MUSIC IS YOUR DESTINY: INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY MUHAMMAD~ “HARPIST FROM DA’ HOOD”


posted by Robert J. Carmack ~ @blues2jazzguy -You know its very hard to find a word that describes a person perfectly, but I just may have. what I mean is, I googled the word Destiny and it read, ” the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future. Also, “the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate. HOWEVER. Sometimes if you’re lucky and say your prayers, you just might meet a talented, sublime musician who happens to play a very unique instrument in a small community of players within a special genre..the original art form of America, JAZZ.

Destiny Muhammad is a Recording/ Performing Artist | Band Leader | Composer & Producer. Her genre is Celtic to Coltrane is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience.  The original harp is one of the world’s oldest instrument and toughest to master, even more challenging than the piano its self. when I was growing up in Los Angeles and studying music as a teenager I wanted to learn jazz and sought out all kinds of musicians besides saxophone players to listen and learn from. One of those unique musicians was a lady name, Dorothy Ashby, who played the harp, but not just in a classical music setting,but onstage with jazz hungry fans , in clubs, cultural arts centers and later, concert halls late 1960s through the 1980s.
(Dorothy Ashby August 6, 1930 – April 13, 1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Ashby was Destiny’s big influence early on long before Alice Coltrane’s huge shadow loomed large in her life. But what was really a “head-scratcher” for me was when she mentioned in an interview I held with her recently. While as a child watching TV, a man with wild hair and zany behavior. He abruptly stopped and stared at a Harp momentarily, then sat down and begun to play a beautiful solo. She was watching a famous scene from a “Marx Brothers” film. That was just the spark needed in her little head. She went wow! I would like to play that. As a little girl growing up in the Compton community and going to Tibby elementary school. Destiny could only dream, as her mom had very little money and instruments were not in the cards. Even later as she grew up and tried to learn the violin, it did not “cut it for her.” Things were changing at home and her mom moved to San Pedro area projects for low-income, about the time for her to go to high school, she joined a vocal choir and wanted to take piano lessons but again was told they could not afford lesson. Frustrated but not deterred from her dream, Destiny became a barber, a good one too, which gave her independence and decision making power to pursue whatever she wanted.  But before she knew it, she was approaching 30 years old and needed to sink or swim.making up her mind to go for it musically she began her journey as a harp player by beginning with the rudimentary method of mastering an instrument late in life. A very challenging endeavor, but none the less not impossible. She moved to Oakland East Bay area and sought out help, advice, direction. After a tad bit of finding her niche’, she found people like trumpeter Khalid Shaheed, pianist Tammy Hall and the legendary trumpeter Eddie Gale among many others. Now over 25 years later, she is being blessed beyond words. Not worrying about how long it took, but what she is doing now that she has arrived.

Destiny has opened for The Oakland East Bay Symphony and Smooth Jazz Artist Gerald Albright, shared the stage with Jazz Masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akisemuire, and Azar Lawrence to name a few. She has headlined for ‘Women in Jazz’ Concert series, the Afro Solo/ Yerba Buena Gardens Concert Festival, Sunday’s in the Redwoods Concert, Fest Sundiata, and SFJAZZ Tribute to Alice Coltrane’s epic album Impulse Release ‘Journey in  Satchidananda .

Destiny is the Principal Harpist for the Eddie Gale Inner Peace Orchestra, the Oakland Community Orchestra and performs with The AWESOME Orchestra.

The Destiny Muhammad JAZZ Trio~Following in the footsteps of jazz harp master Dorothy Ashby (who recorded with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Frank Wess to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder), the Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio is a sleek and soulful ensemble designed to showcase Muhammad’s soaring vocals and transporting string work. 

That second and most highly touted Jazz musician, pianist, composer and master harpist, the late Alice Coltrane. A profound influence on Destiny as a musician, composer but, also as a woman in a male-dominated genre. She has been given high praises by her peers and fellow bay area jazz musicians, as well as prestigious arts organization and music societies.

Whether interpreting jazz standards or her original tunes, Muhammad turns every piece into a soulful adventure.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hora0U6vvDw

 

A plethora of achievements and awards received in a little over 25 years after not even starting until she was 30 years old on her instrument. Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, Jazz Heritage Center of San Francisco Jazz Ambassador,  ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, and Judge for The West Coast Songwriters Contest and Northern California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year.

