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Sunday, January 21, 2018

New Poetry Book by Stephanie Jeannot Coming Soon

What wonderful weather 
we had this past weekend. Seemed so poetic, how the warmer temperatures seemed to be so encouraging. So harmonious was it. I think I enjoyed every single moment of it.

Another day, another week, another hour! Blessings of grace from my creator. And I'm bursting with honey and melanin. I'm thirsting for you to share my intent of putting out my second poetry book.Perhaps you might take a look at my promo video for the forthcoming 

"AND THEN THERE WAS THE MUSIC; 

THE POETRY COLLECTION"

BY STEPHANIE JEANNOT





COMING THIS FEBRUARY 2018

Check out her author page on Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Jeannot/e/B076N7XYC6



Please check out the full length video to the song, 

"Harmony"

 by 

Stephanie Jeannot & Paul Garrod 

on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/Et2DjrOKJAo





Alright Beautiful People of this world. 
Thank you for stopping by my blog! 
Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought. 

And if you watched my video, let me know. It's always good to hear that I might have influenced an interest in what I'm doing. 

God bless you all! And thanks again.

Peace! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Why Practice?

The art of practicing is as important to the singer as rehearsing and getting onto the stage before a crowd in performance mode. Practice is what you do at home. You rehearse what you practiced in a group setting. Rehearsal is not the place where you should be learning the song, lyrics, melodies or parts. That is intended for practice time aside from the rehearsal. You should come to rehearsal ready to go over what was practiced on your own time.

Why Practice?


 1. Five minutes of practice a day is better than thirty minutes of practice a week.

2. Practice empowers you to give your best performance though practice does not make perfect. It makes you better than your last performance through experience and knowledge of what you did and what you truly possess as far as your skill level Is concerned. So, the investment of time is well worth it. Practice can enable you to give your best masterpiece vocal work.

3. Practice being centered in the song which means, don’t let your mind wander and focus on the song itself and getting through it. “Many people who suffer a strong heart breaking experience will not breathe into their chest. Our voices can be affected by emotional trauma. [this includes the quality of sound such as too soft or the inability to hit certain notes.] We can actually get ‘choked up’ when we are filled with emotion” (Heahter Lyle). Instead of letting the emotion of outside forces dictate your drive, let the song be the focus. Forget about your problems while in performance mode. Let your mind be filled instead with the lyrics, the meaning of the lyrics, the melody, the rhythm, the instruments and blending your voice effectively for maximum output.

4. Real strengths are made up of talent, knowledge and skills. It’s not enough to study a subject. Expertise is born of practice. Watch what the greats did and try to imitate them or learn from what they do. Watch and listen to your peers and let what they do inspire your creativity. 

5. “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10). But the only way to become more skillful at something is if you put time towards perfecting what you have. Practice, practice, practice at least 24 minutes a day. That’s 10% of your time put to loving the gift God implanted in you when he individually and wonderfully made you.





  
6. “The work you put in during practice, shows off” (Angela Duckworth). Put your whole body into it. Reach higher than you have ever reached. Stop using can't as the thing to keep you from trying new things that might enhance your own craft. Reach in. Immerse yourself in. 

7. And then there is the band rehearsal that you prepared for. And then the actual performance! 

Here is a video created with this in mind entitled: Rehearsal Modes of JNote; Your Body is Your Instrument. Use Your Whole Body here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj8yqUopDgo&feature=youtu.be


Thank you for checking out my blog post and truly hope to connect with you again really soon! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Dad Two Thumbs Upped MY Song

I am a singer and songwriter who loves in Brooklyn, NY. I have been writing songs for a very long time. My writing journey started with poetry and since then, I have found myself dabbling in other genres of writing and songwriting seems to have become one of those things I fully immerse myself into the most.

My father surprised me the other day by telling me that he had been enjoying watching my YouTube Channel and that my original song that I penned, "Wherever You Are" is superb.


http://www.youtube.com/sj1and0

"Wherever You Are" is track number 5 off of my first ever musical release entitled Finally JNote. All lyrics, music, and vocals on the original tune are by Stephanie Jeannot and can be found on CDbaby if you are interested! 





