Capital Jazz Super Cruise 2016 – Was the Third Time a Charm?

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I thought I’d get a head start on this post, so on October 6,  2016, I began taking notes. By that time, Hurricane Matthew had already reared its ugly eye, destroying any and everything in its path.  We were set to sail on Sunday, October 23rd and Matthew had affected the cruise’s route; we were informed a few days before sailing, that Nassau Bahamas would be our detour from Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, where Jill Scott and Wanda Sykes were to perform on Norwegian’s private island, day 2.  It was to be a fun-filled day on the beach where we would have access to the beautiful sea along with laughs, good music, and lunch “on” Norwegian.  See Alaina Jenkins’ review.

We arrived at the host hotel the day before sailing so that we could attend the Meet and Greet.  I was super excited to be in Miami!  I looked forward to seeing my friends, what lie ahead for a week’s worth of music, sun/fun and that whole Capital Jazz Cruise vibe!

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Upon hotel registration at the Marriot, the day before sail off, we received a letter with two passes attached to inform us of our 1:00 pm shuttle appointment for the next day; at that point we decided 1 pm wouldn’t work for us. Other than that, things were on to a good start for the meet and greet. Everyone was pumped and ready for Sunday’s sailing to celebrate Capital Jazz’s 10th Anniversary!

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Folks mingling and having a good time. My gurl Laura and our friend, Reggie (top right). My heroes, Wes and James (bottom middle) who saved me last year with lending me the battery charger for my camera

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Pat Prescott, Jodine Dorce, Michael Colyar, Tony Richards and Donna Richardson, I think.

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NY homie, Lenny Green; me; and hubby. V is on the left who photo bombed us!

Day 1, sail off!  We took a cab to the port around 11:00 am, and it’s a good thing we did because when we arrived, the Norwegian Getaway had just returned from its previous trip, and those passengers were disembarking as the Capital Jazz cruisers were arriving to board the ship.   A long line had already formed to go through security.  Once inside, we had to wait in the terminal after registering and be called by groups to enter onto the ship.

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Wait, did she photo bomb us?!

In a nutshell, with permission from the following two cruisers, they totally covered the issues in their reviews; they appeared on the Capital Jazz Fest/SuperCruise FaceBook Page upon return from the cruise.

Jock TravelPlug Schofield
‘How The Capital Jazz Fest & SuperCruise F*cked Up and Ruined One of the Best Organized and Entertaining Themed Cruises’

Common Sense Rules 1 & 2 are as follows; 1. Don’t fix it if it’s not broke and 2. Keep it simple stupid. This is my sixth and definitely last year on the Capital Jazz Supercruise. My priors 5 times going have all been an awesome experience with incredible entertainment.  They were all on the Carnival cruise line and to attend a performance has been an effortless event. You choose an early or late dinnertime. Each guest performed for two shows and you went to the show based on your dinnertime. It was a pretty simple task to see a show and the only time you needed to arrive early was if you wanted close seats to the stage. Fast-forward this year to the 10th Anniversary of the Supercruise. The promoters of the cruise of changed the cruise line to the Norwegian Getaway. Let’s jump right to the issue.

Attending a show this year reminds me of my days as an undergrad student at Morgan State University. I attended Morgan State University at a time when you couldn’t register for classes online you had to show up early and wait in a long line that wrapped around the building and hoped that the classes you wanted would still be available by the time you got to enroll. At this year’s Capital Jazz Super Cruise in order to register for the main shows this year you have to register through Norwegian’s mobile app, a screen near the elevators on each floor or from the television in your cabin.  The video accompanied with this post shows you what most of the attendees experienced. Most of the shows were not available due to the size of these small venues. For shows that did not require registration you had to be there at least an hour before the show started in order to guarantee a sport in the small venues. Last night we waited in line for 90 minutes for the old school hip hop show before leaving when the show was supposed to start at 12:30. We left at 1:00am after getting in line at 11:30. They hadn’t let anyone in at 1:00am by the time we left. Yesterday, we waited an hour to see Kindred in the standby line, the line where if you didn’t get reservations for a show it was suggested you tried the Standby line. The show was held in a dinner theatre with the worst view (posted pic) of the stage for those that didn’t have a table in front of the stage. For those that didn’t make it to shows it caused an overflow and terrible wait times for bars and restaurants on the cruise. In attempt to make amends Capital Jazz has added additional shows for some of the artists.  However, in order to attend these added shows one must arrive at the venue at least an hour early and hope that you can get a seat. At this point, I’ve already chalked this cruise up as a loss and the worst vacation EVER. My legs are sore, my feet hurt and I’m tired or arriving at a venue over an hour early just to stand in line with the hopes of seeing an artist that I paid to see. If you know of any other well-organized music-themed cruises, please let me know.

Alaina Jenkins
I had heard SO MANY good things about this cruise! I was so incredibly excited to see the phenomenal line-up of artists that they advertised. And it was an impressive line-up! To make a very long and frustrating story short, I did not get to see 80% of the major headliners. This was for a variety of reasons, all stemming from piss-poor planning on the part of CJSC. The venues could not accommodate everyone on the cruise (approx. 3700 people) seeing all the acts throughout the week. If it was going to be logistically impossible to see ALL the major acts, then that should have been advertised as people were booking and paying for this cruise. Essentially, if they had said to me I would be only able to see 4 of the 20 major acts without hassle and frustration, I would not have booked this cruise at $2300! Conventional wisdom has stated that half of this price was for the Balcony room on Norwegian (I’ll get to them later), and the other half went to CJSC. Well, based on my calculations, CJSC owes me about $900 back in missed shows because of their inability to figure out how to get everybody into everything. I should not have to spend my vacation days standing in line after line after line, missing other activities and quality time with friends, for hours at a time just to “possibly” get into a show I could not get a reservation for. That’s right, on the first day of the cruise, once you were on the boat, you had to stand at a touch-screen on various walls and attempt to make your reservations for the shows you wanted. By the time we stood in line (well over an hour), there were only 3 shows (major headliners – Eric Benet / Angie Stone, BWB / Patti Austin, and OJays / Ledisi) left with seats for us to reserve. Out of 20 major headliners! And this is not even including the comedians (another issue). We were able to add a 4th major headliner (the Dance Theatre of Harlem) ONLY because they added a show, told us about it on a flyer left outside our rooms in the middle of the night (which I just happened to see) and we managed to get those reservations before the show “sold out.” Simply put, and pardon my language, but I have to be real here, it was a cluster-fuck, and very demoralizing and disappointing for those of us who really wanted to see and experience the other major acts. I missed out on Incognito, Ken Ford, Jose James, Kindred The Family Soul, Diane Schuur, Smokie Norful, Jazz Funk Soul, Bilal, Nick Colionne, Algebra Blessett, Lee Ritenour, Dwele, Howard Hewett, Regina Belle, Walter Beasley, and Frank McComb. If Eric Benet, Angie Stone, BWB, Patti Austin, the OJays, and Ledisi all came to the DMV area, I would not have paid collectively almost $1200 to see them in base ticket prices, so there is NO WAY CJSC can justify what I paid to see with what I received in actuality. Like I said, they owe me about $900.

