So I stick by my theory that if you don’t see me (or hear me) it means I’m working. This past week I was in 4 countries, and still did 4 shows in New York City.
Interesting highlights from the past 2 weeks include:
YKASEC: I sang at a gala for this Korean National Organization for Human Rights, named YKASEC. They are so amazing because, they not only focus on Korean-American issues, but rather, reach across the board to assist with issues of human rights and social justice for people of all persuasions. This is probably a reason why they have been successful for so long – in existence for 24 years – and why their network is large and convincing. It was a moving night that rejuvenated me. And then…I suddenly found myself in a Korean Karaoke bar in the heart of Flushing, NY, screaming Bon Jovi and Madonna at the top of my lungs. I did this only because the President of YKASEK is so charming and insisted that I join the after party. Gam-be!
CULTURE BANDIT SOUL: Once again, we found our experiment to be a success! Vanessa Hidary and I were embraced by another standing ovation at our last production. The night had some new elements including, projections of images throughout the show, the addition of a spoken monologue by me, and humanitarian outreach. To see this very special theater piece grow, is beautiful. Of particular note, we are happy to say that our fans helped to raise over $800 for Voices UnBroken. The money was raised that night by individual donations and the silent auction of a painting by Josana Blue. Our first featured nonprofit, Voices UnBroken, is an organization that provides creative writing workshops for underserved youth, including those who have fallen into the jail system. We give thanks to all who have shown enthusiastic support, and are looking forward to our next event in February. One fan wrote: “My friends and I were blown away by the deep cleansing the ladies and the band brought to all of us…Reminds me of the sixties:-)”
SLOVENIA: So, you know I am in this ongoing love affair with Eastern Europe. I mean, who can help it? They treat me like a Queen and keep asking me to come back. I have to give a moment of props to Gibonni. He is a magical artist that has surrounded himself with phenomenal musicians. They are dope. I mean that by NY standards! Gibo has been a generous super star for 20 years and manages to connect in a personal way with his audience, no matter how large. One of the most connected concerts I sang with him was in front of 20,000 fans. It is hair raising to hear thousands of fans sing every single word, of every song, at the top of their lungs. It goes to show you, that the spirit is not about the size of the room, or how loud you talk, but rather that there is something real being exchanged. Slovenia is a neighboring country to Croatia. We had two concerts there last week in a very cool theater about the size of Town Hall in mid town Manhattan. I get exhausted sometimes, and being there in a strange place because of music, reminds me that I’m alive. Let me give you links to check out what’s going on out there on that side of the world.
MELVIN VAN PEEBLES FOUNDATION: I almost forgot! On Friday, me and a small version of my band performed at the high society benefit for film maker, actor, activist, trendsetter, Melvin Van Peebles. His foundation sponsors assistive education for inner city youth to help them determine career paths. The event had a juke joint theme and took place at The Player’s Club in Gramercy. The antique townhouse had an intimate crowd of guests including Terry McMillan, Lisa Ortiz (producer of Monster Ball), Victoria Rowell (The Young and the Restless), etc. I was decked out in an original dress designed by Raphael Huggins for Raphael 6. I witnessed them raise at least $10,000 for the cause.
INFINITE FAMILY: On Monday the 17th, there was a wonderful benefit to raise awareness and funds for youth in South Africa. The New York-based organization connects AIDS and HIV-challenged teens in South Africa with international professionals and individuals through Internet mentoring. The sponsors become face-to-face mentors through web cam technology. My acoustic trio performed, adding musical motivation to the crop of supporters. I saw one auction bid for $18,000! That was just one. I am so blessed to be asked to sing at events that make a difference in the lives of youth.
NEW CD: Its coming along! We went in and did most of the background vocal overdubs a couple weeks ago. Thanks Pete Miser, I know still owe you money…..umm…does it help to know that other people owe ME money?
Newark NJ. December 5th. Key Club. 8PM. Maya Azucena concert. Host and guest performer Luquantumleap.
Detroit MI BAYBEEEE. December 6th. 1515 Broadway. 9PM. Other performers include Amp Fiddler, Soul Tree and Sparrow.