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Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Very Musical Review of 2017

“Enthusiasm is the fertilizer that will
ensure rapid growth as well as permanency”
(Napoleon Hill)

I have to say that 2017 was a great year. There were more good times than bad times. I was driven to handle life and was able to break out of my comfort zone on many occasions. I am excited for the best that is yet to come. 



But before I clear the path for 2018, I want to rewind and share highlights that helped to make 2017 refreshing with a slew of detailed photos and honest-straight forward passages about the moments of the year that lead to this day.


January

It was a great month. As usual I did what I love to do best in the eclectic culture that we live in. But it became even more exciting when I started to work with purpose on my second album project and brought some of my lyrical ideas to life in producer Paul Garrod’s studio in Connecticut. 

Fast-forward to today and we have a project together entitled We Are People United which features 13 studio songs of which I wrote the lyrics and he wrote the music. You can check it out here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/stephaniejeannot1




February
The idea of creating a music video for my song “Enjoy Life,” so that I can capture a visual of it to make it more than just a song, lead to a series of conversations on how to add my
dramatic side effectively to a moving picture. Thankful to Stuart Thomas and Jazz E Matt, (two great artists from New York City I might add, who you should definitely check out if you get the chance) helped me to really make the refreshingly honest effort to make my vision come true. They held up the camera for me in the arctic chill of a Brooklyn winter by the East River. And they went with me to the skating ring and did what they do to help me to do what I wanted to do and it was great. And then the music video to "Enjoy Life" was born. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/alV2ULnr9z8




March
I have been writing songs forever but March 2017 was the first time in my life that I ever performed an entire show of all original music. They say the possibilities are endless if you simply ask. Who knew it was true? No one has to carry the burden of wanting to do something so bad that it has to hurt because no man is an Island. There are people who are presently in your life who can help you fly free if you take the chance of asking. Especially if it is something that will help you optimize your dream. Asking is an achievable way of getting it done. 





And so, I thank my awesome band, the JNote Band for having my back and for being there for all the rehearsals and then for the shows and doing the music thing that you do so awesomely. Richie Johnson, Herb Lewis, Jazz E Matt, Dalthannette Munlin, Mark Payne, Prrrl, Phillip Smith, I could not have done it without you all. You make me believe that my songs are worth being more than just tightly guarded secrets but something that people should hear and you help me to find peace with myself. I had been saving all my love for that one moment for a long time. You make me want to dare pass the limits. Such a blessing to have you all in my life. Thank you!

April

Here was the second opportunity to do an original showcase and here again we had the band right there in my corner. Together we performed at the Springfield Stage Festival and it was awesome. 

Jazz E Matt performed three songs and then I did three songs. It was a nice day and we had fun. Thankful to Mark Payne for affording to me the opportunity of sharing my music at this wonderful event.

May
Of all the amazing things to dive into, applying my purpose to the oases of Siberia seemed
to be the ingredient that makes me smile without wanting to cease. 

Selfie in the Irkutsk Philharmonic with Dr Jazz Band in Siberia

But the more I appraise the situation, I would say that the one thing that made the most difference in my life was when I realized that I had been soaking up the midnight sun. 

It broke through the complacency of common sense because it didn’t make sense at all. I walked out of my gig in Arkhangelsk with the sun beaming before my eyes and my friends there saying okay have a good sleep. I’m thinking to myself, sleep and had to ask the current time. When they said 10:30 PM and I saw the sun out as if it were mid-afternoon, God’s design of time and space became that much more amazing to me. 



In the midst of the Aerora Borealis

I finally walked through the threshold I was bound to cross and that was the moment my French teacher had been telling me about all along, right before my eyes; an amazing site to have seen. Thankful to Jeff Edelman for the awesome opportunity of seeing it and sharing my talents there.

June
My jazz group and I had the opportunity of performing live at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center where I met some of the most amazing tap dancers on this planet. 


These beautiful elder queens practice their craft. They work hard, devote time to perfecting their art and are such lovely people. 