Now, let’s talk about the other major headliner concert that, technically, everyone got to see because there was no requirement to reserve a seat; Wanda Sykes opening up for Jill Scott. Wanda was horrible; she was unfunny, admittedly not feeling well, and under the influence of mind-altering medication (Nyquil). Meanwhile, we were situated in the literal “backyard” of the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, in blistering heat, with no tents, not enough chairs for over 3000 guests (they advised us to bring our towels so we could sit on the ground), no First Aid station, and only 15 port-a-potties for over 3000 people! The whole event was a major public health hazard. What was supposed to be a complimentary, Norwegian-catered lunch for us during the concert, ended up being a buy your lunch from Atlantis employees who set up under their own tents and charged $4 for a bottle of water, and far more than that for food. Most of us didn’t see the entirety of Jill Scott’s performance because we had been out in that heat with no cover for over 2 hours and massive lines were forming for the shuttles that would get us back to the ship.

CJSC should be as mortified as we are horrified that their brand has taken this hit. Until they correct the narrative of this hot mess of a cruise (IF they can), I can only assume that they are profit-driven and not people-driven, and they simply don’t care that this cruise was a complete waste of my hard-earned money. CJSC owes each of us a sincere apology that clearly acknowledges their miss-steps and the significant impact they had on their guests/clients/customers, and they owe each of us a refund based on a realistic analysis of how many headliner acts any one cruiser could have reasonably been expected to see given the timing of the various events (several major headliners overlapped each other each night) and the limited capacity of the venues. Try as I might, I didn’t even get to see one major headliner each night! I saw 3, and I was on that ship 7 days!

Speaking of that ship, the Getaway on Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). The food was disgusting! I’ve had better meals, more carefully prepared and presented, in my cafeteria at work! The majority of the food clearly came from frozen and was just re-heated, or were sloppily thrown together one-dish meals designed to feed an army (or should I say a plantation?) Toast came 10 minutes after our omelettes, and generally our salads came out after the main entrees. The open, dine whenever and wherever you choose model didn’t fit my expectations of luxury dining on the high seas. The places where we had a decent meal (sushi and Japanese teppenyaki) required us to pay additional charges. It was worth it, because the food was edible and properly presented, but after paying over $2000, I should not have to spend an additional $20-30 a night just to have a good meal. The foodie in me just had to die this week, because Norwegian screwed the pooch all over the place when it came to food and customer service. I would hate to think that because it was a boat full of black folks that their service was not up to snuff, but hearing from others that NCL is not normally “that bad” gives me pause. And apparently NCL could not WAIT to get our black asses off their boat, because they took our bags, categorized by only 3 colors, and tossed them into the Customs Holding Area with no rhyme or reason, and then called “all colors” to disembark at practically the same time. Imagine thousands of people with several thousands of pieces of luggage, with nothing but a color code to attempt to find your luggage in a sea of people and porters. A high-holy mess! And we were told several times that NCL doesn’t normally handle their disembarkation this poorly.

This is already too long, but needless to say, Royal Caribbean has earned a loyalist for LIFE after this experience on NCL!

So, while it was nice to get away with great travel buddies (we know how to make our own fun), and the artists were incredibly gracious and for the most part approachable for photos and quick chats, I do feel that I was cheated out of the vacation I was anticipating. And for that, CJSC must answer and respond tangibly. #FixItCapitalJazz

More reviews and comments at Eurweb.com

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My Two Cents

This was my third cruise with the Capital Jazz organization and the question is, “Was the third time a Charm?”  The above reviews are certainly detailed and convey that the celebration a major milestone anniversary calls for was not the momentous event it should have been.   Of the shows I attended, hardly any of the performers acknowledged or congratulated Capital Jazz on celebrating their 10th anniversary! With all the drama of having to reserve shows, long lines, etc., maybe this mention was remiss?  I’m not sure.

Once we boarded, we saw that lines had formed in front of the kiosk wall where we had to reserve our desired shows.  I stood on the line for two hours.  Individuals, as well as groups of friends/family, were standing at the screen for at least a half hour or more per group in order to reserve every single show they wanted to see.  The process was ridiculous, to say the least.

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This kiosk process was the devil!!

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This football party/viewing would have either been on the pool deck or in a designated venue, and DJ Frances Jaye would have been here playing music, welcoming the cruisers were it on a Carnival Cruise Line. While they’re watching football (not appearing too happy about it), the other half of us were at the kiosk reserving shows…

Cruisers were pissed and threatened to get their money back from the 2017 cruise.  Not me, I’d already paid a substantial amount of money and not sure by requesting a refund at this time would work since the regulation is when a refund request is not made by the 30 day deadline, the deposit is lost or only a portion of the deposit can be refunded, which I believe is pretty standard.

Clearly, Norwegian is not designed for a music-themed cruise.  Comparing Norwegian to Carnival, the “ghetto ship” as I have heard it referred to, is well equipped to comfortably accommodate a music event as such.

The main theater on Carnival holds about 1500 where Norwegian’s theater only holds around 700—losing over half of the seats; by the way, were really uncomfortable with a wooden bar going across the back of the seat, causing a real pain in the ass–literally!  On Carnival, there is a wide space between each row and a small table aside each seat for drinks, etc.  Additionally, there’s enough space on the pool deck to accommodate a band and it could get crowded depending on the artist.  The pool deck’s layout on The Norweigan Getaway could not properly accommodate a large crowd during the day where it would have otherwise taken place were it on Carnival.

Audrey Batts Watson, Capital Jazz’s former Fun Director wasn’t part of the organization this year and personally, I sorely missed her presence.  There was a vast disconnect between the Capital Jazz staff and cruisers because folks were so upset.  The staff wasn’t as friendly as they have been in the past because they took the brunt of the cruisers’ frustration.  However, I along with the entire list of CJ cruisers (I am guessing) received an email from her stating she was with another company and it seems like Audrey will be organizing a music-themed cruise or more, sometime next year.  There was a survey link included in the email that asked questions about what folks would like to see based on their prior cruising experience.

