Someone slapped a label on June as a month to celebrate Black Music, and this year I ran with it – though I’ve cherished music on a daily basis!
The month kicked off with a live PJ Morton performance at The Apollo Café … sheer joy is all that I can say! It is such a wonderful experience to be at an event with a room filled with like-minded folks who feel as much love for a musician as you do. When PJ sang, the audience came to life and matched him, lyric-for-lyric without missing a beat! PJ and his band, along with background singer, Tiondria Norris – whose beautifully stunning voice caught my ear immediately – thrilled us with songs from his new critically acclaimed project, Gumbo but also traveled through his library of listener’s favorites, which date back to years gone by!
There is something to be said about witnessing a creative mind truly in their element of enjoying their masterpiece. The photos of PJ were craftily captured by my sisterfriend and former ONUTSS business partner, Pam Nichols.
See what I mean…?
Spending time with friends like Pam and Elsa Lathan – who were introduced to me by a movement called, ‘Great Music’ – is a gift. One that I have come to treasure more with each passing day!
I was also blessed to catch Eric Roberson at the Queens Public Library in full concert! He was backed by my friend, DMaurice Macklin (DMo Soul), who also performed a short opening set with singer, Claudia Melton. Claudia has a beautiful voice and will be releasing her debut project in early 2018. I’m looking forward to hearing that.
The show was great – and I have not seen Eric perform in quite some time, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But, nothing tops his especially infamous gift of closing a show with an impromptu song comprised of words contributed by the audience. I was hearing the words being tossed out and thinking that there would be no way that he could craft a story to a melody with these doosies: renaissance, hot sauce, toes, kujichagulia, Africa, navel rubbing, etc.
I was so wrong!
Check it out and listen carefully (lol).
#BucketListAdventures is the label I applied to having the opportunity to finally see another of New Orleans’ finest musicians, Trombone Shorty perform in Westbury, Long Island!
This was by far one of the best musical experiences I’ve had in life! Although I spent the bulk of my years on Long Island, I’ve never had a reason to attend a performance at The Space – but I am checking their calendar for anything of interest in the coming months! There was the standing room – floor area which was packed! (at least 1200 folks) And the seated area for us seasoned saints, like me who can no longer put pressure on a chronically achy back. I had a great view of the stage – and enough space to chair dance, praise God – because during that concert Trombone Shorty took us to church and back on a tambourine, a trumpet and his trombone! His vocals are on point as well — the brother is tremendously gifted. He is a bundle of talent and has the makings of a rock star/jazzy icon/hip hop connoisseur – all in one.
I thought my live music adventures were done until Lady Alma, one of the most beautiful sisterfriends’ God has blessed me with extended an invitation to me to see her onstage, in her element alongside the fabulous, Donnie. I had an hour to get out of bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Queens highway and head back into Manhattan. I’m beyond grateful, and so glad that I was able to go to the Highline Ballroom last Wednesday!
Alm, as I affectionately call her – has been a gift to me. And what is even more phenomenal is that over the years that we’ve grown close – this would be our very first time to lay eyes on one another! She cried and I fought back my tears. Nonetheless I was utterly blessed!
This show was abbreviated for what I’ve come to witness from Donnie. I wish he would have performed more of my favorite songs from The Colored Section, but it is great to see him back on the scene, LIVE and in his element!
It was also wonderful to catch up with folks that I have not seen in quite some time: DJ Conscience, James Day, Jodine Dorce and others.
I found myself listening to more new music during the month of June also. Stokley, best known to the world as the front man in the band, Mint Condition dropped a long awaited solo album, Introducing Stokley.
To be truly honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the album when the preview links showed up in my email. I have become so used to hearing Stokley backed by the MC fellas – this was a diversion that I just prayed to love. The first song to grab me was Organic. For someone suffering from alopecia in today’s world when hair is so important to sisters – be it natural or lacefront human hair wigs – mine is gone, and will never return. So ‘organic Trel’ is all you’ll ever get. Personally, this song became my testimony and I rocked it on repeat for days!! Thankfully A. Scott Galloway conducted, and shared a perfect interview with Stokley that filled in all missing voids where a booklet of liner notes in a cd could have answered any questions. Here’s a link to the article, which every fan should take a moment to peruse. Trust me, you’ll get stuck reading through it in its entirety just like I did! (LINK) The album has other nice cuts, but there’s just something about Organic that blesses me with each listen.
JUNE: I celebrated Black Music and so very much more! I celebrated ME!