s movement for equality. Sheila’s journey creating this musical spanned twenty-two years. It began when she visited Israel in the 1980s and realized a vision for her work. Over the years, she studied musical composition, honed her talent and finally brought her work to the stage. She anticipates staging her musical for wider audiences. The trailer can be viewed at www.sheilafirestone. com.

As a Delian Society member, Sheila’s orchestral works have been performed at venues in the U.S. and abroad. She produced several CDs of her compositions, as well as sheet music and a collection of children’s songs and educational materials. Sheila is listed in Dr. Anne K. Gray’s Pulitzer Prize nominated book, The World of Women in Classical Music. She is a Pen Woman and a music member of the Boca Raton Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) where she served as Branch President (2014 – 2018) and Music Chair (2003 –present). She received numerous awards for her compositions. Most recently, the Florida State Association of NLAPW awarded her the 2019 Individual Achievement Award and the 2019 Pen Woman of the Year Award. Join


Elaine Bossik is a novelist and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The Last Victim, is a literary romance about a family dominated by a mother obsessed with hoarding money. As a staff writer for, an online screenwriting magazine, she writes how-to articles for aspiring screenwriters. With BA and MS degrees from Brooklyn College in New York, Elaine pursued multiple careers as a teacher, advertising copywriter, magazine editor and medical writer. While her professional career helped shape her writing, Elaine’s fascination with people, their motivations, and the everyday dramas they create is the inspiration for her fiction. She believes that great stories grow out of great characters. She is working on her second novel, Body Merchants, a medical thriller. Elaine is the CoPresident of the Boca Raton Branch of the National League of American Pen Women and a member of the Women’s National Book Association. She is a frequent speaker at fiction panel discussions and in writing workshops at local libraries, book stores and community organizations.

Backstage @ The Lincoln Center Paula Hampton

Interview with Drummer PAULA HAMPTON by Dr. Joan Cartwright

JC: This is an interview with Paula Hampton in New York City by Joan Cartwright in Boynton Beach, FL. How did you first come to music as a child?

PH: Well, I didn’t have much choice. We’re from Indianapolis, Indiana, and my family had the Hampton Family Band when I was a child. It was always that thing of, “One of these days, I’m going to be playing in that band.” You know how children are. There was always music in my house. My mother, Aletra E. Hampton, was the pianist and leader of the Hampton Family Band. The rest of the musicians in the band were my Uncle Russell (tenor sax), Aunts Carmen (baritone sax) and Dawn (alto sax), Mark and Maceo who played trumpet, Uncle Duke (vibraphone), and Uncle Slide Hampton, the famous trombonist. They had a guy playing drums and it was always my thing, “I’m going to play with this band.”

I wanted to play trombone like Uncle Slide but my arms were too short to reach the seventh position. There was a club called the Cotton Club and sometimes my Uncle Duke would let me come in at night and hide me behind the piano, so I could listen to the music. One night, the drummer didn’t show up to the gig. Uncle Duke asked me, “Do you think you can keep the beat until we find someone to come in here and play?” And I guess the rest is history.

JC: So, who taught you how to play the drums?

PH: Nobody. I had been behind that piano for so long that I knew the songs. I knew the beats. So, I would just get on there and do like I saw the guy doing. Then, when I came to New York, for a visit, I saw there were so many clubs and places to play, and I knew that’s where I should be. The first thing I did was call some drummers and friends of mine to get someone to teach me how to play. I couldn’t read the music. Some of them would tell me, “I can’t teach you nothing.” They had all kinds of excuses for why they couldn’t teach me how to play drums. So, I would get my sticks and work out some rhythms.

JC: Did you ever go to school for music?

PH: I did. But when I was going to school in Indianapolis, I was in the school marching band. But they had sousaphones, tubas, and horns.

There was nothing to do with drums at all. I didn’t know that I wanted to play drums.

JC: How old were you when you decided that drumming was what you wanted to do?

PH: I came to New York in 1963, for vacation, and I went into clubs and watched the guys play. There weren’t many women playing at that time. But, it stuck with me and I said, ‘I like this.’ Whenever I got a chance, I went to people’s gigs and they’d asked me to come up. I never had anyone train me. I didn’t have the money to pay for lessons like these young girls have, today.

JC: Would you get push back from the male drummers or were they supportive of you?

PH: [Laughter] That was the problem. A woman wasn’t supposed to be playing drums. So, I just kept doing it until I could do it well. Uncle Slide said, “You should learn some rudiments.” I didn’t know what he meant. When somebody called me on a gig, I just went and did the gig.

JC: Did you tour around the country or out of the country?

PH: Well, I met this lady, Bertha Hope, a pianist. We became fast friends. We formed an allfemale band and did some touring. I’ve been as far as England and Africa. There was a lady who played piano on one of the soap operas. Her name was Lillette Jenkins. She invited me to go on a cruise to Alaska. I did a lot of traveling alone, before Bertha and I put Jazzberry Jam together. The bassist was Carline Ray, Bertha on piano, and a Caucasian girl, Sue Terry, played saxophone, still sends me cards from all over the world. We did a lot of traveling in and out of the United States. We went so many places. We were together for quite a while. We did the Kennedy Center. The first time we went down there was in 2005. The people were so impressed with our all-female group. You can see our video recorded at The Kennedy Center on YouTube [https://]. That was the time we appeared on television.

JC: So, where did you go in Africa?

PH: We went down the coast of Africa and Tunisia. The people were impressed because women weren’t playing the bass. They were playing violins and cellos. But Carline was a Con’t on page 59


Interview with LOIS MCMORRIS aka LADY MAC in Kansas City, Missouri

JC: How did you come to music as a child?

LM: I was always drawn to music and art. Decades ago, people listened to the radio as television was just dawning for the general public. When I was a little girl, we had a big, tall wooden radio. My sister and I sat on the rug in our family’s living room in front of the TV. Each evening, we were enthralled, listening to the radio shows. Since there was only audio, the spoken words painted pictures, while the musical tones gave me a certain feeling. When I heard the guitar, especially Spanish guitar tonal configurations, it rubbed against my solar plexus and I had such a deep, moving feeling. It was almost too much to bear. So, at three, I drew back from the guitar, consciously.

I had polio at three years old but I recovered. Our parents enrolled us in tap dancing lessons and we were in recitals. This was good for us. It kept our bodies moving and made us budding entertainers. Although I shunned the guitar, musical expression, and creativity drew me in. At four, I put rubber bands around cigar boxes and depressed them downward with one hand to change the tone, while I plucked the string with the other hand! This was the essence of guitar and stringed instrument playing.

Sometimes our family, was invited to Sunday dinner at The Jackson’s home. They had a piano. After dinner, we would be excused, and my sister and I would play the piano in the living room, while the adults talked over coffee. Mr. Jackson showed us how to play Chopsticks, which we played incessantly.

Music and art were in me. By 9, I played clarinet, flute, and piano. Later, I added the upright bass, electric bass, and violin. But something was missing. They were not giving me what I wanted. I wanted to solo on the guitar and create shows. At eight, I asked my parents for a guitar, during the summer. On the Mickey Mouse Show, Jimmy Dodd played great chords on his Mouse-guitar. I loved those chords and the sound. Christmas

came and my parents gave me my first guitar –a Mouse-guitar, actually a ukulele. They didn’t play any music but they sang to me and showed me how to tune the instrument.

A year later, they surprised me with a six-string guitar with two metal strings and four nylon strings. I was so happy to receive this instrument. By 11, my cousins would come over and with my sister I played music. We had a music combo with cardboard boxes for drums, brooms for the bass, and my six-string Roy Rogers guitar. Although we were pretending to play, I knew I would be doing this on my journey through life. When my parents got me a beautiful, acoustic guitar, I taught myself songs that I heard on the radio. I listened and located the exact tone on the guitar. My parents watched me practice and were surprised at my rapid advancement. Then, they got me an electric guitar with an amplifier. It was a SilverTone guitar. The action was faster and smoother than my acoustic guitar and I loved the tone.

I had acquired music books with notes and chord that were so beautiful. I learned my major sevenths, 9/6 chords, and minor flat five chords from studying music books from the music store where Daddy would get my strings.

I loved Wes Montgomery. Jazz organist Jimmy Smith, and guitarists Kenny Burrell and Phi Upchurch were my mentors. I learned Kenny Burrell’s solos. Decades later, he called me, after seeing a televised performance I did in Los Angeles and complimented my playing and performance.

As a young pre-teen, I received the cherry red Gibson SG that had beautiful action. This guitar was a gift from my beloved father, who passed away, suddenly, three years later.

JC: Did you study music theory?

LM: Yes. I studied and played the upright bass in junior high. I studied the guitar on my own. I learned music by ear, then, expound upon it.

Con’t on page 60





As a young girl studying classical piano, Lenore Raphael had no idea she would be a pianist and renowned international jazz artist both respected and significant. She is a jazz educator, composer, performer, and occasional presenter.

Lenore toured the UK, England, France, Portugal, South Africa, and Israel, performing in major festivals like the London Jazz Festival, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, and Joy of Jazz Festival in South Africa, and at jazz venues, countrywide, including Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note in New York City, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, and Blues Alley in Washington, DC. She will perform at Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June 2020, and at the North Carolina Jazz Festival in February 2021.

Lenore performed with notable jazz artists like Clark Terry, Al Grey, Joe Cohn, Harry Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Vic Juris, Mike Richmond, John Pizzarelli, and Arnie Lawrence. She is an active advocate for jazz education and facilitates master classes around the country, incorporating her experience and background into a perceptive and informative workshop on jazz piano and its relation to the development of the jazz art form.

Unlike most women musicians, Lenore did not have challenges as a woman in jazz because she was the leader or played solo gigs. She said, “Most of the time great musicians like Barry Harris, Mike Longo, and my first jazz teacher in New Jersey, Morris Nanton were encouraging and handed me gigs they could not cover. I was just lucky.”

Lenore composes music. “I am influenced to write by an emotional experience like when my two dogs died. I wrote Becky-de-Bop for her and Zoot Scoot in honor of my maltese Scooter. Tunes come to me and I write them down. I composed over 50 tunes, some recorded by me and others. My publishing company, Swingin’ Fox Music, Inc. is with ASCAP and Harry Fox. In her early career, Lenore balanced performance with caring for two small boys and a big house,

supported by her husband Joel. When he came home from work, she would leave the house, go do the gig and come home at 2 a.m., get up at 8, and take care of the boys. She taught piano, during that time.

Lenore started playing the piano at age 3. She studied classical music, privately, and at the High School of Music & Art in New York. When she had to choose a second instrument, she chose the violin. At New York University, she had two majors, Music Education and English Literature. Theory was a part of her music training, not as a separate subject but as part of what she played.

“Jazz called me! I did not decide to be a professional jazz pianist, until I realized that teaching public school was not for me. I listened to jazz with my brother, who played trumpet, and I played along with the recordings.”

Her main influences were Richie Powell, Bud Powell, and Art Tatum. But Oscar Peterson remains her major influence. Sitting in the living room of her New York home, the Steinway in sight, we had a conversation.

BarbaraConnelly: Did a pianist or other musician or composer you admired turned up at a show and told you how much they loved your playing?

Lenore Raphael: Barry Harris did a couple of years ago at St. Peter’s Church. We were there at Rudy Lawless’ memorial and Barry was in the audience. I played and he said I sounded great. Also, at a concert I played In The Wee Small Hours and the composer, David Mann, said he loved what I did with the tune.

BC: Did anything special happened in your career?