I want to believe that the Capital Jazz Organization, had good intent by upgrading to approximately 1500 cabins above what Carnival could accommodate for the 10th anniversary, but the compromise they made in order to do that failed.  I am not sure of how the CJO spent 18 months planning for the 10th anniversary and did not foresee a problem with the layout of the ship’s venues and having to make reservations.  The Getaway, yes, is a bigger ship but unable to entertain CJ cruisers as a cohesive unit.  In addition to that, there were more venues to accommodate more artists (over 50 acts) but spaced out, and some acts were not even advertised.  I thought this was too many artists given the fact that a host of good acts was simultaneously scheduled. Likewise, not advertised was Ingrid B. out of Miami with her group of Erotic Spoken Word Artists.  I was excited about this because I discovered Ingrid B. on Myspace, and you know how long ago that was!.  I had the chance to meet her and I really wanted to see the poets and managed to see two performances.  As I said there were so many conflicting performances, my energy was high and I couldn’t sit there for longer than I did.  The Soul Sessions was going on at the same time and that is one of my favorite events!

I didn’t see any of the six comedians—usually, three including Michael Colyear would perform in one night on Carnival’s main stage and that way, there was more of an opportunity to see all of their performances.  A full band performed at the atrium every night which was a nice touch but again conflicted with other shows.

I am curious to see how the CJO is going to physically fix it this year.  They offered each 2016 cruiser $300 off of 2017 and 2018 depending on which year they cruise to make amends, and also have cruisers make show reservations before the trip so that CJO can see just how many shows they will have to schedule.  This was an exceptional gesture!  Whether it came from Norwegian or Capital Jazz, I don’t care! I’m happy to say, that $600 discount off my balance came in handy!

Change is sometimes hard for folks, but I hope Capital Jazz Organization will consider everyone’s feedback and get back to the SuperCruise vibe the CJ cruisers have become accustomed to experiencing.

There’s my two cents!  After reservation culture shock, I still had a great time!! And as you will see on the CJ highlights video at the end of this post, I wasn’t the only one!! On with the show…

Day 1
Sunday, Oct 23, 2016
Depart Miami, Florida

As many of you know, Incognito is tops of my favorite bands and there was no way I was going to miss them no matter how many times I’ve seen them perform!  What was a sweet surprise and funny at the same time was that Chris Ballin joined Incognito on this tour and as Bluey set up introducing him, folks thought it was Maysa. If anyone knows Incognito’s Beneath the Surface, they would know that Bluey would not use this album to introduce her.  As a matter of fact, Maysa needs no introduction.  She simply walks onto the stage and there you have her!! So it was funny when Chris walks out onto the stage and to the audience’s surprise, it was not her. The people sitting close to us were truly disappointed!  HA HA!!

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Bluey, the band, Chris Ballin, Deborah Bond, and Vanessa Haynes

I hadn’t seen Jose James since the first time some years ago at BAM/MetroTech , Brooklyn. I’m overjoyed I saw his show! Jose sang and rapped a song by Gil Scott-Heron, I don’t know what the title was but he did a fantastic job on it and I’m mad at myself for not recording it. He blew the audience and me away with his tribute to Bill Withers. This one I got—check him out!!

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Two bad musicians right here! Bassman, Stanley and guitarist, WaWa played for Jose James; caught them after the show.

It was a really big surprise to meet James Bing on the ship, assisting with cd sales from Mood’s Music out of Atlanta! And Brooklyn’s own DJ Spinna was delightful! I’m sure he gained plenty of new followers after his sets!

Day 2

Monday, Oct 24, 2016
Nassau, Bahamas

Shots of the early risers from the ship at breakfast

 

On the way over to the show

Jill Scott

A two for one; a show outside in the sun, getting my tan on (which by the way, burnt the mess out of my forehead!)

Angie Stone and Eric Benet

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Angie Stone

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Eric Benet

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Our man, Troy “Sol” Edler on background vocals!

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Check Spur of the Moment’s Wayne Bruce on guitar and Tim Steele on drums

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Outfit of the Night! Couldn’t stay in these shoes, uh uh, too high but loved they way they made my muscle-esk legs stand out!

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Donnie so soulful-filling, how good it makes him and any other artist feel when the audience simply applauds for them!

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Steve Smith, Lysette, and Donnie

Me and Donnie after he sweated himself out for the people…

Ok, so maybe not Donnie for the first 12 minutes or so, but I promise, you will love what comes before him!

Day 3
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016
Fun Day At Sea!

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All of this in one night!!  I’m a trooper if I do say so myself!  Four of the five below were going on around the same time!

Bilal

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Cunninglinguist Erotic Poetry hosted by Ingrid B

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The Soul Sessions hosted by Eric Roberson

I missed the Legends of Hip Hop Concert but was able to swing by the Kid Capri after party

Day 4
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The hubster and me upon arrival in Puerto Rico for a little shopping and authentic, salty Puerto Rican cuisine

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Later on that evening we returned to the ship for a grand performance by these four superstars!

Patti Austin

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BWB Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun

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Nicole Henry and Hill St Soul

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Nicole Henry

Hil St. Soul

Black and White night photo shoot

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Laura and Reggie

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Day 5
Thursday, Oct 27, 2016
St. Kitts

What a day, what a day–and so much fun!!

I can get really complacent when it comes to venturing out to explore.  Well, thank goodness for Laura and Linda for talking me into playing with the dolphins! 

 Afterward, we shopped a bit and hung around the bar until it was time to board. 

Caught up with Jodine and Ingrid B. later on that evening

Karaoke

Dwele

Marcus Johnson

Soul Understated


Day 6
Friday, Oct 28, 2016
Fun Day At Sea!
Today, the last of my memory cards ran out (I had 5 cards: three 32 GB and two 16GB) and I needed a computer to transfer files from the storage card to my flash drive.  ERRO came to the rescue and saved the day!  Last year it was the battery and charger drama, this year the storage cards.  Another lesson learned…

Sometime during the day…

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D Maurice is finally standing in the front and the light is shining on him! I was so happy for DMo!

 

This band is the pure TRUTH!! Dre King, Samir Moulay, Chris Bynum, Antone “Chooky” Caldwell, Oweleo Lysette, and Steve Smith

Moonchild

Ledisi

The Mighty O’Jays

Day 7
Saturday, Oct 29, 2016
Fun Day At Sea!

Quite a bit was going this last full day on the ship, and for me, a bit of downtime since it rained–last day of sun spoiler!

Here’s the rundown:

I was determined to learn how to use the interval shooting feature on my camera!  This feature allows you to be in the shot if you so choose…

So I chose to be in it!

Howard Hewitt

A performance of a band I do not recall at  The Sugarcane Mojito Bar where Howard Hewett couldn’t help but get in on the action!

