Friday, September 30, 2016

Things Kids Say

When your little nephew starts saying things like dang this song is lit, you know that he ain't no baby anymore, 


And that he actually likes your music. Smiling!!!

But . . . 


When did he start saying dang? What! Lit? Smh! Check it out for yourself here: 
https://itun.es/us/I2kLeb?i=1150594889 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Here and There Throwbacks Tweeps!

Last week I tweeted two things on twitter that I want to share.

On the first one, I wrote “this video shoot got me like Oooh Oooh!” Here and the on the second one, I wrote “All of a sudden I'm a shoeaholic again; these shoes though, definitely ain't for walking” There.

And so, I did a video shoot for one of my songs off the "Finally JNote" album and executive director and producer of the video, Keisong Powell, had us sprinkled about the oasis of Jamaica Queens, NY and we put our gentle focus on shooting a car scene with me driving this beautiful, convertible Lexus through the busy traffic of the Van Wyck expressway with a camera mounted on the side. Imagine driving someone else’s expensive vehicle which is delicate and though you are used to using your heavy foot to rear through the streets like a stray bullet, you have to drive like a novice avoiding all sharp edges and with hopes that the camera mounted on the side will not fall and break.

I had the perfect shoes on for it though; these beautiful and sexy heels that you can only walk in for so long but for driving, lol, you could have your foot pumping the gas all day.

We got through the first stretch of the video for my song "Time Machine" and it was an amazing shoot and I am excited. If you have not heard my song “Time Machine" yet, you can take a listen to it on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/6PX6lWw1RWc115RkjmU72I






I look forward with confidence at the day when I can actually share with you the official music video for it coming soon.” Thank you for reading my post inspired by a writing prompt by Mamakat. Always a great way to get started in the writing process and I am thankful that you took the time to read it. 

God Bless!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Tis Autumn!

Autumn is definitely the perfect time to take in the wonderful beauty of nature. 



I love when the colors of the leaves start to change. Even though I get so cold sometimes that I feel like I want to run away from it all, the mere fact that I am able to see and experience these moments such as the changing of seasons means that things are going according to plan.

Life is an endless development and it is a joyous necessity to include things such as change into the mix. I mean, in reality, we are not able to be sitting along a white sand coastline every day in bikinis while sipping margaritas with salt on the brim. But if we were, we would never truly appreciate the talents of gold we are blessed to recieve with things always being peachy; all the time.

Fall divides the future from the past. It gives us time to reflect back on the year as we prepare ourselves for the time yet to be born in the new year that is about to embrace us. Emotional scars are there for a reason. Some people may view them as glitches. Others may see them as the bare tree branches and the red colors that colored in the leaves that have fallen from those branches onto the ground. But for me, autumn has always been a great time for embracing change and I cherish the memories of it.

Here are some 

of those things 

that I am proud of.

1. I started crocheting and I got so good at it that while I was selling my merchandise at a fall street fair in Brooklyn, NY, a store owner saw my display and decided to purchase hats from me in bulk to sell at his Greenwich Village store. Though the store is no longer open, I am still happy about it because it was my first ever experience of being a creative designer and selling tings I made at that capacity.

2. I took my last sip of alcohol and this year makes three years since.

3. I started my last stretch of college and am proud to say that I graduated with high honors.


4. I sang my original tunes at the TCS NYC Marathon to enhance the athletes' running experience and it was awesome.  I will also be doing it again this year which to be exact will be on the first Sunday in November. If you are running, wave at me singing to the beat of your sneakers hitting the pavement where Bay Ridge Avenue and 4th Avenue meets. I am looking forward to being there, rooting you on.

5. I took my road test, passed and became the angry driver that occasionally writes blog posts about experiencing road rage.



