Posts tagged with "jazz"

Black Wall Street via Big Hassle Media for use by 360 Magazine

Nikara Warren – Black Wall Street

Vibraphonist, composer, arranger, and educator Nikara Warren is excited to announce her debut album Nikara Presents Black Wall Street, due out November 12, 2021. To ring in the announcement, Warren has shared the jazzy, rap-centered single “Run Ricky.”  Stream it on Spotify HERE and Apple Music HERE. Warren has several performances slated through the rest of the year, not least among them the Nikara Presents Black Wall Street album release show at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) on Saturday, November 13. See below for the full list of upcoming performances.

The granddaughter of towering piano legend Kenny Barron, Warren has labored to solidify the album as a celebration of Black excellence in music, a joyous celebration of cultures, genres, identities, and resilience. While she is an accomplished vibraphonist and a true student of jazz, Warren’s music is an ecstatic celebration of many musical styles, from soul and funk to rock and rap, and everything in between.

Nikara Warren is a true Brooklynite. Born and bred in the eclectic and electric enclave, her family, her friends, her band, and her musical pedigree are a microcosm of the county at large. Her grandfather is world-renowned jazz pianist Kenny Barron, and she’s the daughter of a half Trinidadian soca/dancehall lover father, and a classic 1990s “Brooklyn Round the Way” girl mother. 

“I would wake up hearing Dizzy Gillespie; get in the car with my mom and listen to TLC; be dropped off at school and listen to System of a Down or The Who; play Charles Mingus in band; hear Biggie on the way home, and listen to Trio de Paz or some Brazilian music while eating dinner. Rhythm was always key,” she explains.

Today, Nikara celebrates Black excellence in music with her triumphant debut album, Nikara Presents Black Wall Street, out November 12. The provocative and evocative title commemorates the horrific Tulsa massacre when white mobs in Tulsa, Oklahoma attacked Black residents and their destroyed homes and businesses. It’s a day that has cast a dark shadow on Black achievement, though Nikara prefers to honor her Black ancestries’ splendor with a joyous celebration of cultures, genres, identities, and resilience.

“Back in 2012, when Trayvon Martin was killed, there was a lot happening in the news. I grew up in Brooklyn so it wasn’t uncommon to hear about people being assaulted and killed by cops, but it was uncommon for it to be televised,” Nikara recalls. She continues: “Around this time, I learned about Black Wall Street, and I started to understand the greatness of being Black through music. With my album, I wanted to get across the excellence of our heritage and create something new and modern from the Black Diaspora music culture in the West.”

As a composer, a musician, and an educator, Nikara is reimagining vibes. She is taking the instrument to the people with her infectious compositional sense, her post-modern patchwork of influences and cultural signposts, and her fearless musicality. Her bold quest comes from being well-versed in the vibraphone lineage, but seeking to adventure beyond it. 

Nikara earned a scholarship to the esteemed Berklee College of Music, and she was selected for the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program for original composition in 2013 and 2014. Nikara has performed as a part of SF Jazz’s “Women on The Rise” program, highlighting notable upcoming women in the jazz industry. In addition, Nikara has performed Black Wall Street compositions at NYC Winter Jazz Fest and at The Kennedy Center. 

Nikara grew up with her grandfather in the house, so naturally piano was her first instrument. Around the age of 14 Nikara switched to bass. She first heard vibes being played at the legendary Village Vanguard in her grandpa’s jazz ensemble, featuring the masterful Stefon Harris. Nikara was always a percussive person, and the vibes percussive and melodic capabilities instantly appealed to her. 

Despite her passion for the vibes, Nikara had her sights set on being a music business mogul. She landed a promising job after college, but soon found she craved more creativity than the 9-5 grind offered. In 2012, Nikara started shedding the vibes relentlessly, and by 2015 left her job to dedicate her life to becoming a composer and an artist. That fateful year was the dawn of the Black Wall Street music and artistic perspective. 

All of Nikara’s personal, cultural, familial, and musical journeys converge on Black Wall Street. Here, she explores an abstract sound-collage: hip-hop, jazz, neo-soul, Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and more. Her vision is cohesive but eclectic, just like how people’s identities are a product of their various heritages and associations. 

Black Wall Street, the album and the musical vision, has become synonymous with the band, in fact, Nikara performs under the Black Wall Street moniker. The musicians are bonded together mainly by being Brooklynites, and what a Brooklyn upbringing represents in terms of cultural references and musical pedigrees. The album features Nikara Warren on vibes, Kenny Barron on piano, Paul “bae.bro” Wilson on keys, Hailey Niswanger on tenor sax, Stephen “Khemestry” Fowler on trumpet, Parker McAllister on bass, Corey Sanchez on guitar, and David Frazier, Jr. on drums and spd (sampling pad demo). 

The 10-album explores topics of race, gender, body positivity, personal-revelation, and acceptance. These weighty subjects are contextualized within a feel-good sensibility. “There is so much pain associated with the Black experience and within Black music. It was important to me to offset this by expressing joy, and making the music fun,” Nikara notes. 