LR: When I was first started playing, I checked the New York Times Jazz Club listings and called Gregory’s on East 62nd in Manhattan, where great players performed. The bartender answered and I said, “Hi. I’m a jazz pianist.” Before I finished the sentence, he said “Can you be here by 7 p.m.? Our pianist just called in sick!” I said, “Yes!” I slammed the phone down, changed clothes, jumped in the car, and drove Con’t on page 64


Jazmin Ghent

All photos of Jazmin Ghent by Nancy Jo Brown/106FOTO


I LOVE music. I always wanted to play the piano and since I’m from a family of nine, we simply could not afford a piano or lessons. My father was a jazz lover, so he would relax after work by playing albums. I would find a corner outside of our living room and listen to all of the jazz greats - The Pres., Sonny Stitt, Hank Mobley, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith, and Jimmy McGriff to name a few.

Practice and Preparation

When I met my husband, I discovered we had the love of jazz in common. We both said our favorite female name was Jazmin and agreed that would be the name of a girl if we ever had one. We were blessed with twin daughters, Jenai and Jazmin. I promised Carl, if we purchased a piano, it would be more than just a showpiece. We found a great sale and purchased an entry level black lacquer, baby grand piano to match an Asian black lacquer screen in our living room.

According to my research, the best time to begin piano lessons is when a child learns to read. So, my girls started in first grade. I taught school, during the day, and I knew that routine is vital for children. Homework, dinner, and music practice were part of the routine in our house. Our children were restricted to watching TV on the weekend. I loved to listen to the piano while preparing dinner. The girls practiced 30 to 45 minutes per day and an hour or more on the weekend. Their lessons with the music teachers were once per week and I used weekly treats and lots of praise for motivation.

Our children were inspired by our enthusiasm. We loved jazz and had hundreds of CDs from Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler, and Jeff Lorber. Going to and from school, jazz would be on the radio - WJAB - or on the CD player. When I realized the growth in their skills, I purchased books from music stores to introduce them to playing other genres of music. I purchased gospel books and a large hymnal, then I asked a minister of music at a local church

to help the girls transition from playing classical music to gospel music.

They began taking lessons twice weekly with two teachers, one teacher for classical and the other for gospel. They were only seven years old and it made such a difference. Jazmin took the liberty to improvise on some of the hymns. At eight, they played for the Sunday School. They played two hymns each Sunday and received a modest check from the church. Practicing and preparation were vital because they needed to be prepared for their lessons and for their job as the Sunday School pianists. They participated in at least two recitals every year.

Motivation and Competitiveness

When the girls were 10, they were well-versed in the piano. It was time to start thinking about college and music scholarships. They needed to master an instrument and participate in middle and high school band activities. Their grandfather loved the saxophone and played in his youth. Their brother, Carl, played saxophone in the marching band. We purchased two used alto saxophones. Jazmin was determined to play better than her brother and was motivated to be the best amongst her peers. She practiced the scales for Solo Ensemble and Allstate. Every evening before bed, I listened to her play what she practiced and gave her a grade for her performance.

Then, she would play a song from the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Saxophone Book. Jazmin’s skills began to exceed her sister and her brother.

During the summer, she took lessons at a local music store with a skilled saxophonist and she soared. She played scales for her saxophone teacher and people would walk in the music shop and ask who was playing. She did not sound like an 11 year old. There were several alto saxophone players in the band and I convinced my husband that an upgrade to a new tenor was Con’t on page 66

Amy Bormet

I met Amy Bormet in 2015, at the Women in Jazz Festival 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our bands, Ephemera and Raw Sound Sweden, shared the stage and spent a week in residency at Gerlesborgskolan on the beautiful Swedish west coast. We wanted to explore music together, so, we met in Los Angeles, Washington, Gothenburg. We co-founded the Harold Trio, with drummer Tina Raymond, and we released two albums in Los Angeles. We talked a lot about jazz, women musicians and composers, the music business, and equal opportunities. I admire the strength and consistency of Amy’s hard work, as a musician, producer, founder, and director of Strange Women Records and the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. She is inspiring. []

AB: In 2011, I released my first album. After securing reviews, I hoped to get booked at the Jazz Festival in my hometown of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, they did not accept my proposal. That year, they had 73 artists, and only three were women who were vocalists, not instrumentalists. I knew it was not the content of my music. My performances were not lacking in skill and art. So, I recruited several amazing women and began the festival to disrupt the narrative of jazz as for and by men, only. After the first year of rave reviews and tremendous community support, I continued to build, until the women I shared the stage with became powerful participants in the Washington D.C. Jazz scene. The festival in March 2020 will be the 10th festival. I have grown along with it.

BV: Amy Bormet, you are a pianist, singer, composer, and the founder of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival organized in 2011, as an annual festival with local, national, and international guests. Why did you organize the Washington Women in Jazz organization and festival?


BV: Why do we still have to overcome prejudices and attitudes towards women musicians?

AB: The patriarchy is a system that decides which activities are appropriate for which people. Women are not supposed to take risks, be loud, or be creative.

BV: Why is your festival an important contribution to the music?

AB: Artists I present are given an opportunity to develop and create in a supportive setting that leads to increasing their visibility in DC and beyond. I document and promote the festival so that photos and videos of these fantastic women musicians are seen, widely.

Con’t on page 67

Biggi Vinkeloe talks with AMY BORMET


EP: How did you come to music as a child? Did you study music theory?

CS: My first exposures to music were through colorful children’s toys. At around age 3 or 4, my mother bought a Fisher Price xylophone for me. Each key was a different color. The xylophone came with a small book of simple songs, including Mary, Had A Little Lamb and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. According to my mother, I used to bang on it for quite some time! Eventually, I learned how to read the color-coded sheet music and play the songs nicely. When I was 7 years old, one of my friends had a Smurf toy that could play whole songs if one programmed it. My friend had no interest in the toy and could not figure it out, so she gave it to me. Not long after that, I took some group piano lessons at a park near my home, and I began private piano lessons.

EP: Did you study music theory?

After studying piano for three years, I was required to learn music theory, and take annual exams. One exam was performance-based. It focused on sight-reading and performance of technique exercises and three songs. The other exam was written and featured ear training. I pursued a degree in classical piano music and won scholarships. After graduation, I taught myself how to play and improvise in other genres like pop, jazz, reggae, R&B, and funk.

EP: Do you compose? Do you write music? If so, how many songs have you composed?

CS: In the past year, I have written some songs with my husband for his adult students. We recorded the songs and performed them live. I plan to compose more songs for our band.

EP: Do you have a publishing company with ASCAP or BMI?

CS: I do not. However, I am interested in forming my own publishing company.

EP: Are you aware of the challenges woman face in the male-dominated field of music?

CS: Certainly, I am aware of these challenges. It is difficult to give a short answer for this multifaceted situation. From a marketing perspective, there has always been a lot of pressure for women to look physically desirable - thin, scantily clad, sexually or politically provocative, and with perfect makeup. The same degree of pressure does not exist for men in the music industry. There is a lot of pressure to compromise one’s values and artistic integrity. I would add that, depending on the marketing team and the genre of music, these pressures vary. There is a push-and-pull effect, wherein serious artists - women and men - wish to be taken seriously for their art. But the marketing team may value the visual product. This dichotymy may cause stress and burnout for an artist. When I was pursuing a degree in piano performance, about half of the piano students were female. However, the male students were encouraged to pursue a professional music career. Once the men entered the professional realm, it was assumed they would stay and exert their influence and artistry. Traditionally, female vocalists with male instrumentalists has been a popular and comfortable paradigm in the music industry. Although there are exceptions to the rule, I would like to see more female instrumentalists featured.

EP: What advice do you have for younger women entering the world of music performance?

CS: Do not sell yourself short and remember to be yourself. Do not worry about being the next Beyonce or Cristina Aguilera. Find your own voice, whether that is your singing voice or your piano, guitar, or drumming style. Do not take off your clothes to sell your music, even if it might make you a millionaire. Always know who your true friends are. Know how to earn and manage your money and, above all, save your money. Be who you are because you do you the best!


Kui Peng (aka Erin) was born and raised in Shanghai, China. She is a logistics professional with international experience in purchasing, import/export, warehousing, security, facilities planning, staff management, and cost controls. After college, she worked as a logistics manager in a multi-international company in Shanghai, before moving to the USA to pursue her career. She received her Bachelor’s in Transportation and Logistics and an MBA from the University of North Florida. She is a member of Certified in Transportation & Logistics from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. She developed and implemented a Department of Transportation driver’s compliance program which brought the company from 0% to 100% compliance. Erin is intelligent, energetic, outgoing, and easy-going with a great love for animals. She is a licensed accountant, customs broker, and entertainment agent. With her wide range of work experience from logistics and retail to relocation of companies, she started a new career in the entertainment business. She is the co-owner of World Entertainers Booking Entertainment Specialist Team Agency, LTD. based in Hong Kong, China (www.webestagency. com).


In its 5th Annual International Artist Challenge to Uplift the Self-Esteem of Humanity

UR2.Global Arts Project

Calls Singer-Songwriters to join the 2020 Honorary Artist-in-Residence

Two-Time Grammy-Nominated A cappella Group

Sweet Honey In The Rock

UR2.Global is a Psycho-Spiritual Arts Project that named two-time Grammy-Nominated A cappella Group Sweet Honey In The Rock as the 2020 International Honorary Artist-in-Residence for its 5th Annual International Artist Challenge. The honorary artists receive the distinction of having the artist challenge named in their honor to motivate singer-songwriters worldwide to assist this not-for-profit arts organization in its humanitarian effort to uplift the self-esteem of humanity by creating original works showcased on their website for daily inspiration.

Singer-songwriters that participate in the 2020 UR2.Global-Sweet Honey In The Rock Artist Challenge must submit one original verse to this year’s theme song. The verse must be submitted in a cappella format to honor the performance style of the honorary artists. The theme song was conceptualized and written by Dr. K’s Music Therapy™ aka Dr. Amelia Kemp, and commissioned for this artist challenge, specifically. It is entitled Liberated To Be Me.

Our goal for this ballad is to awaken the unlimited potential of mankind to learn to love self. The final version of the song awaits the additional verses to be added by participating songwriters. All participating songwriters will be credited as contributing writers to the song dedicated to the 45-year-legacy of Sweet Honey In The Rock.

Participants will receive an award for their humanitarian contribution to this global project and are invited to perform their verse at the Annual UR2.Global Artist Retreat where Sweet Honey In The Rock will hear the song in person and join in.

Sweet Honey In The Rock was selected from several applicants because of their socially conscious lyrics and legacy that spans four decades of a commitment to uplift the African-American community. They are the most vibrant, versatile, and ever-relevant musical collective in music, today, having performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including 32 separate occasions at Carnegie Hall. They toured on almost every continent for royal command concerts, festivals, and for world leaders like Former President Barack Obama


Sweet Honey and The Rock

at the White House and the memorial for Former President Nelson Mandela. The group 24 albums and is touring with their latest album #LoveInEvolution (Appleseed Recordings), in partnership with the group’s own She Rocks-5 label and distributed by Entertainment One. The members are Christie Dashiell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Carol Maillard, Barbara Hunt, Aisha Kahlil, Rochelle Rice, Louise Robinson, and featured musician Romeir Mendez.

The Creative Supervisor, Carol Maillard stated, “It is a phenomenal honor to be the 2020 Honorary Artist-inResidence. Encouraging self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of well-being and belonging in this world is so important to every individual. Our spirits are enlivened by the creative arts and strengthened through cultural expression. We are honored to partner with the UR2.Global Arts Project.”

