April 16, 2009


Edith Antoinette, better known in the poetry world as Edie2K2, was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. in 1951 to Morgan, a Chicago Police Officer, and Ann, a woman more beautiful than Dorothy Dandridge and "All the other ladies" (according to Edie). Always at the top Of her class, Edie was quiet and studious, with a penchant for the arts.

She taught herself to play the organ at an early age and was quite proficient.
She jammed the old standards like "Wade in the Water" and
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on her Hammond B3. Her Momma surprised her with the organ one day in 1966.

Even though her talents as a keyboardist were never realized, the poetry
that lived and lives inside of her found its way to the surface and is expressed through the many works that she’s produced. Her innate musical talent is beautifully expressed through her youngest son, Evan Christian, who has far surpassed the entire family's wildest imagination.

Edith Antoinette, named for a deceased aunt, is the mother of four beautiful young adults, and the Grandmother of 9 'treasures' ranging in ages from 19 to 7.
They are the joy and motor that drives Edie's passion for life and zest for writing.

Edie's motto is simple, "When she becomes perfect, she'll expect it from everyone
else. Until then, we're all in this 'boat' called life 'together' and we need each
other." Currently residing in Milwaukee, WI, Edie continues to thrive and bask in God's love, looking forward to the future with a bright hope. She loves, I repeat,
Loves people and doing for others. Her favorite thing is listening to and sharing
music, and ....hugging.


Yusef Lateef is a Grammy Award-winning composer, performer, recording artist, author, educator and philosopher who has been a major force on the international musical scene for more than six decades. He is universally acknowledged as one of the great living masters and innovators in the African American tradition of autophysiopsychic music — that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self.

As a virtuoso on a broad spectrum of reed instruments -- tenor saxophone, flute, oboe, bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, and taiwan koto — Yusef Lateef has introduced delightful new sounds and blends of tone colors to audiences all over the world.

As a composer, he has compiled a catalogue of works not only for the quartets and quintets he has led, but for symphony and chamber orchestras, stage bands, small ensembles, vocalists, choruses and solo pianists. His extended works have been performed by the WDR (Cologne), NDR (Hamburg), Atlanta, Augusta and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and the Symphony of the New World. He won a Grammy for his recording of "Yusef Lateef’s Little Symphony," on which he performed all the parts, in 1987. He has just completed his concerto for piano and orchestra and is now scheduling the premiere performances.

As an educator, he has devoted much of his life to exploring the methodology of autophysiopsychic music in various cultures and passing what he has learned on to new generations of students. He is a Five Colleges professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, from which he was awarded a Ph.D. in Education in 1975. His doctoral dissertation was entitled "An Overview of Western and Islamic Education."

As an author, Yusef Lateef has published a novella, "A Night in the Garden of Love," and two collections of short stories, "Spheres" and "Rain Shapes."

Yusef A. Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston on October 9, 1920 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and moved with his family to Detroit in 1925. In Detroit’s fertile musical environment, Yusef soon established long-standing friendships with such masters of American music as Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, the Jones brothers (Hank, Thad and Elvin), Kenny Burrell, Lucky Thompson and Matthew Rucker. He was already proficient on tenor saxophone while in high school, and at the age of 18 began touring professionally with swing bands led by Hartley Toots, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Herbie Fields and eventually Lucky Millender. In 1949 he was invited to perform with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra.

In 1950 he returned to Detroit, where he began to study composition and flute at Wayne State University, receiving his early training in flute from Larry Teal. He also converted to Islam in the Ahmadiyya movement and took the name Yusef Lateef. From 1955–1959 he led a quintet including Curtis Fuller, Hugh Lawson, Louis Hayes and Ernie Farrell. In 1958 he began studying oboe with Ronald Odemark of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Returning to New York in 1960, Yusef undertook further studies in flute with Harold Jones and John Wummer at the Manhattan School of Music, from which he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1969 and his Master’s Degree in Music Education in 1970. Later, as a member of the school’s theory department in 1971, he taught courses in autophysiopsychic music. From 1972–1976, he was an associate professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Yusef first began recording under his own name in 1956 for Savoy Records, and has since made more than 100 recordings as a leader for the Savoy, Prestige, Contemporary, Impulse, Atlantic and YAL labels. His early recordings of such songs as "Love Theme from Spartacus" and "Morning" continue to receive extensive airplay even today. He also toured and recorded with the ensembles of Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Babatunde Olatunji in the 1960s.

As an instrumentalist with his own ensemble, Yusef Lateef has performed extensively in concert halls and at colleges and music festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Africa. His touring ensembles have included such master musicians as Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Hugh Lawson, Albert Heath, Roy Brooks, Ernie Farrell, Cecil McBee, Bob Cunningham, Adam Rudolph, Charles Moore, Ralph Jones and Frederico Ramos.

Dr. Lateef’s first major work for large orchestra was his Blues Suite, also known as "Suite 16," premiered in 1969 by the Augusta, GA Symphony Orchestra, performed in 1970 with his hometown Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Meadowbrook Music Festival, and recorded by the WDR Orchestra in Cologne. In 1974 the NDR Radio Orchestra of Hamburg commissioned him to compose and perform the tone poem "Lalit," and he later premiered and recorded his Symphony No.1 (Tahira) with the same orchestra.

From August 1981 until August 1985, Dr. Lateef was a senior research Fellow at the Center for Nigerian Cultural Studies at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, where he did research into the Fulani flute. Sarewa is the generic name for the Fulani flute.

