HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLES STEPNEY-YOUR MUSIC MADE THE DIFFERENCE RIP 1931 – 1976


As we approach the birthday of a musical genius and hard working family man. I have reprinted my blog for your enjoyment

Hipster Sanctuary

posted by  Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Charles Stephney The Great Musical Genius Charles Stepney

Arranger/producer Charles Stepney is heard on gold and platinum hits by the Dells and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as Chicago soul acts ranging from Rotary Connection to Terry Callier. While a staff arranger and producer at Chicago-based Chess Records, label artist Ramsey Lewis recorded one of his tunes, “Close Your Eyes and Remember,” on a ’60s Chess LP. Stepney worked with Lewis on his Chess sides and his 1975 gold Columbia album Sun Goddess, which peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Top POP 200 Albums chart in early 1975. Lewis, Elton John, and many of his peers list Charles Stepney as a strong musical influence.  Dells group member, Chuck Barksdale met Vibes player Stepney, who headed his own jazz trio. The meeting proved to be pivotal for Charles, who began doing orchestral arrangements on the Dells’…

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA MUSIC EDUCATOR MOURNED BY MANY


San Francisco Bay area jazz pianist, arranger, composer and educator from East Moline(Iowa) widely known as “The Jazz Professor” died Saturday evening at the age of 80 at his home in Oakland, Calif.    July 1936 – March 2017

“Professor” Bell mentored and inspired many professional musicians as a college music professor and jazz band director.

He also recorded several jazz albums and worked with the likes of Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Lou Rawls, Louie Bellson, The Supremes, and Carmen McRae.

He never forgot the Watertown section of East Moline where he grew up being called “Little Bill.” Those who knew him are mourning his loss and treasuring their memories. Those in the East bay and through-out the San Francisco bay area are mourning too, along with family and loved ones.

Mr. Bell did make recordings and composed a “work” for the San Francisco Symphony. He also began a long career as an esteemed educator that included being chairman at the College of Alameda, Music Department, jazz improvisation teacher at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Stanford University Jazz Band.

Prominent students Bell mentored included Sheila Escovedo, better known as Prince’s collaborator Sheila E.; jazz pianists Benny Green and Michael Wolfe also, trumpeter Jon Faddis.

The following text is a reprint of a Hipster Jazz blog review written by Robert J. Carmack ,November 7 2007, Oakland,California.

It was announced by Robert J. Carmack, executive producer and vice-president operations for SFBAAAM, that their first concert was a complete success. the first in a continuing series entitled “Back Street Jazz Series”, was held Sunday, November 4th at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music in downtown Oakland California. The show which featured the musical leadership of Jazz educator/pianist, Dr. Bill Bell. The SRO crowd applauded, yelled and whistled at the tight band assembled by Bell and a trio of sultry vocalists featured on the first set. jumping blues to ballads with a “big band feel” using arrangements by Bell himself, an accomplished arranger/composer. Sunday’s show opened with local favorite Ms. Robin Gregory as she torched the audience with her rendition of Blue Gardenia, followed by a lovely arrangement of Cole Porter’s Night & Day.

Valerie Cooper, a talented up and coming singer in the bay area followed Robin. “It was truly magical” stated Joye Slayton, a visiting jazz fan from Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Bell just simply pointed at certain musicians and they responded with blistering solos and sublime “comping” and coloring. Finishing up the first set was veteran vocalist, Darlene Coleman, a very talented songstress, who just nailed both her songs with polished tenacity and sheer vocal power.

The evening’s host and producer, Robert Carmack introduced a panel of jazz educators and musicians to discuss, “how jazz could further develop their audiences” by including more youth and starting early in the exposure of jazz to young people.

Local jazz radio host, Sonny Buxton, Ms. Anna De Leon, Anna’s of “Jazz Island” night club, Karlton Hester, department head of music at UC Santa Cruz, Multi-instrumentalist Roger Glenn and “Professor” Bell, conductor of first set’s band, also participated.

An assorted menu of food items were served to the hungry crowd, as they purchased dinners and beverages to help raise money for continued jazz programming and to expand the series for the Black Musicians Forum.

The evening was not done, as Carmack gathered the crowd for the start of the second set. It featured an entirely different band and musical director. Mr. Glenn Pearson. Pearson, head of music department at The College of Alameda presented a more “edgy” sounding ensemble with sax, trumpet, bass, drums and piano, the saxophonist Roger Glenn doubling on vibes and flute. OPCM founder, Ms. Angela Wellman(trombonist/educator) was totally elated at the success of the evenings’ joint venture between BMF/SFBAAAM and OPCM. a relationship that is developing into a great marriage quickly .
Many of the patrons spoke volumes of praises as they exited the building for the night. a slogan has been adopted by the two organizations and will be publicize wherever it can.