 

“Flight of Six” pretty mojitos for around $20 at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar

 

The Kid Capri

Kid Capri caused a major uproar, and people put a dent in that ship!

Marcus Johnson (bottom left) got his groove on too!

 

Here’s an overused phrase you will not hear from me, but “At the end of the day” it’s really all about the music and people having a great time.   I sure did…

Here’s a quick look back!

Check out more performance videos and interviews by Jodine; hosts, Pat Prescott, Tony Richards and Lenny Green with the artists, provided by either Capital Jazz, the artists and or other cruisers.

By the way, Jodine Dorce has one of the best jobs on the cruise!

Kindred The Family Soul

Eric Roberson

Joey Sommerville

Regina Belle

Walter Beasley

Ken Ford

Brotherhood of Renowned Artists discussion featuring
Larry Poncho Brown, Leroy Campbell, & Charles Bibbs

Smokie Norful

Algebra

George Wallace

BOOTCAMP!

 

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Funky Fresh Covers Vol. III

I wanted to make a couple of edits to this mix because I thought my voice could sound a bit more upbeat. Oh well, that wasn’t in the universe’s plan, as my hard drive that had all of my music and playlists on it, along with my master adobe lightroom (editing app for photographers) folder with all of my previews in it, etc. died. I’ll go into further details in another post.

There’s a refreshing newness to the artists’ interpretation of these songs while making them their own, in a style, I am all for! I really enjoy rummaging through my music library and finding little gems like the ones listed below. I have so much more that I will share, so stay tuned! Lastly, there are links to the artists’ website or another site that gives more info on them. You may already be familiar with the couple where there is no link–they were pretty popular in their heyday 🙂

As always, do enjoy and any feedback is greatly appreciated.

1. Dwele – That’s The Way of the World/EWF
2. Calvin Richardson – All This Love/El DeBarge
3. Portrait – How Deep is Your Love/The Bee Gees
4. Diane Reeves – Just My Imagination/The Temptations
5. Ol School f/Xscape & Keith Sweat – Am I Dreaming/Atlantic Starr
6. Silk – Ebony Eyes/ Rick James/Smokey Robinson
7. Juewett Bostick f/Jean Carne – I Can’t Tell You Why/The Eagles
8. Mad Satta f/Joanna Teters – The Makings of You/Curtis Mayfield
9. Martin Luther – Sara Smile/Hall & Oats
10. Marva King – Baby This Love I Have/Minnie Riperton
11. Slakah The Beatchild – Don’t Go/Mary J. Blige
12. Lewis Taylor – Stop, Look & Listen/The Stylistics
13. Zo! f/YahZarah – Perfect Angel/Minnie Riperton
14. Zo! f/Anthony David – Barry White Playing Your Game, Baby
15. The Decoders f/Alex Isley – What’Cha Gonna Do for Me/Chaka Khan

SeXXXy, Complicated Love Vol. Prince

What I am about to say may shock some of you but I was not a big fan of Prince, however, I always respected him as an artist. There, I said it! The songs played on the radio were catchy and I had my favorites like Adore, Kiss, Purple Rain and When Doves Cry. I purchased one of Prince’s album and that was Diamonds and Pearls because I loved Rosie Gaines’nvoice on the title track. I also loved Gett Off and Insatiable. Not until he passed, I had no idea he published 39 albums and wrote popular songs for a host of other artists.

Nevertheless, I was a nervous wreck when I heard on the radio that there was a dead body in his home They hadn’t confirmed who it was, and I was pissed they were playing Prince’s music like he was already gone. Minutes later the news came that is was indeed his body. Tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Like everyone else, I was in total shock. Since his passing, I have immersed myself in videos of his live performances because I never had the experience of seeing him in concert, although I had all intentions the next time he came to town. Viewing his live concert videos is like I’m right there in the audience—it’s the next best thing to being there at this point! Yes, I know, I missed out big time!

On another note, being a member of the Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s Hunt Collaboration has made me feel like a family member and I am ecstatic my Sista Jolene “called my name” to request a SeXXXy Love mix featuring Prince! It’s good to know that my music mixes are reaching people! Thank you, Jolene, for testing me; I surprised myself by rising to the occasion so quickly!

In my search for tracks to include in the mix, I was surprised to find so much of Prince’s music in my library, I didn’t even realize I had. I totally slept on this music other than what the radio played. I can say that within the past three months or so, 1000 x’s and o’s has been in constant rotation on New York’s WBLS, and I instantly fell in love with it! I knew his voice sounded familiar but didn’t know it was him until I Shazammed the song—it all made perfect sense, and I was mad at myself for not figuring it was him.

A couple of the tracks I selected have the blues written all over them while also taking on a nice nasty, sweet and spicy kinda feel along with a bit of good ole soul and gospel! I was pleased to find such beautiful songs I hadn’t heard before. Thanks to my other son, Marques I included The Greatest Romance Ever Sold, The Neptunes Remix which hit me in the right spot and had to add it. I don’t usually select songs for my mixes that are regularly played on radio programs unless they fit into my theme or I really love them. Therefore, I chose a specific selection to showcase SeXXXy Love and It’s Complicated because all of the songs are SeXXXy and some of the lyrics in certain tracks involve complicated situations. It was really good to find these tracks, as I love a good and undercover nasty love song that has a funky and soulful beat to it.

Here’s an emotional read from my other Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration Sista, Calandra’s reaction to Prince’s death.

Do enjoy and let me know what you think!

Shhh
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Call My Name

Manadatory Credit: Photo by Brian Rasic / Rex Features (396812dh) PRINCE VARIOUS

Manadatory Credit: Photo by Brian Rasic / Rex Features (396812dh)
PRINCE
VARIOUS

Adore (Live)

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, U.S. musician Prince performs during his concert at the Sziget Festival on the Shipyard Island, northern Budapest, Hungary. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. (AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai, File) HUNGARY OUT

FILE – In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, U.S. musician Prince performs during his concert at the Sziget Festival on the Shipyard Island, northern Budapest, Hungary. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album “Plectrum Electrum,” recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. (AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai, File) HUNGARY OUT

Insatiable
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On The Couch

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Dance
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How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore

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Satisfied
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What it Feels Like
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Gett Off
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Breakfast Can Wait
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Incense and Candles
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Mr. Goodnight
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1000 X’s and O’s
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The Greatest Romance Ever Been Sold (The Neptunes Remix)
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Come On
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Here’s a moving story about Prince from Youtube sensation, Shameless Maya

The 9th Annual Classic R&B Weekend at Hershey Lodge

Hubby and I commemorated our 25th wedding anniversary in November 2015 and just couldn’t figure out how we should celebrate.  Until… My sister told me she was going to this classic soul music-filled weekend. I told her it sounded familiar and when I saw the promo video, BAM!! There it was.