Seeing them made me put some thought into the idea that if these elderly people are stepping out with such force and attitude at their age, there should be nothing stopping me at mine. Check out their awesome dancing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GEmH5QhHX0



They filled my heart with a rhythm of love and respect for them that has not yet ceased. Thankful to have met them and to have played some great music there for them where I first saw them dance with Brett Benteler, Wayne Holmes, Herb Lewis and Napoleon Revels-Bey. Thankful to the NYC Parks Department for having us. 

July
The summer always seems to add a decorative effect to a year and 2017 was no different. If you can get through the first few months of the year without being too harried but instead with a smile and eagerness to carry on, then you know that you are moving forward with great fighting strength. Summer seems like the perfect time to put the pieces of your life back together and it was great to connect again with friends and family that I had not seen in years. 

On the other side of those moments, performing at Part one of Eric Frazier’s annual Fort
Photo by Walter Taylor
Greene Park Jazz Festival in the intense summer heat of July was awesome. I love singing and this annual event is always a great time to celebrate the art of jazz and music with my fellow musicians. 


But my favorite from July was the wonderful family vacation we took at the Lake George RV Park and then our trek up to Vermont. 



I can say being with family and enjoying each other’s time and company was as beautiful as Origami art. These were very rejuvenating moments for me as it caused the reunion of some of the broken parts that were inside of me that only family time can algebraically put back together; we had not done anything like that in a very long time. Our family vacation was my harness of innovation.

August
Who said you can’t lose sight of reality when you are in such a place of excitement. It is not every day that I am on the brink of a new endeavor and exploring the emotional rawness of a place that is totally fresh to my mind. But to have been able to leisurely stroll through the neighborhoods of Minsk, Belarus was so cool and different. 

And then to have been able to sing at the Jazz at the Lake festival in Minsk with the fresh scent of the sea enhancing the experience was amazing. I met so many amazing artists. But top that all off, to have had the opportunity to share my gift and original music there was a life altering experience and I am so thankful for it all.

September

The weather was crisp and ideal for outdoor dancing and there I was singing at part two of Eric Frazier’s Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival and it was awesome. I dressed more sophisiticatedly than I am used to and I felt sexy for the first time in a long time. 


Photo by EJ Haughton

But at the heart of it all, sharing my original song “Wherever You Are” right there in my cosmopolitan hometown’s outdoor festival for the first time was amazing. If you’d like, please check out the tune “Wherever You Are” here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/stephaniejeannot3 



The crowd met me with immeasurable kindness as I got into the nitty gritty of my own tune. I did not expect to generate their attention. Who knew they’d enjoy it? To have seen that with mine own eyes makes me hungry for more. I know that my purpose is to put my best foot forward with my original music and the trajectory of my 2018 will be the year for exploring better solutions to do that.

October
Photo by Eric Frazier
They say somebody is always watching and that is usually something I try to gain when I do live performances. But what launched a revolution in my life was seeing my father in the audience as I performed with my jazz trio, (Brett Benteler, Danny Dalelio and Napoleon Revels-Bey) at Kitchen 21 in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. 

My father of all people! I usually do whatever is genuine to try to get him out. I am not easily discouraged but all the excuses he had gave me in the past for why he couldn’t come all changed when I looked into the crowd and saw the awesome view of his face, all smiles and with his camera in his hand trying to record his daughter on the set, living in the character of a jazz vocalist. 



What a way to bounce back from being inundated with questions to having deep enjoyment and satisfaction. I could definitely get used to the weight of his presence. Felt great!

November
A friend of mine, fellow poet Ras Osagyefo who years ago helped me to produce and host a Jazz Poetry event that I had been very interested in putting together, had a great event of
his own and asked me to be a part of it and sing. 

This was the first time I had shared some of the new songs off of my new project, We Are People United,in a public forum. But what I loved the most was finding out that Sam Cooke wrote a song which he also sang, that he considered to be the black national anthem that he entitled, “A Change is Gonna Come.” To know this piece of information and to have been able to sing this anthem for the first time was very encouraging. I invite you to check out my live performance of this song at Osagyefo's event here: 

                         


Being a part of it, made me realize that knowledge is the bare minimum that you need for something to become a proprietary interest. I am interested in singing this anthem more and more because of its history. 