I asked Destiny what was her greatest joy in music? she said with glee, “That I’m still playing after starting late at 30 and taking that leap of faith. You can follow Destiny’s career and keep up with her gigs by going to her website:http://destinymuhammad.com

If you missed her moving tribute to the great Alice Coltrane the first time,  see information below for tickets and or general information regarding the Concert, Alice Coltrane~Sonic Legacy August 26, 2018 – two shows only!

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JAZZ SHOW CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC OF JAZZ CRUSADERS


IT was announced recently by producer Robert J. Carmack that the show, Street Life: Magic & music of The Jazz Crusaders is cancelled until further notice. Carmack sited health issues as reason for postponement . no other announcements will be forthcoming. all parties regarding tickets sales online have been contacted and remedied.  those that were purchased from direct sources have been contacted also. again, we apologize for the abrupt cancellation, but it could not be avoided. We will contact those groups and individuals when we are able to direct them to a new date or venue. Thank you for your understanding and support. #@blues2jazzguy

Producer/ Host- Robert J. Carmack

LIGHTHOUSE 68″ ~ JAZZ CRUSADERS LIVE ! CELEBRATING 50 YEARS…STILL FUNKY FRESH


posted by Robert J. Carmack

The Lighthouse Café is a nightclub located at 30 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, California. It has been active as a jazz showcase since 1949 and, under the name “The Lighthouse”, was one of the central West Coast jazz clubs from the 1950s through the late 1970s. Purely talking Jazz years, It has been a long time, since I personally use to frequent these digs as a very young budding saxophonist growing up in the early 1960s Los Angeles. Listening to two jazz stalwarts on the radio at the time in KBCA FM 105.1 & the KNOB “JAZZ KNOB” out of Long Beach. hipster Jocks ruled the radio waves back then LA. Tommy Bee, Jammin’ Jai Rich, Rick Holmes, Chuck Niles, Les Carter, Tollie Strode with “Slow traffic to the right” , “while travelin’ in my Electro-Magnetic Bag.”

AllMusic rated the album with 4 stars noting: “Feel is what dictates the material and its execution on this set, without unnecessary attention paid to crowd or recording apparatus. This is one the most intimate jazz shows captured on tape during the 1960s. It gives record buyers the sound of a band in full possession of their considerable capabilities, celebrating them in a relaxed environment, playing their own brand of grooved-out ’60s jazz”.  I actually had the opportunity to catch this very lively and “Funky as it wanted to be band” ,to borrow a catch-phrase from the era describing the feel and sound of the times. Borrowing heavily from the fresh pop culture and songs the crusaders were able to marry the hard bop edginess and the approachable groove-based chart-topping style. Jazz Crusaders were starting to dominate the west coast appeal and the young fans like myself. I was all of 17 in the fall of 1967, when this was recorded, but released in early 1968.

The best part about growing up in the early 60s and loving live jazz , You could actually go see who was playing the music you heard on radio. Because of the policy for “under -21” fans who obeyed the rules and “maintained their cool” under the fire of the electrifying bands that appeared at the beach venue.. IMHO, You might as well considered the Crusaders the House band, they appeared hundreds of times over the years, but recorded almost all of their most classic of all records with that great Lighthouse crowd over the microphones too. All of which gave it that “Flavor” like a great Gumbo meal. I would be here all day trying review all the great music from the pen or horns of Jazz crusaders, starting in 1962 , one could catch the very best in music, bar none, and be on the “hippest scene” while doing it at the Lighthouse.

I invite you to pick up a copy of this great album or whatever choice of media format is today vinyl, CD or downloads. GET IT!!

Join me ,along with some very special musicians in Los Angeles June 22 Friday night at 9pm as we turn back the clock 50 years and perform the best of the jazz crusaders: the early years up to late 70s. I have culled simply the best compositions and recordings for the featured band Crusader Legacy 5 Plus.. hand-picked stellar musicians for this event at the World Stage Performance Gallery  4321 Degnan Blvd. L.A. California 90008 – $25

Go online at http://www.eventbrite.com under title of Street Life: The Magic and Music of the Jazz Crusaders  ….