Select album standouts include “Heather Gray,” featuring Kenny Barron, “Run Ricky,” “Mona Lisa,” featuring Nikara’s sister Be.Be, and “Womb Woes.” “Heather Gray” is the closest thing on the album to a jazz composition. It features an infectious groove and a spare chord change so the players can have fun blowing over it. “Run Ricky” is a politically-charged, dancehall-tinged hip-hop joint with a stinging narrative. The story arc is a modern tragedy of a Black artist unjustly killed by police. “Run Ricky” feels all too real, and it features glowering lines such as: Looked into his pocket they figured his vision/Blood stained fist with an eye drawn on some loose leaf/Photo went viral on Newsweek.

Nikara explores smoldering neo-soul on “Mona Lisa.” This is a love lost ballad of, and it features cinematic lyrics such as: She can never be like me/I’ll give it time for love to end/My solitary cigarette/Is all I have us have/Is this me? The track is sung by Nikara’s younger sister, Be.Be, a promising artist in her own right, and it gets a satiny reworking later on in the record with vocalist Melanie JB Charles. On the ensemble jazz piece, “Womb Woes,” Nikara addresses womanhood, female identity, and gender struggles. The song is made that much more potent by its screaming tenor sax solo courtesy of Hailey Niswanger. 

It took 6 years to realize the vision of Black Wall Street. Nikara says: “It felt like it was important to take my time and get everything right. When it was finished, I remember I was super amped up and screaming in my room listening to it. It felt like it came out so purely with a momentum all its own.” Up next, Nikara is raring to get back in the studio and flex her arrangement chops, possibly on a repertoire of classic R&B.

music Ivory Rowen illustration for 360 Magazine.

Denver Comes Alive – New Band

Denver Comes Alive will return to Mission Ballroom for its second annual event. Produced by Live For Live Music in partnership with AEG, Denver Comes Alive promises a full day of live sets and unique projects featuring an array of live music greats.

A limited number of $29.50 early bird tickets will be available via pre-sale starting Thursday, October 7 at 10 AM MT (code:liveforlivemusic). General on sale begins Friday, October 8 at 10 AM MT. Fans can elevate their Denver Comes Alive experience with a VIP package that includes exclusive access to a private lounge with a bar and food provided by Lou’s Italian Specialties in the West Balcony, as well as a private viewing area with seats.

Inspired by the vibrant live music culture of New Orleans, LA and its famed Jazz & Heritage Festival, Denver Comes Alive will offer up a mix of never-before-seen collaborations and nationally touring bands. In true Comes Alive fashion, the 2021 event will feature the world premiere of a new band, Ramble On Revival. The all-star ensemble features Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company) Steve Kimock (Phil Lesh & Friends), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Holly Bowling (Ghost Light), Jeff Sipe (Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit), Skerik, and Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), who will pull from their interconnected musical lineages to deliver a performance steeped in the spirit of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, and more.

In addition to the debut of Ramble On Revival, the thoughtfully curated 2021 Denver Comes Alive lineup will feature Grammy-nominated New Orleans soul/funk/jazz/hip-hop/spoken word outfit Tank and the Bangas, beloved instrumental dance band Circles Around The Sun, former Prince and Michael Jackson collaborator Judith Hill, and more. The one-day event, hosted by SiriusXM’s Ari Fink, will also feature DJLogic performing between sets and a live painting exhibition/pop-up gallery by beloved New Orleans artist Frenchy.

“The last Denver Comes Alive took place a month before the pandemic hit and is my last memory of being at a sold-out, indoor show, dancing until my feet hurt without a care in the world,” says Kunj Shah, founder of Live For Live Music. “Over the course of the next year, we put on four virtual Comes Alive events and raised over $500,000 for charity, but we’ve been itching to get back to the live setting.”

Shah adds, This time around, we’re going to incorporate a bunch of incredible nonprofit organizations, various members of the Denver and New Orleans communities, and a truly diverse group of musicians to really make this event come alive.

Denver Comes Alive will donate a portion of proceeds to New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC), which provides comprehensive medical care and social services to local musicians, performing artists, cultural workers, and tradition bearers. In the wake of the devastating Hurricane Ida, the organization is actively working to provide immediate relief for its most vulnerable patients and clients.

In addition to NOMC, Live For Live Music and Denver Comes Alive are proud to partner with Conscious Alliance, a network of creatives using their time and talents to feed millions of hungry families across the US. In addition to a Conscious Alliance food drive at the event, all proceeds from sales of a unique Art That Feeds’ Denver Comes Alive 2021 poster will go toward sending a semi-truck filled with food to New Orleans to directly aid families struggling in Ida’s aftermath.

HeadCount and GrooveSafe will also have a presence on-site. HeadCount is a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. GrooveSafe aims to cultivate consent culture and create a no-tolerance environment for sexual misconduct.

Prepare for this year’s Denver Comes Alive by reliving 2020’s highlights here.

Get tickets for Denver Comes Alive 2021 starting this Friday here and find more information on the lineup below.