December

Photo by Laurence Sparks
It was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate in a special way. Bass player, Mark Payne, and I share the same birthday. I call him my twin. I wanted to take in our birthdays doing a showcase of only original music together. 

I found liberation in doing just that thanks to the help of one of my closest friends, Jazz E Matt, who deemed me worthy of putting his all out there for me. And I am thankful to the JNote Band who had my back in such an amazing way to do what I wanted to do in that fluorescent hall where we moved with forced together and touched the sky. 

Thank you Chynaah Doll, Just Nico, Prrrl, Mark Payne, and Richie Johnson. You helped me explore every single avenue of my blue velvet dream of being who I am; a singer who writes songs and performs them live as an artist. The momentum is still going strong. Whenever you guys are on stage, you make me feel perfectly at home and I weep with joy because of that. Thank you all for your collaborative spirits. You can check out a piece of our live performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HYbEAPQ-h8




The other thing that settled into my bones and gave me inspiration was performing at a real jazz club in New York City for the first time with my quartet (Mike Benjamin, Danny Dalelio, Herb Lewis, Napoleon Revels-Bey). It was almost as if God was getting a fresh start of putting a gift in my hands for Christmas because the call came and the event happened just a few days before the actual holiday. That was pretty epic for me. 


Photo by David A Powell
The setting of the jazz club was perfect for just sitting back and relaxing into who you are. The stage was great and the acoustics in the room was just right for stacking all the harmonies of the instrumentation. 

Of the slew of all the holiday parties that I was blessed to be a part of, this was the one that made the difference. Not really a holiday party at all but, I did include four songs for the holiday in my repertoire because I am a big lover of Christmas carols. I invite check out a clip from our live performance here: https://youtu.be/tmeUs4cwxXg




The experience left me feeling so high and I am thankful to the wonderful musicians for flowing with me on this flight and for also braving the cold to be there because it was freezing and the cold cut like a razor.

Conclusion

2017 made me realize that there are so many possibilities worth exploring. Many of the moments were soul stirring. I now have a very clear idea of my purpose, how I want to move into the year 2018 and I am compelled to pull through with this unwithering hope. 


Photo by Gardener Anderson

Here I am ready to walk on the wild side of the frigid winter months of the new year that is upon us. I plan to get to work as soon as possible making it the best year yet. That you may live your most extraordinary life in 2018. Happy New Year to you and to yours. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Thoughts on Self-Determination and Change

Nothing like having the reassurance of knowing that you can carry on and that a change for the better is coming. Joyous Kwanzaa! 

It was mentioned that the theme for 2017 is change and today celebrates Kujichagulia (self-determination).

 



The most dangerous woman of all is the one
who refuses to rely on your sword to save her
because she carries her own
– (R.H. Sin).





We all want to make our lives great and to create the perfect world around us. Who doesn’t want cheerleaders on their side, rooting them on as they aim to achieve the endless possibilities? We can also be our own cheerleaders and believe in ourselves. 

We break out of our comfort zones and step into eclectic cultural oases. We are self-determined and aim towards the betterment of our days. We are driven to handle life and leap over mountaintops. We are inspired to rise on the wings of the dawn and to clear the path for the best that is yet to come. Cheer yourself on while you are at it for being a go-getter. 

Isn’t coming with a resolution something we all face when a new year comes our way? We see how the year ending was quite transformative and realize that we may not have met every attainable goal that we prospected for the year that is ending. But realize how much bigger you are than the things that kept you from keeping your resolution and have an open mind for the new year that is on its way. Do more than just show up in the new year but plan to bring your dreams to life. I mean, everyone deserves a chance at seeing their visions as reality. And here we fast-forward to today; just a few days until 2018 and ready for the guns to fire off. Are you ready? 

