March 31, 2009

"Just Words and Juice in the Morning"

Allana Madyun, born in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1975, is an actress, educator, motivational speaker and interpretive Dancer. But writing and poetry is what truly moves her.

Allana’s neighborhood, called Homewood, was a very close knit community where block parties, street fairs and African-American entrepreneurs were commonplace. When I asked Allana what inspires her to write she responded; “I'm moved by feelings, thoughts or ideas that refuse to be kept dormant any longer. I'm inspired by my past and my hope for the future. My desire is to heal and to inspire human feelings in a world where everyday life can leave us numb.” Maya Angelou has always been her biggest poetic influence. She says that Maya’s work is so beautifully human.

Mostly known for her life
changing poems using a warm conversational style and sultry voice. Her writings take everyday thoughts and happenings and bring them to life using words to motivate, stimulate and electrify. This Renaissance woman’s spirit runs as free as wild orchids. The Theater Arts Graduate from Cheyney University has involved herself in various independent film and theater companies along the east coast. Allana was also featured in Ebony Magazine as Miss Cheyney University. Her poetry has always had the ability to capture consciousness as well as take on serious issues like the compelling “Tribute to Diallo,” A deep look at the aftermath of the events in the 1999 NYC slaying of an unarmed African Immigrant Amadou Diallo.

Having been so inspired being the same age with a birthday only 2 days apart.
“The Instrument“ was featured on hip-hop album Vocal Sport by Beneficence, while “Just Words “was featured in the distinguished International Book of Poetry “Timeless Words.” Allana’s debut poetry cd “Just Words” is a collection of soulful words available at many on-line stores. Look for more of Allana’s work in the near future.

When I'm moved by feelings, thoughts or ideas that refuse to be kept dormant any longer. I'm inspired by my past and my hope for the future. My desire to heal and to inspire human feeling in a world where everyday life can leave us numb. My early influences: "Maya Angelou has always been my biggest influence. Her work is so beautifully human."

Bigtrigger asked What is poetry? What is Jazz?

Poetry is an emotional expression that inspires thought. Jazz is a rhythmic expression that evokes mood. When Put Together: We witness the dance of mood, mind and melodies.

They are both so very important to our culture because they serve as a therapy, a salvation, a safe place we can go to feel human or to get away from the demands of being human.

Always advancing artistically, Allana is ready and willing to share her poetry and writings with the world.

Please visit Allana Madyun's website

Rob Juice,Seasoned live jazz trumpet specialist, Songwriter, Producer, Composer, Actor. He is a computer Hardware and Software super wiz. Music and computers! He is the writer of theme songs for 2 Chicago TV talk shows 'My Brothers Keeper' and 'Lets Talk baby Girl' His name roles in the credits weekly in Chicago. Rob Juice has also performed in hundreds and hundreds of concerts on Trumpet with acts such as Chilites, Otis Clay, Willie Clayton, War, Tyrone Davis, the Dells, the Emotions, Nick Colionne and many other Top acts.

-- a bit more about Your Juice --

Juice started playing the trumpet and writing music in the 7th grade. No one in his family played any instruments. He found out at an early age that he couldn't hit a basketball even with a large bat. So it seemed natural at the time to try to play trumpet. Rob Juice fell in love with music that very first year and was so into it he formed his first band and played at several libraries and school concerts. I can only imagine how those things sounded! Rob Juice had great band directors throughout his years in schools that really turned him into a life long musician. He continued playing in groups through high school and college. He was always putting together groups and trying out new things he had written.

Sensual Jazz Music is the next Big Thing!

Juice graduated college in the south, his Roots are legends he has studied with Donald Byrd in (NC) , Burgess Gardner, Bunkie Green in Chicago, The Great Benjamin Kirk in (NC), He attended Clark Terry's Jazz workshops at the tender age of 16.. His high school band teacher and mentor (a white teacher in a dangerous Chicago neighborhood back in the day) had him set up for success... He told Rob Juice ‘Poor is the student who does not surpass his master’. He was like a kung fu master to him.

Juice played trumpet hard from the start. He also wrote music from his heart and not from his ear. They called him a 'city boy with country boy ways'. He was a square but truly gifted... They said Juice was a natural.

Juice has been a regular Trumpet heavy weight guest on jam sessions all over the nation. This included many recording sessions and many appearances on the road with major acts. Concerts from 200 to 14,000 people indoors and outdoor concerts. Rob juice was on one recording session for a blues Star, He wrote the 80% of the song but got no credit (work for hire?, not even!), Estimated sells of 1 millions records for Buffalo Fish Records.