Ramble On Revival:

Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company, Ramble On Revival)

Steve Kimock (Phil Lesh & Friends)

Eric Krasno (Soulive)

Holly Bowling (Ghost Light)

Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit)

Jen Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band)

Plus performances by:

Tank and the Bangas

Circles Around the Sun

Judith Hill

+ DJ Logic Spinning Between Sets

Hosted by Ari Fink (SiriusXM)

Sonos × Erykah Badu × Kareem Abdul-Jabaar

Today Sonos revealed their fall line-up of original programming coming to Sonos Radio and Sonos Radio HD, including a new artist-curated station from the queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu and a collaboration station from Impulse! Records and avid jazz fan and historian Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The platform also announced plans to roll out additional sleep and holiday stations, alongside new premieres and seasons of its popular podcast-style shows on Sonos Sound System. The new programming gives fans even more ways to discover the music and content they love on Sonos Radio, with hand-selected tracks to soundtrack every moment of their day.

“Sonos Radio has seen explosive growth in the last year, with listening hours nearly doubling as consumers embrace the golden age of audio and spend more time streaming their favorite music, audiobooks and podcasts at home,” explained Joe Dawson, Director of Content and Brand Platforms at Sonos. “In a year where artists and consumers have been stripped of in-person concerts and festivals, Sonos Radio has become an important platform for creators to develop unique audio experiences and reach their fans directly where they are – at home.”

Available to all customers globally in the app, Sonos Radio will launch a new slate of programming this Fall to help inspire and feed fans’ love of music, while bringing unexpected moments of joy into the home.

Erykah Badu’s BADUBOTRON Radio blasts off as Badu takes you outta this world and into her sonic orbit. A space where music genres are stars and the galaxy is filled with psychedelic funk, retro soul, classic rock, spiritual jazz and experimental hip hop. A trip to Badu’s curated station will take your mind exactly where it needs to go.

Impulse! Records Radio hosted by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar commemorates the 60th anniversary of the legendary Jazz label that’s home to all-time greats including John and Alice Coltrane, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and more. As host of the station, basketball hall of famer, activist and jazz historian Abdul-Jabbar will revisit the role of jazz music in his upbringing and its deep roots in African American history and culture.

Expanded sleep stations composed and mastered by Mikael Jorgensen of the Grammy Award-winning band Wilco will include Slow Motion Freeway, Waterfall at Dusk, Warm Glow and Midnight Beach (all HD only).

New seasonal stations to soundtrack your holiday festivities including Fright Night (HD only), Horror Punk, Monster Bash and Infinite Darkness to haunt your Halloween and Thankful, Tanz, Joyous Kwanzaa and Country Christmas to bring the yuletide cheer home for the holidays.

A growing lineup of internationally-relevant programming will uncover the sights and sounds of underground music scenes across the world, including Garage Skank in the UK, Schlager Charts in Germany and Nederhop in The Netherlands.

New show premieres on Sonos Sound System including Imaginary Soundtracks, Famous Last Words, Dada Strain Radio, and Music is Everything. All shows can be streamed on-demand in the in-app archive and on Mixcloud.

Running back the fan favorites on Sonos Sound System with season two of Sheroes Mixtape Memoir and Call & Response and season five of Radio Hour guests, including Junglepussy, CAN, Angelique Kidjo, George Clinton, Seinabo Sey, Anika, Kero Kero Bonito and more. All shows can be streamed on-demand in the in-app archive and on Mixcloud.

Sonos Radio is available free for all Sonos customers globally, pre-loaded in the Sonos app. Sonos Radio HD offers an expanded catalogue of original content streaming ad-free in high-definition, CD-quality audio with skips and repeats, currently available in the US, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Austria and France. Listeners everywhere can tune-in to select Sonos Radio shows through Mixcloud, and stay up-to-date with the latest Sonos Radio updates by following on Instagram.

Les Paul illustration by Mina Tocalini at 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Les Paul – New Website

The all-new Les-Paul.com website has officially launched and is the most comprehensive and interactive source for information and entertainment relating to the legendary Les Paul. The acclaimed inventor and musician are known for numerous inventions and innovations that changed the way musicians play music, engineers record music, and the way fans hear music. Les was a pioneer and is arguably the most important individual in the history of the modern music industry. The exciting new website is divided into five sections: The Inventor, The Musician, The Foundation, Education, and Music. Visitors will enjoy hours of amazing videos and other content in which to explore the life and career of the man who is revered by musicians worldwide in every genre of music. The site’s new homepage opens with a slide show edited to Les’ own music and features highlights of his extraordinary life. 

The INVENTOR section features additional Les Paul videos and includes “The Solid Body Electric Guitar is Born,” “Broomstick with Pick Ups On It,” a CNN segment, “The Les Pulverizer” featuring Les Paul and Jose Feliciano on Dick Clark’s live show, “The Log” educational video and other outstanding segments about Sound on Sound, The First Tape Machine, The Lathe and the 8-Track Recorder, The Les Paul Studio Tour, “The Thomas Edison of Recording,” and original videos of Les Paul accepting The Inventors Hall of Fame award and many more.  Never before has such an extensive collection of such rare or rarely-seen videos, rare or rarely-viewed been available on one dedicated website. 

Fans can hear legends including Peter Frampton, Sting, Stevie Wonder, producer Don Was, Steve Vai, and Sir Paul McCartney and Slash all pay homage to Les Paul.