UR2.Global President Amelia Kemp, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, non-secular doctor of metaphysical theology, author, and singer-songwriter. Dr. Kemp co-founded the organization to blend the performing arts with the healing arts to assist mankind in tapping into its inherent worth. “Sweet Honey In The Rock’s work resonates with our theme that everyone is an equal, important, and worthy soul. This is why self-esteem matters so much because it determines how one feels about themselves at their core, their value, self-worth, and self-acceptance,” according to Dr. Kemp.

View full submission guidelines and deadlines at: UR2.Global Click 2020 UR2.Global-Sweet Honey In The Rock Artist Challenge

Contact Lamarr Kemp:

UR2.Global Psycho-Spiritual Arts Project is a project of The Sacretherapy® Institute – (pronounced “sacredtherapy with a silent ‘d’), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


Gail Boyd

Gail Boyd is President of Gail W. Boyd, P.C., an entertainment law firm, and Gail Boyd Artist Management, a wholly owned company of the law firm. She is a graduate of De Paul University and De Paul University School of Law. She was a founding partner in Boyd, Staton and Cave, the first African American female law firm in New York. Boyd serves on the Boards of the Martin Luther King/Coretta Scott King Memorial and the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents. In October 2019, she was elected as President of that organization. As a lawyer, Gail Boyd has represented jazz artists such as Betty Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Gretchen Parlato, Michael Olatuja, Camila Meza, James Francies, Record Executive Steve Backer, and Randy Weston. Artists currently represented by Gail Boyd Artist Management are: John Clayton, The Clayton Brothers Quintet, Brianna Thomas, Don Braden, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Scott Tixier, Richie Goods, Lakecia Benjamin, Michael Olatuja and Dancer/Choreographer Jade Solomon Curtis.


How I Became a Talent Agent by GAIL BOYD

In the 50s and 60s, my father was a DJ in nightclubs in Chicago. He was known as QT the Blues Fool. Back then, club DJs were called “record turners”. Promoters from various record companies traveled around the country giving free music to record turners in hopes that they would play the music in their clubs to create an interest in the music, thereby sending people to the record stores to purchase the new music. So, my father had a huge record collection.

Daddy loved jazz and blues. He spent days on end telling me about blues and jazz musicians and played their music for me. I learned about Shirley Scott and Stanley Turrentine, Ray Charles, Fats Navarro, Blue Mitchell, and, of course, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan. My parents were divorced, and I split my time between them. Not knowing what to do with a girl on the weekends, when I was with him, I spent most of the time being grilled on “guess who this artist is?” One musician he had taken a particular fondness for was John Coltrane. He loved the quartet featuring McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones.

Since I was five, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. By 12, I knew I wanted a career in music. When I needed a moment away from parental authority, I would tell my mother I was staying with my Dad, and I would tell my Dad that I was going home. That would give me a few hours to get into mischief, although I was a book worm and was not very mischievous. My father mentioned that the John Coltrane Quartet was coming to town. The club where he was set to play was on the bus route that led from my Dad’s house to my house. I don’t remember the name of the club now, but it may have McKees.

With book bag in tow, dressed in my pleated skirt and Bobby socks, I went to the club on 63rd

and Cottage Grove, right after school. I spoke to the owner and said that I wanted to see John Coltrane. When he asked my age, I told him I was 15. As he was explaining that I couldn’t come in the club because of my age, I said, “Look Mister, I don’t want to drink, I just want to see John Coltrane! He relented and told me that I could come back after the show started but that I couldn’t sit in the booths. I could sit near the doorway once the lights went out.

I remember Jimmy Garrison humming loudly while he played his bass. I remember what looked like sparks coming from Elvin Jones hands while he played his drums. I remember McCoy looking at the two of them as if trying to stay in sync. But what I remember more than anything was the look of absolute peace and serenity on John Coltrane’s face. It was almost as if he wasn’t in the room but had transitioned to another time and place. I was mesmerized. How could jazz make a person feel like that. Where was it that music transported him? I wanted to go there! I knew from that moment that I wanted to work, not just in music, but in jazz. I had seen nothing before that brought that look of peace to someone’s face while working and I wanted in on it.

I went on to college and, eventually, law school. I started a law practice in Chicago and volunteered whenever I could to learn the business of music. Betty Carter was one of my first clients. She told me, “You don’t want to be a lawyer. You want to be a manager.” Well, that is how I got here. To this day, I thank Betty for her stewardship and being one of my important mentors in this business.

Through the years, I have been blessed to work with some of the best in the business of jazz. I continue to love what I do as I do what I love.
I knew from that moment that I wanted to work, not just in music, but in jazz!
Gail Boyd

The Power of Women in Music

Randi Fishenfeld on violin, Linda Ann Kiley on keys & vocals and Autumn Martini on bass.

RANDI FISHENFELD on Meaning of Life

String Player's Guide to The Universe: A Thesis Based on Super String Theory

This is my theory based on life experience. It may be complete garbage but it’s just theory. According to the quantum physics Super String Theory, the smallest component part of matter is not particles, but strings that resonate at different frequencies. Consistent with this theory, each one of us is made up of our smallest component parts - strings. As such, we are stringed instruments created by the *Master Luthier/Conductor to resonate at a particular frequency.

As long as we stay on that frequency, all things are in universal or quantum harmony. Sometimes, we go out of tune, causing us to not resonate properly, and eliminating an essential quantum harmonic voicing. When this happens, there is dissonance, and bad stuff happens.

We have free will, so, we choose to tune up or stay out of tune. Choosing to stay out of tune has a negative effect on the relative harmonic resonance of the quantum field - the all-inclusive universe. We are all necessary component instruments, playing the needed parts that create the essential harmonic voicing in the quantum symphony orchestra. As long as we stay in tune, the Symphonie Fantastique plays beautifullyall other instruments (people or opportunities) come in on cue. As long as we choose to remain in tune, all the orchestrated events in our lives play out, fulfilling our free will and quantum destiny.

In many instances, we recognize red flags that will knock us out of tune or relative harmony. It’s like people you get a bad vibration from or saying, “Let’s make beautiful music together,” with people we get a good vibe from. Why do some people choose to stay out of tune? Maybe they are wearing earplugs. I could elaborate on variations of self-medication like earplugs, including behavioral and chemical disorders.

It takes some of us longer to tune up because

some people have a higher tolerance for dissonance. Also, some people do not know how to retune. They need assistance from those with knowledge and wisdom. We all have the same potential to stay in tune but we choose to turn a deaf ear and tune out at times.

Why would this be? Maybe, we are supposed to go out of tune so we can retune. After all, the engine that drives melodic motion forward is tension and release - dissonance to resolution. The only way to continue to drive melodic motion forward is by resolving the dissonance. If we do not choose to tune up, we continue on a destructive, dissonant path, and get fired from the orchestra - a quantum “Hasta la vista, baby!” We should not beat ourselves up about playing out of tune. But it is essential to tune-up or face the consequences of impending annihilation. Furthermore, this explains why many creative people are in turmoil. Creativity is forward motion as opposed to stagnation. If the engine that drives melodic motion forward is dissonance to resolution and, if creativity equals forward motion, then, an increase in creativity is equal to a higher rate of tune or harmony – detune or dissonance – retune or harmony – detune or dissonance.

This process can wreak havoc on the creative individual who is not in sync with the Symphonie Fantastique. Sync means the ability to achieve serenity by connecting with a higher power. I call that higher power the *Master Luthier/ Conductor.

Serenity does not mean a lack of conflict, but the ability to cope with conflict. This explains why keeping it simple allows you to coast on through. Sometimes, we have simpler parts to play. Sometimes, we are the soloists. Sometimes, we’re the continuo, the accompaniment, and, sometimes, we have a page that reads Tacet, a musical term meaning silence. All parts are equally important, even those that remain silent. Imagine the chaos and cacophony if we all played with the same intensity at once!


Theater Stage Playwright and Production by MIMI

As a stage playwright and producer of musical stage plays, I have important activities that must happen before showtime. The first thing, I must create a script that is as uncomplicated, so the actors and actresses can learn their lines to be able to follow directions and blocking.

sponsorship proposal to include a playbill for ads, logo placement for the step-and-repeat red carpet banner and include business cards and promotional items in gift bags. Sponsorship is a great way to raise money.

Your online presence is important for selling tickets. A website like Eventbrite provides online ticket sales that are crucial for you to pay for your production. Higher-priced tickets at the door encourage attendees to purchase tickets, in advance, because online tickets are less expensive.

Your cast and production crew should help to market the show and bring in advertisers on social media, by texting, and email. Also, they spread the news by word of mouth, passing out flyers and phone banking.

Next, is casting done by the casting agent, director, or producer who must choose the right actors for each part. When casting for a theater stage play, there are many ways that you can cast your actors. You can choose actors and actresses that you already know are dependable or you can put an audition casting call out to the public and schedule a reading. In most cases, there is a type calling an actor’s height, race, age, and appearance. It is imperative that you have actors and actresses that get along and do not bring negative energy to the production. For this reason, you cast understudies to replace your cast members who do not work out. Then, the producer must schedule readings and rehearsals to accommodate the actors and actresses. Once they are off script, direction will include blocking and positioning for the stage performances.

Funding is imperative because money is needed for payroll, the venue, advertisement, and the stage set. It is challenging to find funding. You can reach out to businesses that want to sponsor your project by promoting their products and services on your show date. You must draft a

These tips will help you to become a successful stage play producer. Your Servant in The Arts, Mimi Johnson


After 33 years of owning and operating a real estate management and investment company in Washington, D.C., I retired and turned over the reins of the operation to my son. Thinking that was a decent life accomplishment, I never imagined that my “What’s next?” would be even more grand!

Who knew that singing, performing, and songwriting would be my destiny? Nothing has ever given me more joy, satisfaction, or purpose. In three years, I performed all over the world, wrote 15 songs, recorded eight, produced four music videos, produced three CDs, and I write every day. This journey has been extraordinary in every way!

Each morning, I awaken with enthusiasm and purpose. After meditation and exercise, I embark upon a thrilling musical regiment. Two hours of piano theory, practice, writing, and listening to the Jazz greats. Every Tuesday, I meet with my bassist, David Jernigan, and several singing friends to work through new tunes.

We are a supportive group of musician who offer constructive criticism and learn from each other. On Thursday, I meet with Felipe Paccagnella, a talented multi-instrumentalist with whom I collaborate on compositions, recording, and music videos. Every Friday, I take piano lessons with pianist and conductor, Dimitri Nikolov. At least three evenings during the week, I go about town supporting local musicians and renown artists.

Most thrilling on this journey is the opportunity to travel. I performed in France, Sweden, Croatia, and Italy. In January 2020, I performed at the Jazz Festival in Panama. On my way home I stopped in South Florida and hung out with my friends, Blanche Williams and Dr. Joan Cartwright. I attended Joan’s talk on Jazz and Civil Rights at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach. Then, I performed at Blanche’s Jazz on J Street in Lake Worth.

In February, I performed at the MidAtlantic Jazz Festival in the D.C. area, for the second year. I head to Tokyo, in April, to fulfill several engage-

ments. I will collaborate, instruct, and work at a music school in Uganda, in August, with gigs scheduled at home in between.

I’m a jazzy sexagenarian on an exciting musical journey! Follow me and start your own journey! Listen for my new single Wondorously Made, released on February 10, 2020, and my newest CD Shaking Off the Dust.

Linda Harris

Swinging with THE BASSMAN: A Tribute to DONALD JACKSON

Donald Jackson (September 28, 1956 — October 22, 2019)

This is a memoir in honor of Donald Jackson, the bassist who accompanied several vocalists in Shanghai, China. We interviewed a few female artists in Shanghai who worked with him and knew him as a friend, coworker, and mentor. Not only was Donald Jackson an old school gentleman and a musical genius, he was a great inspiration for youthful generations to come. You will be missed. R.I.P.