We Own This! Use It, Feel It, Live It! Next event is slated for Sunday, December 2nd at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Oakland California.

WINDY BARNES FEATURED IN AWARD WINNING MUSICAL PLAY..NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL


posted by Robert J. Carmack    #@blues2jazzguy

sultry singer/songwriter Windy Barnes

If you just happened to be in attendance at many of the early 80s Stevie Wonder concerts and just by chance wondered “Who was that searing angelic voice coming across the microphone over the music?” Well..chances are,that was Ms. Windy Barnes. “Windy” came whirling into Los Angeles as part of the national touring cast of the Hit musical, The WIZ in 1977. while all good things must come to an end, the The Wiz went on to score as a hit movie and quite a brand item. However, Windy’s sights  were on bigger fish. Upon getting a call that Stevie Wonder was trying get in touch with her,  Stevie heard her voice at a Richard Pryor Telethon. Stevie over the Television announced   “If anyone knew her to please contact him immediately.. one thing lead to another, they finally connected.  Windy spent multiple years as a member of Stevie’s backup group “Wonder Love.”

The experience while singing with the great Stevie Wonder, It was not anything I ever witnessed. During that time in my life, I was actually “Living Inside the Music” While touring with Stevie Wonder. Now known as Windy Barnes-Farrell resides still in Los Angeles suburb with her significant other.

This is Windy’s second time around with the lead role in North On South Central, a NAACP multi award winner, Directed by Ms. Carla DuPree Clark and co-written by Larry Robinson and Tu’nook(Barbara Alexander) TPC.

Windy is the total package, as she is also a prolific entertainer and songwriter too. She has written two originals for this musical,Hold On,Be Strong (co-written by Andre Washington) and “Perfect View” also co-written by Andre Washington ,both are featured songs in the famous night club, Alabam ,which she(Eloise) and her husband owns on Central Avenue during the heyday of “the so-called Black Hollywood” up and down Central avenue.”  http://windybarnes.com/

In an interview with me recently, the vivacious Windy Barnes-Farell shared what her early up-bringing was like in Chicago. when she was only 3 years old, She would get up on a box in church and sing gospel songs and entertain the congregation every Sunday . “Barnes-Farrell went on to say, “I don’t think I ever thought I was Not going to be an entertainer. With that dream in her head, she left home at 15 years old  by 16 she was working as a professional singer, holding her own among veteran singers and flim-flam artist who wanted to take advantage of her . She got her first big break by joining the Comedian Redd Foxx Tour in early 1970s..Windy was finally on her way to greater things. Windy Barnes Farrell noted for her soulful yet angelic voice, is also an accomplished actor, songwriter, producer and choral director. She has written and produced several CDs, numerous musical events, music videos and jingles that have been featured worldwide. Windy is founder and CEO of WINDY CITY ENTERTAINMENT (WCE), a music production company that develops and mentors singers with the WINDY BARNES INTERNATIONAL VOICE ACADEMY (WBIVA). ” Many of today’s young singers don’t have the proper training to “last, or cut it” with the music business, I would say to them. a. learn how to read music b. seek a coach and learn ear training. c. never let go of your dream.” Windy chimed in.

WCE has provided specialized entertainment for the following successful clients; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows 2007 & 2008, KCET Holiday Celebration, Comedy Central PBS, House of Blues, B.B. Kings, Portman Ritz Carlton – Shanghai, Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Macau, Sirocco – Bangkok, Ed Weinberger, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Lou Rawls Evening of Stars show. Windy has toured extensively with Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, and Michael Bolton to name drop a few.  WindyCityEntertainment.net

Windy has starred in various productions including Jezebel, The Wiz, Gospelrella and Voices.  She is the proud recipient of the prestigious HAL Award for Theater Excellence. In addition,Windy has performed on five Continents and currently headlines internationally and locally at various venues in and around Los Angeles. “Windy…one of the most beautiful voices in America” – Julio Iglesias.    