The MUSICIAN section celebrates Les’ impact on countless artists from Sir Paul McCartney to Slash. It speaks to his status as a music legend whose virtuosic playing extended across all genres including jazz, country, R&B, and Rock. His early relationships with such icons as Bing Crosby, Chet Akins, and Tony Bennett can be seen in extraordinary photos and performance videos. This section also includes a chronicle of his life with Mary Ford and hits such as “How High the Moon” and “Vaya Con Dios” – to name just a few. 

The FOUNDATION section provides information about the Les Paul Foundation which Les created. The Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through the support of music education, recording, innovation, and medical research related to hearing. A full list of grantees and a section detailing the process for applying for a grant from the Foundation is available in this section. Les Paul exhibits at museums across the United States are highlighted providing details on where one can visit to learn more and see actual Les Paul artifacts. This section serves as a virtual travelogue of sorts for Les Paul exclusive exhibits at some of the country’s most popular museums. 

The EDUCATION section offers diverse resources for classroom or individual use and is divided into Elementary, Secondary and Collegiate sections. Study units developed through the collaboration of the Les Paul Foundation, the Wisconsin School Music Association, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction are included. Everyone can download free posters in this section.

The MUSIC section is an extensive area devoted to a Les Paul Discography, which is, in fact, the most inclusive ever presented online. We all know that Les Paul was a musician and nowhere else online can one explore such a robust listing of Les Paul’s music. His musical output included over 33 Top 20 recordings spanning multiple genres from country and pop to jazz and R&B. Fans can download his music directly and experience the greatness of his and Mary Ford’s ingenuity all in one place. One can spend hours listening to songs such as “Hawaiian Paradise” (1949), “Bye Bye Blues” (1952), “The Hit Makers (1953), “The Les Paul Trio” (1978), “Hits of Les and Mary” (1960), “Vaya Con Dios” (1953) and many more. Visitors can also see original album covers and listen to some of his hits by clicking next to the album image. It’s a one-stop, curated look at Les’ music dedicated to the sounds of Les Paul and his musical legacy. This section makes it easy to download any of the available songs or to stream on visitor’s favorite streaming platforms and with many updates being added in the following months. 360 Magazine is pleased to promote such legends personal website to the world to reach many hearts that admired Les Paul. 

“Les Paul was one of the most important individuals of our time and gave the music industry the inventions to innovate and create music in new ways. No one can dispute his influence on modern music.  We wanted to make sure that the new les-paul.com site not only celebrates his life and career but provides a wealth of information and interactivity for website guests. The content on the new site is not only exclusive and in some cases rare but is a collection of the most extensive resources available in one place. We will continue to add exciting new content and hope that as visitors explore all of the areas under each section, they enjoy and learn about Les Paul.  Click on les-paul.com and have some fun. We hope you find a surprising amount of reasons to return again and again. We are pretty sure you will. – Michael Braunstein, Executive Director, Les Paul Foundation

Tracy Sugarman’s Works Offered at Auction

“AND ALL THAT JAZZ”! WORKS BY TRACY SUGARMAN – ARTIST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION

September 2021. Artworks by the American illustrator, Tracy Sugarman (1921-2013), who documented some of the most momentous events in American history, such as Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964 (a milestone in the civil rights movement in America) and images of World War II, will be offered in Dreweatts Modern and Contemporary Art sale on October 12, 2021.

As well as encapsulating historical moments in a unique way, Sugarman illustrated hundreds of books and record covers in a career spanning 50 years. The group of works coming up for auction spotlights Sugarman’s work for the music industry. Between 1954 and 1959 he produced more than a hundred album covers for the record labels Grand Award and Waldorf Music Hall Records. These were later reissued on CDS.

His illustrations were published in hundreds of magazines and books, as well being shown as on TV (PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV). He was in high demand as a multi-talented artist, scriptwriter, producer, and author and won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Art Directors Club in Washington, D.C. He was also a civil rights activist, something he also captured in his artworks.

While carrying out his commissions for the music industry he was given complete artistic freedom to create the works as he wished. Commenting he said: “I had been able to explore every medium from scratch-board to oils, from pastels to watercolors and seen them reproduced. I had captured Mahalia Jackson singing gospel and Knuckles O’Toole playing ragtime piano.” A work in 2007 marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with jazz and the works in this sale show how he creatively captures the spirit and energy of Jazz.

In the Studio (lot 301) in its bright red hues, communicates the passion and vibrancy of Jazz and music in general. Dark lines contrast the colour, creating the shapes of the figures, resulting in a simple, but powerful piece. It carries an estimate of £400-£600. Portrait of a Trumpet Player (lot 299) by Tracy Sugarman captures a trumpet player in full flow. Created in wax crayon, the raw image brings the paper to life. It is estimated to fetch £400-£600. The Thinker (Lot 300) in wax crayon and watercolor shows the creative process and thinking behind the creation of music. In rough strokes Sugarman conveys all of this in a minimal way, creating the impact by its very simplicity.  The work is estimated to fetch £400-£600.

More works by Sugarman can be seen in the online catalogue, follow the link here

Civil Rights Icons by Mina Tocalini by 360 magzine

BLACK SPIRITS FESTIVAL REISSUED TODAY

Album Features Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), The Original Last Poets, Stanley Crouch And Others

Today, Motown Records Black Forum label reissued Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America. Recorded at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY, the spoken word collection features performances by Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), The Original Last Poets, Stanley Crouch plus a number of amateur youth poets. 

On Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America, Imamu Amiri Baraka provides introductory comments and closes the album with Éc;A History Poem.Éd; The famed author, who taught at several universities, co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. The Original Last Poets were a group of poets and musicians that formed in East Harlem in 1968 on Malcolm X’s birthday, May 19. They had a significant impact on popular culture that lived on in the work of subsequent lineups, known as The Last Poets. In addition to his poetry and novels, Stanley Crouch was known for his jazz and cultural criticism. He served as an artistic consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center and appeared in several Ken Burns’ documentaries, including Jazz and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.

The album also features six poems ;Grosvenor plus performances;Johari Amini, Clarence Major, Norman Jordan, Jackie Earley, Askia Muhammad Tour, David Henderson, Larry Neal;Amus Moore. Woodie King Jr. produced Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America as well as Imamu Amiri Baraka’s 1972 album, It’s Nation Time African Visionary Music, also released by Black Forum.

Motown Records was founded to provide Black artists and executives space to pursue their personal dreams through music and sound. But as a label birthed in the community, Motown has always deeply understood that achieving Black dreams has always been about something more significant than a single individual. Thus, in 1970, Motown established Black Forum to be where the collective dreams of Black communities were pursued, protected and given permanence. Originally released in 1972, Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America exemplified Black Forum’s commitment to providing a platform for a new generation of writers.

Elena Brody "Rock Steady" image via Jon Bleicher for use by 360 Magazine

Elana Brody Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Celebrating the beauty of human experience and the universality of dance, Elana Brody enchants fans with her exhilarating dance-pop music. Her most recent single, “Rock Steady,” showcases the singer’s joyous choreography and passionate songwriting ability. The “Rock Steady” music video can be viewed HERE. The bold, emotional ballad was produced by Max Martin protégé, Dominic Fallacaro. Brody spoke with 360 Magazine about the spirituality that courses through her songs, her music production process, and upcoming releases.

Your recent material was written during the pandemic. How did you manage to find inspiration during lockdown?

As a songwriter, lockdown – with all its grief and deep, life-changing themes- was a very fertile time for me. For one, I retreated from NYC to my childhood homestead in Virginia – in one of the most remote places East of the Mississippi. While there in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, with the music world at a stand-still, I found myself with very little to do but be in nature and play music. My then-partner had come with me, and we spent much of our time playing music together. I also felt called to offer musical prayer services online for those who needed inspiration and connection to Spirit. Because of this, I began by writing new prayer music – which felt right for the time. But, after my partner decided to split with me, as you can imagine – the folk songs started pouring out. This break-up, combined with being my original creative habitat, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the political election-year insanity, and a life far from community, took me the deepest I’ve been in my writing for a long time – especially as a lyricist. I think some of the lyrics you will hear on my upcoming EP are possibly my best yet.

What does your songwriting process look like?

It depends on the song. Sometimes snippets of lyrics, with a bit of their melody, come first. Sometimes a really awesome piano hook comes first. Over the last many years, I have found my songwriting process to be mostly a long-winded jam session where I sing out my heart for hours, creating spontaneous free-style lyrics. Many of those lyrics disappear forever, but at least a few of them make the cut! Once I get a sense of the general narrative of the song, I think about phrases that will help move the story along, and then build new lyrics around the original “spontaneous-gems” to flesh it out. Over the pandemic, lyrics were everything – and I found myself caring more about them than the music. The music could have been 3 chords, and I’d be totally okay with that, as long as the lyrics were telling the story. But, in other phases of my life as a writer, I would basically compose a piano concerto! And then, lyrics come in afterwards. I love and live music. And honestly, I don’t have to work hard to have music flow through me. I have found the best music and lyrics that I have written, have written themselves. It’s actually that simple. “Rock Steady” was a bit like that.

Are you still looking to release your EP eventually, or have you decided to shelve it in favor of tracks like “Rock Steady”?

Yes, to the EP! If all works out with piecing it together (because it was recorded in many different settings over the pandemic) then I would really like to release it in the late fall. But! Because “Rock Steady” is such a banger and I want to make more songs like that, I decided to quickly write and record a new song called “Quicksand,” which is another pop-influenced song, to release as a follow up – before I transition into my folk music.

Why did you choose Costa Rica as the location for the “Rock Steady” music video?

It chose me! My friend lives there and she invited me to come out to visit. I said I would, but under the one condition – that we film a music video! She is a great networker and knows so many people to reach out to and work with. She also happens to be an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ and was planning a dance on the weekend of my visit. So, naturally, we organized to film the dance party at an already scheduled and high-vibe (to use a very Costa Rican term) dance party! It couldn’t have been more perfect. We also did all our beach filming at a beach called Roca Beach – aka Rock (Steady) beach!

How does your spirituality factor into the way you create music?

Once, after I auditioned for the first season of USA’s XFactor, I left the stage (a story for another time!) and was interviewed by a faceless producer speaking to me from behind a black curtain. This producer asked me, “When you sing, it seems as if you are connecting to some higher power. Is this true for you? And what is that higher power?” At the time, I wouldn’t have considered myself a prayer-leader or religious at all, but I knew the answer to that right away. I said, “Yes. God.”

