Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I wish you a happy Holiday Season, a very Merry and spectacularly amazing New Year!  May 2014 bring you and yours joy, peace, health and abundance.

2013 Recap

2013 has been an incredible year!  Many triumphs, some heartaches, but overall it was a good year:

    • January:
      • I performed at 2 Presidential Inauguration events with Stevie Wonder!
    • February:
      • I performed at a Super Bowl pre-game event with Stevie Wonder!  And then I went to the Super Bowl and watched the home team (49ers) nearly win!
      • Black History Month performance on KQED, starting at 36:43
      • I lost my beloved Grandmother Betty.  Rest in Peace, beautiful lady...
    • April
    • May
      • I auditioned for and was hired to play keys for Posse 2.0 on the Arsenio Hall Show! The toughest secret I've ever had to keep...
      • I performed at the Hangout Festival with Stevie Wonder
    • July
      • I performed in Quebec with Stevie Wonder, and finally revealed my new job, with Stevie's blessing!
      • Yoshi's Concert of my original compositions!
      • Farewell party and jam session
    • August
      • Relocated to Los Angeles, to a friend's home
      • Started rehearsals with Posse 2.0
      • My last performance as a regular member of Stevie Wonder's band…a very emotional day for me...
    • September
      • 9/9/13 History in the making!  Arsenio Hall is back, and #backisbeautiful!
      • Posse 2.0 performs for the UN in New York!
    • October
      • Began working on my CD project at Spicemix!
    • November
    • December
      • Pacific Mozart Ensemble debuted my arrangement of the Negro Spiritual "Over My Head"!
      • Watched my first Stevie Wonder concert as a fan.  Nostalgic at first, but that quickly transformed into EUPHORIA! #bestconcertever
      • The Arsenio Hall Show completed it's first 13 week segment!  Ratings are up, everyone is getting in their groove, and we're ready to take on 2014!  Please keep watching and tell everyone you know to watch too!
    What an amazing year!  I'm humbled and honored to be living the life that I do.  I take none of it for granted, but wake up every morning with gratitude and determination to share the gifts I've been given.

    I am specifically grateful to:

    • Stevie Wonder, for believing in me and choosing me to be part of his team for 6 amazing years.  I am eternally grateful, and hope that I continue to make you proud in all that I do.  I love you forever...
    • Arsenio Hall, for inviting me to be part of his team in his triumphant return to television.  Thank you for giving me the best job on television and for being such a wonderful person and fantastic leader!
    • Robin DiMaggio, Rob Bacon, Alex Al, Sean Holt, AKA Posse 2.0, for adopting me as their "little sister", and making me proud every time we hit the stage.  It's an honor to perform with each one of you.  You are THE BEST!
    • Everyone in Stevie Wonder's organization (band, staff, crew), and at the Arsenio Hall Show (staff, administration, crew) for creating the best work environment possible.  I cherish you all!

    And I thank YOU for the love, support, encouragement and friendship that you've shared with me this year.  Let's all make 2014 the best year yet!  Carpe diem

    I'm switching to a new mailing list format soon and will no longer be sending messages the way I have for the past several years..  Please visit my website and join officially join my mailing list!  And please follow me on various social networking platforms.

    Sunday, December 15, 2013


    Since no one is paying me to write reviews of people's records, I'm a Beyoncé fan.  So, this is my 2 minute review of Beyoncé's  new album.  Timer set...go!

    The woman is brilliant.  Yes, the images are more provocative than my conservative taste prefers, but I appreciate how she embraces feminine sexuality and power.  I have questions about the decision to have such a huge slant toward objectification of female body parts (particularly her booty), after all, we NEVER see male artists of her caliber showing off their near nude bodies in this way (even when they actually are extremely beautiful men).  But overall, it's a work of art.  I could say more, but running out of time...

    I was overwhelmed by the videos, so I need to keep listening to the music to gauge my opinion of it.

    Favorite song, no question, is "Flawless".  It's bringing out the Oakland girl in me.  "I woke up like this..."

    Second favorite, "Grown Woman".  So far anyway.

    Favorite video is "Ghost".  Stunning.

    I also loved the videos for "Grown Woman", "Blue", the dancers in "Mine".

    I'm a fan.  I'd still prefer less focus on her booty...but again, I'm conservative.

    Times up!

    Saturday, November 30, 2013

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Hello friends!

    Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoyed a most beautiful holiday.  My holiday had some challenges, but overall left me in a state of gratitude.  Therefore, it was a blessing!

    It's been a while since I've sent a message or written a blog.  I've been quite busy and have experienced a few major life changes/challenges (personal and business), but I'm adjusting well to my new job, new city and new life.

    For those who don't know (I'm sure a few of you exist), I started performing nightly on the Arsenio Hall Show as part of the Posse 2.0, beginning September 9, 2013.  In order to take the new job, I had to move to Los Angeles.  At first I was living with friends, and I've just recently moved into my own apartment, relatively close to work.  So close, that I don't have a commute!!  A simple miracle in Los Angeles!

    I love the job, and the opportunity for further musical growth that it affords me.  I've been practicing, composing and singing more than ever, and having a great time!  Arsenio Hall is such an awesome person, as are all of the guys in the Posse 2.0 band (Music Director, Robin DiMaggio, Bassist Alex Al, Guitarist Rob "Fonksta" Bacon, Multi-Instrumentalist/Singer Sean Holt).  They all treat me with the utmost respect, and have created a very friendly, safe, close-knit environment.  I couldn't have asked for more.  Please keep watching the show!  And tell your friends!  I want to keep my job for as long as possible!

    Of course, I do miss touring with Stevie (and all of my friends from his band), but after all of the amazing experiences I've had around the world playing the music of and sharing the stage with one of the greatest musical minds of all time, I can only smile and be grateful for every minute.  I will be grateful to Stevie Wonder for the rest of my life.  Truly.

    As for composing, last year, I received an email message from Dr. Lynne Morrow, the Music Director of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, seeking new arrangements of Spirituals for the group's tour of Cuba.  I immediately began arranging, but didn't finish in time for their trip.  When I eventually finished the arrangement (of the Spiritual "Over My Head"), I emailed it to Dr. Morrow, and she selected it for their 2013 Winter Concerts!  My first choral arrangement (since high school) will receive it's debut performance on the following dates:

    Friday, December 13,  2013
    1187 Franklin Street
    San Francisco
    Buy Tickets

    Saturday, December 14, 2013
    2727 College Ave. Berkeley

    I hope you can make it to at least one of the concerts.  I'll be attending the show on December 14.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Blessings & Music,


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