His revolutionary writing style and lifestyle go hand and hand. He works out 3 times a week does not drink or smoke. He is a Artist in training all he does is workout at the gym and write music and gig on trumpet and that set him on a course for success in music. He is a Recording studio computer Super wiz. His attitude, his love for the game clearly set him above many new artists on the circuits.

Rob Juice has stepped from the horn section to center stage. When an album like Rob's newly released CD "Bad Boy Love" brings a huge smile to your face in 10 seconds or less, you've got a winner. In an unprecedented way, "Bad Boy Love" has the ‘one hear appeal’... the sound we look for in today’s Soulful Jazz music.

Juice played trumpet hard from the start. He also writes music from his heart and not from his ear. As a young man, they called him a 'city boy with country boy ways'. Rob Juice fell in love at an early age with music and began playing the trumpet when he was in the 7th grade. Rob is well known for his songwriting talents, and has worn the hats of , producer, composer and actor. Rob Juice is a seasoned professional, live performer and jazz trumpet specialist.

He is the writer of theme songs for 2 Chicago TV talk shows 'My Brothers Keeper' and 'Lets Talk Baby Girl'. His name roles in the credits weekly in Chicago. Being a superb and recognized musician, Rob Juice has also performed in hundreds of concerts with many top acts out of Chicago and around the country. Playing trumpet with acts such as Chilites, Otis Clay, Willie Clayton, War, Tyrone Davis, The Dells, The Emotions, Nick Colionne and many other top acts.

In the album "Bad Boy Love", hits flow out of Rob Juice like popcorn and hooks pour like a Smooth butter knife. "Juicy Kiss Of Life" reveals Juice's extraordinary music writing art-form and with out question in line with today's urban R&B avant-garde Jazz music.

"BadBoy Love" is Sexy, tasteful, Hot, Wet and down right Devilishly unforgiving in a sensual way. "Bad Boy Love" brings to mind the adult colors of today’s Smooth Jazz topped off with Juice’s high-end urban almost Hip Hop beats.

Juice is flirtatiously true to the Miles Davis tradition of trumpet players that custom create their own genres rather than fit into one! Juice says he writes music in color and blurs the line between ART, Jazz and R&B.. Super WOW!

When Juice confesses he will make his horn beg, trust me, you have never heard anyone beg so sensually sweet as he blows his circle breath of passion into every silky note of each track. Rob Juice has that special something that is as recognizable as deep tan lines on the best body found under the melting sun. Want to know more but afraid to ask?

Visit Rob Juice, Website

March 15, 2009

"SHE SWINGS!" Lenore Raphael

Jazz writer John Gilbert has called Lenore "Simply one of the best pianists in our art form...she always swings." Critics have used words like "swinging", "emotional" and "artistically subtle" when describing Lenore's playing.

Swinging has always been of major importance to Lenore since she listened to her idols Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson. So is "telling the story". She strives to be in touch with the intent of the tune when she plays.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Lenore Raphael started at the age of 3 by playing everything she heard by ear. Lenore studied classical piano with concert artist Beulah Eisenstadt. By the age of seven she was featured in recitals and performed at Carnegie Hall. Even then, she heard different things in the classical music she was playing and started embellishing and improvising on Mozart, Chopin, etc.

She soon began listening to Clifford Brown recordings that her brother brought home. She began playing along with those recordings and into her teens listened to the music of Art Tatum and Bud Powell. While trying to emulate these masters, she graduated from the High School of Music & Art in New York City and then went on to major in music education at New York University.

Upon graduation with a BA in Music Ed, with plans to be a teacher in the New York City school system, once she heard Oscar Peterson her life direction changed. Playing along with Oscar's recordings sometimes five or six hours a day, after two years she felt she was ready to approach the professional world of jazz performance.

A move to New Jersey to raise two sons, she formed a local trio, which gave rise to her first job at Richard's Lounge, a little club in Lakewood, New Jersey. That first night she received a note from a fellow in the audience who happened to be famed pianist Joe Bushkin, who complimented her on her style. She continued to perform in all kinds of venues in the New Jersey area and finally got her first New York City break at a little club on 62nd Street called Gregory's.

Everybody played at Gregory's...pianists Ellis Larkins and Al Haig, guitarists Chuck Wayne and Joe Puma, Ellington alumni Russell Procope and Sonny Greer, bassist Jack Six and many more and Lenore's first gig there was with Russell and Sonny. She stayed there for a year playing the early show five nights a week.

Meeting Ellis Larkins was a great opportunity because he stressed to her how important it was to "tell the story" of the tune.

