She grew up listening to big, black cds. Anyone born in the last 15 years might not know anything about 45s, A sides, flip sides, or the Big Daddy of the black cd bunch, known as extended disco versions. For her, it was a buffet a feast for the ears.
She feels fortunate to have been fed jazz and big band music from her father, gospel from her mother, and from her older brothers came funk, soul, R&B, a little pop, and more jazz. "I learned to identify vocalists, great songs, great songwriters, stylists, the BE from the BOP, and the HIP from the HOP. Some might argue that thats not training, but its the kind of stuff you cant really grasp from books...
"...like the gospel that I gotright off Mamas lap. The hymns, the hums, and melodic moans from church are steamed into your fabric. Simmered into your soul. The ear-oma wafts over you like the scent of supper, and it stays with you. Powerful. No school for that.
I can just barely remember my first live performancein front of hundreds at one of our churchs largest annual gatherings. I was about 4 years old and couldnt have known much about rhythm, pitch, or tone, but I did know that Mama had told me to sing, and she was at the piano. When Mama playssomebodys going to sing, everybody MIGHT sing, but this time it was me."
Thats how it began and it continues.
"Ive brought to the table my own tastes which include some smooth, some classical, and some cool. These are my herbs and spices that I toss into the stew to make my own blend.
"Im the sum of all of those parts. The soup, if you will, has soul, blues, gospel, jazz, pop, classical...It's hard to tell what all is in there, but its all good."