Tonight, June 28, 2010, I’ll be singing with Grammy Award-winner Gordon Chambers and Zoe Lyons Nieves at Joe’s Pub NYC!!
The Outreach Ministry from Unity of New York, A Spiritual Center for Creative Living presents Harmony for Haiti…A benefit concert, featuring performers from Broadway, Recording Artists, and Grammy Award winners. 100% of the proceeds from this concert will be donated to Operation USA for the Haiti Earthquake Recovery – School Rebuilding Project in Jacmel.
Hosted by spoken word artist, Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin
Performers: Gordon Chambers, Antonio Edwards, Rosena Hill, Zoe Lyons, Marieann Meringolo, Luis Villabon, and vocal ensemble, Spiritus.
There will also be a Silent Auction beginning at 6PM featuring a variety of high-end goods and services.
425 Lafayette Street
6:00pm – 11:00pm
Directions: Subway – 6 to Astor Place & Lafayette St. / 4th Ave.
or N/R/W to 8th Street/NYU at Broadway
In other parts of NYC, my roommate Tym Moss was making things hot during the NYC Gay Pride Parade, on top of the float featuring Metro Bears. Tym probably had a dream or two come true by getting to ride aboard an NYC fire engine. What can I say, the man knows how to get around! 😉
Love the closeup view!
Dang, it’s hot and humid in NYC today (86 degrees)! These kids have the right idea, and if I wasn’t wearing my nice clothes, I might have jumped in and joined them.
Shoot, I still might! 😉
My cousin, the Miami poet MC Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns created a dance tribute last year after Michael Jackson died.
For the anniversary of MJ’s passing, Butterfly’s aiming to get 1000 YouTube views of the video. Her dance tribute, filled with classic MJ songs and dance moves, is basically a sincere love letter from a long-time fan. Check out the video and see for yourself.
Back in the day, Butterfly wore a silver glove all the time – for real!!!
Make Music New York is a live, free musical celebration across the city that takes place each June 21 — the first day of Summer (and longest day of the year).
On that day, hundreds of public spaces throughout the five boroughs — sidewalks, parks, community gardens, and more — become impromptu stages for over 1,000 free concerts. Musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions perform for new audiences, who come out from under their headphones to hear unfamiliar groups risk-free on the first day of summer.
Last year’s Make Music NY, I sang in front of my friend’s yummy store, Divalicious Chocolate. For this year’s Make Music New York, I skipped doing a solo gig in favor for participating in a New Orleans-style Second Line parade through the streets of New York City, organized in part by musician Evan Hammer.
I ended up becoming a member of Brooklyn’s Hungry March Band for the day, dancing, playing, and parading through mid-town New York City, from Lincoln Center down to Columbus Circle. It was a lot of fun to dance through the streets, with people following and dancing along. It was a happiness-maker, for sure!
Check out my video to see how much joy the Hungry March Band had. Please excuse all the movement of my video cam. It was hard to dance and videotape at the same time, but you’ll definitely get the idea of how much fun was had by all!
Visit the Hungry March Band website
This year I attended my third Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. This year Coney Island showed off some of its recent “Luna Park” renovations.
Sez Coney Island’s website:
A completely original creation of Coney Island USA, the Mermaid Parade is the nation’s largest art parade and one of New York City’s greatest summer events. The parade is proud to have some incredible sponsors.
Founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney island Circus Sideshow, the Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island’s forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources resulting in a wonderful and wacky event that is unique to Coney Island.
The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed.
All was not fun and fins though. Some mermaids used this festive occasion to protest BP’s Oil Spill in the Gulf:
It was the most packed that I ever remember – almost too much so. I’d guess that the Mermaid Parade is no longer a “best kept secret”!