From Carol Cheng

I met Donald Jackson about 15 years ago. I cannot recall where. It might have been at the Ritz Calrton Portman Hotel, Jazz Bar. I would visit this bar to listen to the great Jazz music that they played there. I had a chance to get to know Donald because I offered him a contract at CJW Bund Center, shortly after he left the Portman Hotel. We performed six nights a week playing many music styles, including Jazz, R&B, some oldies but goodies, and classic pop songs. His MC style of introduction to bring the vocalist to the stage was the one and only in Shanghai and can never be imitated. To be able to speak and play bass at the same time is very difficult, but Donald did it, flawlessly. Donald was a classic gentleman. He was always in a suit, always looked sharp, and handsome. He knew all the Jazz standards by heart. Even though I was the band leader, he could give me more musical instructions when we were playing together. Sharing the stage with Donald was always a very pleasant experience.

Andres Boarsky on sax, Carol Chang on piano, Donald Jackson on bass, Corey Redford on drums

My role in Donald’s life was not only just a bandleader, pianist, but I was a friend and translator. He would call me to translate whenever he went shopping. I took it as he thought I was trustworthy enough that he was willing to share his life and let me know about what he needed to get around. I am very happy that we were friends and respected each other since we knew each other for over 15 years.

I mentioned that Donald Jackson was always wearing white shirts and black suits. I never saw him wear anything casual like sweaters or sports shoes. He was a man who cared about his image, a man with a lot pride, and a man with respect for others.

After Donald finished the contract with CJW Bund Center in Shanghai, He moved on to the CJW Beijing. He had many other contracts in different five-star hotels in Shanghai. He would still come to visit me at CJW, whenever he was available.

I always offered him something to drink when he came. This was my way of showing my respect to this older brother in my career who was my very good friend. In the last few years, I only performed with Donald Jackson once a year at the German Consulate event of the Shanghai Film Festival. This was my favorite job. Donald was on bass, Al Gordon on drums, Alexander V on sax, and I was on piano.


Swinging with THE BASSMAN: A Tribute to DONALD JACKSON (con’t)

We played at the same event three years consecutively, and we took a band photo every year. Unfortunately, the one we took this year was the last one. I was hoping to use this band photo (above) as our advertisement. I even thought about asking Donald and Al to record a Jazz trio CD with me. I regret I won’t be able to do that. An unexpected loss, I can still hear his voice calling me. “Hi Carol, how are you doing?” As I viewed these pictures that we took over the years, I really missed him a lot. If I had a chance to tell him something in person, I would have said, “Donald, no one can beat your dedication to the music. You are such a great role model as musician, a teacher to me. I am honored to have met you in my life.” Goodbye my friend. Dear Donald Jackson

From Sandra Kaye

Donald was a brilliant musician. He played bass and all string instruments with a definitive talent. On stage, he was a master and could accompany a vocalist very well as a stand alone instrument. I loved being on stage with him. When we played together at the Waldorf in Shanghai, a patron asked for I’m Thru With Love. Donald and I were familiar with this song and had no chart or lead sheet. Donald sat down and made us a very good lead sheet that I still use. We performed the song as a duet to an amusing crowd. I was aware that Donald hummed through the whole song and I just didn’t think much of his humming, it was cool for me at the time. However, when we got to Davide’s Studio in Shanghai to record Bye Bye Blackbird as a duet, Donald could not turn off the humming for three takes. Davide and I had a great laugh about it and the song didn’t make the cut for mixing. I sure hope Davide kept the song in his studio, I’d love to hear it again. I will always think of Donald and I will always think of him as my friend. RIP

Carol Chang, Sandra Kaye, Donald Jackson, Michael Hornstein, and Corey Redford.

From Micki Murphy

I came to Beijing, China, in 2007, to perform for the grand opening of the new CJW (Cigar, Jazz, and Wine) Club for one year, after which I was hired to perform a threemonth contract at CJW Xin Tian Di, in Shanghai. This is where I met Donald Jackson, in May 2008. Donald was playing bass with the house band. He was warm, kind, and friendly. He knew it was my first time in Shanghai and graciously offered to show me around the city that he loved so much.

Donald had been living there for over seven years and performed at all the exclusive hotels and venues. He was one of the most respected and revered musicians in China. We had an instant connection from the first time we met. His sense of humor and humble demeanor made it easy to admire and love him! Donald had a wealth of information about music and China. He was brilliant!

Donald had an incredible repertoire of songs in every genre. He was a consummate professional and an experienced band leader. He would direct and make sure the music was always on point. His bass solos were so creative and dramatic that he simply mesmerized the audience. Donald had incredible scat technique. He closed his eyes when he played his solos and he scatted, unconsciously, every time he played.

We loved working together, not just because of the music, but because of our friendship. We did quite a few gigs and long-term contracts together. We went everywhere together, from shopping, dinner, jam secessions, and long walks. We talked for hours on virtually every subject. We grew to rely on each other for advise about our lives, fears, and romantic interest! Donald was honest, sensitive, and compassionate. He was my best friend! Donald was one of my biggest influences in music. Although I had a Jazz repertoire, my style of performance was more funk, r&b, and pop. Being from Las Vegas, I was used to being a dancer and entertainer on stage. Through Donald’s tutelage, my appreciation for Jazz grew, exponentially. He even taught me some of his great scat techniques. Donald looked out for me, as he did for many others trying to build their career in China. He was loved and will be sorely missed by the entire music community.

From Chantal Smith

I met Donald at a Christmas party about three years ago. He was a humble and pensive grandfather figure who wore a black coat and sported a pipe. He spoke to me and others about the complexities and beauty of Jazz music theory. He truly possessed a deep knowledge, love, and respect for Jazz music, and deeply cared about its preservation. He was kind enough to share his knowledge with me and others. He gave us free and valuable advice. This is what I will remember about him most.

spring 2020

Swinging with THE BASSMAN: A Tribute to DONALD JACKSON (con’t)


IMPACT OF MUSIC on well-being from birth through your amazing aging, and beyond

We each have a favorite song. Dr. Lara Ronan, a neurology professor at Dartmouth College, shared in the January 2019 issue of Psychology Today that conscious use of music extracts an emotional dividend that motivates us during exercise, sets the mood for a romantic dinner, relaxes spa clients, and rallies the crowd at sporting events. Songs become favorites when we recreate that atmosphere, even far into the future.

The brain encodes music in our multifaceted memory of a moment or experience. That is how songs become favorites. The musical structure or lyrics of a song generate an emotion and a memory. Memories recalled with a musical soundtrack are usually stronger and more positive.

Ronan believed that “hearing music from our past evokes a strong feeling of knowing, which we often call nostalgia.” Many of the songs we love define lifelong friendships, console us, and make us feel secure.

So, music matters and musicians matter. Their work carries us from the womb to the tomb and beyond. Think of your favorite songs that evoke memories of events, feelings, or people you love. When hearing an old favorite, most people smile, take a moment to savor the emotion, and think of other songs that evoked that feeling of happiness or delivery from despair.

This association of music with our emotions has been going on since before birth. Pregnant women shared the gift of music with their babies in the womb. Then, came the lullaby or other musical sounds that comforted their infant. Music has a Pavlovian response. My oldest son listened to a lullaby at bedtime. When “La La Lu” played, he laid down, said “la la lu” and fell sleep. The music evoked his desire to sleep.

As we grow older, our experiences are lived to the song track of our generation. As a Detroiter, I lived and loved the Motown sound. My mom and grandmother sang the songs of their livesspiritual songs and blues – as love came in and went out of their hearts. Then, there was dance music and inspiring songs that supported our achievements. Some jingles stuck in our heads. Travel, school, the workplace, celebrations, and dates spent cultivating new relationships added more melodies and catchy tunes that paired with specific moments in time. We relive memories and feelings of joy from those pairings. Music makes you cry, laugh, smile, or it makes you grateful for that time in your life that is long gone but relived and relished for one moment. Even the heartaches carried notes of survival and achievement.

Research revealed that music improves and supports our well-being. Music is a powerful communication tool that stimulates the emotions and the intellect. The amazing concept is that chosen music elicits a desired response like Pavlov and my son illustrated. Choice means that we create our own playlist to serve our sense of well-being.

The songs vocalists sing and the melodies musicians create help us sleep, relax, dance, be inspired, drive, work, love, and stay focused. The International Society for Music Education sums it up in their motto which states that “lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people.”

The context where music meets health and wellbeing, called music medicine by Ralph Spintge, can impact patients in surgery and post-surgery therapy. Listening to music helps reduce pain and anxiety. All of our musical modalities deliver therapeutic outcomes. The catchy tunes of yesteryear have a positive impact on our longevity, health, and well-being.

Music relaxes the mind, energizes the body, and boosts cognitive performance. Furthermore,

Health Corner: On That Note by

music enhances sleep, motivates us, improves our endurance, and helps with pain management, especially when we create playlists, consciously. Music is evergreen with the power to inspire and entertain us. But the most amazing value it has is contributing to our health and well-being from our prenatal beginnings and throughout our lives.

To all of the global Amazing Musicwomen, I humbly ask you ladies to keep making music. The world needs all of your positive voices and sounds to improve the well-being of our global citizens.

Lydia Harris
Think of your favorite songs that evoke memories of events, feelings, or people you love.

Young Musicians: Know the Standards


SHEILA JORDAN: A girl came up to me and said, “I’m a jazz singer too!” And I was thrilled— she was young—and I said, “Oh, that’s great. Then you must know Bird?” And she said, “What kind of bird?” I said, “Well, if you’re going to get into jazz, then you better find out what kind of bird I’m talking about.” [Laughter]

DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER: But those are true stories. And so many young musicians do not know the standards.

VERONICA SWIFT: No, they don’t.

DDB: They learn their stuff. That’s all they know. You ask them to play Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing”—something that simple— and they’re like, “What? Who?” I’m like, “C’mon now!” So something is getting lost in the jazz curriculums, and I’m a little concerned about it. VS: I’m lucky that I had both sides of this. I grew up with musician parents who were in that world, and then I also did go to college and I went through the curriculum. I was lucky to

have teachers that also were on the road and had that understanding. So I found solace with them and that kept me going, I was getting frustrated for a bit there in my education but I made it through. But yeah, it’s the same thing—I’m not much older than these college kids, but I do go around and share my experience and I think that helps. And I ask, “How many of you guys know ten standards?” Most, 80 percent raise their hands. “How about 25 standards?” And then hands are going down. I was just so surprised. But, you know, you’ve got to start there, teaching these songs. Learn these songs. Listen. “How many of you listen to John Coltrane?” Everyone raises their hands. “How many of you listen to Coleman Hawkins?” Guess who was listening to Coleman Hawkins? John Coltrane. Do your homework. Go to the source.

This is a FIVE PAGE article linked from Jazz Times Magazine. sheila-jordan-dee-dee-bridgewater-veronicaswift-three-generations-of-vocal-jazz/4/


The History of Women in Classical Music by Jean Wald

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

(Germany), composer, mystic, poet.

“Love lives in everything, from the deepest depths to the highest stars, and she is the most charming of all, because she has given the highest King the kiss of peace.”

Caritas abundat in omnia - com/watch?v=Vv3CDYpkrSw

Francesca Caccini (1587 – 1640 approx.) (Florence, Italy), composer.

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola di Alcina

Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

(Germany) pianist, composer, wife of Robert Schumann.