6. I produced a music video for my friend Stuart Thomas for his song entitled “Can We Try to Live” and what went from him wanting to perform the entirety of it in front of a building, turned into a full production. I did all the editing and the video became a video. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIkauL1qfYg






7. Producer Paul Garrod and I went into a park in Wyndanch, NY, and after three wardrobe changes in my car, we completed the filming to the video Paul produced for my song, “Harmony.” You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/Et2DjrOKJAo?list=PLtEabtb9kz4JfOcuFHckwPhoyjqiYJTdq



8. With this year being no different, I walked into the classroom and saw my students singing my song “Time Machine” (off the Finally JNote album) with the small band and it made me want to cry to see them. They know my lyrics. They know my inflections. So happy! You can check out this song and others from the album on Spotify. Here is the link: https://open.spotify.com/track/6PX6lWw1RWc115RkjmU72I

I feel invigorated. I feel alive. 
I feel like I’m getting old. 

But . . . 

I think that we’re gonna be alright. It is Autumn!

Have a great fall season everybody!




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fluid Memories

Facebook has a tendency of stacking up memories and presenting it to you to remember what happened on this date in previous years. Thoughts in me then flutter like doves at the vital rhythms that my life has stumbled upon. A flame is kindled and it helps me to either reassess or to claim the grain of truth of the path that I am on and the destination that I am trying to reach.


In truth, pictures do speak 1000 words. Every single one, no matter where or when it is taken, has a story behind it and can produce in our mind images as continuous and fluid as waters of a fountain. If you are a writer and ever come to a point where you are struggling for words, don’t let that wall of silence block you. All the layers of irony that a photo holds can be the starting point of another golden floral work ready to rise up and face the sun in your journal.

Maybe you will come across a picture where you had orange spiked hair. What were the circumstances that surrounded that time and place? Relay the noise and confusion that is embedded in the capture. There was a story there. What is it?  Tell it. There is a fresh and spontaneous idea in those thousand words emotionally yearning to be told.


Like for instance. The bottom is a photo of the Medgar Evers College Jazz Ensemble which I was very blessed to be a member of. There are stories that are embedded in the experience that a poem, article or song can be conceived from. I loved the photo beside it because I took a picture by a wall with a mic in it and it looks so real. Made me realize how good my eye is at producing visual imagery. The others are from me performing my original music before a crowd of my peers, another in the preliminary stages of me producing my radio show Jazz on the JNote and then another of me singing an entire song in Spanish that I had never sang before a crowd or with a band until last night. All photos show me in some way as a work in progress. Stories are works in progress. We have a story even when we come to a moment of writer's block. Find a way to break the ice and let the words flow. 

What I come to realize in looking back is the strength of steel that is embedded in who I am. I jolted from all of those things into the person I am today. The work that I pined for all my life is written in those images. And then I consider my current plight. Experience is a story. We have a story. Those 1000 words are stories. 

I am filled with equanimity for a reason. Life has been a rocky journey but there have been some accomplishments in it which I am very proud of. I have found a sense of well-being. God has been so amazing to me and I am thankful. Sometimes looking back can draw deep gloom at what you didn’t get to do and sometimes photos can feel as good as a basketball player doing a tip in with the ball and scoring just seconds before the buzzer goes off.


We may show signs of deterioration as we grow older into the person we are today but thank God for where we have arrived. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Move It All Around

I love experiencing the excellency of the completion of a long work week. And here we are at Friday and it feels almost like experiencing nothing but blue skies. Thank God it’s Friday!


A day like this for me sparks passionate fires. Here is an idea to get you ready to toil through the night on the dance floor. Don’t spend your weekend chained to what you didn’t do while at work and what is left to do that you just couldn’t get to. 

You are still an outstanding leader, even when the highways of life take you away from your clear purpose, to experience moments of relaxation with the beautiful family and loved ones in your life. A good custom to exercise into your life would be to simply letting go and enjoying the weekend so that when you return to work, you will be well rested and ready for battle like a mighty warrior.


