Wednesday, June 29, 2016

All Night Long Live at El Toro 28 with JNote Band

What better day to talk about one of my last performances where I performed my original song, "All Night Long" than Songwriter Wednesday.

It was really cool. It was outdoors at a really cozy, atmospheric spot called El Toro 28. The lyrics were written by me, Stephanie Jeannot and the music was written by Derrick Smith. 

I love the song, "All Night Long" because it is a fun, party tune which talks about the love of music and just getting away from the stresses of the world and enjoying life. 

The band featured in the performance last week consisted of:

EJ Haughton . . . Drums

Stephanie Jeannot . . . Vocals
Herb Lewis . . . Sax

Mark Payne . . . Bass

Phillip Smith . . . Guitar

Prrrl . . . Keys

We had a great time partying the night away from 7PM to 11PM and in the course of that, we got to do a few originals, like my song "All Night Long" which I mentioned earlier. You can watch the video on Youtube here:

By the way,  we will be doing the live music thing again this Friday evening, July 1, 2016 and maybe you can join us at El Toro 28 located at 228 Woodcleft Avenue which is located along the Nautical Mile strip of Freeport, NY.

The JNote Band will do music like that which you see in the video and many others, so come out. Better yet; it's the start of the 4th of July weekend. 

Start it with us, this Friday. I think you will really enjoy it. It's kid friendly, and an inviting atmosphere and is a free event that is open to the general public. Did I mention the food and drinks are great? 

We have a great time by the water sharing and having some outdoor summer fun and I hope that you will come out and have fun with us. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday Memories of "Harmony"

This picture was taken a year ago today and it was a very memorable moment for me. 

I remember looking at my surroundings and seeing my life being relived in music. A year prior to this picture which was taken a year ago, the natural beauty of this site left a mark in my heart.

Paul called me and said, “hey, let’s go out and film a video.” I was excited. WE had worked on a song that I really enjoyed and I thought that it would have been pretty cool to create a visual anecdote of it. I cannot  describe how powerful that moment was for me, to get in my car with the idea that a new video was going to be made for my song, “Harmony.” I had no idea how things would go except for the fact that there would be wardrobe changes which I had grown accustomed to doing in my car years ago when my friend Mike used me as a model to test out his new camera for an outdoor photo shoot. While driving, I remember playing my song “Harmony” over and over again so I could make sure that I would not forget any of my lyrics, which as a filmmaker and producer of videos, I have seen many artists forget; it is not an uncommon thing to happen.

I looked at the area that seemed vaguely familiar and the site evoked a memory in me. It was like having a brief moment of de ja vu when I realized at that moment that I had been in this same exact place before. Yet, a year ago, when that picture was taken, I had not even known that the name of the park was Herman Griem Park. I just knew it had some of the most beautiful features. 

Paul and I were now connecting on a different level. We had gone from being in the studio for our brief moments of music recording to now taking it to the streets and video recording. I followed his car into an area full of grass covered hills. We drove into the parking lot and I remember seeing young kids playing handball in the hand ball court, and a basketball court which’s gates were locked.  Beside it was more greenery that lead to a brook surrounded by flowers and rocks that stood before a white foot bridge. All I remember was that it was the most beautiful area I had seen in Wyndanch and we were about to film a music video there. 

The picture shows a visual of a year ago with me hanging with TN'T's guitarist's grandkids before our performace at Herman Griem Park. Debbie’s grandkids were having a good time and running through the green fields like I had ran through it a year ago prior to the #tbt pic, as Paul viewed the action through the lens of his video camera. The only difference was that the #tbt pic was the day of the Babylon National Parks Department Music Festival and I was performing there with the group TN’T. We were all set to perform before a score of people on the mobile stage which was set up for us. 

Images flooded my mind of the three outfit changes I did in my car, the cold air of October that hit my sleeveless arms, the youth that decided to join us as we filmed and Eddie, who played the role of my love interest in the video. And as we started doing our sound check, the sky opened up and rain started escaping the grey clouds that suddenly covered the sky's piercing blue color. Within minutes, the parks department cancelled our outdoor concert. 

was happy to have come back to the area this year where we gathered once again to do the Parks Department's outdoor music festival and were welcomed with favor and open arms by the charming sun. This post embodies a series of three separate events in the same park over a period of three years. If interested, you can watch the full length music video for Harmony here:

Check out more music, photos and videos at my website

Thank you for reading my blogpost! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Add Stephanie Jeannot's & Derrick Smith's "All Night Long" to Your Summer Playlist

I feel like jumping for joy. It is summer and I am excited to experience the warmer weather and to think that for the next few months, hopefully I will not be facing crushing starvation for my big coat and three layers of clothing just to keep warm.

 So what do you plan to do for the summer? Are you someone who will stay in your Bohio and simply take in the fever of the streets? Will you sit on the beach in the heat of the day, taking in the sun? Are you one of those geniuses who will spend summer at a desk in school, learning something new? Will you reconnect with family that you have not seen in a while at a BBQ, or family reunion? Or will you take time to enjoy the sites of a place you have not yet been and travel?