It was so unexpected to hear such a warm compliment that just inspired me in so many ways; especially coming from my dad. What a blessing to have heard it! It is weird but compliments coming from my parents when my music or anything that comes out of my spirit is concerned, still makes me feel like that was the one word of confidence I was waiting to hear to know that I am doing alright! 

As I think about that, I wonder about my younger cousin who a few days after Christmas committed suicide and left us in mourning. Maybe all he needed was a good word of confidence to feel like he was okay. But, one never knows and yet, it is still hard to comprehend what he might have been going through. Wherever you Are cuz, I hope that you have found peace with yourself.

I did not expect people to enjoy "Wherever You Are" as much. This is the first song I have ever performed internationally and wherever I was singing it, I noticed people were singing along and it is always a pleasure to see people reacting to these lyrics. If you are interested in knowing the lyrics, you can check them out here: http://www.songlyrics.com/stephanie-jeannot/wherever-you-are-lyrics/#disqus_thread



I recently had the opportunity to perform this song with my band, The JNote Band, and as usual when performing with them, it was bursting with energy, great sound and a whole lot of fun. 

On bass was my twin brother, Mark Payne; I call him twin because we celebrate our birthdays on the same day. And on drums was Richie Johnson. On keys was Prrrl. On vocals we had Jazz E Matt, Chynnah Doll, Nico and me singing my lyrics to the song. The live music photograph from this performance was taken by Laurence Sparks. Our performance was at Shrine World Music Venue which is located in Harlem, NY.  


I invite you to please check out out this performance. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/OCw3KDKnguU 





I would love to hear what you think! Please leave me a comment, a good word, or even a song that you think might suit my voice that you think I should try. I always appreciate the idea of enhancing my awareness and knowledge about music. It was a pleasure convening with you today. Hope that we can do it again soon. God bless and thank you for stopping by my blog! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Shithole Blues by Stephanie Jeannot


The Shit Hole Blues




I've Got the blues. 

Der ner ner ner ner

I've got the blues

Der ner ner ner ner

I've got the Shit Hole BLues

But nothing is new

We still have not yet

moved this mountain of hate

That is blocking the love from flowing 

as free as oxygen.


Please check out this poem I wanted to include in my second poetry book, soon to be released entitled

Blues 


I thought it was so relevant to all the labels that have been branding us lately. I hope you will check it out on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/tKZTQodCD8A




Thank you so much for checking out my blogpost!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Letter to the People, on Martin Luther Kings's Dream and Haiti

Dear All of you people of the world,


Dr Martin Luther King Jr had a dream that is still the dream of this world today; that all men and women of this world are to be treated with respect and genuine love and enjoy justice equally. What the world is still in need of is love!



Ain't no way that because you are a person of color, that you are a jass card that could be played to win at the game of flushing you out of the belief that you are a beautiful people with a beautiful culture and a beautiful story, despite the ugliness that has been parenthesied into the lives of our ancestors in the past and still today on this earth on which we stand.

In hearing of the disheartening message that has been sent out about the state of this world, I have become so saddened by it. We have not yet progressed from the great divide that labels us as being different and this is something quite alarming to me.

Because we are family, I deemed today as a wonderful opportunity to address you all with love, peacefulness and a joy I have, to have been exposed to so much diversity in this world. I feel that somehow the differences I see in all the many breeds of us people, children of the one God who enabled us to enjoy the beauty of each other's similarities and differences as a family, are quite admirable. That's simply what families do; they love without limitations.


Don't allow those who fail to see your beauty, just because they want to believe that different is synonymous with worthless, disposable, trash, bad and no good, change your mind and knowledge and truth about the wonderfully made person you truly are.

For centuries, the world has been fighting against each other because of the abusiveness of the tongue. When do we stop bastardizing identities and instead realize that it is okay to love and find true commonalities, worth loving for your brothers and sisters who our one God, our father, also created?