So, as you begin to dissipate the crowd of to-do items from you schedule as completed, perhaps my song “Move it All Around” can help to elate your thoughts to the celebration of victoriously enduring the week.  “Move it All Around” is a song about vacating the work scene on one of those days we are yelling TGIF, when we can change the pace of things by having a good time on Friday nights after a long work week and enjoying time with friends on the dance floor. It is #4 on my new cd Finally JNote, and I hope you will take the time to listen to it here and that the song captures your attention and flutters in your heart. If you like it, please like and comment on it on youtube so that I can know that it is relevant to you.  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5vXbYqvnv0


Thank you for listening everyone and I wish to you a weekend filled with love, the beautiful things in life and the pouring down of blessings as numerous as the stars in the sky.

By the Way!

 


Tune in this Sunday, September 25, 2016, for my radio show Jazz on the JNote which will air from 7PM to 8PM on The English Connection Media as we celebrate the life and music of the legendary jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane who would have celebrated his 90th birthday if he were alive today.  He is still here in spirit though leaving a legacy and a work load of music worth listening to. 


Please join me for beautiful jazz and talk, and on the English Connection Media from 7-8PM. 


Here is the link: http://mixlr.com/the-english-connection-media/  to listen to this week's show. 


Hope that you will have radio blaring with us. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

songtalk: "Darn That Dream"

I think it was just hearing Sarah Vaughan sing “Darn that Dream” that felt like just touching God's water from the ocean on an 100 degree Fahrenheit day. It was beautiful. Sarah Vaughan's voice was amazing. She was the Leontyne Price of jazz.  I experienced the desire of wanting to do the crazy riffs she was doing in it. Dope! A favorite song of mine ever since I heard it.

 Sarah Vaughan's waves of sound was like music magnetically touching my heart. I love her a lot and everything she did as a singer was so dope. Especially in "Darn that Dream."  

She put a stamp on every single song that she touched. It's crazy how my friend knew I loved her
voice so much that he gave me a Sarah Vaughan

compilation with like 400 songs she sung and it was 

one of the most amazing gifts I have ever received.  So 

many songs I love that she sang but this one, still my 

favorite. She killed it on this one. And so, I tried 

singing it one Monday night at Stop Time in Brooklyn 

with the amazing pianist Lafayette Harris Jr; at his jazz 

open mic night actually. Really great vibe there. Check out the video 

here: https://youtu.be/lPXmqXpqrfA




Did you like it? If so, I entered my rendition into the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Singing 

Competition. Please check out the video and click vote in the contest if you thought I did the song 


Time Machine by Stephanie Jeannot live at Bishop Loughlin High School

As a professional and hard-working woman, I will admit that when the day is going slow, I am often craving for the end of the workday, constantly looking at my watch as if time will go faster by my checking it every five minutes. Then the buzzer sounds and free time quenches my desire as I run off like speedy Gonzalez into the horizon and onward home. I have no viable excuse for wanting to get out of there except that sometimes, the fortune I seek at that very moment is some very valuable relaxation time at home.

But then it happens. I rush away from the workplace so fast, only to hit the hysteria of traffic that is only moving in baby steps. The road rage that hits me could have other drivers thinking of me as being snobbish because I become overcome with rage sometimes when the crazy drivers decide to do exaggerated driving tricks in the midst of bumper to bumper traffic. At that point, sometimes I wish I had a time machine to bleep into the future, into my home with my pajamas on, enjoying being in a peaceful state and place.

And so, I wrote a song, based on that. It is entitled “Time Machine:” and it is featured on my new cd, Finally JNote which is currently available at CDBaby here: http://bit.ly/2cX5Rmx

I was excited to perform this song before a group of my students at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY and it was such an awesome experience.  It was the first time I ever shared this song before a crowd of people and I did it with the Bishop Loughlin Alumni Band.

What made a difference in my world was that it wasn’t just my voice echoing back the lyrics as I sang them in the high ceiling room. The kids were singing along with me as if they had heard the song before and I was so happy.

The performance and their response was my reason for writing today. Their singing along with me attracted the experience of me sharing this with you. And so, I want to invite you to check out the live performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuuQswGxrmM


Tell me what you think of the song, of the performance, and/or of the band. Your responses are golden. Thank you for all those who partake in reading, watching and, or leaving me a note. 