Whatever it is that you decide to do, I pray that it is safe and keeps you in good spirits.  But however you choose to spend your summer, you will definitely need a playlist to keep the solid groove of the summer days going. Here is a song you might consider adding to that summer playlist:

 The name of the song is “All Night Long” which is an original tune; lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot and music by Derrick smith. While driving, listen! While at your summer BBQ; dance. While on the beach taking in the sun; let the music keep you grooving in the sun. This song is available on ITunes here:

Download it today! 
Thank you for supporting independent artists! 
Check out more music at my website 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What A Difference a Day Truly Makes

I will never forget the moments leading up to this picture which was actually taken a year ago today. 

Though it seems as an attractive option of things that I could have been doing, the other option would have been sitting home and crying about having just experienced a layoff. I had the option to invest a serious amount of time that day thinking about what
to do next. But as I look back at the year that brought me to the moments of  today, my faith in who I am and the awesome power of God was the glue that held me together.

A year ago today when that picture was taken was a few hours after I had been forced out of my seat where I had sat for over a decade and a year ago tomorrow celebrates one-year of when I radio hosted, produced and my first episode of my show Jazz on the JNote was ever aired.

I had the option of letting the idea of being without work resonate within me strongly. I had the option of letting the skeletons of doubt take creative control over my life and of
doing nothing to rectify my situation at all. I took a glimpse of what was on my calendar and realized that there was so much more to it than the glamorous fashion of yesterday, even though it just ended for me. It still was my yesterday.

I had an engagement to attend that night; the introduction show to the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival which Eric Frazier puts together every year. I was so delighted that he allowed me to be a part of the musical festivities and wanted to be present at the first show to see what it entailed. There was nothing that was going to keep me from being there. Was it worth my time? Sure. 

I say that you can either gloat over the things that happen in your life that you must deal with or you can continue on living. One downfall does not mean that your life has ended. It means that the next chapter of your life is beginning. The next chapter included my radio show Jazz on the JNote, more focus on my music and writing,  and graduating from Medgar Evers College with honors. 

I say don’t put all your effort into letting your situation define you. I say, use your nearly bankrupt spirits to do something positive in your world that can not only benefit you but others in the process while also, replenishing your wealth of joy. When you consider the truth that at any given moment, change can happen, the idea of change can be taken seriously.

I tell you, every time I am prompted to glance down at my phone at an “on this date” post on Facebook, I find it fascinating when I take a glimpse of my current day and see in truth, what a difference a day truly does make.

And to end this post, I send love to all those in need of a boost of happiness. Here is a clip of "Cherokee" also known as "Indian Love Song" from the Fort Greene Jazz Festival which happened last year, in which I was featured and I'd like to dedicate to all of you readers.   

Thank you for checking out my blogpost!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 2016 Celebrates One Year of Jazz on the JNote

I am experiencing tender feelings today, with the knowledge that this month makes a year since I started my show Jazz on the JNote.
It was never planned. My role in this situation sort of just happened and from the jumping off point of embarking on this task of creating a show featuring jazz music in hopes to keep jazz music alive, I can honestly say that it has added value to my world.
My humble beginning started without a clue of how but the why was always there. I loved jazz music and I had a goal of conducting research on the topic to write about it. My first show in June of 2015 was a tribute to Sarah Vaughan. I was never in a radio studio until that day and never knew how to operate the equipment but, I did it, just a few months shy of using those examples to build my internship which from, I came up with a thesis topic. I am thankful to Fitz Richardson who is the station manager of Medgar Evers College Radio, for allowing me the opportunity.
I finally found a way to apply my professional writing skills of creating a timeline and script and applying it to something. I sounded nervous in the final mix but, I did it and overnight I became a radio show host. A year later, I have decided to do another tribute to my favorite singer of all time, but this time, with a year of radio hosting and producing which now enables me to operate from the grounds of experience.
When I was in high school, my sister introduced me to jazz music, telling me that it helped to retain information if listened to while studying. That trendy thought was so easy for me to believe as a spoken truth and I started listening to Miles Davis and since then, have more jazz in my music collection than any other genre. I take comfort in the knowledge that jazz music has impacted change on everything about who I am.
And so, with my mission in mind to discover aspects of jazz and racism, I made it a matter for the crowd and I am thankful for the process as well as all those who took time to listen to my ramblings of what I’ve discovered about this culture that has become a part of the blood that runs through my veins. You have been a part of my succeeding in gaining this information.

I must mention however that history is not always the whole truth and though you may gain bits and pieces of valid data, one may never know that total authenticity of what has been mentioned about any topic you think of researching. Sometimes, we research and find conflicting stories compressed in metaphor.  Author of the book, Magical Realism, Maggie Ann Bowers said, “reality is built on prejudices, misconceptions and ignorance as well as on our perceptiveness and knowledge” (Bowers). If at times, you feel the urge to question history, it is because the conventional truth might not seem right.
History may not always be flawless in execution. Remember that heresy, even when written in a book featuring historical data still can be compared to the telephone game when I say something and you repeat what you think you heard which may not always be what was said. I wrote 44 pages for my thesis on jazz and racism based on books, scholarly journals, articles and more. I started my show with a mission to develop my knowledge on understanding on the culture. 
I began with a show on Sarah Vaughan the day after one door closed. And with the new door that opened, I presented it to the most respectable body of people to have ever allowed me placement in their good hearts. Today, I will pay tribute to Sarah Vaughan again, which can be heard this evening, June 5, 2016 at 7:30PM on WNYE 91.5 FM. And to think it has been a year already makes me see how time truly does fly at the speed of light. Where did the year go?

Thank you for making my year purposeful.