The ALL INCLUSIVE Weekend of Parties, Food, Fun, and Entertainment provided by Voice Distributions & The Sessoms Group I’d heard about for years–since ONUTSS days. Yeah, I know. I will soon tell you all about ONUTSS!

This was a wonderful follow-up to the Capital Jazz Super Cruise 2015 as we had just returned from a few weeks earlier. Luckily the organization still had room so we booked the 9th R&B Classic Soul Weekend right away.

We had a lovely time being submerged in music once again! The weekend started on Friday once we arrived in Hershey PA at the Hershey Lodge and checked in, which by the way was the best check-in I’ve ever experienced! When we reached the counter we gave them our names and they, in turn, provided us with an envelope that contained our keys to the room, and to top it off a Hershey chocolate bar. That was it! No credit card hold, registration or anything else. Off to our room, we explore to find a beautiful room with an interior door that led to the outside where there was room for parking and a bench, which was a nice touch but the folks sitting on it 3:00 am had no idea they were interrupting precious sleep right in front of the room’s window .

The Hershey Lodge had an extremely warm and homely feel to it. The staff was friendly and the rooms and building overall were really comfortable. The Hershey Kisses theme was all over the place–from the building’s entrance to the wallpaper in the bathroom!

With such an abundance of people in attendance for this Classic R&B Weekend event, it was amazing that the attendees didn’t take up all of the rooms.  There were plenty of families there to enjoy the Hershey Lodge offerings as well.

Friday night entertainment consisted of up and coming artists, comedy, and DJ sets. Seven acts were on tap for Saturday in addition to the banquet and recognition.   Since we had a late brunch, we came in at the tail end of the banquet and missed dinner.  By the time the last act came on (Tavares) we needed to eat. I looked forward to seeing them but we had to catch the restaurant before midnight closing. Now this part I think the organization could have split the performances between Friday and Saturday. It was really long to sit for seven acts in a row.

And may I say, the band that played for all of the artists, I believe, was outstanding!  Wish I could tell you who they were…

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One of the hosts, don’t know his name.

Meli’sa Morgan
I enjoyed Mel’sa’s performance, she engages the audience and as you can see, she wanted to be close to them!
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That’s Meli’sa’s fiance in the bowtie

Shirley Jones and The Jones Girls
Shirley still sounds good and the assistant vocalists were right on point!   Vonetta or Fonetta Baker (I couldn’t understand which one is her name and googled it but no luck) Anissa Hargrove (the only reason I got her is because she has her own project), and Shontell (couldn’t make out her last name). If anyone knows who these ladies are please let us know. Shirley gave them their shine as they were all soul stirring and well deserved. Check out Anissa “Twinky” Hargrove and listen to a few of Anissa’s Snippets on Soundcloud

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The Jones Girls (Shirley Jones, original member)

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Blue Magic
They blew my mind–and hubby’s too as you will hear, lol. They were in great form although one of them was in a car accident over that weekend and still insisted on performing. I don’t know his name but he is the third one who entered onto the stage with an assistant.   They gave us a stellar performance! In my humble opinion, I think the producers should have saved the best for last! But then again, I would have missed all of this GOODNESS!

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Billy Paul
Eighty years young and his performance was a pleasure to experience for the first time!  The organization had five years worth of scheduling conflicts booking Mr. Paul, so indeed it was a blessing to have finally booked him for this event.  Sadly, Billy Paul passed away on April 26, 2016

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Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
They were snoozers and performed most of Teddy Pendergrass’ hits; they should have gone on first.

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The Emotions
By the time The Emotions hit the stage, it was just about time to hop over to the restaurant and “throw some groceries down my neck”! (LOL, Quote from the movie, Smokey and the Bandit LOL).  The little of their performance I caught, they were ok.
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Tavares
Tavares closed the show, and I missed a good portion of their performance.  After dinner, I rushed back to the venue and caught the last couple of songs 😦 I missed them perform my song, “Check It Out”!

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The 10th Annual Classic R&B Weekend

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The Cupids Hunt Podcast Collaboration 2016

It is truly an honor to be part of this collaboration of podcasters and DJs since 2011!! I must say that although I am not a professional, my skills have excelled in ways I would have never imagined. I have a long way to go but nevertheless totally enjoying my journey.

This mix must have known it was a special one because it gave me some issues exporting it. I had to try it four times before it was acceptable to publish!

So here it is…Enjoy!!

SeXXXy – Love X
Maxwell – Til the Cops Come Knockin (extended version)
Prince – Insatiable (rare version)
Improm2 – I’ll Do Whatever
Glen Scott – Deep In It
Ty Causey – Love Me that Way
Janita – Angel Eyes
Faith Evans – Make Love
Liv Warfield – Your Show
Jonathan Maron – Natural High
Jade – When Will I See You Again (Intro)
Janita – I Only Want You

Women Making HerStory Now!

In honor of Women’s HerStory Month/International Women’s Day I thought it would be appropriate for me to take a moment to reflect on the women I admire, respect, honor and whose inspiration has touched me in more ways than many.

 Women ROCK and I’ve always said that we can run this world; what do you think?

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Women’s HerStory in the Making!

I am ecstatic for the opportunity to celebrate the women in my life, my circle and those far and near including those I have yet to meet face to face.  From an array of disciplines including, but not limited to: music, graphic arts, education, singers, writers, designers, photographers, technology, activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, and fitness trainers these women have made a great impact on me and in many ways my life. Most of them may not even be aware of my high regard for them.

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I know many of you personally and some of the tribulations you have endured with significant-other relationships, family, the loss of loved ones, and health issues; yet you continue to push forward.  Life-threatening illnesses have ravaged your body, mind, and spirit, leaving you emotionally drained. Yet you are still here, as God has kept you fighting to show your strength to others.  You are sweet, bold, charming, outspoken, kind, even brazen at times; you’ve overcome adversity yet many of you maintain living with it and keep a smile on your face, constantly encouraging others without a second thought.

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By the same token, YOU are experiencing wonderful and fulfilling moments of merit and prosperity, where you display incredible energy that spreads like wildfire!!  I have been observing you excel from one level to the next, making great strides in your community and personally. You exhibit your wealth of knowledge and demonstrate positivity to those in which you come in contact.  I admire your intelligence and learn from your experiences more than you know. You have worked really hard at what you do; your talents have been observed by people in the right places that propelled you to higher heights, nationally and internationally!!