Track listing

  1. “Ooga-Boo-Ga-Loo” (Stix Hooper) – 6:39
  2. Eleanor Rigby” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 7:32
  3. “Native Dancer” (Buster Williams) – 8:52
  4. “Never Had It So Good” (Joe Sample) – 7:15
  5. “The Emperor” (Williams) – 8:50
  6. Impressions” (John Coltrane) – 6:12
  7. “Cathy the Cooker” (Wayne Henderson) – 6:22 Bonus track on CD reissue
  8. “Shadows” (Williams) – 4:03 Bonus track on CD reissue
  9. “Tough Talk” (Henderson, Hooper, Sample) – 8:01 Bonus track on CD reissue
  10. “Third Principle” (Wilton Felder) – 8:45 Bonus track on CD reissue

Personnel

STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC THE JAZZ CRUSADERS~TICKETS ON SALE NOW !


Hipster Sanctuary.Com

“Celebrating 20 years of Jazz Advocacy Through Whatever Medium Necessary”

Presents

STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC OF JAZZ CRUSADERS

 

Musical and Poetic Tribute

JUNE 22 9PM World Stage Performance Gallery

4321 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90008

Exclusive Online tickets only at www.eventbrite.com $25

Featuring

CRUSADER LEGACY 5 Plus Band

Teodross Avery tenor sax, Alvin Starks trombone, Mike Alvidrez~bass

Theo Saunders~ piano, Don Littleton ~ drums

Plus poet/spoken word ~ Robert J. Carmack

Produced by Robert J. Carmack & select Crusaders transcriptions by http://www.JamesArmstrongMusic.com

Come Out and Help us pay homage to the dynamic and game-changing group

Media: @blues2jazzguy ~ blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com ~951-840-7120  

Producer Robert J. Carmack has created a show paying homage to music’s most celebrated jazz group over the last 5 decades. Carmack hand-picked Los Angeles “best of the best” local jazz musicians , all of whom are stellar musicians in their own right. Plus, Carmack will be adding his poems dedicated to the group, along with a special poem dedicated to the Saxman , Wilton FelderCrusader Legacy 5 Plus are Teodross Avery tenor saxophone, Alvin Starks trombone, Don Littleton drums, Theo Saunders piano/keyboards, Mike Alvidrez bass/elect. bass and Robert J. Carmack spoken word/poet and a special surprise guest. The evening will be filled with the essential Jazz Crusaders compositions that made them into the iconic and award-winning group they were. one survivor left of band, Nesbert “Stix” Hooper.

ROBERT J. CARMACK PERFORMS WITH ELEPHANTS: IN LEIMERT PARK SAT. MAY 26 9PM


WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  Presents

ELEPHANTS Nda PARK BAND

Don Littleton Drums, Michael Alvidrez Bass, Pablo Calogero Saxes, Flutes and Bass Clarinet

Special Guest Poet

Robert J. Carmack – Spoken Word

SATURDAY  MAY 26 9:PM   $20 Door / http://www.eventbrite.com

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  4321 DEGNAN BLVD. LA CALIF. 90008

Contact: #@blues2jazzguy or elephantsndapark@mail.com

JAZZ AND PACHYDERMS ?? ELEPHANTS Nda PARK CUTTING EDGE MUSIC _n_ POETRY IN LOS ANGELES


 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY 

4321 Degnan Blvd. L.A. California 90008

SATURDAY MAY 26 2018 9:PM $20 at Door / Tickets also on, http://www.eventbrite.com

WHO are these Musicians and poet that’s stirring up the pot inside the L.A. jazz underground?

Brilliant artists in their own right as band leaders,side-men, producers and actor/writer.. these are the ingredients that make up the performance group,

Elephants Nda’ Park ..L.A. based artists that explore all the areas of the musical spectrum that pushes beyond jazz, or even beyond standards and “roses are red” branded poetry.