Saturday, September 17, 2016

What’s On My Playlist!

My musical tastes are always changing and evolving, but if you’ve ever wondered what music I listen to, here are the top 15 most played in my playlist.

1. Getting to Know You – Nancy Wilson

So this song is from the musical The King and I, which is a classic. I feel in love with this particular song after watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV last year. They performed it live, and I loved the words as soon as I heard them – they really speak to me. The minute I heard it I knew I wanted to perform it live myself, which I did live at the Archways of Dumbo Brooklyn with the JNote Quintet on August 11, 2016 for the Harlem Swing Dance Society’s Swing Dance night which was a great experience.

2. How Will I Know – Whitney Houston

Whitney was one of the greatest, and one of my very first favorite artists growing up. I’ve learned so much about singing just by listening to her day after day. How Will I Know is one her most fun and catchy songs, and I will always love it.

3. Shadow of Your Smile – Amel Larrieux

Amel is another favorite singer of mine. Her voice is simply incredible, and I’m such a fan I’ve been to see her in concert four times! This particular song is one of her best, in my opinion.

4. Them Changes – Ledisi

This is yet another all time favourite of mine. Although this particular song is a cover, I think Ledisi pulls it off really well with incredible high energy. She can do some amazing things with her voice – this is definitely one you should give a listen so you can experience it yourself.

5. Take My Breathe Away – Berlin

This song was awarded Song of the Year at the Grammy’s in 1986. Can you believe that was 30 years ago!?! It’s a classic, and a staple of my playlist.

6. Valerie – Amy Winehouse

Another cover, but an another amazing one! I’m currently learning this song for a gig – I hope I can do it justice! The more I listen to it, the more I learn. I found listening is hugely important to a singer – in some ways it’s more important than actually singing.

7. Never Too Much - Deniece Williams

Deniece puts her own unique spin on Luther Vandross’s song. She was one of my first favorites, and I think it will remain that way for a long, long time.

8. It's Your World – Jennifer Hudson

All round, this is just a great song by a great artist. Jennifer always delivers with her vocals – they’re just excellent.

9. Work – Rihanna

This has been a smash hit this year, and I can definitely see why. Rihanna and Drake always make magic when the collaborate. It’s a really cool song, great for when you just want to chill out, and I always love what Rihanna puts out.

10. Besame Mucho – Diane Krall

Diane has an awesome voice. This is another tune I’m currently learning for a gig – so I listen to it a lot. The more I listen, the more I love it.

11. Cheap Thrills – Sia

When a song is a commercial success – particularly in pop - it’s easy to overlook the craftsmanship involved. I love the melody of this song, overall Sia has a very cool song that I like a lot.

12. Sorry - Justin Bieber

I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that hasn’t heard this song. It’s been another big hit and it’s a red hot tune. It’s insanely catchy, once you listen to it, it is lodged in your brain for the rest of the day – guaranteed!

13. My Favorite Things – John Coltrane

This is a stunning rendition of a Rogers & Hammerstein composition. I particularly love what Coltrane does with the saxophone, so beautiful!

14. Rappers Delight – The Sugarhill Gang

There’s no denying that this is a classic. I can’t quite believe it came out in 1979! I love the Sugarhill Gang, and I still really love this tune. It’s just a fun rap song with great energy – there’s nothing not to like!

15. Red Clay – Mark Murphy

This tune rounds off my playlist. I love Mark Murphy a lot, I love how he uses his voice to do vocalese on this tune that was originally by Freddie Hubbard. The lyrics are real and meaningful; they really speak to me.

So, that’s it! What do you think of these songs? Let me know which are your favorites, and what you’ve been listening to recently!




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"Finally JNote," Stephanie Jeannot's debut album is on Spotify!

I am still in bedazzlement to loosely define as real the fact that my debut album, a full album of my original works is out in the universe. Finally JNote is now available on CDBABY, ITunes and many other on-line places where music is sold.