Lenore continued to perform in small clubs in New York and New Jersey and along the way met and studied with the great pianist and teacher Barry Harris. She joined his workshop and he encouraged her to continue playing and at a jazz party insisted that she play with Lionel Hampton.

During that period Lenore also developed a private teaching practice and at one point had forty students, which helped her formulate methods of teaching jazz by tape.

A meeting with Charles Hansen of Hansen publishing led to the creation of her jazz theory book "Jazz Master Class" which she wrote with jazz theoretician Sid Schwartz.

Lenore also started studying privately with Dizzy Gillespie's arranger and pianist Mike Longo and after a year, she was ready to move on to clubs in New York like Birdland, The Metronome, Carlos 1 and the West End Gate.

In 1991 she was asked to be accompanist to a vocalist on the S.S. Norway Jazz Cruise and wound up playing with Clark Terry, Al Grey, Illinois Jacquet and others.

Moving to northern New Jersey, she realized there was a need for jazz entertainment and started producing JAM, the concert series Jazz at the Millburn Library. For six years she held the piano chair and brought in guests like Joe Cohn, John Pizzarelli, Marlene VerPlank, Vic Juris and many more.

Continuing her interest in jazz education, she was asked by the head of the New Jersey jazz society to put together a program for elementary school students to teach them the history of jazz. She and vocalist Janet Lawson combined ideas and invited guests Clark Terry, Arnie Lawrence, Ray Drummond and Billy Drummond to participate in the program. It was videotaped by TCI cable and has become the model for teaching jazz to young people in several European states. She also organized, along with bassist Chris White, a six week summer jazz workshop at Montclair State College in Montclair, New Jersey. The program was a complete success with 100 students enrolled the first year. It ran for three consecutive summers.

In 1991, she recorded her first CD "The Whole Truth" with guest artists guitar great Vic Juris, sax master Mark Vinci, bassist Mike Richmond and drummer John Paul Biagi. Featuring several originals, some of her tunes have been recorded by other artists. She has won ASCAP awards for her original tunes.

Lenore moved back to her home in New York City in 1998, and realizing the need to expand her performance venues, she also began to play clubs and concerts outside of New York City.

Since then she has performed in concerts at the Panasonic Village Jazz Festival, the Gainesville Friends of Jazz gala, the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Jazz in The Sangres festival, East Coast Jazz festival, the International Association for Jazz Education showcase, Pops for Champagne in Chicago, the Jazz & Blues Company in Carmel, California, and many more.

As a result of her second CD "Reflections", Lenore was invited to be a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio show.

Her third CD "Wingin' It" was recorded in Florida at the WUCF studios. With Mike Bocchicchio on bass and Roger King Jr. on drums, it is still getting heavy airplay on jazz stations around the world.

In 2004 she released "A Beautiful Friendship" which has gotten critical acclaim for her different takes on standards. With Hilliard Greene on bass and Rudy Lawless on drums, she tries to keep this New York trio together as much as possible.

Her 2007 release "Invitation" was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award. Lenore's latest release "CLASS ACT" is now available!

This year she participated in the Diet Coke Women In Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center in Dizzy's Club and has been invited back for a

March 04, 2009

"Dancing Spirits"

When you ask drummer Henning Stumm where and when he was born, he’ll tell you that there is a short answer and then there is a longer one.

Short: “I was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on December 30th 1961.”

Long: “I am a very spiritual person and believe in reincarnation so with that in mind I did some research over the years and found the following answer. Of course it is sketchy and somewhat incomplete I stem from a long line of shaman/healers of the old Dahomeyan empire born in what today is Benin, Africa. I know for most people this seems somewhat hard to grasp or take serious for that matter, so I always give both answers and let them decide which answer they prefer. For Henning, he prefers the latter since it gives a more complete picture of who he is today.”

He grew up in a musically very diverse household. So my early influences were Mahalia Jackson, The Hawkins Singers, Harry Belafonte, Beethoven, Wagner, George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire, CCR, Deep Purple and Tom Jones.

When he started playing music his additional early influences became Dexter Gordon, Bach, Modern Jazz Quartet, John Coltrane, Donna Summer, Kool & the Gang, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, the Neville Brothers.

His early influences as a drummer were Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Billy Higgins, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason.

I asked Henning what is the relationship between jazz & poetry?

