Crowd for Kid sister
As a bonafide Gen Xer, I have to admit I love house, electronic, DJ music etc. – if it’s good. Truth be told, I was a “closet” fan of the genre for many years. No one I knew in my hometown of Olympia, WA liked it. And at that time Olympia was the mecca of grunge, punk etc. and whole lot of country music. (No wonder I felt a bit out of place. 🙂 )

So peer pressure being what it is… I spent many hours listening to my Moby and Chemical Brothers CDs (and SWV, Boys II Men, Tevin Campbell…) alone in my room with the door firmly shut. It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego, California that I was able to come out of the “musical closet”, so to speak. What changed? The simple answer:  The Illfonix show hosted by DJ Sachamo.  Ilfonix

In a nutshell, DJ Sachamo is crazy talented. Effortlessly he mixes jazz, blues, hip hop (the old hip hop too – love that!), soul and R&B together in ways that are fresh, profound and comforting to the soul (at least mine). This may sound completely corny, but his music makes me remember why I love what I love. It also makes me believe in the power of music to connect with people, create community and affect social changeagain, which was something I’d lost along the way somewhere.   SACHauzce5-original

Listen for yourself and be the judge.

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If you’re ever in San Diego and want/need to seriously and soulfully get down or if want to produce some seriously good music, you have to check out DJ Sachamo.

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JCSmith

Have you ever had this experience? You check out a local open mic/jam and are blown away by the talent.  That happened to me at Redwood City’s Blues Jam at the Fox Theater. Two minutes into the experience, I was getting down on the dance floor thinking to myself,

  1. “This band is off the hook!”
  2. “I’ve discovered a gem.”
  3. “I can’t believe I only paid $5 to get in. I’ll be back!”

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When I walked into the Fox Club that Wednesday night and heard the soulful, solid blues riffs the J.C. Smith Band was bringing – I pinched myself. I couldn’t believe it (and frankly still can’t). How could a band this good be so accessible?  JCSmith_CD2_photo_for_1pageSMLR Come to find out the J.C. Smith Band is the 2012 Best Band of Silicon Valley and was named a “Best Contemporary Blues CD” at the 2010 Grammy Awards. In fact, their latest album “Defining Cool” climbed the charts as high as #25 nationally.

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Not surprisingly, the band tours the globe (Chicago, Russia, Argentina, Brazil etc.), but, very thankfully, has alot of local gigs in the Bay Area (San Jose, Los Gatos, Napa, Monterey etc.). So there’s no excuse to not go check them out!

J.C. Band Schedule

Club Fox Blues Jam Schedule

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p.s. I’m not J.C. Band’s publicist. I just love their music.

I don’t know about you, but there are artists that have changed my life. Over ten years later, I can still recall in great detail the very first moment I heard Jill Scott. Some how I came upon her record Who is Jill Scott? in a coffee shop in North Park, San Diego and that was “It” for me!

Who is Jill Scott? album cover
I was in love, intrigued, inspired and enthralled. Her beats, poetic rhythm, profound use of language. positivity, honesty, soulfulness and sound effects had me hooked from the very first track “Jilltro.” I ran that poor CD into the ground. (Thank God for iTunes.)

Who is your favorite life changing artist?

 

Photo 109Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. The hot chocolate, main street lined with beautifully lit trees, the latest gadgets hitting stores, visiting family, parties with friends… BUT one thing that gets to me is the small repertoire of holiday music radio stations and stores play. Put simply, I want more SOUL and less schmaltz in my holiday. That’s what it’s about right!

Luckily there are groups like Sounds of Blackness to infuse some life and spirit into the season. I know them from songs like “Hold On (Change is Come’n” (which I love) and “Optimistic“, but just recently discovered their Christmas albums. Check out their “Soul Holidays” song.


She’s been one of my favorite’s for a long-time. Some think she’s a country singer, but she’s blues baby! In fact, Bonnie Raitt is one of the finest blues guitarists of our time –  with the voice to match. When I’m having a hard day, I find myself singing “Turn down the lights, turn down the bed, turn down these voices inside my head… I can’t make you love me“.

Hi Bay Area songwriters & bands!

I’m looking to connect with positive like-minded songwriters and bands to collaborate and sing with. My musical interests include Soul, Neo-Soul, Blues, R&B, Jazz, and Gospel.

Prior to moving to the Bay Area in June 2012, I sang Bessie Smithcontemporary and historic African American gospel spirituals with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir for over four years performing in countless concerts (locally & abroad) as part of both the large and small ensembles.  I also performed in the choir’s All About the Blues annual fundraiser playing legendary blues singer Bessie Smith and one of The Supremes.

I thrive on collaborative projects and while in San Diego worked with artists at Lost Ark Studios. Bands I’ve worked with include Old Tiger, Jesse LaMonaca & The Dime Novels, and Mother Belle.

MUSICAL INTERESTS:  Soul, R&B, Blues, Gospel and Neo-Soul

GOALS:

  1. To collaboratively write songs with positive, like-minded artists
  2. Connect with artists to record and/or perform on a regular basis