It feels almost like one of those dreams that take an erotic turn. You are sleeping in this peaceful bouquet of dandelions type of slumber and all of a sudden you have a chanced encounter with that special somebody who to you is like pure gold and the silence of your celibacy is changed to exciting turbulence and smothering of kisses that disrupts the mundane routine of your life. Boom! And here we have the marriage of one of my goals and my interests.

 I have a CD with amazing cover art by Linda A Strobert and music by myself and other great producers like Mike LeShore and Fred Simmons from New York, that when you pop in to your cd player, shows my name and everything. All lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot. When I say this truth for me leaves me unable to avoid love’s birth, I mean that it would be too great a threat to not celebrate myself and be happy with my decision in completing this independent project.

Photo by David A Powell
If you should ever see me driving in your vicinity, you will probably hear my booming system with my music blaring from it halfway down the street, like you would at one of my live concerts. I ask you to fade into my world just a little bit. Would you take the time to listen to my sounds of life?  Finally JNote is on Spotify! Would you kindly visit the link, listen, subscribe and if any of the songs should strike you as sublime or get you up dancing on the rough, wooden dance floor, please support my independent effort and download the songs. Here is the link: https://open.spotify.com/album/5uDZk9EWu8Ns8gCqrUKTXH




With integrity of heart and uprightness, thank you for flooding my blogpost with your eyes. That joy may grow wild like a weed in the garden throughout the entirety of your week. Have a great one everybody! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Eric Frazier's Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival

There’ll be music, swinging, dancing, fun, Stephanie Jeannot, The 

George Gray Trio and the Eric Frazier Septet at Eric Frazier's Fort 

Greene  Park Jazz Festival happening in Fort Greene Park in 

Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 3PM to 7PM;

you coming?


It is free to get in and a whole lot of fun! 



There’ll be music, swinging, dancing, fun, Stephanie Jeannot, The 

George Gray Trio and the Eric Frazier Septet at Eric Frazier's Fort 

Greene  Park Jazz Festival happening in Fort Greene Park in 

Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 3PM to 7PM;

you coming?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Alouette

When I was just a little girl and my mom used to make her rounds just before she turned the lights off and sent me into lala land, each night would end somewhat like a fairytale.

By fairytale, I mean the happily ever after. By fairytale, I mean, she helped to make the day end on a sweet note. By sweet note, I mean that she would have me frozen in peacefulness when she started to sing me a lullaby. My favorite was always Alouette because it was layered in such beauty and I was in sheer comfort.

What a powerful way to guide a kid along the journey of starting to dream. What an exceptional moment in time to drive an adult back in time with such fond memories. I know that I was lovingly cared for. I know that I can never take those wonderful moments for granted.

If you remember this French lullaby, the lyrics spoke about stroking the feathers of a skylark. All I could do was listen with my heart because the song was so calming. How ironic that a skylark is a songbird? How ironic that I turned out to be a songbird? How ironic that Fleetwood Mac’s popular song, “Songbird” which was featured on the album Rumors, won album of the year in the year that I became a thought? How ironic that this might have been the message telling me exactly what I had been engineered for.

Years later, the pleasure of my eyes often fall on a stage with a microphone on it where I can share my gift with whoever is willing to entertain it for a minute. Some people never consider how things like a lullaby play such a large role in the person that you become. Those moments inspired meaning in me. They gave me reasons to put my fears to rest and to stay on the idea of knowing how to dream.

And then jazz came into my life. And then I started to love it. And then I started to sing it. And then I came across popular songs that made me flashback to yesterday’s smiles. One of them, “Skylark,” a 1941 popular song by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael. When I first listened to it, I was unable to conceal my mirth. It reminded me of that beautiful part of my history that I am still in love with. And so, the lyrics and musical components of this jazz song fell deeply into my heart. The amalgamation of those perspectives are what lead me to want to sing it.

And so when I embraced a popping venue in my local habitation called Rustik Tavern to support my friend Eric Frazier’s longest running jazz jam session to ever be a part of Brooklyn’s lifetime, I joined the stage with the sizzling musicians on the stage and I had the pleasure of covering “Songbird.”