Me too! Yes I can change my mind about who I am. I am loved by a God who thought that this being that he fearfully wonderfully made, was worthy of seeing another day. You too!


One thing I will say is that, if the revolution didn't happen in Haiti to make Haiti the first free nation in the world and cause a migration of a free black person's own choosing to the United States in New Orleans, the revolutionary language of jazz may have never existed that created an identity and documented that black people have beauty too; a beauty, I might add, that shithole verses of denigration, cannot hide.



We the people who form the more perfect union, establish justice and secure domestic tranquility, especially if it is extended with genuine love to all of the people of this world, could actually really provide a true common defense and promote the general welfare of each and every individual on this earthen space that we share. Let's let go of the hate, see the beauty of each other and secure the blessings of the liberties we have to see another day that our father, God, created just for us to see, for you and me. Do ordain and establish the just laws of this constitution by respecting all of the men, women and children of the United States of America and of the world; because we are one body that makes up the world. Let's remember to respect that!

Signed,

Someone who cried after hearing the man we refer to as president, dehumanize some of his own earthen brothers and sisters in the world and then tried to defend it which made me feel ashamed.


This is definitely something to think about, that you find a reason to bastardize the integrity of what it means to be a descendant of someone who is from another land and American at the same time. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Musical Gifts I Am Loving

In my workings with young people, I find myself reading and studying more about the voice to find better ways to help them as singers. They are so talented and I really enjoy listening to them sing; helps me as a vocalist.

My favorite book so far to use with them has been The Complete Choral Warm Up Book because of the many different types of exercises it contains including interval workouts which are great. 

But, I came across another really cool book of vocal exercises It is called Francesco Lamperti Daily Exercises for Voice; A Kalmus Classic Edition



I like the exercises. I find it helpful for me as a singer, to have different methods of exercising my vocal chords for me. I was once told by a mentor that my voice was badly damaged from singing so much without rest over the years that he recommended me to take six months off to repair it. I had lost some of the flexibility in my vocal cords and it almost sounded as if my cords were torn. 


Rest indeed helped but six months of time not doing what I love the most seemed a lot. So I tried exercising it back to health and so far, not so bad. Took a while to gain some of the strength that I had before. I happened to get some of it back and not everything but my vocal ability has been strengthening and I am happy about that. I am also happy that my dad thought this would be a great book for me to have and gave it to me for Christmas. One of my favorite gifts I received over the holidays
.
It only contains 19 pages but I like that it forces me to go to the piano and try to play the chart out to sing it. I am no Billy Strayhorn, God rest his soul, but hopefully sitting at the piano and practicing can enhance those skills as well which is definitely a goal of mine. Happy to have this tool.

Cesaria Evora

Towards the end of last year, I posted this discussion on my blog asking folks to recommend singers to me that I may have never heard before that might enhance my ear and singing ability and somebody did something even better. She told me I sounded like Cesaria Evora. 

I never heard of this singer before and was very interested in knowing who she was and so, I looked her up and simply mentioned about her to my sister. Thank God that my sister was so kind to get me an album of her music to hear what she sounds like for real. I don't know if you are like me but, I am still a collector of CDs and actually enjoy opening them up and reading liner notes among other aspects of the CD. 



The album entitled The Essential Cesaria Evora has two discs with 16 songs on each. For one, to get 32 songs of a singer I never heard but wanted to know about because someone mentioned her name made it a really great gift for me.
It reminds me of Haitian music and I  listen to her sing and hear a plethora of culture, attitude and a big voice. If anything, we have in common is that I love to be barefoot and they used to refer to Cesaria Evora as the barefoot queen. LOL! She is from Cape Verdean and has a very nice sound when she sings. I like what I heard.

My favorites on the album are “Coragem IRmon – Take Courage My Brother.” Can’t go wrong with a title that extends a positive message. And the other tune I really like on it is “Tudo Dia E Dia (Everyday is a New Day)

Music Together Family Favorites
I just so happened to be cleaning my living room and came across this CD. It was sealed and unopened and I remember getting this CD and it has been sitting in my house for about a year unopened. But finally, I opened it. It was like a gift waiting for me and I love it.