I want to say I am with all the forethought I have had for it and all the advice people have been sending my way lately. Have I always been open to guidance? I can’t say that I have been because I was a stubborn kid growing up and some of the residue of the craziness that made me different still lasts. But now that I am less heat-tinged and more grounded in self-respect, I am on a more safe and steady path that I allow advice to be a part of. My mistakes caused confusion and a lot of chattering. But, knowing who I have been and the experiences that I have captured in my lifeline, it is a good thing that I am able to talk about them and laugh at myself because otherwise I would be crying by the way that I would be described by the world.

If I didn’t define myself for myself,
I would be crunched into other people’s
fantasies for me and eaten alive”
(Audre Lorde).



The most important thing I have come to find out about in life is how to not be polluted by the world. This is not a burden meant to be carried on our shoulders with all the other problems that we face and must deal with. I mean, knowing that we may not always stick to the script and may not be able to always leap over every void, we can still keep our emotions intact while finding understanding in the fact that struggle is part of the process and pray ourselves back up. We must still hold on to the courage to seize opportunity.

Here we are on the brink of a new endeavor. We are all about to stroll into the doors of 2018. Time to launch a revolution! Don’t let your falls or people who have less than something nice to say about you make you lose contact with reality. 

One potential way to get around it is to look at all you have gotten through as experience, devote your time to getting around the issues to make positive and prosperous changes to put the pieces back together and use your animal urge to work harder so that your diligence will help build your future the way that you envision it. Never forget that everything about you is unique which includes your experiences, your dilemmas, likes and dislikes. What might be a concern to you may not be a concern of others. Still love yourself and be content with who you are. 

Don’t let the end of 2017 look like a desperate attempt of escaping something bad. You still owned every moment of it; especially if you took a lot of chances. Don’t let your sense of well-being take dive. Bounce back from your disappointments. Make sure that you remember to hold on to the stream of consciousness that you are somebody important with important goals to attain and that you have a purpose and prosperity.  

And when the moon drinks up the night of December 31, 2017, remember that you were deemed worthy to be here with an awesome view of the new year that enters your life. How you look at it is what matters the most. Live more by promise and not emotion. And when you make your decisions, remember that no man is an Island and that including your family and the advice that they may have for you, may not always be a bad thing to consider. Past all my stubbornness, I realize that now. 

To be self-determined is to envision change for the betterment of yourself and to also know who you are in the grand scheme of things. I am able and I am strong and I am loved and I am beautiful and I am a daughter of a king and I am unique and I am alive because I am changing. Thankful for my brother Ras Osagyefo for giving me the opportunity to perform the Sam Cooke classic tune, A Change is Gonna Come at an event which he hosted at my alma mater, Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY which celebrated the principles of Kwanzaa.  Please check it out here: https://youtu.be/gQMwGywg8Ok



May the sunshine resonate all over you in 2018. And may you reach the heights that you endeavor. I hope that 2018 is a pretty epic year for you and that you feel so high with life that it brings to you a state of deep enjoyment. I feel determined that “A Change is Gonna Come;” a change for the better. God bless you all!  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas to You!

When I was but a little girl, first thing on the morning of Christmas day, I would run down the steps to see what Santa had brought for me and it made me feel good when he came and left me exactly what I had hoped for, even though I had fallen over a few times before finding my feet. My favorite gift ever was this cute little red Michael Jackson jacket. 

I was so into Michael Jackson back then that I wanted everything him; the doll, clothing, accessories. You name it. I guess you can say, being the little dot in the world that I was back then, Michael Jackson probably influenced me to want to sing in a way, watching him sing and dance across the television screens when I could barely spoon feed myself. If you were to scroll through my playlist, you’d still find a large list of songs that he sang featured there. He had a unique way of reaching different classes of people as an audience and making what he had to offer naturally sticky ideas; so sticky that they last with us even until today. His music never loses its flavor.




By flavor, I mean something like this. I used to visit my cousin Reggie at his law firm in the city all the time where we’d talk about music. He was an entertainment lawyer and had this law firm and I liked to be around that atmosphere. So, I’d go to his office and he always did this very peculiar thing. He would open a brand-new pack of Juicy Fruit gum, put one of the five sticks in his mouth and about five minutes later, he’d open another stick and put the next one in his mouth until he had the whole pack in his mouth because after the one stick lost its flavor, he wanted new flavor to keep the good taste in his mouth. Sad to think that the world has lost him this week, of all weeks with it having been less than a week before Christmas. I realized though that everything can’t be A1 like the awesome sauce, all the time. We always assume there will be positive outcomes when it comes to this life. 

