Monday, January 23, 2017

Please Vote For My Song "I Can Do Betta"

I love the art of songwriting and sharing my songs is really, motivating for me. I entered one of them into a songwriting contest.

 


Please listen and click vote for my song "I CAN DO BETTA" in the new Indaba song contest. Here is the link: https://www.indabamusic.com/opportunities/indaba-sync-featured-artist-series-december-2016/submissions/6091f4f4-ddea-11e6-a75d-0ef6abf8e455




Thank you so much! I appreciate your support! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

My First Interview on Jazz on the JNote With Yoichi Uzeki This Sunday, January 22, 2017

If you are going to have impact,
you are going to have to be bold.”
– David Hooper

In an effort to step more boldly into the new year with my radio show, I decided to try doing my first interview and I hope you will all ride the radio airwave with me this Sunday, January 22, 2017 as I bring to you the non-stop music flow of jazz on Jazz on the Jnote with my special guest, composer and pianist Yoichi Uzeki.

Join us as we discuss his life,  the art of jazz, and the Japanese music scene and also, hear exclusive piano splices from this master at the piano himself. The show will air from 7PM to 8PM EST and you can access it by either going the theenglishconnectionmedia.com or by logging on to MixLR and using the following link: http://mixlr.com/the-english-connection-media/

I am so looking forward to this Sunday and cannot wait for you to hear the great show that is in store for your ears. 

When Change Comes, Make the Big Bold Decision to Believe in Yourself No Matter What

"While writing the story of your life,

don't let anyone else hold the writing utensil.

Know the fact that you are enough,

you are worth it and you can achieve

what your heart desires."

- Unknown



 

And remember the truth that we become a little better every day as we go through remarkable changes based on our experiences and that we have a harvest of kingdom fruit awaiting us which we are perfectly suitable to dwell in.

 

“Storms make trees take deeper roots”

– Sharon Lechter

 

A tidal wave of change takes place based on the vibration of thoughts we have about our own selves. While other people’s negative thoughts can become contagious, make sure to make the big, bold decisions to stay firmly rooted in believing in yourself.


Depression is destructive
while self-confidence and faith are constructive.”
– Sharon Lechter


When your faith is spilling over, there is nothing that can knock you out of the soil. You still stand tall and face the brightness of God’s unmatchable sun. Sparks of possibility seem to never leave us because we are driven by the flames of achievement of being blessed by another day.  


Only God knows what the next leg of the journey will bring but while we are headed there, travel along your path with complete confidence that you have everything it takes to move forward to what is ahead.

I invite you to check out a flashback of a performance I was so blessed to be a part of at Jacob Javitz Convention Center with the Medgar Evers Jazz Ensemble at the graduation ceremony for the 2013 college graduating class. I was experiencing a bunch of anxieties that day having lost my aunt to cancer the day before who left behind five kids under 18 years old. I was so sad about the situation because we were really close and I couldn't belive my little cousins were left without their mother and my uncle had to do whatever he could to handle it. 

After singing before the crowd of 5500 people, I went home, cut all my hair off and started a whole different way of thinking about my life. Change I guess is a real thing when death plays a part. At a funeral about a week back, for a beautiful family who lost their hero, their father, I was asked to sing Sam Cook's "A Change is Gonna Come." A few days later, I lost a dear friend and his family's and friend's lives were changed forever. The whole point is to never lose faith. 

The song I sang at the graduation, which is also a point of change from experiencing education to experiencing the field and having to deal with maybe not landing the job we want with so much competition for the same work,  was "I Am Changing" originally performed by Dreamgirl Jennifer Holiday and it can be found on youtube at: https://youtu.be/lIyQEJgnWuE


Have a beautiful, faith-driven day everybody! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

You Are Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

So, my kids are doing Annie for their winter musical and I am here listening to the soundtrack, and though my favorite song from the play is "Tomorrow," another song has grown on me a lot because of the truthful words; "You Are Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile."  

If you have yet to hear it, you should definitely consider listening to the soundtrack or seeing the movie. I think I will always love seeing Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett and Bernadette Peters playing their roles in this film. My family sat down to watch it together on Thanksgiving Day and it was something. Brought back so many memories. 

If you have seen it, you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t you should. The Special Anniversary Edition of Annie is available on Amazon.com. 
Check it out here: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) 


I hope that today brings to you many, many reasons to smile because it is so worth it. Have a great day! 

Disclosure: I am an amazon Associate and if you click on the item indicated and purchase it, I will receive an incentive based on product purchase. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Singing, Songwriting and the Melody That Keeps Moving On . . .

Trust in yourself and in the process to keep going.”
David Hooper

Call me consumed with obsession for loving the art of singing so much but, I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not love vocalizing.

I guess you can say that I was fueled by motivation when people used to say they thought I was good. I spent most of my life juggling life, work, my education and singing to keep the excitement and energy present.

At Six years old in the yard
It started as a love of songs. I heard Deniece Williams singing and would try to imitate her voice and sing “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” from my backyard to all my neighbors. Stacey Lattisaw would suddenly pop up on the radio and I would sing out loud “I Found Love on A Two Way Street,“ to anyone who was willing to listen. Songs became committed to memory and then singing them became a part of who I am.

At every turning point, there was an artist and then a song that resonated. Michael Jackson did it with “Thriller,” and then I was consumed with love for him. My neighbors heard me singing his songs so much that for Christmas one year, they so humbly gave to me a Michael Jackson jacket. I even had one of his dolls which I thought was the coolest toy ever.