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It takes a tenacious, persistent woman to prepare her mind and body to decide now is the time to change your unhealthy eating habits and exercise for better health and a longer lifespan. You did that and huney, you look good!! I’m so proud of you!


You deserve recognition, support and most of all love—right now because you are doing the DAMNED thing—making HerStory NOW!

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Hopefully, you will take a moment, a minute, an hour, a day or whatever it takes to do something extraordinary for yourself, sometime real soon.  Give yourself the flowers you have truly earned  (whatever those flowers may be!).  I am telling you, you truly deserve them for all you do and have done for others, forsaking yourself, instead of putting YOU first.

Gurl, just

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Cheers Ladies!!!
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  This tribute is for you, my Sistas!!

The Honorees Are:

Abby Dobson

Adriane Ferguson

Adrienne Powers – My sister

Ajsha Pullin

Alecia Gillard

Alicia Hammond

Alethea Hardin

Alice TurboFleur

Alison Crockett

Alison Murry

Allecia Frye

Amma Whatt

Andrea Greene

Angel Monique

Angela Johnson

Anita Bryant

Anja

Annita Utra Shivdyal

Ann Marie Collymore

Annmarie Reynolds

Anshia Tull

Antoinette Jeanine

Antonia Jenae’

Ayesha Payne

Barbara McCarthy

Calandra Branch

Candy Davis

Caprice Starbrite Toddman

Carmen Berry

Carmen Farnum

Carmen Rodgers

Carole Eady

Carol Riddick

Cecilia Nolasco

Chante Ramsey

Choklate Moore

Chris Sidifall

Clementine Jackson

Colleen Rubino

Collette Blakeney

Cynthia Cruz

CynDiva Harcum

Danielle Davis – My sister

Danielle Hatchett

Daphne Lipford – My sister

Darlene Whittaker

Darnelle Gillisslee

Deborah Bond

Deborah Heffernan Hinds

Deone Murph Holder

Deeyjay Renay

Dereth Howell

Detrel Howell-Sapp

Dianne BestEver Nelson

Dianne Mommaship Washington

Doreen Massiah

Dyneka L. Lewis

Elsa Lathan

Emily Scott

Esnavi

Eulelia Pinky Johnson

Fiona Bloom

Frances Jaye

Francine Small

Gail DJflame Hall

Georgia Powers

Green Tea

Harron Evoria

Iman Bianca Williams

Iola Anyan

Iris Brown

Ivana Kotov

Jacqueline Nesbitt

Janice Palmer

Janita Maria

Jarmelle Anderson – My sister

JazzyBlue Visions

Jennifer Ravis

Joann Gomez

Jodine Dorsey

Johnnie Savage-Waugh

Jolene Kay White Bethune

June Faulk

June Felix

Karen Bernod

Karen Smith

Kai Lane

Kateria Niambi

Kathy Powers – My sister

Kathy Watkins

Kathy Wilkins

Katie Piper

Kaylan Nelson

KeJuan Stroud

Kelli Sae

Kendra Ross

Kerri Simmons

Kierra Benefield

KiKi Kawkins

Kim Hernandez

Kim Namaste Berry

Kimberly Hines

Kimberly-Howell-Johnson

Kimberly Nichole

Kitchen Rebel

Kym Scott

Lady Vee Ongpauco

La’Kiesha Underwood

Lalah Hathaway

LaShawn Jacobs

Latisha Banks

Laura Garris

LaVerne Francis

LaVonne Thompson

Ledisi

Leslie McNair-Wilder

Linda Simmons

Linda Taylor Pryor

Lisa Bryant

Lisa Stanton

Liv Warfield

Lorenda Robinson

Lori Leff

Lorraine Bailey

Louella Byers

Luznerida Rosado

Lydia Berry-Pearson

Macheka Williams-Roach

Marie Rush

Marilyn Douglas

Marlena Latif

Marlo Bracey

Mary Brown

Mary Frye

Mary Pryor

Maya Azucena

Maysa Leak

Mercy Harris

Michelle Gillenwater

Michelle Harrlem Holmes

Michelle Jenkins

Michelle R. Smith

Mika Deharlem

Mildred Fallen

Millie Barbot

Minister Rasha Patterson

Monet Cherise

Monique Thomas

MsElle Emme Esse

Natalie McGregory

Nay Marie

N’Dambi

Nikki Norwood

Nina Morena

NORC Program Directors (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) are challenged in numerous ways; 100% caregivers, advocates, and nurturers to New York City’s vibrant and frail Senior Citizens!!  Ladies, you are doing phenomenal work!

Norma Brown

Norma Hendricks

Pam Beck

Pamela Kellum

Pamela Henry

Pamela Nichols

Pamela Stevenson

Patience Morton

Patricia Knowles Ford

Paula Ralph-Birkett

Pepper Thomas

Perquida Williams

Phyllis Johnson

RaRe Valverdi

Raquel Carter

Regine Ridore

Renee Michele Barton-Rose

Renee Sheffey

Robyn Frye

Rosalie Astacio

Rose Ordonez Jenkins

Ruscelle Williams

Ruth Cordero

Sandra Kizum

Sandra Faye Tucker

Sania’ Jones

Sarah J. Hill

Sarah Jones

Sarah Huny Young

Selina Donaldson

Shani Elliot

Sharon Quinn

Shereen Lewis

Shiane Lee

Silawn Lewis

Stacey Sheffey

Stephanie Renee

Stephanie Thomas Gonzalez- My sister

Stevie Robinson

Sunshine Brown

Sy Smith

Tahesha Paige

Tonya L. Brown

Tonya Johnson

Tara Powers – My sister

Theresa Thomas

Tiffany Taylor

TJ Scruggs

Tonya Dillard-Johnson

Tonya L. Brown

Tra’ Love Peace

Tracey Hodges

Tracy Freeman

Tracy Laramore

Tracy Lymus

Tracy Lynn Deis

Tricia Angus

Trina Broussard

Valerie Smith

Vanessa El

Vanessa Hill

Vee Lisa C Walker

Victoria Warren

Vivian Sessoms

Wanda Bennett

Wandetta Benton

YahZarah

Zoila Noella

My mother, Ernestine Blutcher Thomas Webb, my sister Sophia Thomas, and my grandmother Arrie Lee Cox Blutcher are at rest but are included in this tribute because of their words of encouragement, wisdom, and everlasting love.  There is an empty place in my life for all of them as I miss their faces, hugs, and kisses, but most of all their voices, because no matter how near or far, they were just a mere phone call away…

I’m sure that there are more women who have touched my life in one way or another and if I have not mentioned her here, I can only attribute it to my mind, and not my heart…Just knowing you has given me insight and courage to excel to aspire to be every woman I so desire to be.

