Author Archives: Fusicology

OUT NOW: Raya Yarbrough “North of Sunset, West of Vine” on AlternaJazz

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AlternaJazz released a new album from singer-songwriter and multi-faceted artist Raya Yarbrough, “North of Sunset, West of Vine” on October 5, 2018.


Two years in the making, “North of Sunset, West of Vine” features ten new songs written and performed by Yarbrough, as well as her arrangements of two beloved cover songs. The songs on the album are inspired by the singer’s memories of performing in jazz clubs throughout Hollywood, initially with her father, beginning at the age of seven. With soulful and layered vocals, strings, and multi-textural soundscapes, this album is her stories brought to life.


“I didn’t go back to Hollywood for a decade,” said Yarbrough, “but when I finally found myself at a party on a rooftop across from the El Capitan, memories came back like raw diamonds. Ugly and precious. Old pain flipped into devotion, and the chords came with the words. It’s exciting to have these stories collected now, to live them from the other side.”


Yarbrough made her international debut on Telarc (Concord) in 2008 with her self-titled album, “Raya Yarbrough”, produced by Oingo Boingo alum Steve Bartek. She released a total of three previous independent albums, and band members have included members of Kneebody, Zappa Plays Zappa, and Kamasi Washington’s band. Yarbrough has performed and collaborated with pianist Billy Childs and continues to work on multiple projects with composer and songwriter Van Dyke Parks. She also frequently sings with Grammy-winning rock band, Portugal. The Man.


Some of Yarbrough’s notable live performances include opening for Terence Blanchard at The Jazz Standard in New York City as well as a special performance at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Playboy Jazz Festival. She is also known globally  as the singer in the opening credits of the television series “Outlander,” and as the female singing voice on the sci-fi hit ‘Battlestar Galactica.


Yarbrough’s “North of Sunset, West of Vine” features drummer Tony Austin, from Kamasi Washington’s groundbreaking album “The Epic”, jazz pianist, John Beasley, and Steve Bartek of Oingo Boingo, on guitar. The twelve song record is available with the following retailers:


Apple Music



NEW VIDEO: RZA, GZA & Ghostface Killah trash-talk Mars in Episode Two of “Wu Tang in Space Eating Impossible Sliders”

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The second episode of “Wu Tang in Space Eating Impossible Sliders” is premiering now. The latest episode of the web series—starring RZA (having uploaded his consciousness into the computer RZA 9000), GZA and Ghostface Killah answering viewer questions as they explore outer space and eat the new vegan-friendly Impossible Sliders from White Castle—finds the trio trash-talking Mars with Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown.




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“Moon Fight” is the first episode of a 4-part series, directed by Sam Spiegel and co-written by Spiegel, Dan Curry (The Eric Andre Show) and Impossible Executive Creative Director Sasha Markova.



photo credit: Impossible Foods


The four-part online series “Wu Tang in Space Eating Impossible Sliders” stars Wu Tang Clan members RZA (having uploaded his consciousness into the computer RZA 9000), GZA and Ghostface Killah aboard their spaceship, the Wu-F-O, orbiting Earth while answering questions left by fans at 1-833-4-SLIDER and eating White Castle’s new all-vegetarian Impossible Slider (RZA and GZA are both vegan, while Ghostface Killah is a vegetarian). Watch the series’ teaser video at Fan questions run the gamut from the sublime (“What is the meaning of life?”) to the practical (“Should I stay in school?”) and even the silly (“What is my dog thinking?”).


The series’ first episode focuses on the theme of perspective. RZA, GZA and Ghostface Killah marvel at planet Earth from outer space, take relevant questions from fans, invite a six year-old child on board the Wu-F-O and watch a Moonfight between two extra terrestrials. Forthcoming episodes focus on themes including Earth vs. Mars, infinity and evolution.