Unfortunately, colon cancer had a different plan for him as its force, left him to nestle away into the arms of Jesus. But his flavorful memories will never leave us, as the flavorful music of Michael Jackson.

Made me think that if anything to have as a resolution is to plan on changing to make the world better for myself and others around me in the 2018 year that is about to embrace us. As a resolution, maybe we could trust in who we are and being ourselves without feeling bad. We could see the rows of marigolds in every clear day that we are blessed to see. We could decide to express our ideas and skill sets and not shy away from them. We could make sure to balance work and life so that we give just as much time and dedication to our loved ones as to the tasks that we have to complete. We could realize that the world is our oyster and find a piece of joy to hold onto in the spirit of being a part of it and try to understand each person’s place in it as well. Life is short and we should try to diligently embrace every little nuance of it while we still have breath.


And as Christmas is upon us, I realized why there may be many with a holiday heart. My cousin died and now the intricate details of what the holiday heart really means, pops at me in a totally different way. But if the true reason for the Christmas season is Jesus and Jesus represents life, light and grace that keeps us and also blesses us to a climb a new ladder into the pearly gates when our day comes, it means that this is definitely not the day to gather and hoard feelings of hurt. It is also not a day to feel guilty or to exercise sophistry but instead to smile, enjoy the savory flavors of the loved ones who are still here with us and enjoy life, while we still have it. For we must hold on to the joy that we have, while we still have breath and also pray for those who no longer do. I mean, in truth, any day could be your last in the jungle. Make sure to live before the day that your light is extinguished. We celebrate the days that we are blessed to see and the good memories and people that we feel very connected to who make our worlds wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful worlds . . . I want to thank you all for helping to make my life wonderful. You read, you watch, you listen and the fact that you support my creativity in this fascinating way, makes my life wonderful; almost as wonderful as the children on 107th Street in that Elmhurst, NY block where Trumpeter Louis Armstrong lived, that made his life so wonderful, he penned the song “What a Wonderful World.” The flavorfulness of this song still overflows into my heart. I dedicate this rendition of Louis Armstrong's tune that I performed live with the JNote Quartet which featured Mike Benjamin on bass, Danny Dalelio on piano, Stephanie Jeannot on vocals, Herb Lewis on saxophone and Napoleon Revels-Bey on drums to you. 


This cover was performed live in New York City at Club Bonafied located at 212 East 52nd Street in Manhattan. Here is wishing to you the happiest and merriest Christmas ever. That you might find a bit of joy to hold on to and peace to make your world wonderful.


God bless and enjoy! 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Thoughts on My Mind Runs Like A TV and My Butterfly Wings, My Time Machine

I remember the days when I worked my regular 9 to 5. I am definitely someone who is no stranger to working in corporate America and I loved putting my hands into work as a way to keep myself busy doing something important. I am an on the go person. I think I rather do something to keep myself busy as opposed to sleeping which is what lead to creating the video to my song "Time Machine" the other night.


Photo by Stephanie Jeannot
I hate being sick because I hate being in bed feeling helpless when I could be doing other things that are more important. No, I do not hate taking care of myself but I don't like to feel weak and helpless in any way.


Perhaps that is the strong-minded and stubbornness in me, but its true.  Or it could be the imaginative person that I am wishing that I was a butterfly with wings who could just freely fly through the skies anytime. And so, as usual, I found something to do while I was sick and not really well enough to be outside doing things that I would have rather been doing.



Let's just say that dabbling into video editing kept my interest so much that my mind kept running with ideas, like a television, and I just could not shut it off. I was always someone who found interest in video production and so, this just gave me an opportunity to spread my wings a little bit more and experiment with the art of it. And so came a video. But first the song!