In 1992 Yusef Lateef formed his own label, YAL Records, to record and distribute his works and those of other artists including the Eternal Wind Quintet. One of his first recordings on the label, co-composed with percussionist Adam Rudolph, was "The World at Peace," an extended suite requiring 12 musicians including Eternal Wind, which has received repeated performances throughout the United States.

In 1993 the WDR Orchestra producer Ulrich Kurtz commissioned Yusef Lateef’s most ambitious work to date, The African American Epic Suite, a four-movement work for quintet and orchestra representing 400 years of slavery and disfranchisement of African Americans in America. David de Villiers conducted the premiere performance and recording with the WDR Orchestra. The suite has also been performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Yoel Levi as a centerpiece of the National Black Arts Festival in 1998 and by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Wilkins in 2001.

Through his publishing company, Fana Music, Yusef Lateef has contributed extensively to the lexicon of performance and improvisational methodology with such works as "Yusef Lateef’s Flute Book of the Blues," "A Repository of Melodic Scales and Patterns," and "123 Duets for Treble Clef Instruments." Fana has also published numerous works for chamber ensembles, stage bands, duos and wind ensemble or symphony orchestra.


April 10, 2009

"An Evening with Arlee Leonard"

No one will accuse
Arlee Leonard of being a member of jazz's laid-back cool school. A big-voiced hard bop/soul-jazz belter, Leonard has favored a full-bodied, passionate, gutsy style of singing. While the queens of the cool school -- Helen O'Connell, Chris Connor, Julie London, June Christy, Helen Merrill, Claire Martin, among others -- are known for their use of subtlety, restraint, and understatement, Leonard is just the opposite. She is an aggressive and robust singer whose influences (either direct or indirect) range from Dianne Reeves to Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald. Other singers Leonard has been compared to include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, and Nneena Freelon.

Arlee started performing in coffee houses and clubs in Detroit with her musician parents, underground icons and acclaimed blues/folk duo "DAVID & ROSELYN," who make their home in New Orleans. In 1991, she toured with her family's group in Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland, and they play together almost annually at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Leonard is not a jazz snob; she is primarily a jazz singer, but she is a jazz singer who has been influenced by R&B (classic soul more than high-tech urban contemporary), blues, and gospel. Though Leonard now lives in New York, the improviser was born in Oakland, CA, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Leonard (who has a four octave range and does her share of wordless scatting) started singing blues, jazz, and R&B as a child, and when she reached adulthood, the Northern Californian studied singing, dancing, and acting at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Sociology, however, was Leonard's major -- she studied the arts on the side -- and the singer graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in that field. But having a sociology degree didn't prevent Leonard from wanting to pursue a career as a jazz singer. So, in 1996, she moved to New York, where she has since worked with trumpeter Marcus Printup and tenor saxophonist Don Braden. It was also in 1996 that she started working on her debut album, Wild Honey. Leonard finished recording the CD in 1999, and the following year, she released Wild Honey independently on her own label, Soulajazz Productions.

CURRENTLY, Ms Leonard travels around the world leading combos, receiving praise from critics and audiences worldwide for her CD “Wild Honey” and live performances. Recent engagements have been in Singapore, Thailand, Russia, France, China, Canada, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Dubai, U.A.E., Spain, and across the U.S.A. She works frequently in New York and New Orleans when in the U.S., including renowned jazz venues SNUG HARBOR, Sweet Lorraine's, Funky Butt (New Orleans), and SWEET RHYTHM, Birdland, Lenox Lounge, Blue Note, BAMCafe, Brooklyn Public Library, Pace University, New York University, and many more.

Arlee has performed for the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR JAZZ EDUCATION conference in Toronto, the JVC JAZZ FESTIVAL, WOMEN IN MUSIC FESTIVAL, INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN JAZZ FESTIVAL in New York, THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL, and many more festivals and concerts around the globe.

One of the most fulfilling things Arlee does when she’s not singing in concert halls or clubs is to sing at her church homes, Sacred Center New York and Agape Center of Truth (when I visit Los Angeles). She always feel that she’s ministering with her music, bringing positivity and awareness through her song choices and by letting her spirit shine. The result being that she reminds others they can do the same! But when she sings in a space where everyone is there to consciously celebrate spirit, it lifts her to a whole different place.

Arlee enjoys putting pen to paper almost as much as she loves singing. She has many more lyrics and poems than she will ever set to music, but she'd love to publish many of them someday. Arlee’s a traveling woman, and a seeker of her truth, with lots of stories to tell! In the past she’s also expressed herself on stage as a dancer, an actress, and done industrial and commercial film and television work. She’s hosted a radio program and done live television. She’s toured all over the world, sung for and with Ambassadors, and performed music with little kids in New York. Little ones expressing themselves through music is truly a gift to behold!!
Two things especially important to Arlee are her parents, musicians David & Roselyn, and the recovery of New Orleans. She gives thanks for all the wonderful musical adventures she’s had in her life, and is looking forward to a whole lot more!

Just recently Arlee returned from a tour in Marsaille, France and is preparing for the 2009 Women In Jazz Festival in New York on April 24th where she will be in performance at 8pm St. Peter's Church 619 Lexington Ave. @ 54th St. and then she'll be heading down to The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival which takes place April 24 - 26 and April 30 - May 3, 2009

Click this link to visit ARLEE LEONARD

Click this link to listen to a wonderful interview Conversation with Arlee Leonard