Romance in A Minor, piano - https://www.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936)

Payment to Mme. Schumann-Heink by Stetson’s president, Irwin Morse, February 27, 1908 \ (b. in Prague, d. in Hollywood, Austrian with U.S. citizenship, contralto)

Yodeling -

Duet with Caruso (1913) -


The History of Women in Classical Music by Jean Wald (con’t)

Amy Beach (1867-1944)

USA, pianist, composer.

Florence Price (1887-1953)

USA African-American composer and pianist.

Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)

(France) pianist, composer.

Pie Jesu for mezzo-soprano, string quartet, harp & organ, written in 1917-1918. watch?v=eLxrA8cG2ZI

Clara Rockmore (1910-1998)

(English) made the theremin famous. watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U


The History of Women in Classical Music by Jean Wald (con’t)

Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962)

USA, faculty at Curtis Institute. Blue Cathedral (orchestral work) Violin Concerto (dedicated to and premiered by Hilary Hahn)

Interview on NPR the-sound-of-silence-female-composers-at-the-symphony

Judith Shatin

(b. 1949)

USA, faculty at UVA, guitarist and composer.

1:12 excerpt of Everything Is Plundered, sung in Russian, setting of an Anna Akhmatova poem, voice, fl, clar, vn, vc, pno [this one]…”ponders terrible extremities, puts them in a larger perspective, and reflects on human resilience.” – JS program notes R’oi sung in Hebrew, in response to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, in 1995, text is Psalm 23, SATB chorus - Y’fehfiah (Beautiful Dragonfly) full work from a choral competition

Sic Transit, for percussion and CADI (configurable automatic drumming instrument)

Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)

USA, independent composer and accordionist.

A Love Song

Bye Bye Butterfly (electronic music)

Deep Listening (full album) Panaiotis (part of the Deep Listening Band) taught at Stetson


The History of Women in Classical Music by Jean Wald (con’t)

Laurie Anderson (b. 1947)

USA avant-garde composer, experimental performance artist, violinist, keyboardist, singer.

CNN Predicts a Monster Storm (with Kronos Quartet)

Evelyn Glennie (b. 1965)

Scottish percussionist, profoundly deaf.

“My purpose is to teach people to listen!” TED talkRunning Wild by Margaret Brouwer (starts at 3:08) and

USA, violinist, vocalist, composer.

Pulitzer Prize at age 30.

Grammy in 2013, nominations for 2014 and 2020 Arvo Pärt's 'Spiegel im Spiegel' -

Caroline Shaw (b. 1982)

The History of Women in Classical Music by Jean Wald (con’t)

More contemporary women in classical music

• Hilary Tann

• August Read Thomas

• Sarah Caldwell

• Marin Alsop

• JoAnn Falletta

• Emma Lou Diemer

• Joan Tower

• Dale Cavanaugh

• Kim Perlak

• Meredith Monk


• International Alliance for Women in Music

• Kapralova Soceity

• Rebecca Clarke Society

• Fondazione Adkins Chiti Donne in Musica


Reference books in music: most County Public Library branches

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. (2001). (Printed). This is the ‘bible’ of music information in English published since the late 19th century. Pendle and Boyd. (2010). Women in Music: A Research and Information Guide. Routledge. Ammer, Christine. (2001). Unsung: A History of Women in American Music. Amadeus.

Online articles: When Were Women First Allowed to Join the Orchestra?

Lack of Diversity in Top Orchestras . . . Musicians of Color - Stetson University’s YouTube channel has live-streaming of concerts, most of which are uploaded to YouTube -

See the October 31, 2019 Faculty Recital, which has a program of music by six women composers, including Clara Schumann (19th century) and Thea Musgrave (b. 1928, Scottish, American citizen).

JJean Wald Stetson University, Deland, FL
48 south florida since 2007


March 1 @ 3-7 pm

18th Annual



New York, March 2020


Michika Fukumori

Russian Samovar Restaurant and Piano Bar

hosted by the 256 W. 52nd Street NYC, NY 10019

Jazz and Blues Preservation 212-757-0168

March 1 @ 10pm-2am Debbie Knapper's Jam

Every Sunday

March 1

March 2

March 2 @ 8-11 pm

Susan Kramer

Roberta Piket Quartet

Cafe Oasis, 779 Brooklyn Ave., Baldwin, NY

25C Cultural Center, 68 Ave C @ 5th St., NY

Bar Lunatico

Virginia Mayhew 486 Halsey Street, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Felicia M Collins

Every Monday Felicia's Juke Box

March 4

March 6 @ 6-10 pm

March 7

March 7 @ 8-11:45 pm

March 7

Carol Sudhalter (MC)

Kim Clarke and Friends

Kim Clarke and Friends

Cafe Wha?

115 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village, NY

Flushing Town Hall Jazz Jam

137-35 Northern Boulevard Flushing, NY

Mount Lebanon Church

230 Decatur St. Brooklyn

St. Albans Congregational Church

Jazz Communion Vespers 172-17 Linden Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11434

Erena Terakubo

Rome Neal

presents Beautiful Young Women in Jazz with Leonieke Scheuble (p)

Gabrielle Garo (flute and sax)

The Bean Runner Cafe

201 South Division Street, Peekskill NY

Banana Pudding Jazz

March 8 @ 3-7 pm

Boncellia Lewis

Russian Samovar

hosted by 256 W. 52nd Street NYC, NY 10019

Jazz and Blues Preservation

March 9

March 9

March 10

March 11 @ 7 pm

March 11

BerthaHope Hope

Felicia M Collins

Endea Owens and Cookout

Ludmila Svarovskaya

Endea Owens and Cookout

Patrick’s Place

151st Street & Frederick Douglas Blvd., NYC

Cafe Wha?

115 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village, NY

Dizzy's 10 Columbus Circle, NYC

Koslov Club Ulitsa Maroseyka

9/2, Moscow, Russia, 101000

Dizzy's 10 Columbus Circle, NYC



March 12

March 13

March 13

March 15

Endea Owens and Cookout

Endea Owens and Cookout

Lisa Andrea and Denise Vera

Dizzy’s 10 Columbus Circle, NYC

Dizzy's 10 Columbus Circle, NYC

The Bean Runner Cafe

201 S Division Street, Peekskill NY

March 19

March 20

March 21 2-4:30 pm


March 22 @ 3pm

Nabuko Kiryu JAZZ

Russian Samovar hosted by the 256 W. 52nd Street NYC, NY 10019

Jazz and Blues Preservation

Rosa Lee Brooks

Annette Street John

Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

525 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles,CA 90014

Patrick’s Place

151st Street & Frederick Douglas Blvd., NYC

AQUA NINJAZ Langston Hughes Library

Tribute to Jef Lee Johnson, 100-01 Northern Blvd., Corona, NY 10068 George Duke & Donald Blackman

Mimi Jones BAND

Kim Kalesti's


Awesome Original Music of the Heart

March 22 . Annette Street John

hosted by Jazz and Blues Preservation

The Bean Runner Cafe

201 S.Division Street, Peekskill, NY

St. Marks-In-The-Bowery Church

131 E. 10th Street, NYC 10030

Russian Samovar

256 W. 52nd Street NYC, NY 10019

March 23

March 27

Felicia Collins

Kristina Koller

Cafe Wha?

115 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village, NY

The Bean Runner Cafe

201 S. Division Street, Peekskill, NY

March 28m


Langston Hughes Library Auditorium (2nd Fl.) @ 2-4:30p

All-Women Afro-Cuban, 100-01 Northern Blvd Corona NY 11368

Classical, Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Latin American, Soul & R&B Ensemble

Free concert/all ages welcome! Produced by LADY GOT CHOPS INC.

March 28

March 28

March 29

March 30

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium


Aimee Allen

The Bean Runner Cafe

201 S. Division Street, Peekskill, NY

Russian Samovar hosted by Jazz and Blues Preservation

Kim Clarke and Friends

256 W. 52nd Street NYC, NY 10019

Felicia M Collins

Cafe Wha?

115 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village, NY


Interview with JEANNIE CHEATHAM by

Con’t from page 7

JC: The reason I know is because ASCAP keeps track. I belong to ASCAP and they send me royalties every six month or so. They send me a check and on the back of it is listed everywhere it has been played on the radio, TV, or by personal appearances. All the countries you can think of are listed, some I don’t even know.

MA: That’s quite a bit of history.

JC: Oh Yes!

MA: Is there anything in your career that stands out as a stellar point or moment that you’ll never forget?

JC: I think the whole thing. The thing is that most jazz musician are operating on a different frequency. They proved that, scientifically, where the brain fires up and where it doesn’t fire up. Jazz musicians have a thing about the brain, a blood brain barrier that is unique because of the improvisation. You can’t just sit there and play something you’ve been practicing like Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, or any of the classical music. You practice and practice -=and practice until you get it right.

MA: Right.

JC: But with jazz you don’t know what you’re gonna do when you get up there. You gotta have a certain kind of faith.

MA: Yes, you have to trust yourself.

JC: That’s it, trust where the music is gonna come from. That’s exactly what I’m talking about, because you got musicians I know, real selfish musicians. Very good as far as manipulation, I mean manipulation of the instrument, but they don’t have any soul.

MA: I see.

JC: But all the guys in my band had soul and faith. There were all different kinds of religions in the band. Some of them switched to Buddhism or they were Muslim. But they were aware of where that music came from and they were loyal. I still have contact with my trumpet player, Nolan Shaheed, and Charlie Owens. One of them died. I’ll be 92 tomorrow [August 14, 2019].

MA: Wow! Congratulations.

JC: But they were younger than me and they are still loyal. Yea, ya know, when I said, they would

drop their things to do what we were booked for, all these years, from 1983, until today, over 40 years! That was the advantage and none of them were dope addicts. We all drank gin and Courvoisier for me. You could sip one or two, which could last all night and for a vocalist it warms your throat. You never use ice.

MA: Because if it’s cold, it’s something else.

JC: It messes with your vocal cords.

MA: How many songs have you composed?

JC: Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes, I keep some of this close because, sometime people call from all over. This morning I got a call from Israel at four o’clock in the morning.


Jeannie Cheatham is a living legend in jazz and blues. A pianist, singer, songwriter, and co-leader of the Sweet Baby Blues Band, she has played and sung with many of the greats in blues and jazz—T-Bone Walker, Dinah Washington, Cab Callaway, Joe Williams, Al Hibbler, Odetta, and Jimmy Witherspoon. Cheatham toured with Big Mama Thornton off and on for ten years and was featured with Thornton and Sippie Wallace in the award-winning PBS documentary Three Generations of the Blues. Her music, which has garnered national and international acclaim, has been described as unrestrained, exuberant, soulful, rollicking, wicked, virtuous, wild, and truthful. Cheatham's signature song, "Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On" is a staple in jazz and blues clubs across America and in Europe, Africa, and Japan.

In this delightfully frank autobiography, Jeannie Cheatham recalls a life that has been as exuberant, virtuous, wild, and truthful as her music. She begins in Akron, Ohio, where she grew up in a vibrant multiethnic neighborhood surrounded by a family of strong women. From those roots, she launched a musical career that took her from the Midwest to California, doing time along the way from a jail cell in Dayton, Ohio, where she was innocently caught in a police raid, to the University of Wisconsin-Madison—where she and Jimmy Cheatham taught music. Cheatham writes of a life spent fighting racism and sexism, of rage and resolve, misery and miracles, betrayals and triumphs, of faith almost lost in dark places, but mysteriously regained in a flash of light. Cheatham's autobiography is also the story of her fiftyyears-and-counting love affair and musical collaboration with her husband and band partner, Jimmy Cheatham.


From the Swingin’ Sixties to 2020

Con’t from page 9 who led the group told me to come with her and I was going to sing with Louis Armstrong. I thought she lost her mind.