TIME MACHINE





All lyrics and vocals by Stephanie Jeannot. Music by Mike LeShore. This tune was recorded in Long Beach, NY and has been copyrighted on April 17, 2016, All Rights Reserved. If you like the song, please add it to your Spotify playlist.


THE BREAKDOWN


Here is a breakdown of the lyrics and the ideas or concepts that birthed the video that was created. 


Hook: 

Trying to get to my baby
This traffic got me crazy 
'Cause your call just got me
Wishing I had a time machine
To be there with you
To do the things that we do
Ooh! (Repeat)

[Video Concept:  A wish is somewhat of a dream of some sort. When your thoughts are on other things other than the things that you are doing, it is like traffic. You are busy thinking and it can keep you from being productive. The mind runs like a television with visions in technicolor of good old memories and hopes. The wish brings the butterfly. I wished that I was a butterfly with wings who could fly and be presently where the things I love to do are. The doors of the subway represented the closing of the doors to the time machine and the wings of the flying plane is the time machine.]


Photo by Stephanie Jeannot


Verse 1:

It's 4:59 
'Bout time to get out of here
And I'm dying to get to you
So you got me here
Speeding, dipping, diving
Weaving through traffic
'Cause I'm an addict of your love
So when I get there be ready
Like a patient
I'm Nurse Betty and then we
Let go
Put my fire out now


[Video Concept:  The clocks read 4:59. When at work on a Friday and the time is dwindling, I used to find myself looking at my watch constantly so that when 5 PM came, I could run out of there like a fire truck running to rescue someone. I, as the butterfly, am speeding, dipping and diving and weaving through the butterfly patch trying to use my wings to get me beyond my thoughts and load of work to be completed, ("the traffic"), to where I want to be instantly because that is what my true passion is ("music"). The stage is where I let go and I transform from the butterfly with wings transformed into an entertainer on stage.]



Photo by Laurence A Sparks



Hook: 


Trying to get to my baby

This traffic got me crazy

'Cause your call just got me

Wishing I had a time machine

To be there with you

To do the things that we do

Ooh! (Repeat)



Verse 2:

It's that time once again
For us to connect in unison
Don't try to break this groove up
Fill my cup up 
With your love
No rush
Let's take our sweet time
Fire it up
Til we run dry
So love the melody
This harmony
Makes my soul clap
'Cause right here is where it's happening


[Video Concept:  It's about to be time for me to walk out of there and my mind stays on being in the ambiance of my passion. Anywhere that music is is where I want to use my butterfly wings to. The recurring gentleman represents passion. Throughout the scenes, my cup is being filled up with music and singing and dancing. The dancing represents the clapping of the soul, joy and satisfaction.]


Photo by NuuVizion



Hook: 


Trying to get to my baby

This traffic got me crazy

'Cause your call just got me

Wishing I had a time machine

To be there with you

To do the things that we do

Ooh! (Repeat)





Bridge:


Ain't nobody like you

When I'm next to you

Doing what we do

You got me like

Ooh!



Ain't nobody like you

When I'm next to you

Doing what we do

You got me like

Ooh!



[Video Concept:  There is nothing like music and nothing brings me more joy than that.  I become like a child again with the purest and most innocent example of love to give.]


Photo by Stephanie Jeannot



Hook: 


Trying to get to my baby

This traffic got me crazy

'Cause your call just got me

Wishing I had a time machine

To be there with you

To do the things that we do

Ooh! (Repeat)


[Video Concept:  I stay diligently working and then finally the clock turns to 5 PM and I am now on a mission. I am no longer the butterfly but now am boarding the plane to head to my destination of passion where at the end my passions lead me to the love that was in my heart. We dance and let go into the night of fireworks. And so ends the wish of my being a butterfly to fly to my own destination. Destiny finally came and the reality of getting there kicked in and it was no longer a dream keeping my mind busy with hopes anymore because the time finally came to live it.]



Now, here is the video. Tell me what you think if you watch it. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Gift Ideas for Singer/Songwriters

The time has come when we start to think about getting the perfect gift for those musical people in our lives who concentrate their efforts on trying to conjure up creative lyrics and unforgettable melodies. 