They seek to discover and peel back the skin of the genre and expose the meaty-fruits inspired by “improvisational excavation”. It is through this meticulous search for new soil, as once presented by such icons as Jackie McLean, Sun Ra, early Pharoah Sanders,  John Coltrane,Yusef Lateef, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. the X-factor thats injected into the mix is writer/producer,poet, Robert J. Carmack, whose background presents a smorgasbord of the arts including Jazz saxophone, poetry, drama and promotions/publicity. Carmack’s poetry calls up the spirits of the ancesters and the “pioneers who came before”. inspired and influenced by legendary poets such as Amiri Baraka,  Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) , Last Poets, Watts Prophets,Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez and, Sun RA.

photo by Robert J. Carmack

Don Littleton  Drummer – has spent nearly 50 years studying and performing music all over the country and in Los Angeles, playing with iconic figures such as, George Coleman, Hank Crawford, Charles Owens, Curtis Taylor, Saxophonist Justo Almario and bassist/poet John B. Williams.  An accomplished, much sought after percussionist, Don Littleton has mastered an enticing array of percussion instruments. Don regularly performs all over metro-Los Angeles.

 

Pablo Calagero – multi-instrumentalist. specializing on flutes,saxophones and bass clarinet

photo by Robert J. Carmack

Multi-instrumentalist, composer,New Yorker has played and recorded with a virtual list of who’s Who. including Mario Bauza,Tito Puente, Bebo Valdez,Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Chico Ofarrill, James Newton, Dizzy Gillespie, Adam Roudolph, Bennie Maupin,Phil Ranelin,Dave Binny, Adam Rogers,Dennis Mackrel, Yusef Lateef,Jerry Gonzales, Andy Gonzales, Papo Vasquez, Patato Valdez, Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro Latin Orchestra, Oscar Hernandez,David Murray, Count Basie Orchestra, Anthony Braxton,John Linberg, Rashid Ali, Bobby Matos,Kenny Burrell,absorbing a broad range of musical styles and methods.

 

Michael Alvidrez-Bass

Michael Alvidrez, a “young veteran” of the “bass wars” bounces between acoustic and electric with the same impact. Michael is a very astute musician, looking to make his mark and create his own path in this genre. Along with bringing his A-game each and every time he steps onto the stage, “He’s a student of improvisation.” He’s a constant face on today’s L.A. Jazz scene. Not afraid to sail in unchartered waters inside the harbor of a “Free Music Sanctuary”.

 

Robert J. Carmack – poet, journalist, producer, musician and actor

 Robert J. Carmack , Began his musical journey in music long before he picked up an instrument. According to his late mother he could not go to sleep unless the music was playing on the radio, “Though she did not play she loved music and encouraged us all to study” stated Robert . He played saxophone professionally throughout his high school and college career, later switched majors to study theater as undergrad picking up BA in Theater Arts/Communications. Masters Fine Arts in Theater-directing and productions. He has worked in journalism, music for the theater and films , bob hope USO tours during Viet Nam era and produced several plays , 2018 wrote and starred in original play Interview with the High Priestess: Nina! a jazz musical about icon Nina Simone.  Also in Feb. 2018  He performed the eclectic poems of Sun Ra with jazz bass master, Juini Booth, Eclectic Nativity, Free Music band in Los Angeles. Summer 2017, performed with Azar Lawrence and Juini Booth’s McCoy Tyner Legacy band as spoken word guest poet,. Robert has produced stellar Jazz shows with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Andy Bey, Sonny Fortune, Calvin Keys, Hilton Ruiz, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Doug Carn and  worked as MC or journalist on international shows. Mr. Carmack is residing in Southern California these days, enjoying the direction of the Elephants Nda Park is going.

After all, Ivory is Not Art…Save the Elephants!”   posted by Kamaad Tauhid  #@blues2jazzguy

ELEPHANTS INVADE LEIMERT PARK~ JAZZ & POETRY


Elephants in the Park

 

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  Presents

ELEPHANTS Nda PARK BAND

Don Littleton Drums, Michael Alvidrez Bass, Pablo Calogero Saxes, Flutes and Bass Clarinet

Special Guest Poet

Robert J. Carmack – Spoken Word

SATURDAY  MAY 26 9:PM   $20 Door only

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  4321 DEGNAN BLVD. LA CALIF. 90008

Contact: #@blues2jazzguy or elephantsndapark@mail.com

 

SUPPORT LIVE JAZZ & SAVE THE  ELEPHANTS~IVORY is NOT ART, But MUSIC is!!

TEODROSS AVERY LIVE RECORDING SESSION: A NIGHT FOR JOHN COLTRANE


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

East Coast/West Coast Jazz Noir is how I describe veteran saxophonist Teodross Avery. After a brief time off the scene to complete his doctorate in music from University of Southern California, Teodross or “T” (friends call him) is turning over new soil and breaking out like a “Panther from Wakanda.”