The message it sends is really great and a perfect to enjoy with family; especially those with music in them ready to bud. 


The CD is called Music Together Family Favorites. And when I opened, I read that it is intended to bring harmony to the home. What a great concept of teaching music and doing something fun and positive together.


My favorite tunes off this CD are “Biddy Biddy,” “Stick Tune,” “Playing in the Kitchen” and “Obwisana.” 

What I like most about this CD is the suggestion to play along and do improv and so I did by grabbing this Cabasa drum I have and seeing how the music and rhythm enhances me as a person, singer and musician.  If anything, my rhtyhm has improved just by pulling out my hand druma nd feelign my way into the music. Pretty fun way to practice beign in harmony as well just by playing along and do something together as one.

Stormy Weather


Lastly, in New York City it has been the epitome of cold. Colder than I ever remembered it being my whole life. Not a day above freezing in over two weeks. And then there was a blizzard with all this snow. So while there was stormy weather outside, I sat and watched my favorite movie “Stormy Weather” inside and what I found is this. The storm was like a gift of time to relax into a musical film I love so much. 


Lena Horne is such a beautiful singer. Her voice is amazing and every time I watch this film, there is something else about it that fascinates me. I discovered that sitting back to watch and listen is a great way to open up your ear to new sounds that get embedded in what you do when you are about to sing.

But the best part of this film, the scene created around the song “Stormy Weather.” What a
beautiful setting and dance routine and everything about it. I discovered that trying to write something of that grandeur is something I have embedded in me because all of a sudden the wheels started turning and here I am, actually looking at the methodologies of writing an actual jazz-based play to set in motion for this coming spring. Definitely something that I am really looking forward to and can't wait to be able to talk more about it soon.


So what are your favorite finds for the first week of 2018?   

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Musicals Color Me Home

I have loved the movie Polly since I was but a little girl.





The made for TV movie Polly was a 1989 adaptation of the book Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter featuring Keisha Knight Pulliam portraying a young girl who just lost her mother and was left having to find her way from Detroit to her aunt “Polly’s” home (portrayed by Phylicia Rashad) in Alabama.

I guess it is for a few reasons that loved the movie so much that I had been searching on-line for it for a long time and found it on Amazon. But, I have not watched it in a while. For one, I was and still am a big fan of The Cosby Show and find myself watching the series on Amazon Prime a lot. I am on Season seven now but not from binge watching. There are days I go with no TV at all. But when I do turn my television on, that is usually the thing I watch when I am lying in bed and resting before my night’s slumber.



The other reason is I love musicals. Musicals color me home. The joy of the music and the dancing always seems to make me smile. I can't help but smile watching The Sound of Music or Stormy Weather. Those are my top two favorite movies of all time. 

The songs by Walt Disney Records in Polly are just beautiful. My favorite ones featured are "Rainbow Maker" and "Sweet Little Angel Eyes." And then the dance routines are so entertaining. 

The third reason might possibly be that when I was younger, people used to tell me I looked like Keisha Knight Pulliam (the lead in the movie Polly) and so, people used to call me Rudy in the first couple of my grade school years. I think in the eight-year span of grade school, The Cosby Show was the show that I never wanted to miss on Thursday nights at 8 PM and with it lasting eight years, it lasted my whole span of my primary school days.

Today is the first time I watched it in a long time and today is also the first time that this film made me cry. Now, there is nothing sad in the movie at all. It is just a cute musical film with dancing, singing and positive vibes yet, I found myself in tears while in movie mode.

Does this happen to anyone else or am I the only one who watched a movie and tears just start flowing for the happy endings? LOL! This is such a touching film and if you never have watched it, maybe you should because it is a great movie. You can check it out here:  https://www.amazon.com



 


What is your favorite movie and if any? Do you ever cry while watching films? And if so, which one do you need a box of tissues to be next to you while watching?