She said, “I told him about how wonderfully you sang and he wants to sing with you.”

Louis did a couple of songs and I sang Misty in C. We got a rousing reception. It was my hometown. Louie told me I ought to do this for a living and asked if I would sing for the second show. So, I did. There were newspaper stories and photographers, everywhere.

Then, I sang at a private club for two weeks. It was segregated but they let everyone come in while I was there. My reputation was growing and got another job, after that. Things kicked off from there.

DJ: How long did you stay in Texas?

MJ: My husband, Bobby Bradford, who was a jazz trumpet player. We met at a jam session at the American Woodman Hall in Dallas. I sang with the house band called the Red Tops. The leader, David “Fathead” Newman had a standing engagement with Ray Charles. He was with us when not performing with Ray. The band played every week and got paid, althouth it was a jam session where musicians could join in and play. Bobby and I met there and got married. After Bobby graduated from Lincoln High School, he attended Sam Huston College in Austin. He joined the Air Force. After the service, he returned to Austin to resume his college education at Sam Huston College that merged with Tillotson College.

President Kennedy was assassinated while we lived in Dallas. On that day, I had to go to Dallas for a job. Someone got on the bus and said, “The president has been shot and the governor has

been shot.” When I got to Dallas, everyone was so upset. It was a horrible time.

DJ: Later on, you moved to California. What prompted that?

MJ: There was not enough jazz and we both thought there would be greater opportunities in California. We just packed up the kids and the furniture and moved to California.

DJ: You didn’t yet have Carmen?

MJ: We had a baby and that baby was killed in a car wreck. She was eight months old. I left the nursery school at the church. I was driving and turned the corner, when a bus came from the hill, speeding, and hit us. She died right there on the corner and when I woke up, I was in the hospital. Before that, the car was stopped and I could hear the hissing sound and someone came around to the driver’s side and someone said, ‘Can you hear me?’ I said, “Yes, can you get my baby out?’ So, they got her out and she died in the lady’s arms.

DJ: I am so sorry to hear that.

MJ: I was in a cast for about two months and I stayed at my mother’s house to heal. The doctor said I would not be able to have any more children, about 10 months later Carmen was born. Thank God.

Bobby’s mother was already out in California, so we stayed with her for a short time. Bobby was working intermittently and so was I. I waited for Carmen to get a certain age before I went out on the road.

DJ: And then you moved?

MJ: First, we were in Pacoima. There was a guy who had a club near us. I used to go Monday night and they would have sessions, but it seemed they just were not calling the women. So, one Sunday night I went out to get something to fix dinner and passed by the club. The door was open, so I stopped the car and went inside. As soon as they played something in my key, I got up and started singing on the microphone. The

Melba Joyce, vocalist, Victor Sutphen, trombone Willie T. Albert, trumpet, Johnny Shields, drums America Woodman Hall in Dallas, Texas 1957 Photo credit: Unknown

From the Swingin’ Sixties to 2020

Jazz Vocalist MELBA JOYCE by Diedre Johnson (con’t)

name of the club was The Sly Cat and the owner, Ray Dewey, was at my 80th birthday party. He and I became friends and I was working at the club, all of a sudden. Then, we moved to Pomona (suburb near Los Angeles) and I got a job at a club called The Royal Tahitian. It was like a country club. They had another big room in the back, and they were bringing in people like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. When Sarah Vaughn came, the owners told her, ‘There’s a young lady who thinks she is you.’

One night there was someone peeking behind a door at the club, trying not to be seen. I looked and it was Sassy (Vaughn’s nickname). I said to myself, `You’ve got to find Melba tonight because you cannot sit here and sing every lick this woman sings.’

I changed my style, was introduced to Benny

Carter, and started making good money. Benny Carter was an important musician in my career. Rex Stewart had just come off the road with Duke Ellington. He made a valuable observation about my singing and gave me Benny’s contact information. Benny wrote themes for TV shows. He was famous. He arranged for Count Basie and a other big bands.

Benny’s agent sent me on the road with Big Tiny Little, a ragtime piano player on the Lawrence Welk Show. We went to Washington State and Tahoe. Black people said the club in Tahoe was segregated and that I did not need to work there. One night, they played, “Those Old Cotton Fields Back Home.” When he introduced me, he said, “I want to introduce you to a lady and she is not from the cotton fields back home but from the black tarpits of Los Angeles.”

Some people playing the slot machines stopped


From the Swingin’ Sixties to 2020

playing. When the show was over, I called the manager to ask why he had me on the road with a racist? He said he did not mean it that way. I said I don’t care whether he meant it or not. I don’t like him and this is not going to work for me. So, I went with Louis Jordan, a saxophist and bandleader with a hit song, “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens”. I worked with Jordan for a while.

Later, Skip Trenier of The Treniers booked me with his band at the Sahara in Tahoe. I made new connections for gigs all over the country.

DJ: What was LA like in the 1960s, seventies, and eighties for jazz artists?

MJ: It was all right. Redd Foxx had a club on La Cienega. They had an open mic night and the prize was to work at Redd Foxx’s club for two weeks. I won and was there for 22 weeks. Redd got me work on TV shows including the Woody Woodbury and Donald O’Connor shows.

I worked at some of the big jazz clubs in LA. I met Carmen Twilly, a well-known background singer, who wanted to know what kind of music I was doing. That stuck in my mind. One of my friends was playing piano with Smokey Robinson, who was leaving The Miracles and needed a background singer. I had performed at Pasadena City College and opened for Smokey.

DJ: Then, there was the divorce?

MJ: Yeah, at that time, there was a headline in a Tahoe newspaper: Poor Melba, Someone Stole Her Name. Melba Moore was in Purlie on Broadway. Her name was Beatrice Melba Hill and she changed it to Melba Moore. And there I was with my name, trying to get a divorce. I had to decide whether to spend money on that situation or the divorce? I chose to get the divorce.

DJ: How did you ensure that your talented daughter, Carmen found her way?

MJ: Carmen inherited my voice, but God placed her where she belonged. She was dating a pianist who opened for the Count Basie Orchestra. They agreed that he could have a girl sing with

his band. He brought Carmen and Basie heard her. He said, “Pack your bags at the end of the show.” The rest is herstory.

DJ: What did you say when your daughter said she was singing with the Count Basic Band?

MJ: I said, “Ok, See ya.”

DJ: Were you in California or New York?

MJ: I was in California but I got the divorce, sold the house, and moved to New York.

DJ: What made you move to New York?

MJ: The jazz clubs were closing in LA and I had to go to New York, the place everyone goes to prove themselves.

DJ: Are you still teaching part-time?

MJ: Yes, four days a week at Medgar Evans College. I received a B.A. degree from Antioch College and my Master’s from Rutgers University.

DJ: Talk about the making of the live album of Melba Joyce at Ronnie Scott’s?

MJ: My father and Billy Eckstine were friends. Billy made a tape of my songs and sent it to Ronnie Scott in London, England. Ronnie booked me, immediately. Before I knew it, I was singing in London.

DJ: That CD is amazing! Now, that you’re a seasoned jazz singer, what are some of the things you’ve learned and want to pass on to those just starting out?

MJ: You have to be committed to it and you need to learn as much as you can about music and about jazz so that you understand what the genre is because it is a phenomenal genre of music.

You need to become familiar with all the songs, the repertoire of jazz, all of the songs are that are noted, learn how to sing them well. Learn to read music. You do not have to read but musicians should because it prepares you for other opportunities. Find out what jazz really is; find out the history of the music. Do as much of the blues as you can. Study music like a horn player studies.

DJ: That’s a lot of studying.

MJ: Yes, it is. But working is the best study. It introduces you to other singers, musicians, and songwriters, and a lot can come from that.


Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Indiana Avenue: The Grand Ol’ Street

Clarke F. “Deacon” Hampton organized his children into Deacon Hampton’s Family Band while they lived in Ohio. In 1938 the Hamptons settled back in Indianapolis. They later became the Duke Hampton Band and played swing-style music. They disbanded in the late 1940s and formed their own groups or did solo acts. Slide Hampton, playing the trombone, had a prolific career as a composer, arranger and performer. Sisters Virtue, Aletra and Carmalita formed a trio. (Information taken from the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis) Bicentennial Train image. Digital image © 2005

Carline Ray (b), Bertha Hope (p), and Paula Hampton (d).

Interview with Drummer PAULA HAMPTON

Con’t from page 15 terrific bass player. Su Terry still plays around the world. She played with us for about seven years. We went right down the coast of Africa, all the way down. It was an interesting voyage. I had always wanted to go to Africa. We did Paris, Sweden, Switzerland. But that wasn’t always with Jazzberry Jam. I traveled with a pianist who did the cruise ship, her name was Lillette Jenkins.

JC: What is your fondest memory of being a performer?

PH: The look on people’s faces because when I came to New York, there were only about two other women drummers and still that same thing that women have no business playing drums. My fondest memory - it’s got to be The Kennedy Center.

JC: And that was with Carline and Bertha?

PH: And Su Terry, a terrific saxophone player. We had a male vocalist, Ulysses Slaughter. After that concert, the article in the paper was mostly about Ulysses because he was such a good singer. He and Carline passed away and that’s what happened to Jazzberry Jam.

JC: Are you still performing?

PH: Whenever I can. Right now, I work for the Jazz Foundation of America performing for seniors. But not as Jazzberry Jam.

JC: So, you play with other musicians in New York, right?

PH: Yes, Sandra Reeves Phillips is one of the people I worked with for a number of years.

JC: You toured with her plays?

PH: Yes. It was The Late, Great Ladies of Jazz and Blues. She had a number of famous singers that she emulated. That’s the first time I went to Washington. People loved her. I never really performed behind a male at all. That situation is slowly getting better as far as the male-female thing is concerned. I read in the paper about Camille Thurman who was on a jazz cruise. Also, I must mention Kim Clarke who took over when Carline got sick. Kim was on that cruise with us. We used to laugh because we were getting our nails done, while Camille was at the end of the ship playing that saxophone. Now, she’s playing with Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis. I’m so proud of these girls. When I call them, I can get anything I want. There’s another

saxophone player Lakeshia Benjamin. I read an article about Lakeshia in China. It makes me proud that these ladies are making their mark as women musicians.

JC: Did you ever work with JazzMobile?

PH: A couple of performances in the parks and a few other venues. We perform at a tribute at The Apollo Theater in Harlem with a wealth of famous entertainers.

JC: What do you see for the future?

PH: I hope that God lets me make 90!

JC: Well, you said that you’re going to see your grandchildren.

PH: Yes, I got a call from one of my grandchildren who brought to my attention that I have not seen my children or my grandchildren since 2013. They live in Charleston, South Carolina. My oldest daughter lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her children. So, I have grandbabies up there too. So, she said, “You know Mommy’s birthday is December 21.” I said, “I was there. I know!” She said, “My sisters and I decided that it would be nice if we got you a ticket so you can fly down here.”

So, I’m leaving Tuesday for South Carolina. I have greatgrands I have never seen, so, that’s going to be a plus for me.

JC: What are your daughters’ names?

PH: My oldest is Regina Rhyne and my youngest is Joyce Wilkenson, Regina will be coming down too. Another thing that kept me in the music was that I loved Wes Montgomery’s music. I married Melvin Rhyne who was playing with Wes Montgomery at the time. I got a chance to be around these musicians. It was like getting a music shock, especially to come in the house every day, and hear them playing. It drove me crazy. But I didn’t know that he would become the famous Wes Montgomery. It enhanced my desire to become a musician. I had no choice, really, because my Mom was still alive then. I so enjoyed listening to the family band play and to see my Mom play with them. See, I had influences that other kids did not.