Teodross Avery is a saxophonist of the highest level and now he’s  returned his focus to acoustic Jazz. For the past twenty years he assisted multi-platinum, award-winning, and critically acclaimed artists, as they made their mark on the domestic and international music scene. Now, it’s his turn.

Here, on his most recent album, Postmodern Trap Music, Avery enlists drum master Marvin “Bugalu” Smith (Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Chet Baker) for an exploration in sax/drum duos.

While in the spirit of duo albums of the 1960’s and 70’s, John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space and Frank Lowe & Rashied Ali’s Duo ExchangeAvery adds his own stamp on the Deep Jazz format. He teeters on the edge of Modern Jazz and Free Jazz. The improvisations are in the moment and his compositions leave musical impressions that linger on long after the CD is over.

Always expanding his artistic and creative licenses. Adding film noir and deep jazz explorations, using what was left by Trane, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra and others to launch his own soul vessels of music and legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a recent interview with the “good doctor” after a blitzing concert with Dwight Trible and Mark Clive-Lowe, I asked Teodross about my favorite Jazz musician and saxophonist, John Coltrane.

Robert: How do you feel about John W. Coltrane?

T: I love Trane and all he stood for.

Robert:Why John Coltrane?

T:John Coltrane’s music promotes peace, understanding and spirituality. His message of love is timeless.

Robert: Do you feel Trane would be relevant today even?

T: More so today than yesterday, because of these times we are living in, its needed even more. Once the listener hears Trane, they can share in the spirit of John Coltrane’s music and the Message. It’s one of my main motivations for my next CD project, a Live recording session in Oakland, California.

Robert: what’s it about and where, you know, the 411,Lol!

T: Well , its A Night for John Coltrane, Saturday March 31 , at the Sound Room in Oakland, California. 2147 Broadway Doors open at 7pm and the sets are 8:pm and 9:30pm $15 at door. tickets can be purchased on line through http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/20370.

Robert:Wow, that sounds like a fun Project , what’s the set-up and personnel?

T: Darrell Green-Drums, Jeff Chambers-Bass, Adam Shulman-piano and myself saxophones.

Adam Schulman-Piano

Darrell Green-Drums

 

Jeff Chambers

Teodross Avery-Saxes

 

 

 

T: my record label: http://www.thompkinssquarerecords.com and follow me on web: www.teodrossavery.com, twitter:@teaodrossavery

Robert: Thanks “T”, I will be looking for a launch date for the Release party. All that can be followed right here on Hipster Sanctuary.Com…Celebrating the legacy since 1998. Our 20th Year.

JAZZ BASSIST JUINI BOOTH CONCERT AT ZEBULON CAFE:SMASHING SUCCESS!!


An excited L.A. audience at Zebulon Café in Los Angeles was treated to an evening of great music and poetry in Loving tribute to SUN RA, the Interplanetary One.

RA, who left earth decades ago, seems to be enjoying an even bigger audience these days.

Booth who once toured with the great Sun Ra, put together a great evening of FREE MUSIC local and east coast musicians. First of all collaborating with Violinist Kathleen Kim of LA FOG notoriety, created a concept group, ECLECTIC NATIVITY, 12 -15 musicians on stage creating, improvising ,composing on the spot. spawning great new melodies and rich harmonics of sound and rhythms, integrated with spoken word by Robert J. Carmack. spoken word excerpts and haikus from the selected writings of poetry by SUN RA.

This made for a potent mix of fun, spirituality and freedom of speech through music. Exactly what the great Sun Ra was about. “At times, states Carmack, the band seemed to be levitating above the stage allowing the full force of improvisation to take charge.” 

LA Fog is an experimental chamber/jazz/improv music ensemble composed of woodwinds and strings.  Kathleen Kim,(violinist) led her group with Giles Miller (baritone sax), Jonathan Silberman,Tenor sax, and Kelly Coats (flute)

Others  to grace the bandstand were Guillermo E. Brown, Wynne Bennett, Corey Fogel, Jon Leland, Mira Billotte, Helga Fassonaki and more. In addition to a packed audience, Juini Booth turned 70. Wow!

posted by Kamaad Tauhid  @blues2jazzguy

photos by Rob Hill
photos by Rob Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Rob Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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