I am particularly talking about the singer/songwriters; those familial stars in our loves who are all about progress to elevate their craft and touch us emotionally with the amazing riffs found in the music that they create. And so, being a singer/songwriter, I compiled a list of things that might ruffle the feathers of those talented skylarks that you know and love. 

Gift Ideas for Singer/Songwriters

Here are 12 gift ideas that might add some inspiration into those talented individuals in your life.

1. 2018 Standard Diary

Important dates are something that all people want to keep. For the singer/songwriter, it is important to write down dates for musical engagements as a way to make sure that you never double book by accident. Keeping a record of what is to come keeps your mind ready for what is important and this particular Standard Diary for 2018 is one I love.




I have been using it for years and every year I love it more for several reasons.  It has one lined page for each day of the year. Can't go wrong with a book that features lined pages for someone who enjoys writing. Not only can you write down engagements for particular dates but you have a lot of space to include a series of things that you might want to include (ex. dress code, musicians who will join you, address, fee). 

The front of the book has a small address book where you can include numbers of the important people, perhaps clients for whom you want to keep the number saved. And in the last few pages of this book, there is an area where you can keep a calculation of what you earned and spent which is always a good way to keep a record of your musical earnings and expenses for the year (ex. Gas, tolls, business meetings, supplies and equipment). Great book to have!



2. Songwriter’s Market 40th Edition: Where & How to Market Your Songs





There is a new Songwriter’s Market Book every year that is published and each year, there is updated information on places you can send your music, people who might be interested in listening to what you have got to offer, advice to spark more creativity and edge, publication information and websites that might be helpful to a songwriter’s career. This book is a great tool for any singer/songwriter in your life. The 2018 edition is the 40th edition of this book. 

3. Microphone Music Stand Tablet/Smartphone Holder Mount





There is no doubt about it; it is the computer age and sadly enough, we have our phones in our hands at least 75% of the day. So, when at a gig, nobody wants to see a phone in a musician’s hand; especially if it might be to read lyrics. The thing to consider though is where to put it? 

Here is an idea. Put your phone on the microphone stand right in front of you. There is a mount for that which you can add to your microphone stand to keep it safe and secure while you are wooing your crowd. Even better, if you need to carry your lyrics or music chart and want to save yourself the trouble of having to print them out on paper, add these documents to your Ipad or tablet, and mount that onto your mic stand and read off the tablet from there. It is an easy fix to keeping your hands free and also securing your devices during live performances.

 4. SanDisk 16GB 2.0 Flash Disk




We all have our music and maybe we also have show tracks that we can perform to if the day comes when your gig is a solo one without a band. Sadly not many computers have CD players anymore but you can never go wrong with a flash disk. 

Add your background music to this 16GB junk drive and have it ready to give to the DJ or to the facilitator of the event so that when it is your turn to perform, you can have it on hand and ready for usage.


 5. Bose L1 Compact With Carry Case and Speaker Bag

I feel like this story is important to share in order to make relevant the importance of this product to a performing singer/songwriter. 

I was supposed to do this gig on day and a musical individual I know told me that as long as I do gigs at this particular venue, I could use his sound system and he would keep it there. The day of the gig came and for some reason, every half hour, the musicians kept calling me and asking me if they wanted me to bring their sound system and I would say no because there was one at the venue. After about being called ten times with the same question, I contacted the musical individual who initially told me that I could use his sound system anytime and he told me that he took it out and further argued that it was his and he could do whatever he wanted with it

Thank God I had great musicians working with me who I consider friends. Never a bad idea to have your own though. And so, I invested in one and it was one of the best moves I have ever made because you never know if the venue will have one available to you.




This particular one I love because I am a female and I can carry this which is not so heavy on the train and have the ability to maneuver it without much effort. It works very well and amplifies my voice just the way that it should. I have used it for indoor gigs. I have used it for outdoor gigs and it provided sound just the way that it should. I love my Bose system and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great amplification system.  


