Monday, October 17, 2016

Wherever You Are Live in Novirossiysk

I got to perform an original song of mine for the first time ever on an international stage and it left me with the most amazing feeling ever. 

The song "Wherever You Are" is a song that I wrote and produced which is featured on my latest release Finally Jnote. What a cool experience to do something like that on a world stage. I performed it Sunday evening with the Sergey Koronev Project at the Novoross Jazz Club in Novorossiysk, Russia and it felt for me almost like falling in love. God is good. 

Please check out a bit of the footage from the live performance here: 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

My First Ever Tour

Over 5000 kilometers away and my fingerprints are all over this place. I have been dancing to the tune of the Russian life and I can actually say that these moments will remain in my mind and in my heart forever.

This old vintage chick has seen the most spectacular views, tasted some of the most fantastic of Russian dishes, played on some amazing stages and worked with some of the coolest musicians that Russia has to offer. 

I am doing my first ever tour and my first ever trip to anywhere in Europe and my first ever tour happens to be a ten-city tour in Russia. And also for the first time ever, I have sung my original material on an international stage. 

The last few days have been amazing. Here are a few photos to summarize the past three days.

From meeting drummer Dennis Chambers, seeing him play, seeing the craziest posters with my name and face on it and performing on stages I've only ever dreamed at the Wilson Jazz Festival in Krasnodar and at the Novorosso Jazz Club in Novorossiysk with some of the coolest musicians in Russia, it has been the most amazing of three days ever; and with more to come. 


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Happy Music From All Sides of the Track Day!

There’s no better time than right now to indulge in music 
being that it is Universal music day.

It is crazy how so many artists of yesteryears continue to grow in my heart today. Talk about growing beyond yesterday. People like Miles Davis, Kashif, Sarah Vaughan, Teena Marie, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Selena, Paul Von Thadden, James Ajax Baynard, Bob Marley, Luther Vandross, Tupac and Prince left behind a legacy, whether they were facing a captivating audience with sweat pouring down their faces or weeping into the darkness because of the rough roads that they traveled, they left behind timeless and memorable musical moments for the entirety of the universe to love.

When I am feeling numb with stress, I listen and then feel relaxed. And when I feel

bombarded with problems, I tune in and 

drown my sorrows in a deep tissue 

massage of music, the sounds step in and 

work their healing power. 

And if ever I feel as if I am dwelling in 

remorse, music acts for me as a shade 

giving tree on a  scorching hot day.

The unmistakable voices of Eddie Jefferson, Ray Charles, Paul Von Thadden, Ella Fitzgerald, Donna Summer, Beethoven, and Whitney Houston curtail to me. They nailed imagination to the edges of each note echoed.  Their music comes to the rescue when I am in need of rebuilding bullet proof faith. I love their music and their music loves me where I am.

And so I thought it necessary to express my love for these beauties in life. I am filled with tremendous joy when I listen. For me, music is a necessity in life. And one thing I truly love is how music can touch strangers on opposite sides of the tracks. You don’t even have to speak the same language to give a song from a different walk and surrounding, a second thought.

Music will always be the life of the party in which my song and dance echoes.

You can cut yourself from slack while cutting a rug to any musical tempo.

Move with the world of music when hearing a song that from your heart won’t let go.

Happy Universal Music Day to all those 

whose love for music continually grows.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Teacher Made Me Do It! Happy World Teacher's Day!

It wasn’t my fault that we got caught underneath the cover of the sky when the sun came and claimed it. 

We had been told many times to go out and face tomorrow, but it wasn’t our fault that it was already tomorrow. Early morning for that matter and time to go back and to do what we were used to doing routinely in the structure of our lives.

Some may have had genuine concern for us because we hadn’t slept. We never worried. We just jumped in the shower and went about our business. We were always  jittering with excitement about what was next on our agenda. We had learned to go with the flow of things since we had been doing these crazy things for quite a bit of time now. Um like forever! 

We never were in a position where we would be frozen by fear over not being able to accomplish the task for the day though we were almost on empty after we’d been running almost 48 hours without sleep. We owned the night and then we owned the day no matter what; even if our heads never hit the pillow and our hearts beat violently because our engine never rested.

But then you come to a point when you realize and accept with openness that you are not young anymore. It is sad, but I will admit that I am bathed with shame over the things my body can no longer withstand because I am no spring chicken. Sometimes I weep in the darkness over the fact that I must sleep in order not to overrun myself because I now get tired. And then I realized that relaxation and creativity go hand in hand.

It wasn’t my fault on the night when I decided to honor myself and give into the thousand count thread pillows that were calling my name. My energy was plummeting. How could I run like a sheep with no shepherd? I could hardly keep my eyes open to even see what was before me. And that is when I realized that everything must change like the season changes from summer to autumn. I must change with it. 

I have vivid memories of my childhood. I may have gone spinning out of control a bit. Okay, a lot but, it echoes in my heart because it was good. 

I shook my groove thang. I fell, and got up. I learned new things in the process. I wasn’t this delicate flower that fell to the ground because I was unable to shine my worth with true conviction in the sun. I was bold. I was tough. Yet still, I did not truly accept my own being or value the temple that was the whole of me then but I am different now. 

I know my purpose. I can smile triumphantly. I am victorious. And I am growing with strength for real because last year around this time and the years before that, I got depressed and cried a bit when my birthday was approaching and I knew the number of year would go up again. LML! But, my slant on life has changed. I have a broader perspective. I am at peace with myself. I feel purposeful. I can happily look back over my life and say triumphantly, "Je suis toujours La" and the joy that I now feel about that truth ain’t my fault!

Speaking of being Toujour La,  last year for my final project in my French class, my teacher made us do a presentation of our choosing completely in French. I could say thank God I am Toujour La after trying to complete such a difficult task. 

Yeah, I have Haitian roots and yes the official language of Haiti is French, but try to speak it in my home and I am told to speak in English. I am not the best at it., LOL! But I chose to write a song and entitled it "Toujour La."  I apologize to all you true French speaking people out there. I tried my best to complete an entire tune in French and it is on Soundcoud and I hope you will listen here:

I can only blame my teacher. She made me do it. SMH! She was the best of the best of teachers though. Happy world teacher’s day to you Dr Ruiz. You made me do it. I needed a grade. You gave me one. I passed my class. I graduated with high honors. I did it for the educational value. But in truth it wasn’t my fault.