Go and Catch Windy as Eloise in the Award winning Musical play North On South Central  directed by Carla DuPree-Clark & produced by TPC.  Sunday March 26 at 5pm The Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro  for ticket info  (click on following link) http://www.wgt.tix.com  or email this writer at blues2jazz2003@yahoo

L.A. JAZZ JOURNALIST ADDED TO CAST OF AWARD WINNER-NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL


Hipster Sanctuary

posted by Kamaad Tauhid   #@blues2jazzguy

robert-j-carmack-as-robby-royale Robert J. Carmack as Robby Royale – Club Alabam-2014

Our Publisher and Editor in Chief has been tapped to perform a role in the One Night Only Production of “North On South Central” a musical Play directed by Carla Clark and produced by TPC. Warner Grand Theater   478 W.6th Street San Pedro, California   310-548-2493

Mr. Carmack is a Theater Arts major and alumnus of Cal State University,Dominguez Hills. Robert was asked to recreate his character from the N.O.S. spin-off, The Club Alabam MC, Robby Royale. He’s the house M.C. for the club. He will charm the audience and introduce the show and engage with the audience as a “Host with the Most” should. Alabam, another TPC production was staged in 2014 ,Inglewood California. Mr. Carmack is well-known  locally as a jazz archivist and journalist/musician/poet in Los Angeles. He’s constantly working with local musicians…

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SINGER ELOISE LAWS JOINS AWARD WINNER “NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL” MUSICAL


posted by Kaumaad Tauhid      #@blues2jazzguy

 

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Los Angeles _It was announced recently by Carla Du Pree Clark Director of the hit Musical,”North On South Central”, Ms. Eloise Laws has joined the talented cast. The Houston born singer/songwriter is well-known for her gifted voice being heard on radio stations and concert halls around the world. But, in recent years,she’s also put her vocal skills to work on the Theater stage as well. while most will remember her chart toppers,You’re Incredible,Love Comes Easy, and Baby You Lied..she also excelled in her theatrical endeavors with a Tony Award Nomination for a musical she co-wrote and starred in “It’s Nothing But the Blues.”    17022235_10212551378763295_5203571639174267846_n

Ms. Laws comes from a very talented family of singers and musicians, including iconic brothers, Hubert and Ronnie…with younger sister Debra, fully established in her own career.

 

Eloise is asking all of her fans in Los Angeles to come out and support this award-winning Musical, “North on South Central”.. It’s a Keeper! eloise-laws-1-silver-gown

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L.A. JAZZ JOURNALIST ADDED TO CAST OF AWARD WINNER-NORTH ON SOUTH CENTRAL


posted by Kamaad Tauhid   #@blues2jazzguy

robert-j-carmack-as-robby-royale

Robert J. Carmack as Robby Royale – Club Alabam-2014

Our Publisher and Editor in Chief has been tapped to perform a role in the One Night Only Production of “North On South Central” a musical Play directed by Carla Clark and produced by TPC. Warner Grand Theater   478 W.6th Street San Pedro, California   310-548-2493

Mr. Carmack is a Theater Arts major and alumnus of Cal State University,Dominguez Hills. Robert was asked to recreate his character from the N.O.S. spin-off, The Club Alabam MC, Robby Royale. He’s the house M.C. for the club. He will charm the audience and introduce the show and engage with the audience as a “Host with the Most” should. Alabam, another TPC production was staged in 2014 ,Inglewood California. Mr. Carmack is well-known  locally as a jazz archivist and journalist/musician/poet in Los Angeles. He’s constantly working with local musicians on various jazz/poetry projects..such as last year’s Bobby Hutcherson & Jackie McLean Tribute , and 2015’s  Duke Pearson:Thank You Uncle Duke and a 95th Birthday celebration at the Leimert Park venue , World Stage for a 21 saxophone Salute to Charlie Parker. Carmack is already gearing up for a  “Thelonious Monk turns 100” project.Plight Pixs Robert Rasta hat

Carmack has also written several plays and produced them in Los Angeles, Oakland, California  and Atlanta,Georgia. Prior to Mr. Carmack’s years in theater and producing and promoting shows ,He was a musician,playing saxophones and flute.Robert grew up in Watts and Compton, and traveled around the world playing or promoting music of various genres.”BUT, JAZZ is my Passion!,said Carmack as he eases on a classic CD with McCoy Tyner and Charles Davis with Jimmy Garrison,Elvin Jones 1964 album “Illuminations” .

Robert J inside Stage squating 21 sax

Robert kneeling on right next to Azar Lawrence 21 Saxophone salute

“I’m inviting all my family and friends to come on out that Sunday afternoon, March 26th at 5PM . Let us take you on a time-machine trip back to Los Angeles 1940s and 50s. as we explore all that Black Hollywood had to offer then. Billie Holiday, Dorothy Dandridge, Sarah Vaughn, Little Walter the Blues man and many others. They will all be there along our own special Alabam Chorus Girls high stepping and raising raucous all night long.. Our very special Alabam Jazz musicians orchestra.” boasted  Carmack..We bring the Party flavor of yesterday inside of two hours…More information Call 562- 2159616 or go to website for tickets at http://www.WGT.tix.com

sepia Robert on sax