If you have the chance, please check out this cover which is now on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fjLanRDwlQ





Thank you so much for checking out my blogpost and if you are interested in seeing what Eric Frazier really is all about, you should definitely make your way out to his jazz festival that he puts together every year; the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival happening this Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 3PM to 7PM.  



I will be the featured vocalist for the event and I would love to have you all there. Considering how it went last year, I can say that it will be great this year as well. I value your investment of time taken to read my blogpost and look forward to sharing many more moments with you in the future.


God bless you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crocheting A Love Song

Have you ever heard my original song "Crocheted" or seen 

the video? 

It was a song inspired by my 

love for crocheting weaved 

into the concepts of love 

and the video was shot, one 


skein at a time,  inside of a 

park in the North Babylon 

section of  Suffolk County 

in New York. 




If not, here is a #tunefortuesday for you that 




I hope you will take the time to watch the 



full length video on youtube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=kjkGWjqJDvM&feature=youtu.be 





By the way! I did all the video editing and post production for 

the video. Lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot. Music by Derrick 

Smith.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Capture That!


Without overlooking the details of the picture directly underneath this statement, you can see what the magic of a camera on a phone can capture. 

Not only is it capturing the stage but also all of the many people with their cameras out recording and taking pictures as well. When you think about, the cameras on our phones and tablets, it is an obvious truth that these devices are a welcomed investment. For this reason alone, my window has never been shut too tight on the idea of getting a phone with a great camera, aside from my regular camera that I often use to capture great stills and frames.

How Handy is the Camera on Your Phone or IPad?
 All the images that I have been able to capture with my phone flood through my mind and make me consider the importance of the device I have.

Selfies


Considering exactly what these cameras can really do, my initial thought is that we are all guilty of capturing striking selfies every now and then to show off our awesomeness. I still refuse to get a selfie stick because the selfie is definitely not the biggest advantage of having a great camera on your phone or tablet. But the flippable camera is probably an added bonus that for many, might make them take home a phone.


Moments

We all come to the special moments through which we make luscious strides and we find ourselves surrounded by old and new faces or places. For me, capturing some of these moments are highly favored than just simply having the memory in my mind, although some moments are unforgettable without the keepsakes. But think about it. Who wants to go somewhere like Niagara Falls, put on the rubber suits and stand almost directly beneath the waterfall and not capture it in the moment?

Sometimes the camera phone has its drama free moments if you do the right thing with the phone, keep it charged and ready for more than for simply playing candy crush.

Capturing Videos

You go to a recital for your little niece or nephew and want to remember what they sang; you capture it with your phone. You are walking through Little Italy in Old Montreal and see one of the greatest violinists you ever heard, bowing your favorite Michael Jackson tune and you want to rewind and play it again whenever you have the opportunity. You capture it. You are in a car and are stopped and approached with violence for no reason at all. You capture it.

Creating Videos

But then there are times when you want to make your own music video as an independent artist like my friend Stuart Thomas did, for his original song and then you capture that on your ipad but with a different purpose in mind. You are now capturing content to represent a song that you have written. The good thing is, these cameras record with such clarity that when you play it back, it actually looks nice on the screen and then on youtube. This also applies to when you are taking selfie footage and you are using the flippable video camera feature to add frames to your music video. 


With all that said, a year ago today or actually, last year on Labor Day, I captured the last leg of my friend Stuart Thomas’ music video for his original song “Let's Soca It Up” and a year later, it has over 2200 views. I took the footage home, did some editing, melded the frames together, added his sound recording to the frames and we had a music video sharable on youtube and other places online where videos can be published. A year later, "Let's Soca it Up" video is so appropriate for Labor Day Weekend and I invite you all to watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZDHd5JjRnw




Some Other videos I have produced with my ipad are:

"Can’t We Try to Live" by Stuart Thomas  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIkauL1qfYg
"Crocheted" by Stephanie Jeannot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjkGWjqJDvM
"All Night Long" by Stephanie Jeannot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC8Y8A6S6Nc