God can bring up a lot for people. And for me too. Growing up in rural Virginia, the idea of “God” sometimes felt like some kind of angry, repressive, overpowering righteousness. But – in my family – and in my own experience – God was gentler than that. The spirit between things. As a youth, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, untouched nature – and witness to the seasons in their full force. With below-zero cold and windy winters, slow-to-pop springs, abundant green summers with my folks’ organic gardens in full bloom, and then the rainbows of colorful Appalachian autumns – I knew what Spirit had to offer us humans. And music had always been my human way to offer Spirit back to Spirit, if that makes sense. It’s a giving and receiving from the big, wild wonders of creation, and then music is my way to return it back. Now that I have dived into my Jewish roots, and studied the traditions, I would say that song is the modern equivalent of sending burnt offerings up to the Creator. Instead of smoke, we let our voices rise. And I don’t see prayer music and pop music as all that different. Different themes, different stories, but ultimately, what we sing or speak is all prayer. And, especially now that I am very involved in prayer-leadership, as I create more songs, I do think about that in my writing.

What do you anticipate the reaction to “Rock Steady” will be like?

A fun one! Hopefully one that makes people dance and dance some more! Because I haven’t released much of my other music yet on the bigger platforms, most people won’t know the difference. Like, how did that happen? All of a sudden, I’m a pop star! The truth is, I’ve always been a pop star. Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion were my first vocal idols, and all of the first music I ever wrote sounded like it could have been in a Disney Channel original movie. Anyhow, I had this thought that I should go about my career in the opposite way of other folk artists, a la Jewel circa “Intuition,” and drop in with the fun and danceable stuff first. I don’t see myself ever being too genre-confined, anyway. Life is too short not to write whatever you feel and whatever is coming through you! I did think, “oh, maybe I should sell this song to Rhianna or another artist who could do it amazingly.” But honestly, this route of self-producing is very fun, and maybe even better. Now I get to be heard singing like a pop star too!

What other artists, musicians, or bands serve as inspirations for your music?

It’s a long list…

Joni Mitchell is my in-utero and post-utero,songwriting teacher. I used to call her my piano teacher, because I learned to play by playing so many of her songs. Several other musicians of my parents’ 60s/70s era also come in close as primary inspirations – including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Carole King, and the Beatles. They have shaped what a well-written song could be for me.

It’s hard to decipher what is an influence now because it’s just one big, long-cooked stew or spicy mole at this point.

I have always liked lyric-forward music, with bands like Of Montreal (his candidness in writing was life-changing for me!) and Death Cab for Cutie (the simple metaphors and speaking-style of his writing) and the Decemberists (storytelling, bard-like songs.) And the orchestral and lyrical artistry of the Fleet Foxes is stellar.

I have also always liked some good classic, chunky, Rock’n’roll and music that gets ya’ dancing, like Led Zeppelin and CCR. And the blues, especially blues piano music, has played a role in my music education since early childhood.

Then, there’s the eternal list of female influences. My most listened to, other than Joni, from the beginning are Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan. Then: Jesca Hoop, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Kate Bush. And now: artists like Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Sylvan Esso, and Sarah Jarosz have taken up a lot of my listening time. Sarah Jarosz’s album World on the Ground was really powerful to listen to last year during the pandemic. I hope that I can achieve that level of presence and intelligence in the instrumentation when I go to make my full-length album next year!

I also derive a LOT of influence from pop music. I can’t help it. I definitely fell in love with Ariana Grande’s album positions this year, and right now I am going down a Dua Lipa rabbit hole. I would say Rhianna is my number one, though. And I finally fell in love with Lady Gaga after seeing A Star is Born and listening to Joanne. Her belt has inspired me a lot. And I love vocalists in general. I have spent a lot of time really listening to vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. These days, Elvis is my number one!

I will also never not want to listen to albums of bands like Nickel Creek, the [Dixie] Chicks, Bela Fleck, Mandolin Orange/Watchhouse, or the band Solas, to bring me the feeling of my early mountain roots and make me feel good.

I am truly a world music fan. I love to listen to the magic of music across the world. I am really inspired to hear virtuosity, no matter what genre. I love vocal virtuosos and am listening right now to the artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I am curious as to when I’ll be able to imitate him. (I’m really good at imitating!) Bobby McFerrin has also been a teacher in real life. He inspires me to become more accurate in my improvisations.

I also listen to prayer music, but mostly of the Sikh or Kundalini yoga genre. Sometimes you’ll find me jamming out to Jewish artists (many of them friends of mine) or Gospel music. Anita Wilson, a modern gospel singer, has been a vocal inspiration for me because she really sings with the lows of her range.

Musical theater music is also a major influence. That Roger and Hammerstein stuff pours out of me like it were an extension of my soul! Lastly, at this point, after spending time at Berklee College of Music, I have been greatly inspired by jazz and R&B.

Besides “Rock Steady” and the EP, can fans look forward to any other releases to come in 2021-2022?