Whitney Houston did it for me with “How Will I Know,” and then she became the artist that I was imitating all the time. Then it was Mariah Carey and her song, “Vision of Love.” Over the years, so many others have connected with me on a deeper level making me want to sing; Chaka Khan, Amel Larrieux, Sarah Vaughan.  Music and singing became a truth lodged in me so deeply that I couldn’t deny that I really and truly, loved to sing.

Songwriting

Songwriting was no different. I am a songwriter because by sheer coincidence, I am a poet and have been writing poetry since the fourth grade. It became adventurous trying to put melody to mere words on a paper.

Photo from the video for my song "Harmony" 
My students are always telling me about their issues with writing songs and how difficult they find putting melodies to their words. When I was young, I would take any instrumental and try to apply my lyrics to them and then they became singable and then they became songs. Doing that helped me to build a strong connection with the art of songwriting and then it became using my Korg Triton keyboard to build chords and save them to a new Cakewalk Sonar project. And so, writing songs slowly turned into more than just writing lyrics, but the music behind them too; I do not, however, write the music to every song that I write lyrics to.

I will admit that writing songs are not always a simple walk in the park. Under the strangest circumstances, there are times that I am writing and lose control; tears fall down my face because the lyrics come from a deep well in my soul. It takes a lot of faith, strength and maturity to share them because it is almost like sharing your nakedness to the world. But, we are meant to make many leaps with faith in life.

Faith is the external elixir which gives
life, power and action to the impulse of thought.”
 – Sharon Lechter


From live performance in Arkhangelsk, Russia
I feel so very blessed when I have the opportunity to spice things up on stage with a song that I was fortunate enough to write, so I am always jumping at the chance to perform them live. 

Sometimes I feel like dancing under the silver moon with excitement when someone tells me they liked my song. It feels like a sun-drenched day when I receive a great review from someone I did not expect to hear a good word from; especially family.

In short, I want to thank you for your continued support and hope that in all this maybe you will find a peg of inspiration and feel motivated to keep pressing on. And to close, I want to share with you one of the many songs that I have written all the lyrics and all the music to. It is entitled “Keep Moving On” and can be found on Soundcloud here:  https://soundcloud.com/stephanay-jnote/keep-moving-on



Thank you again everybody. Have a motivated and prosperous day! 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

As Imperfect As I Am, I Still Did It My Way

We all have dreams, hopes and insecurities” – David Hooper

It’s my season to indulge on something I realized this morning as I gathered with a beautiful family, memorializing their loved one who had recently passed.

The son of the departed spoke about the life his father lived and directly after that, I was requested to sing a rendition of Paul Anka, Jaques Revaux and Claude Francois’ English version of Giles Thibault’s “My Way.” The song an interesting one talking about the way that a person lived their life and even though they fell, made mistakes and had a full plate, they stayed in the race and did it their way. 

Kind of made me take a backward glance and think about all the legends that left us behind in 2016; Prince, Natalie Cole, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Princess Leia, Paul Von Thadden, etc, and many family members of friends that are no longer in the land of the living. Yet, to think about the relationships that were built over time, even with those that were legendary that we only knew through television through their victorying and then the scandals and everything else that followed their lives. We loved them anyway. Then I look at myself and think of all my imperfections that some of the people I have lost over the years and then those who are still here that decided to love me anyway.

As Imperfect As I Am

We live our lives in the best way that we know how and folks in our lives still find ways to reflect on the best of us though we are still works in progress. Singing “My Way” for the first time and hearing the lyrics that were featured in this tune was a defining moment for me. Made me realize that the flaws are what people will miss. Made me realize that my imperfections are things that I should not look at as a reason to be angry at who I am because they are also worth loving. Who would think that a song like that would make me consider my own worth? The recently departed may be feeling his wings against the sky on his flight up into heaven, but his memory will forever live on. Even in his resting peacefulness, he inspired me.


I wrote a song that is similar to “My Way,” entitled “You Loved Me.” Lyrics and vocals by Stephanie Jeannot. Music by Mike LeShore. It is actually one of my many songs featured on Soundcloud. Please check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/stephanay-jnote/stephanay-jnotes-tracks-1



Let me know your thoughts on faults and imperfections.  
If you listened to the song, tell me what you think?  How can I improve it?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Best Part of My Day


Little hinges swing big doors.” – David Hooper


The best part of my day is…


Photo by David A Powell

When I get around my students and these young people 

keep me grounded and sane. I come to their table and they 

encourage me with their warmth and their talent. Their 

company is graceful, engaging and captivating. 


Photo by David A Powell
They are like these 

unrecognized giants in my 

life that deserve a reservoir 

of goodness. 


They energize me. They inspire me to want to know more so 

that I can do better in trying to give them more knowledge 

that they can apply to their own lives and journeys. I never 

expected that you could learn so much through sharing your 

wealth of wisdom and experience. I actually give myself 

homework when I am around them; especially because I do 

not know so much about music. I am just a singer and was 

never really a student of music; though I would acknowledge 

the artists I listen to as my teachers. I only took one formal 

class series at Jazz Mobile which was over a three month 

span of time. I can say, the more I want to give them, the 

more research I do to find what I need to share with them for 

vocal health and for help with their music.  

Photo by David A Powell


Thunderous acclaim is definitely suitable for how they propel 


me with sheer confidence. They truly bless my life in every 


way. 



This post was inspired by a writing prompt by Mamakat. So 


in the spirit of sharing my favorite part of day, please share 


with me yours.