Cupid’s Hunt 2015

Cupid’s Hunt is the premiere online collaboration event where DJs and podcasters from all over the Internet release loved-themed music mixes all on the same day: Valentine’s Day!

This is where you will find all of my Cupid’s Hunt Mixes for streaming, mixed for the Valentines Day Love Fest over the past few years.

I am so happy that the founder, Todd Grundy Mr. Love Man himself invited me to be a member of this elite group to share my version of love, or lack there of…

ENJOY!!!

1. Let Me Love You – Janita
2. Barumba – Incognito
3. Your Lover – Faith Evans
4. Make Love Tonight – Chris Rob
5. In the Mood To Take It Slow – Najee f/Meli’sa Morgan
6. Sophisticated Lover – Maysa
7. Juicy  – Roy Hargrove f/Renee Nuefville
8. Until Then – Jill Scott
9. Sunshine – Quiet Dawn
10. Marathon – Raheem DeVaughn
11. Ecstasy of Love – Intro
12. Kiss – Antoinia Jenae
13. Heaven – SuCh
14. Ride the Beat – Faith Evans
15. Falling – Will Downing


1. Groove On Ledisi
2. Inside Cheryl Pepsi Riley
3. Come Inside (dialogue) Intro
4. Whose is It? (Interlude) Total
5. Imgonnacome Alison Crockett
6. Crown Royal Jill Scott
7. Lay Awhile Raheem DeVaughn
8. I Wanna Know You D-Influence f/Dyanna Frearon
9. Touch Me ChinahBlac
10. Late Night Rendezvous Carl Thomas
11. Lay You Down Portrait
12. Morning Love Carleen Anderson
13. Funny Brown Rice
14. You Know What Happens Alison Crockett
15. I Like The Way It Feels Carol Riddick


1. Early Bird – Angela Johnson f/Trish Angus
2. A Sexy Way – Alyson Williams f/ Tony Terry
3. For You (I’ll Go There) – Lamone
4. Gettin it On – Mint Condition
5. Give Me Love – Davina
6. This Love I Have – Marva King
7. Dance 4 Me – Nyr
8. Make Luv 2 Me – Zo f/Monica Blaire
9. Garden of Love – Raheem DeVaughn
10. Imagination – Floetry
11. Sumthin Sumthin – Maxwell
12. G-Spot – Gerald Levert


1. The Art of Love – Toni Braxton
2. Love Calls – Ty Causey
3. Bedroom – Jade
4. Satisfy You – Will Downing
5. Can We Come Together – Eric Benet
6. Right Her, Right Now – Maysa
7. Come Inside – Intro
8. Bedroom – Raheem DeVaughn
9. Touching Again – Eric Benet
10. All Night Long – Trina Broussard
11. Funny How Time Flies – Intro
12. Alright – Val Watson f/Patrice Rushen
13. Hurry Hurry – Pete Belasco
14. Til Tomorrow – Marvin Gaye


1. Get Me Off- Improm2
2. Tonight is the Night – Jerzee Monet
3. Ahh – Silk
4. 911 – Robin Thick
5. Slowman -Rosie Gaines
6. Romantic – Goapele
7. Get Me Off (Deep Funk Instrumental) – Improm2
8. All I Want Is You – Incognito
9. Sensual Loving – Nicole Jackson
10. Better – Nicholas Ryan Gant
11. Alone Together – Daley f/Marsha Ambrosius
12. Say Yes (10th Year Anniversary) – The Floacist
13. Anything Goes – Christion
14. My Place – Tweet
15. Can We Get Down – Jon B.
16. Calling Me – Raheem DeVaughn

1. I Want cha Babe Ledisi
2. Human Touch –  Kem
3. Slowly – Selena Johnson
4. Examine Me – Warren Xclnce & Etta Bond
5. Phone Sex – Selena Johnson
6. Nothing (Interlude) – Jill Scott
7. Wet – Sandra St. Victor
8. Obey – Dwele
9. Sexy – Maysa
10. Dinner and a Movie- Ron Isley
11. The Baby Maker – Carl Thomas
12. Intro – Slakah The Beatchild
13. Lay You Down – Jose James
14. Sex in the City –  Noel Goudin
15. Feels Like We Sexin’ – Calvin Richardson


1. Interlude: Introspective Mood – Kenny Lattimore
2. Don’t Talk to me Like That – Will Downing
3. Place in Your Heart – Ty Causey
4. Do You Want Me – Jade
5. Do You Feel The Way I Do – Rahsaan Patterson
6. Walkin – Angela Johnson f/Lisala
7. Sick of Fools – Leigh Jones
8. Crying Over You – Angela Johnson f/Trisha Angus and Lisala
9. Only You – Jill Scott
10. Seven Days – Mary J. Blige
11. Still Come Back 2 U – Laurnea
12. Remedy – Leon King
13. Never Fall In Love – Gordon Chambers
14. No Guarantee – Chico DeBarge
15. Love, Sex and Philosophy – Soul: ID

Smooth Grooves Vol. I (Something New)

I usually create sultry, sensual mixes; this time I tried something new by creating an up tempo mix, with some smooth grooves that will have your head noddin’ and body movin’. You can get your SeXXXy dance on with this mix too–hint hint, lol! 🙂  The Music Minded Manic post explains sultry, sensual and SeXXXy Love in detail, where you’ll get a better picture of what I’m talking about…

One more thing; most of my posts with mixes include my pictures or video footage of the artists featured in the mix from a show I attended.  None here. So I just added a few of the artists’ videos via YouTube.

I must say, I am pleased with the results of this mix and will gladly take another jab at it soon.

Enjoy!

1. Breaking It Down – Petalpusher f/Ledisi
2. Children of the Sun – Positive Flow f/Heidi Vogel
3. Stillness Meets Me – Projections
4. Koko +Lee Roe – Mark de Clive-Lowe
5. Heaven Pt. 2 – Mark de Clive-Lowe
6. Youth [Intro] – Soul: ID
7. Stay With Me – (Grooveman Spot Remix) Platinum Pied Pipers
8. Breaking It Down – Liquid Spirits f/Raffaela
9. One the One – Roy Hargrove f/Renee Neufville
10. Perfect Sky – Reel People
11. Beauty & Sin – Soul:ID
12. Sex, Love and Philosophy – Soul:ID
13. Know Your Name – Dwele
14. Get Ta Steppin – Hi-Tek w/Mos Def & Vinia Mojica
15. Earth Wind and Fire – Val Watson
16. Jimmy Down – Dwele
17. Searchin’ (Vibey Ayers Mix) – Steve Wallace
18. Feel That Music – Slakah the Beatchild

Liquid Spirits – Higher Ground
A few years ago I found this video just browsing and fell in love!