Yes! I mentioned that I am wanting to get cracking on my full-length album that will be mostly in the Americana, New Orleans blues, Rock-and-Roll, and folk pop styles. I am really, really excited about it. But I’m not sure yet who I will work with on it. An exciting unknown. I imagine it will end up feeling like a magnum opus when it is finished because I’ve been with these songs for so long. Nothing will be more amazing than when they are out in the world surrounded by strings, the right instrumentation and arrangements. I also would like to produce my song “City of Man” in a big vaudevillian, brassy style. [I want to] make a little music-video theater piece out of it. I have also been sitting on this one for a long time. It sort of harkens to the fall of capitalism…that is going on in our world and the post-Trump era– it’s due time that I get that one out. Look out for it all!

Image via Big Hassle Media for 360 Magazine

Ronnie Wood Shares Two New Singles

RONNIE WOOD SHARES TRACKS SHAME, SHAME, SHAME + ROLL AND RHUMBA

FROM THE RONNIE WOOD BAND MR LUCK, A TRIBUTE TO JIMMY REED: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL SEPTEMBER 17TH 2021

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE

The Ronnie Wood Band today released two more tracks from the second installment of the live album trilogy – Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Ronnie and friends cover Jimmy Reed’s track Shame, Shame, Shame, originally released in 1963. Keeping true to Reed’s sound in their interpretation, the listener can sense their adoration for the late musician. The Rolling Stones previously included this song in their early setlists, along with others by one of their key influences Jimmy Reed. The B-Side of the Stones February 1964 UK hit single Not Fade Away is thought to have been a pastiche of Shame, Shame, Shame. Paul Weller features on the track, an incredible musician who shot to fame with The Jam and is colloquially known as The Modfather for his influence on the 80s Mod Revival. With its relatable lyrics and lively rhythm, this song has easy listening energy and has been covered many times before by a plethora of musicians.

The Ronnie Wood band also offers their high-energy interpretation of Reed’s instrumental song Roll and Rhumba, a perfect one for any true blues fan. Without the distraction of lyrics, the instruments take center stage and Wood’s incredible musicality comes to the fore.

Released by BMG on 17th September 2021, Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’ is the 18-track album featuring The Ronnie Wood Band including Mick Taylor with incredible special guests, Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall, and Paul Weller and pays tribute to one of Ronnie’s musical heroes and major influences, the Mississippi electric blues pioneer Jimmy Reed.

The album is recorded live on a memorable night at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1, 2013. With unique album artwork specially created by Ronnie, Mr. Luck will be available digitally, on CD, as a vinyl release, and as a beautiful limited-edition dual-tone smoky blue vinyl.

A ‘Tayle’ of Two Sidemen

When self-taught guitarist Eddie Taylor imparted his skills onto his friend Jimmy Reed, he surely couldn’t have imagined the effect this was to have on the Chicago blues scene. Backing up such luminaries as John Lee Hooker, he is best remembered for his work with his former student.

Sweet coincidence, then, that in 1974 another Taylor, Mick, would make way for Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones, paving the way for these two friends and celebrated guitarists to work on projects ever since. The culmination of this to date is Taylor’s place in The Ronnie Wood Band at the Royal Albert Hall for 2013’s Bluesfest, where they played the now-legendary set that would come to birth to this recording.

In regard to Mr. Luck, Ronnie comments: Jimmy Reed was one of the premier influences on the Rolling Stones and all the bands that love American blues from that era until the present day. It is my honor to have the opportunity to celebrate his life and legacy with this tribute.

This album marks the second iteration in a trilogy of special and personal albums by Wood and the band, celebrating Ronnie’s musical heroes. The first album, Mad Lad explored the work of Chuck Berry as an emotional commemoration after Berry’s passing just over two years ago. Ronnie toured with Berry and was a lifelong fan.

Tracklist

  1. Essence
  2. Good Lover
  3. Mr. Luck
  4. Let’s Get Together
  5. Ain’t That Loving You Baby
  6. Honest I Do
  7. High & Lonesome
  8. Baby What You Want Me To Do
  9. Roll and Rhumba
  10. You Don’t Have To Go
  11. Shame Shame Shame
  12. I’m That Man Down There
  13. Got No Where To Go
  14. Big Boss Man
  15. I Ain’t Got You
  16. I’m Going Upside Your Head
  17. Bright Lights Big City
  18. Ghost of a Man

ABOUT RONNIE WOOD

Ronnie Wood is one of the foremost rock guitarists in the world, and a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the Rolling Stones and the Faces. Ronnie has also pursued a remarkable parallel career as a highly regarded artist and, as a natural raconteur, has won a record three prestigious Sony Radio Personality awards.

Image via The Oriel Company for 360 Magazine

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis – Jam and Lewis Volume One

JIMMY JAM & TERRY LEWIS DEBUT ALBUM JAM & LEWIS VOLUME ONE OUT TODAY!

Star-Studded Guest List Includes Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, Usher & More!

Jam & Lewis Shaped Pop History. They’re Working on Its Future, Too – NEW YORK TIMES

They’ve had more Billboard No 1 hits than any other production and songwriting team (and) co-created the very fabric of the modern R&B landscape. -THE GUARDIAN

The Grammy-Award winning legendary production duo recently turned artists, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis TODAY release their debut album, Jam & Lewis Volume One (BMG). The album boasts star-studded featured guests including Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, Usher & more (see full track listing below).