Video: How High
The Moon sung by Paula Hampton with Jazzberry Jam at the Kennedy Center

Interview with LOIS MCMORRIS aka LADY MAC in Kansas City, Missouri

Con’t from page 17

I was enjoyed writing and reading music charts. I was around musicians, but had no formal training from them. In retrospect, they were abrasive, disrespectful, and misogynistic. I studied, practiced, and learned on my own, opting for excellence.

I moved to Los Angeles with my daughter and, three years later, my Mom passed. I took an intensive course at a music school in California for one semester. I played a lot of guitar, learned theory, wrote charts, and arranged music.

I had to qualify and pay for the Guitar Intensive Program at the music school. The guitar teacher was a drill sergeant. He knew Wes Montgomery and he could articulate what I was there to learn. He taught me how to color with the music. When he left, the program ended. I applied the musical vibration frequency that I learned from him to what I was doing musically like a scientist.

JC: What was the name of that school?

LM: Dick Grove’s School of Music

JC: How long did you live in California?

LM: I was there for 26 years.

JC: Then, you moved to Kansas City?

LM: I moved to Kansa City, Missouri, the music city. I was sent there by Divine Spirit. I was inducted into The Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame in 2005, joining stellar artists Gabrielle Union, Television One, radio station owner, Kathryn Hughes, Terry Lewis, and Buddy Miles. In 2007, I received the Black Music Hall Of Fame

In 2014, I won the national award for Best Black Female Guitarist from Black Women In Jazz and the Arts in Atlanta. Also, I won Best Black Female Visiual Artist 2014. At the Playboy Jazz Festival I headlined with my group LadyMac and the MackAttack. I headlined with Grammy award-winner Al Jarreau and platinum vocalist Howard Hewitt. I perform, record, paint, sculpt, and I have a new CD and show for 2020.

JC: Did you experience any push back from men being a female guitarist?

LM: Yes. It was to such an extent that I was sent to Missouri to recover from it. When you’re in a fight, you might not feel all the blows you receive, until later on. When the event is over, you feel the pain and negativity as you heal. I experience lots of discrimination and threats for playing my instrument well. For example, in Los Angeles California, I went to the jam session at the Parisian Room. A jazz musician told me this was the way to put my hat in the ring and advertise my talent. You showed what you could do and passed out your cards. This was how you met other musicians who had gigs.

My boyfriend and I were with another couple. They called me up to play but, when I walked on stage, the male musicians looked at me and walked off of the stage. They had never heard me play and did not give me the respect afforded to a male musician. They left me there, alone, which was not in the spirit of a jam session.

Jimmy Jewel Lifetime Achievement Award.

Interview with LOIS MCMORRIS aka LADY MAC in Kansas City, Missouri

The audience and I were shocked. After several awkward minutes, the club owner, Red Holloway, said, “I’ll play with you, baby.” He sat at the piano and the other musicians straggled back to the stage. I soloed through the chord changes of the tune and received a standing ovation. The musicians said, “Yeah, yeah! Baby you can play!”

I experienced this, over and over, again, with different faces at different places. Jazz organist Jimmy Smith told me these were tactics used to debilitate female musicians. It is 10 times harder for a female musician of color to make it. I salute my musical sisters for their stamina and perserverence!

JC: My philosophy is that you were in your mother’s womb the first time you heard music. She was the first musical instrument that you encountered because the blood running through her veins is the strings, her heartbeat is the drum, and she was probably humming. So the female body is the first musical instrument that every human being encounters.

L.M: Wow!!!

JC: Why are men so jealous and anti-women musicians? It’s getting better. But, back in the day, it was impossible. So, why do you think that they are like that?

LM: People that act like this are abusers! We live in an sociopathic abusive society. Intentional conditioning and lack of awareness perpetuate abusive behavior. We are spiritual beings incarnated in a physical, energetic body at this time in space, where we are conditioned to live in patriarchal, violent societies. Racism and sexism are predicated upon false beliefs, blind hate, control, greed, and toxic conditioning from 26,000 year Dark Age. Now, that is ending and humanity must arise from the ugliness and viciousness of the conscious actions of those who embrace the isims.

JC: Do you write music?

LM: Yes and produce all of my music.

JC: How many songs have you composed?

LM: It could be over 100.

JC: Do you have a publishing company?

LM: Yes.

JC: Are you with ASCAP or BMI?


JC: How many CDs do you have?

LM: Lady Mac One was my first CD. On sale, now, is Lady Mac One Plus and the single, Sister Line I have an EP and I am working on the next recording.

JC: Where else did you tour besides California?

LM: I went to Frankfurt and Kiev, Germany. I was in Ukrainia. Also, I toured across Canada! I’m looking forward to doing my concerts in London!

JC: Have you been to other continents or countries?

LM: Yes. I was in the Far East, in Bangkok, Thailand, where they had the billboards that move. That was in 1994. Also, I was in Indonesia, Jakarta, Seoul, Korea, and Japan.

JC: How long did you work with Coolio?

LM: A few months maybe. I did the X-Games in Oakland, California, where he introduced me to the world via ESPN. We did the Forum in Inglewood. He was a cool guy.

JC: How did you meet Gail Jhonson?

LM: Gail Jhonson is my sister. I was gigging in Los Angeles at a club and someone told me that I should meet her. I heard her name a lot. I was dating this wild guitar player, Ricky Rouse. One evening, we went to different clubs to sit in. At a club on the Santa Barbara Plaza in the Crenshaw District, L.A. community music scene was popping. The group was Fernando & Spice led by saxophonist and vocalist Fernando Harkness. Gail Jhonson was playing the keyboard.

Ricky and I each sat in and soloed! After the set, Gail smiled and said, “Gir-r-r-r-rl-l-l!” We laughed and have been friends every since! I joined that group with Gail and we played together in two other groups, Velvet Jazz, all-female group managed by actress Marla Gibbs. She owned Marla’s Memory Lane in Los Angeles. Her clientele was Black Hollywood icons. Gail and I were joined by the awesome violinist, Karen Briggs. This group named Joie had three other ladies, Elmira Collins, MaryAnn McSweeny, and Andrea Brown. We opened for


Interview with LOIS MCMORRIS aka LADY MAC in Kansas City, Missouri

Stephanie Mills. We were introduced by the jazz critic, Leonard Feather and we were greeted backstage by legendary vocalist Nancy Wilson.

Through the years Gail and I remained friends and performed many of the same gigs together, and recorded my music. I am her daughter’s Godmother and she has known my daughter for years.

We’re sisters in The Sisterhood!

JC: I was very impressed with you at the Jazz in Pink concert in North Hollywood in October 2018. That band was dynamic. What would you advise a young woman coming into the music industry, today?

LM: Thank you. I would say persevere. Honor your allies. Respect those who show you the way. The isms have not abated. Know that somebody went through and endured the musical gauntlet, passed the torch to us, whereupon we endured, progressed, and are handing it to you. Honor it. Honor your gift and your positive peers. Hone your craft. Be a beneficial presence. Shoot for the stars! Stay focused, grounded, and enjoy.

JC: Did you have any other female musicians that mentored you?

LM: I had great associates and influential peers. I had some male mentors.

JC: Along the way, did yout meet any other female musicians?

LM: Oh yes, I performed with wonderful female musicians like Gail Jhonson, Karen Briggs, Nedra Wheeler, and Matilda Haywood. I love the younger ones like Tomoko Normura–Jarvis,

Darlene Moreno, and Robin Bramlett. Years ago, Gail and I saw that the musical sisters were fractionalized. We agreed that we would stick together as women of color in music. When Gail had the Jazz In Pink workshop, I saw the sisterhood forming and growing. She’s doing an outstanding job, above and beyond the call! The musical Sisterhood emerged. “Step by step in time, it’s the Sister Line.” That is the lyric from the single Sistah Line by LadyMac.

JC: This has been an enlightening interview. The sad thing about it is that women of our age have not had the benefit of camaraderie. We’re mostly one among one or, maybe, three at the most. We’re very few and far in between. I am a composer. If I had been a man, I would be on the level of Dizzy or Monk. But because I’m a woman, my music never got recognition. Freddie Hubbard recorded my song “Sweet Return”.

LM: Wow!

JC: His wife stopped the success of the album. She was the publisher and she thought something was going on between me and Freddie and she stopped the project. They both passed on. That was very disheartening to me. So, thank you for your time and your story.

LM: Thank you. It has been my honor and privilege. I was quoted in the newspaper, during my Black Music Hall of Fame acceptance speech, saying, “It ain’t over until it’s over and, even then, it ain’t over.”

spring 2020
“It ain’t over until it’s over and, even then, it ain’t over.”

The Swingin’ LENORE RAPHAEL by

Con’t from page 19 to New York. I got to Gerald’s at 6:30 p.m., and the bartender said the band would be there soon. The clarinetist and drummer walked in, we exchanged names, and hit the first tune. At intermission, I told the bartender “They are pretty good players.” He said, “They should be! That’s Russell Procope and Sonny Greer of Duke Ellington’s Orchestra.” Ellis Larkins left Gerald’s to tour with Ella Fitzgerald. I played that gig for five years, five nights a week, opening for top jazz musicians.

BC: How did your online radio show originate?

LR: The manager of the Pure Jazz Radio station asked me if I wanted to do a show like Marion McPartland’s, interviewing and playing with some wonderful musicians.

BC: Talk about booking and producing for a venue.

LR: I co-produce a jazz concert series in Apex, North Carolina, where I am the piano chair. We present wonderful players. I do jazz master classes on the road. I love working with students and helping them improve on playing and understanding jazz.

BC: As a music and jazz educator, what is a typical master class. Or are they all different?

LR: The Jazz Master Class depends on the level of the students and what they require. There is no set program. I share what I can. My workshops have had profound effects on students. One student said I inspired her to become a music teacher.

BC: What is your preferred grouping of instrumentalists when performing?

LR: I prefer playing with a trio. But solo piano is my passion because it is more demanding.

BC: You are a Steinway artist, a title granted to master pianists of different genres. What are the criteria?

LR: You must own a Steinway, teach, perform, and be good. Some of those in the jazz field are Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, and Diana Krall. I was featured in Steinway Magazine.

BC: Did you meet your idol, Oscar Peterson?

LR: I heard drummer Bobby Durham play with Oscar in Carnegie Hall in 1980. I met Mr. Peterson in 1991. I accompanied a singer on the Jazz cruise. The singer said we had the first concert at 5 p.m. I asked who we were playing with and she was not sure but heard they were good. On the stage walks Clark Terry, Al Grey, Marcus McLaurine, and Bobby Durham. Wow! We played the set and Bobby turned to me and said, “Who are you? You sound like Oscar.”

BC: How are the audiences in Europe compared to the USA?

LR: Audiences abroad are more appreciative of Jazz than in the USA.

BC: What do you see in the future for your career?

LR: I want to keep doing what I’m doing and get better at it!

For all things Lenore Raphael, please go to her web site

Barbara A. Connelly has had multiple careers, as an actress and graduate of the American Theatre Wing, a music editor at Silver Burdett Company, the most respected publisher of music education

materials in the country, a technical writer, working in telecom for AT&T, Bellcore, NYNEX, and Lucent, in the financial industry at UBS, Paine Webber, insurance companies, and startups, including dot coms. She wrote marketing materials. She was a publicist for a film festival, off-Broadway play, and for musicians. Her favorite gig was as a booking agent for jazz, world, and Brazilian musicians at arts and music festival. Music is her passion, all kinds, but mostly jazz. She grew up listening to her father play the Great American Song Book on the piano and she loves standards played and sung in creative ways.


