Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Black Women Rock(...but we know this!) & Sacred Revolution (Hallelujah!)

March 4th-6th
Black Women Rock
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit, MI

Black Women Rock!
Women’s Herstory Month has been off the chain and it ain't over yet! I had a great time at Black Women Rock in Detroit and at Sacred Revolution in Harlem. I wish I had time to give you a full recap, but I’ll give you the highlights.

Jessica Care Moore

Black Women Rock was amazing! Jessica Care Moore has been hosting that event for about 12 years now and it is all that the title says. Even with all the gentrification that is happening in Detroit, the city is still Black and it was great to play for what was mostly an audience of Black people. Yes this happens in New York too, but when it happens out of state it just feels a bit more special. Most of the folks in the room had no idea who I was, but after the show was over there was so much love and gratitude coming my way.


As I came from backstage at intermission I ran into two girls, Naja and Chole who gasped when the saw me. They said they were looking for me, which really warmed my heart. We took a selfie together, I gave them a little music biz advice (yes I did), we laughed and honestly I could have gone home after that for real. That made my whole night. They had so much love.

Naja & Chloe! Rising Stars!
Then when I went upstairs to the merch table to sign a few CDs, these women told me that after seeing my set they felt “more free.” Now that’s what I’m talking about! Let me tell you something. Playing for people who don’t know you from Eve and they still give you love is really what it’s all about. New York makes you tough as an artist. People here have the screw face before one note comes out. In New York, the vibe is, “I came out of the house so you better be good. Now impress me!” Outside of New York, the vibe is, “I came out of the house, so let’s have a good time!” So that’s what we did.

Gold jumpsuit. Feather cap. Tambourine. Let's Go! 

I am so thankful to Jessica for inviting me. I’m so glad I got to meet my sisters in music, some whom I’ve been hearing about for a long time. So thank you again Jessica for bringing me together with Kimberly Nichole (once again), Nik West, Divinity Roxx, Ideeyah, Steffanie Christi'an, Kimsa, Mama Soul and K’Valentine.

Me & Nik West: Bass Inspiration 
Thank you Tammy, EttaFLY and Sabrina for your love, joy and coordination! That weekend reminded me no matter how rough the road feels sometimes, I am exactly where I need to be.

Divinity Roxx
Black Women Rock, the show, was on Saturday, but there was a panel with some of the artists back at the Charles H. Wright Museum on Sunday. I stayed for the panel as long as I could, but I had to head back to New York and straight to rehearsal for Sacred Revolution. Kimberly Nichole, Kat Dyson and I had all been in Detroit together, so we were all a little loopy at rehearsal that night, but the next day were ready to go!

Mama Soul reppin' Flint, MI
Steffanie Christi'an
Sabrina Nelson: Visual Artist
Nik West

March 7th
Sacred Revolution
Schomburg Center, Harlem, NYC

Sacred Revolution
Sacred Revolution was part of the Schomburg’s Women’s Jazz Festival curated by Toshi Reagon. That evening we were celebrating the music of Mavis Staples, Mahalia Jackson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe so you know I had to pull out my great grandmother’s hat for that one. Honey, that night was spirit filled! We had an actual B3 organ onstage! So between Sam on the organ and Glenn on the piano I knew we were going to have church for real! Sacred Revolution brought me together for the first time with vocalists Jhetti Lashley, Christina Sayles and Josette Newsam-Marchak and back together with Kimberly Nichole, Marcelle Davies Lashley and of course Toshi Reagon. Fred Cash on bass, Kat Dyson on guitar and Shirazette Tinnin on drums rounded out the band.  Kimberly Nichole and I sang a duet on Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Didn’t it Rain,” which we will reprise on the 20th at her show at Subrosa (NYC), and I can’t wait for that!

Toshi Reagon
Christina Sayles
Jhetti Lashley
Kimberly Nichole
Marcelle Davies Lashley
There were so many takeaways from that Sacred Revolution show. Christina singing “It is Well,” Marcelle singing “Come Sunday” and Toshi singing “Rock Me,” but for me the stand out moment or the one that resonated with me the most was Jhetti singing “Can’t No Grave Hold My Body Down.” It was such a lovely weekend, but you know the devil is always afoot! Ha! But “can’t no grave hold my body down,” for me meant that can’t no bad energy, or bad vibes, or someone else’s BS or negativity hold me down. There is only one way this spirit is going and that’s up! So hear this devil, I see you and you will not win today! The doors of the church are open.

Josette Newsam-Marchak
The Nikole Sisters (Shelley Nicole & Kimberly Nichole)
Sam Guillaume and the B3!
My Nana's hat (Nana Perry in the house!)

Thank you for rolling with me on a little piece of my journey. I’ll be back with a recap of the upcoming BROAKlyn show in Oakland!  I can’t wait to see my Bay Area/Michfest fam. It’s gonna be an amazing time!

Black Women Rock Photos by Abby Oladipo
Sacred Revolution Photos by Bob Gore

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