Ariel Hyatt, Music Publicist extraordinaire, is celebrating her birthday this year in Australia, half the world away from her NYC friends. At this moment, it’s June 19th today in NYC, but it’s already June 20th over there, which is her actual birthday. During a recent conversation we had, she mentioned that she had only just heard about Stevie Wonder’s classic birthday song, sometimes referred to as “The Black Happy Birthday Song”.
As folks know, black people often prefer a soulful rendition of any song, so this blog post is lovingly dedicated to Ariel!
Here’s the traditional Birthday song, sung at Ariel’s early birthday BBQ:
Here’s the funky Stevie Wonder version of Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday, Ariel! Smooches!
Last month, the day after Mother’s Day, Motorola sponsored a Mother’s Day photo contest. They asked folks to send in photos of themselves and their mom, and the winner would receive free Motorola Android phones for themselves AND their mom.
I distinctly remember thinking at the time that I had a whole bunch of other things I needed to do, but I had a pic of my mom and me that I absolutely love. So I stopped everything else I was doing, went searching around in one of my boxes, found it, scanned it, uploaded it to Tweetphoto, and tweeted it to @MotoMobile (Motorola’s twitter name)
“I Only Have Eyes For You”
In this pic, my mom and I are sitting at a banquet table during my stepfather’s family reunion during the summer of 1985. We were visiting Houston, TX. My stepfather was a photographer, and he happened to catch this moment. I can’t recall what my mom said to me here, but she always had a knack for making me laugh. I love this photo because in the middle of a crowded room, surrounded by mostly strangers, my mom and I had a special little moment.
Because the photo is quite “busy”, I had no expectations of winning, but I still loved that little photo. When I saw the other contest entries, I noticed that all of the other photos were people standing next to their mothers. Mine was filled with all kinds of activity, but we were the only ones looking directly at each other. It’s very cool that the contest judges agreed that it’s a special photo, and I’m so glad I sent it in.
Considering that I’m a social media fool, I’m excited about having a smart phone to easily share pics, messages, etc while I’m on the go. If you want to see just how excited I am, check out the video below 😉
Thank you, Motorola! Thank you, Mom!!!
My friends at Guguchu have created some sweet music promotion tools, and this month they’re sponsoring a contest to win a FREE iPad and StudioTrack 8-track audio recording app for creating the best band page!!
This contest for the best band page will run for the full month of June 2010 on the Contests tab of the Guguchu Facebook page. Submit your band page and win an iPad that also works as your recording studio, and other prizes!
Guguchu is on a mission to provide the best online tools for bands and their managers for gig booking, fan development, communication, promotion, distribution, and more. They provide easy-to-use web apps for gig booking, fan development, communication, promotion, distribution, and more.
On Wednesday, June 9th, I’ll be interviewed live by the infamous punk princess Rew Starr on her “Rew and Who? Show”
Tune in live 4-6pm EST at http://www.arizzmaradio.com/rewandwho/
From Rew’s site:
“Rew luvz to flaunt the creative types of this land… All artists & colorful people of all realms are invited to share their unique talents… Come join the *Fun* in the studio & out on the streets… ReW* is a performing artist &songstress …she has graced the stage with many of her inspirations, including Regina Spektor, Joey Ramone, Patti Smith, David Johanson, Murphy’s Law, BETTY, the Spin Doctors & many more. Her song ‘U Suck’ is featured in the television series the ‘BAD GIRLS CLUB’ on the Oxygen Network.
Rew* is a core organizer and performer with the Girls Rock Girls Rule Tour and MAMAPALOOZA. Rew is a featured Mom in the rockumentary *MoMz Hot Rocks* by film maker Kate Perotti …& she performs regularly in her hometown of NYC, tours the USA, and has performed at world-renowned festivals like SXSW, CMJ, and Jazzfest. “This is what you moved to NYC for…” (Village Voice) Wednesdays from 4-6 pm on AriZZmaradio.com
Please tune into my live interview on the “Rew and Who?” internet show today at 4-6pm EST at http://www.arizzmaradio.com/rewandwho/