HOW TO MAKE A MUSICWOMAN by Deborah Ghent (con’t)

Con’t from page 21 necessary. Jazmin’s skills progressed, rapidly. She practiced the piano but it was evident that the saxophone was her preference.

She played in church, first improvising with the choir and, then, soloing on “Amazing Grace” every Sunday. I purchased every Jamey Aebersold Jazz Book I could find and she practiced daily. By 14, she was first chair in her high school band, the Allstate Jazz Band, and the Allstate Classical Band. She went to the University of Alabama Piano Camp at 12, Jamey Aebersold’s Jazz Camp at 13, Florida A & M University Band Camp at 14 and 15, and Florida State University Music Camp at 16 and 17. She competed in local competitions and national competitions like the NAACP ACT SO in New York and Orlando, and she won numerous awards. In addition, she was Drum Major for a 200 member high school band for three consecutive years. After high school graduation, Jazmin decided to have a recital entitled “Gratitude” as a special thanks to the teachers, the church, and everyone who was instrumental in her past, present, and future endeavors as a musician.

chose Florida State University and graduated with honors in 2013, with a Bachelors in Music Education/Jazz Studies. Immediately after graduating, she was invited to perform on Bobby Jones Gospel Hour in Nashville, Tennessee. He told her about a friend that was in the Music Department at Tennessee State University. After performing for the Music Department, Jazmin was awarded a full scholarship to attend Tennessee State University where she graduated with a Masters Degree in 2014 with honors.

The Finale - Performance

Her very memorable and emotional performance that night made all of the time, trips, and expense of a piano, lessons, recitals, books, saxophones, and activities worthwhile.

My children called me Music Mom because I made sure everyone practiced daily and had all their equipment. Their father and I attended every lesson, recital, band camp, and competition. Because of Jazmin’s age, gender, and size, I was particularly conscious of the fact that most of the camps were dominated by males considerably older than Jazmin. Her ability to play her instrument well took precedence over her appearance. She was highly respected because of her skill on the saxophone.

Jazmin was offered a full tuition scholarship to Berklee School of Music, Florida A & M University, and Florida State University. She

Performance plays a major role in making a Musicwoman because the nature of creativity in the arts involves sharing your gift with others. Our final gift to this Musicwoman when she graduated from Tennessee State University was a trip on the prestigious 2014 Smooth Jazz Cruise. My husband and I attended the cruise several times and were aware of the “Show Your Talent Contest”, a popular American Idol Competition among the cruise guests. Boney James, Marcus Miller, and Brian Culbertson were the judges, along with the audience. Jazmin performed her rendition of Summertime. As the winner, she opened for the Sirius XM WATERCOLORS Hall of Fame Program honoring Wayman Tisdale and Marcus Miller. Her very memorable and emotional performance that night made all of the time, trips, and expense of a piano, lessons, recitals, books, saxophones, and activities worthwhile. When I watched her perform the song effortlessly with distinct tone quality and soulful vibes, then receive a standing ovation, I knew she had evolved into a polished professional and was on her way to bigger and greater things. In the words of Boney James, “It’s young people like Jazmin that will keep jazz alive!”

Obviously, her true passion is MUSIC!


Con’t from page 23

BV: How difficult is it to establish a series of concerts and pay the musicians?

AB: It has been very difficult. I struggle to secure funding for every performance. I rely on volunteers to support the events. I am always seeking new donors and sponsors. I have paid many women solid artist fees, while others support the cause but are worth far more than what they are paid. I continue to seek funding and increase awareness.

BV: How difficult is it to get the media to cover your events?

AB: Luckily, I have wonderful media partners like WPFW FM 89.3 Jazz and Justice Radio. Also, I host a weekly radio show with local musicians. CapitalBop, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and presenting jazz in Washington, D.C. They promote and create Jazz events on a high level. Otherwise, I get local news coverage and interviews. I am sad when DC people say they never heard of us. All I can do is spread the news at schools, churchs, and community events, throughout the year.

BV: How are the Jazz venues in Washington and adjacent cities doing?

AB: Traditionally, Washington is a strong Jazz city with many theaters and performance spaces like The Kennedy Center that opened The Reach, a new space, in Fall 2019. There is a passionate arts community in DC. Despite the economic challenges of jazz clubs, there are many places to present music like embassies, art museums, parks, churches, and schools.

The U Street corridor is known as Black Broadway. Historically, it has been an important locale for Jazz performances. Unfortunately, smaller spaces with live music have closed with the toxic gentrifying mix of price, gouging rents, and condominium development. A few spots soldier on like Twins Jazz owned by two Ethiopian sisters.

BV: Your festival is an inclusive event. Women musicians come from different musical horizons and generations. Is attracting an audience difficult?

AB: I include as many women as possible in every festival. I am feeding a community of women and their supporters. But women in the music scene rarely get opportunities to work together or meet women from different styles of music. Jazz is such a large and beautiful quilt. We take from everything to create new music and celebrate our ancestors.

When college students work with veteran musicians, there is a depth to the conversation that strengthens the resilience of both generations. As a white woman who graduated from DC public schools and Howard University, I am interested in racial diversity in the Jazz scene.

BV: You tour, regularly, on different continents. Tell us about your journeys and projects.

AB: Right now, I am working on AmyAna, a quintet that I co-lead with drummer Ana Barreiro. We toured Brazil in October 2019. We will tour the east coast in April 2020. I am excited about our April tour because it is supported by a Jazz Roads grant. We will take the full band

Biggi Vinkeloe talks with AMY BORMET (con’t)

Biggi Vinkeloe talks with AMY BORMET (con’t)

to several places, including our NYC debut at Tribeca PAC.

tunes on the piano rolls, while creating my own sounds, running up and down the keyboard. I loved music theory and I continue to study and enjoy it, every day.

BV: Do you compose music? If so, how many compositions do you have.

AB: Yes. I compose as often as possible. I am not sure how many are finished pieces. But I have composed over 100.

BV: What advice would give a younger women entering the world of music performance?

AB: Do not quit. Book your own gigs. Be a leader. Be bold. Do not wait for an invitation to perform. Make it happen and invite others.

BV: Amy, thank you so much for this inspiring talk!

Also, I have a trio in DC that performed at the Kennedy Center and the DC Jazz Fest. I hope to get a tour together for that ensemble. Eventually, I want the Harold Trio with Biggi Vinkeloe and Tina Raymond to tour. Maybe in 2021. I am grateful to have played in Europe on a few tours over the last five years, with my group Ephemera at Women in Jazz Sweden.

BV: Why did you start your own record label, Strange Woman Records?

AB: I was not satisfied with previous results from other record labels. So, I decided to revamp the whole process and take inspiration from Betty Carter to start my own record label. My husband, Matt Dievendorf and I have a great partnership and enjoy working together, with Washington Women in Jazz, and touring with our bands. Strange Woman Records is the inevitable outcome of our shared time and interest in recording and promoting new music. It is a tremendous amount of work that will grow over time and serve as proof of our efforts.

BV: How did you come to music as a child?

AB: My mother is a musician. We had my grandmother’s player piano. I learned the

Biggi Vinkeloe musician, composer, saxophonist, and educator in Sweden and California. She is passionate about women’s rights. She works for women’s empowerment, globally. She was in India, in January 2020. Member of IMPRA, Sweden (2007-2019) []; the 20172019 International President Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.


The latest version of String Theory is called M-Theory, M for membrane. So, now, we realize that strings can coexist with membranes. So, the subatomic particles we see in nature, the quartz, the electrons are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string.

• What is physics?

Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you can write on vibrating strings.

•What is chemistry?

Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on interacting vibrating strings.

•What is the universe?

The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings. And then what is the mind of God that Albert Einstein eloquently wrote about for the last 30 years of his life?

For the first time in history, we have a candidate for the mind of God. It is, cosmic music resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes, obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings. ~ Dr. Michio Kaku stated:

Accordingly, WE are music and the science is there to confirm.

He expands on this slightly in this video:

Dr. Michio Kaku
70 National League of American Pen Women Boca Raton Branch
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CALM BEFORE THE STORM 4:58 10 H B RA G AN - 4 7 HABARA GHANI 4:47 11 ON E GA N - 5 3 ONCE AGAIN 5:39 12 V AG N - 8 LIVE AGAIN 4:28 eviL agA n Live Again You, me, we are forever Baby Boy, didn’t care much for his toys But mamma had other plans Thirty years lawyer, like he wasted every breath No it’s not over, don’t think that it’s the end the end, you Live Again You, me, we are forever Making last, no end in time He, she, they are forever We’re making last, no end to this ride No end your life You only live once, lie Baby girl, sweet music was her world She could sing before she could talk But mamma had other plans Thirty years the ce, and she never sang again No it’s not over, don’t think that it’s the end the end, you Live Again That you only live once, it’s lie Only live once, it’s lie That you only live once, it’s lie Only live once, it’s lie That you only live once, it’s lie eviL niagA L ve Ag n p o w e r powerjazz jazz E R N FEATURING m tch ta e mitch talevi b l ke bill keis Again Live jazz zzaj jazzp o w e r power We’d like to thank: Tom, Adam, Steve & Ric for their amazing performances. 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Live Again p o w e r powerj a z z jazz 9 o-w by e & tracks 1, 5, 12 co-written Mitch Talevi Bill Keis T u - M Talevi Music/K-Lis Music (BMI) 6 h tracks 2, 4, 6, written by Mitch Talevi M B Talevi Music (BMI) 1 1 tracks 3, 8, 10, 11 written by Bill Keis - M B K-Lis Music (BMI) - lyrics for Cantamar & Habara Ghani Bill Keis & Mitch Talevi - M M B K lyrics for Live Again Mitch Talevi, Jon Magni cent, Bill Keis, ay - e N h Ravay Snow-Renner, Natasha Talevipower jazz m talevi keis live again 1-F s 1-Fiesta 2- e s e am a 2-Seaside Samba 3- an ama 3-Cantamar 4-G g 4-Gigi 5-R 5-Reminiscence 6- und y D e 6-Sunday Drive 7-Th B u 7-The Blues 8- unb d 8-Sunbird 9-Ca m B o e he S o m 9-Calm Before The Storm 10-Hab r Ghan 10-Habara 11-Onc ga 11-Once Again 12- A 12-Live Again www b m p w - Produced arranged by Mitch Talevi Bill Keis - - © 2011 Bill Keis Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication - - - violation applicable laws. Manufactured Bill Keis Music. 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After two years of recovery from treatment for a benign brain tumor, I returned to singing. A few months later, I wanted to perform in dedicated jazz settings and venues. I made a list of venues and jazz festivals where I wanted to perform.

After several attempts to get booked at a jazz festival without a booking agent, I realized my chances were slim. I decided to start my own jazz festival that will be the third annual Palm Beach International Jazz Festival, in 2021, a one-day, two-concert event at the Kravitz Center in West Palm Beach.

I enjoy showcasing local and international talent, along with young jazz students in an intimate concert setting. I am so grateful that God has given me this vision and that He has brought it into fruition. I look forward to producing this festival annually!

Best regards,

Yvette Norwood-Tiger


Palm Beach International Jazz Festival producer Yvette Norwood-Tiger with Rick Moore [Photos by Jacek Gancarz]

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Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization that promotes women musicians, globally, through events, concerts, performances, clinics, lectures, workshops, articles, interviews, newsletters, courses, contacts, research, history, archives, websites, film, audio, and video recording, and recognition.

Gathering great women musicians together, we put women musicians to work and get their music heard by multitudes!

Thanks for all of your support in our mission to promote women musicians, globally!


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