Courtesy of Pure Jazz

Heidi Vogel
Discovered Heidi from my Sista, Tracy who shared some really good music with me a few years ago. I love Children of the Sun where Heidi’s voice is featured on the second track of the mix!

Courtesy of Isabella Magalona

Roy Hargrove and Renee Neufville – On the One
I love this live version better than the studio’s

Courtesy of Renee Nuefville

Soul:ID – Love of My Life
I’m sorry this group broke up. This entire album is fantastic!

Courtesy of uduinc

Steve Wallace Sings La Donna E Mobile
I’m impressed by Steve’s talent on this piece! Pleasantly surprised to have found it.

Courtesy of Steve Wallace

Mark de Clive-Lowe
Gotta love this man! So damned talented!

Courtesy of Mark de Clive-Lowe

Oh wait, I found one of my videos!
Ledisi’s voice is featured on Breaking It Down, the first track. Her name is not listed on the original track and when I heard it, I knew it was her. Had to goolgle it to make sure I saw her name attached to this song, which I love ever since I first heard it!
Ledisi performs Higher Than This at her CD Release Party, for Turn Me Loose

Loose Ends

The long awaited show date finally came–and then it went! I wanted to see Loose Ends when they were at BB Kings, NYC and the Capital Jazz Festival (still looking forward to my first experience–but that’s for another post).

Finally, on November 8, 2014, I got together with some childhood friends; Norma and June and my Soul Music Brother Aqeel, we had a blast!

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Fred “Bugsy” Buggs of New York’s 107.5 WBLS introduced Loose Ends and Indie Soul Artist, SuCh (Sue Charles) opened the show.  She has a beautiful voice, and the crowd definitely felt her vibe and gracious personality.  She threw her magic touch out into the crowd and they fell right in sync, participating with her song Sugar Maple (went real good with my name, Sap from a Suga Maple, lol)  SuCh and the crowd’s energy was outstanding and was the perfect match for audience participation. SuCh stopped by our table after her performance and was delightful to chat with for a few moments!  I totally support indie soul artists and this show was perfect for her to show off her talent to a room full of music heads there to see Loose Ends.

I have been to many concerts and this one had to be one of the best that I’ve seen a long time! Every soul in BB King’s that night had a ball, it was a “straight up” JAM session in there! Everybody was singing along and every BODY was on their feet, mind you this was a sold out/seated show!

Jane Eugene’s excitement and enthusiasm was just as intense as the crowd’s to see her and the band perform! They paraded onto the BB Kings stage sporting all white and lit it up like a bolt of lightning that never left!  The crowd went wild!!

Since this was my first time seeing Loose Ends live, I didn’t know what to expect.   They opened the show with Stay A Little While, Child and everyone jumped to their feet to groove with Loose Ends; it was electric!!

I was ecstatic they sang Mr Bachelor off The Real Chuckeeboo album as it is tops of my favorite Loose End albums!  I was surprised they performed the track, Don’t You Ever Try to Change Me since Jane was not a member of the group at the time the Look How Long album was released. Never mind that though, Look How Long is one of my favorites as well!

Their version of Slow Down was really on point at the end of the song, because they actually slowed it down.  You’ll see.

The backing band for Loose Ends did a fantastic job on the music and vocals, and I would go see them again and again should they keep coming to NYC!

The Band
Jeff Robinson – Vocalist
Palo Santo Vocalist/Hype Man
Craig T Cooper – Guitar (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You)
Leroy Boogie Babaloo Greer – Percussion  (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You, took it GoGo!)
Keith Eaddy – Bass
Cory Mason – Drums  (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You, took it GoGo!)
Art Sherrod Jr. – Saxophone (he did his thing on Slow Down)
Aya Iwata – Keyboard

I hadn’t planned on recording “You Can’t Stop the Rain”, and kinda slept on it until I realized this was the part of the show; where the backing vocalists had the opportunity to let their voices shine (and oh did they show out!!) This is my favorite part of a show and I love it when the featured artist shares the spotlight! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! #20FeetfromStardom

Backing Vocals
Waylynn MommyGiva Pitts
Robert Gee (who I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with during the MySpace days, I was surprised to learn it was him in the flesh!)
Dominique Karan

Editing the video footage was just as exciting as it was to see the show in person and truly difficult to cut it down–I wanted to show you everything!  It brought back memories of that evening which will always stay with me!  I never got tired of listening to and watching it over and over!!

Ain’t nothin’ like live music!  As long as I live on this earth, you better believe I’ll be somewhere supporting what I love–good music!

Hope you enjoy as much as I did!!  Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment and share if you’d like.

Special shout out to Brotha Aqeel from Jane!  Listen for it!

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The Big Boo Boo at BB Kings, NYC

For the record, I never forget or get the date mixed up for a concert! Well, there’s a first time for everything, right?

I was supposed to see Basia at BB Kings and totally got the date mixed up. Basia was to perform there on Saturday, September 17, 2011 and I went on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 and got the surprise of all musical surprises (well not really, the first time I was to see Down to the Bone, the purchase for the tickets didn’t go through on-line and when I arrived to pick them up at the window before the show, there were no tickets BOOOOOO!!!).

Anywho!! When I arrived at BB Kings and saw that Hiroshima was on the billboard as the featured artist I could not believe my eyes!  I’d missed Basia!!

I’d heard of Hiroshima but knew nothing about their music. I ran into my music brother, Craig organizer of  the Meetup Group, Jazz Explorations and he assured me I would be in for a treat if took advantage if being in the house that evening.  Luckily for me, the BB  King’s box office management permitted me to use the tickets for that evening and the night’s performance couldn’t have been more enjoyable!

I’ve been a long time admirer of Basia’s music and never heard of her performing in New York.  To say the least I was really disappointed in myself that I had gotten the date mixed up.

Basia’s performance I missed…

Courtesy of jfqman1’s channel

Taking a step backwards, I had been trying to see Vinx in New York for a while when I had first heard of him in 05/06.  So when the band started to assemble on stage, before the lights came on, I said as soon as I saw Vinx make his way on stage, in a silhouette, that it was him!  Mind you, I hadn’t seen a picture of him in a long time, but remembered his style–to my utter surprise!! How glad was I that I’d stayed to see this show?!!  Happy as hell!!

Instead, I was rewarded with Vinx’s performance with Hiromshima!!

Courtesy of Sista Suga

Kaoru Watanabe performs with Shoji Kameda and Danny Yamamoto of HIROSHIMA in Japan Relief Benefit Concert at BB King in NY on 9/21/11.

Courtesy of Lia Chang via youtube