6. Pyle 3 Piece Professional Dynamic Microphone Kit with Carrying Case

As a singer/songwriter, sure a club should have everything there for you to use and perhaps you should just be able to walk in and blow away but, who has handled the microphone that is being provided? 

How often do they clean these mics that everybody and their mamas have sneezed into, spit into while singing and coughed into before it is your turn to use it? I say that because as singers, we get colds, laryngitis and other throat infections and may still sing while ailing.  At times, nothing will keep us from trying to do what we love and if are able, will do it even with just 10% of our strength available to us. But, who said that there is a mic available for you to use at all?




This set comes with three mics, the cables for the mics, the mic clips and a carrying case. You could never go wrong with at least having your own mic on deck just in case. 

7.  Cardinal Economy Round Ring View Binders, 4 Per Pack

For the singer/songwriter who also composes and has the ability to write out chords, this set of binders is perfect to provide to the musicians to easily read and play along with the scores that you add inside.




Makes it easy to simply add the charts in the order of the set and to neatly turn the pages inside of the binders for the next song at hand. 

8.  Vocal Yoga: The Joy of Breathing, Singing and Sounding

Maynard Ferguson once said that he gained the ability to hit all those high notes that he uses by doing yoga. Yoga is a great way to stretch out your muscles and I think it would be no different when it applies to the vocal chords.

 


What I like about yoga is that it also engages creativity and creates a nice flow of ideas to open up. Yoga teaches you how to breathe better and it is tremendous in helping to keep the wind instrument of the human voice healthy. Vocal Yoga provides awesome exercises in this book. 

9.  Music Theory for Singers



I have to say that music theory is a good way to increase the flow of creativity because it gives you an extra set of sounds and ideas to work with. Scales, intervals and minors all added to what we are able to hear, even with the process of writing a song. Knowing different chords can open up a songwriter’s ears to so many possibilities.


Music Theory for Singers is a great way to inspire those creative people in your life who continually try to seek ideas to spark their creativity and then prostitute their talent. This is a great gift to actively play the part of sparking new ideas into the life of the singer/songwriter you know and love.

10. Microphone Pendant Necklace




You can never go wrong with jewelry and I do not know about any other musician, but for me, anything that has music symbols on it, sparks my interest. And so, this necklace is something I would love.


It has a microphone, is .925 sterling and is an 18-inch necklace. Very stylish and cute for any musician who I think would actually love this gift.

 11. Lyrics Notebook

I love notebooks and am still someone who favors writing in a book then just on a page on a word document. I carry books around and am constantly scribbling down something that has inspired me that I use in a song, story, blog, poem or something else. And so, I am always looking for the prettiest notebook out there that can make me smile.



The lyric notebook makes me smile because it is musical. It is made particularly for a music lover, musician or songwriter. It has 104 pages and is a great journal to have to write down new song ideas that you may have. Great gift for any songwriter. 

12. Songwriter Big Cup of Awesome


 


I am always with a big cup of coffee, tea or water and you can find me up at all times of the night trying to apply the song ideas that I wrote to music. So what better idea than a cup that says it all. Yes I am a big cup of wonderful with a dash of personality and yes, I would love this cup.


Perfect for me or for any musician who loves things that are musical. The message is unique and lovable and shows support for what the singer/songwriter in your life presently loves to do and does. 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year

When it comes to getting gifts for my loved ones, I always look for ways to add a bit of joy to their lives and to get something that is unique and that they will love. Usually, I am done my Christmas shopping by now but I can admit that I did not even step outside to go to any store on Black Friday. 

But now with just a few weeks until the first day of Christmas arrives, I am left at liberty to truly think about what will make the people in my life smile. Hopefully these musical ideas might be something you will consider and perhaps will spark inspiration in the singer/songwriter in your life.

Disclosure

I am a consumer and a singer and songwriter who has had experience using many of these items and who thinks that these items would make great gifts. This is not a sponsored post. I have not been hired to write about any of the products mentioned for pay. These are my personal views on products that may interest another singer/writer. I however, am an Amazon affiliate and if you should choose to purchase any of these items by clicking on the links provided, I will recieve compensation..