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO JAM & LEWIS VOLUME ONE

On the most recent single, Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart), Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis teamed up with the multi-platinum, multiple Grammy award winning, New York Times #1 Best Selling author and global superstar Mariah Carey. Together, they have delivered an anthem punctuated by Carey’s legendary soaring vocals and the pair’s inimitable musicality.

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have had an unprecedented career as producers, with five GRAMMY Awards, over 100 Platinum certifications, and 16 Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones. They’ve worked with legendary artists including Elton John, Lionel Richie, and Patti LaBelle, composed music for TBS and TNT networks’ NBA basketball broadcasts, as well as the theme to the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The duo has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, received an NAACP Image Award, star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and were recently nominated for a Primetime EMMY Award in Outstanding Music Direction.

After 40 years Jam & Lewis are just getting started!

JAM & LEWIS VOLUME ONE TRACK LIST

  1.  ‘Til I Found You (Ft. Ann Nesby, James Big Jim Wright, Lauren Evans & Sounds Of Blackness)
  2. Spinnin (Ft. Mary J. Blige)
  3. The Next Best Day (Ft. Boyz II Men)
  4. Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart) (Ft. Mariah Carey)
  5. He Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout It (Ft. Babyface)
  6. Happily Unhappy (Ft. Toni Braxton)
  7. Maybe I’ve Changed (Or Did You) (Ft. Heather Headley)
  8. Do What I Do (Ft. Charlie Wilson)
  9. Do It Yourself (Ft. Usher)
  10. Babylove (Ft. Morris Day, Jerome, & The Roots)

Follow Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis via their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

PROTOJE In Search Of Lost Time album cover from Tiffany Mea - With Love PR, Sarah Weinstein Dennison - RCA Records Publicity for use by 360 Magazine

PROTOJE DROPS NEW VIDEO – SELF DEFENSE

One of today’s most influential reggae artists, Protoje, tells a tale of retribution in his brand new video for “Self Defense,” the single from his latest album In Search of Lost Time (In.Digg.Nation Collective/Six Course Music/RCA Records). The Jamaican lyricist addresses distrust in his country’s government and takes a vigilante approach to control the bad-minded people running the streets. The visual, directed by Rebecca Williams, shows a group of women taking matters into their own hands to expose a man of his horrific crime.

“This is one of my favorite songs from the album and I decided to do a video for it because I feel like I wanted it to be almost like a declaration or call to attention regarding how we treat our women, especially as men. I wanted the story to be told from a woman’s perspective – and that’s how I linked up with the director, Rebecca. She’s an awesome storyteller & I think she did a great job with this video,” Protoje states.

On the track, Protoje talks about the hypocrisies of a patriarchal system and how it supports domestic violence and abuse. “Me hear some man a say them rather rape than turn a gay. As if dem deh ting deh related in any way. You nuh see say a some sicko them mentality. The patriarchy propagate all of them fallacy. Even in the church the violation prevalent Jehovah, you nuh witness, tell me that no relevant. Dem deh business cyaa exist inna we regiment. A self-defense and we no hesitant.”

Protoje is no stranger calling out misogyny and has made a concerted effort to help shift that paradigm. Within his own industry, he has signed and supported an all-female roster of Jamaican artists including Sevana, Lila Iké and Jaz Elise through his label and artist management company In.Digg.Nation Collective to represent the full spectrum of talent that his island has to offer.

Protoje’s fifth studio album In Search of Lost Time stays in rotation since its release on August 28, 2020. He colored outside the lines for a cinematic, ethereal, multi-genre LP and executive produced the entire project and co-produced five out of the thirteen original tracks. Now the vinyl edition to In Search of Lost Time is available for pre-order with shipments expected in September.

Watch “Self Defense

About Protoje:

Born and raised in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica to singer Lorna Bennett and former calypso king Mike Ollivierre, Protoje blends hip hop, soul and jazz into his native sounds of reggae and dancehall. The musical prodigy, along with a collective of fellow artists, began getting mainstream attention for their addictive melodies and conscious lyrical messages in a movement dubbed the “reggae revival.” Publications such as VOGUERolling StoneThe FADER, and PAPER have declared him one of the brightest talents out of Jamaica. His catalog consists of the following studio albums: Seven Year Itch (2011), The 8 Year Affair (2013), Ancient Future (2015) and A Matter Of Time (2018) and In Search Of Lost Time (2020). As a producer, he receives a co-credit for Rock & Groove Riddim (2019). His studio album A Matter Of Time earned him his first GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggae Album and his national U.S. TV debut performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, both in 2019. He has toured with Ms. Lauryn Hill and appeared on major festivals including Coachella (US), Glastonbury (UK), Afropunk (US), Reading & Leeds (UK), Sole DXB (Dubai) and Lollapalooza (Chile), reaching audiences far and wide with his genre-fusing sound. In 2020, the musician signed an unprecedented major deal with RCA Records in partnership with Six Course Records and his label and management company In.Digg.Nation Collective. Under the RCA deal, Protoje brokered individual album deals for himself as well as his rising female artists Lila Iké, Sevana and Jaz Elise. He has received praise from the likes of NYLON and Uproxx for In.Digg.Nation Collective’s forward-thinking sound. He performed on NPR Tiny Desk and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert #PlayAtHome and graces one of i-D magazine’s digital covers for Spring 2021.