There is a close knit relationship between jazz & poetry that goes way back to its African roots. The Griots used musical accompaniment such as Kora to tell their stories.( this continues today) I don't believe that in its beginnings Jazz was a "marriage" between African and European music’s created here in America. I believe while New Orleans most definitely was the "Birthplace" of Jazz it was still and African Music in its concept. Through the middle passage traditional African instruments had to be left behind. So as Africans sought outlets for their musical expressions they only found "Western European" instruments available, which of course differed in their tuning from the original African instruments. So they applied the African ideals and techniques that they were taught to western instruments creating a unique sound that became known as jazz and blues. They used this music to continue to tell their stories. The stories that Africans told underwent a similar destiny as in the "seasoning" of the slaves their native tongue was publicly not allowed. They began to speak and express themselves in English, Spanish or Creole, eventually creating new stories and techniques but none the less continued the traditions of musically accompaniment.

Of course these art forms continue to reinvent themselves absorbing new "colors" as they become available. So here we are today continuing this tradition with forums and outlets such as your show.

Education 1986 - 1991
• BM Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University

• Worked with artists such as Tommy Turrentine, David Sanchez, Arthur Blythe, Stanton Davis, Walt Maddox, The Marcelles, The Platters, Gerald Wilson, Patti Bowen, Little Eva, Shirly Alston-Reeves, Hugh Browdy, Sir Charles Hughes, Jimmy Preacher Robins, Lili Howard, Joan Faulkner, The Drifters, Giovanni von Essen, eXonda, The Inspirational Choir and E.W. Wainwright Memorial Choir of Shilo Baptist Church Harlem N.Y.

• Jazz Festival Halle, USO Jazz festival Wiesbaden, Stadt Limburg Jazz Fest, Capitol Jazz Festival Washington D.C., Nader's Doo-Whop Show Mohegan Sun CT., Nader's Doo-Whop Festival Cesar's Atlantic City, N.J.

• U.S.A., Japan, Europe, Carribean and Central America

Teaching experience
• Listed in the Modern Drummer's International Drum Instructors Directory
• Choir Acadamy of Harlem (Boys Choir of Harlem)
• Mobil Music Instructors New Jersey
• Newark Community School of the Arts
• Jazz & Rock Schule Freiburg, Germany
• Waggong Frankfurt, Germany
• Teaches privately students of all ages.

Radio & TV
WUSB 90.1FM Stony Brook University Radio,Telethon 2006" Telecare(Cablevision NY), German TV HR3 "Bartholomeus Markt", German Radio SWF3 Newcomer competition, Channel 9 News Capitol Jazz Festival, German TV HR3 "Kulturkalender" , WHCR 90.0 FM N.Y. "The world of music, the world of jazz", German Radio HR4 "Lokalblueten"

• "Essentially Me" Giovanni von Essen (Tierra Records)
• "crazy quilt" Isao Suzuki
• "essence of Life" Sistah Maryiam
• "As the Story Unfolds" - Henning Stumm & the 137th street posse (Tierra Records)
• "New York Narrarions" - Henning Stumm's Jazzfoce (Tierra Records)
• "CHABAK" - Chabak (voyage music)

A faith full soldier of life prophecies, Marie Grady, also known as "LyriQ",
Often dwells in her parallel reality... POETRY. The insatiable passion for
Her craft did not truly arise until later in adulthood. Once LyriQ embraced
The knowledge that words were an extenuation of her spirit and a life preserver for her soul, she yielded to its phenomenal power. Now, a hard-working single mother of two lovely ladies, 18 and 8, she views each new day as an opportunity to share her God-given gift with those hungry…for healing, compassion, inspiration, or simply a necessary diversion from LIFE. LyriQ understands that the messages delivered through her, are not from her, but rather the manifestation of tuning into to a live broadcast of vibes floating in the air. A lyrical disciple tried and true, LyriQ will live and die by the pen.

Completed Works:

My Piece Be With You (book of poetry - sold over 510 copies)

Works in Progress:
Eye of Thee…Behold Her (2nd book of poetry)

In the final stages of working on a romance novel

Associate in Humanities; Bachelors in Psychology

Other Hobbies:

Sketching, singing, graphics designing, salsa dancing, bowling, shooting pool, and hosting a blogtalk radio show at

What is the relationship between jazz and poetry and what is the importance
Of each to our culture? Both jazz and poetry are soulful expressions of innermost emotions....passions...joys...pains. Jazz has been around for so long that it is embedded within the very core of our thought system and beliefs. Rhythm and blues expressed through music without words.
Poetry, provides those intricate details and reflections that most don't
think about normally. I like to think of it as the verbal essence of life

When Jazz engages poetry, a heartfelt story is often revealed that will
Invoke an abundance of idle emotions without contemplation of their source.
Both jazz and poetry have their own distinct flavors, but together, you can
Truly savor the bounty of their purpose in our world.