Shot in the style of ’60s and ’70s science fiction television shows such as “Star Trek,” the series is directed by critically acclaimed film director, DJ, producer and composer Sam Spiegel (N.A.S.A., Yeah Yeah Yeahs) who had previously worked with the Wu Tang members on The Spirit of Apollo, his 2009 collaborative album under the moniker N.A.S.A. with Brazilian DJ Zegon. Writer Dan Curry (“The Eric Andre Show”) and Director of Photography Robert Yeoman (Wes Anderson) also contributed to the series, which is produced by the all-female creative department at Impossible, headed by Executive Creative Director Sasha Markova, Creative Director Giselle Guerrero and Managing Director Heather Huestis.

Jamaica Frenzy – Negril, March 26-31 2019 feat. Body & Soul DJs + The Ritual with Anané & Louie Vega & many more



Negril, Jamaica

March 26-31 2019


Jamaica Frenzy is the exciting new House Music Festival for 2019 set to take place at the breathtaking resort of Negril in sunny Jamaica, brought to you by a collective of some of New York’s top club promoters. Offering a unique 6 day all inclusive holiday experience between March 25-31st, Jamaica Frenzy will host some of the best dance music talent the world has to offer in Negril’s magical paradise!


It is nearly impossible to put into words the natural beauty of Negril with its turquoise sea, 7 miles of powder white sandy beach that’s bound by lush tropical foliage – the perfect setting to dance in sun or under the stars at the daily pool and beach parties Jamaica Frenzy have lined up. There will also be daily catamaran parties and excursions on offer for those who want to explore the treasures of the island, or you can simply kick back, relax and soak up the amazing laid back vibe of Negril.




Body & Soul with Danny Krivit, Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell and François K

The Ritual with Anané & Louie Vega :: David Morales :: Timmy Regisford

DJ Spen :: DJ Spinna :: Karizma  :: Jamie 3:26 :: Manoo :: David Harness

Ultra Nate :: Kai Alce ::  Salah Ananse :: Gigi Testa :: DEL from Philly  

Mark Francis :: Donna Edwards & liL Ray :: DJ Ameer :: Kemit  

DJ Beloved :: Tommie Allen 


Plus more DJ’s and live acts to be announced!


Promo video teaser:


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“Jamaica Frenzy’s vision is to create a clubbers paradise by bringing some of best DJ talent we know to a luxurious resort in the exotic setting of Jamaica. We want to create a 5 star feel-good festival experience and Negril has it all! We’re so excited by the great response we’ve received from everybody so far – March can’t come soon enough! ” - DJ liL Ray (Founder)


“Jamaica Frenzy is destined to be the creme of the crop of dance festivals across the globe. An experience for the people, at a time when it’s most needed!” - DJ Spinna 


“Jamaica Frenzy…Finally, a breath of fresh air with a festival lineup that’s giving soulful house music the place it deserves, and which so many people have been waiting for” - Francois K 




This is an all inclusive event only and does not include flights. 

Prices per person start from $1,899.00

Tickets include – all Inclusive accommodation :: gourmet dining and premium cocktails :: airport transfers :: admission and round trip transportation to all parties.

There are a choice of 2 luxurious all inclusive accommodation resorts for the festival, including the family-friendly Royalton Spa & Resort and the liberating ‘clothing optional’ resort of Hedonism II.


For more information on resorts and how to book please visit



SoundCloud Premier Expands to Support More Creators with Best Revenue Sharing Rate


SoundCloud Premier Monetization Program Opening to Hundreds of Thousands of Original Music Creators


Since inception, SoundCloud Premier has empowered creators to grow their careers by combining a leading revenue share with SoundCloud’s tools to instantly share, connect and interact with fans worldwide. With the program’s expansion, SoundCloud offers the power of direct monetization to many times more creators than any other audio service.

*Click here to check out more on what the expanded program means for creators


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“SoundCloud is the world’s largest open audio platform, with content from more than 20 million creators,” said Kerry Trainor, Chief Executive Officer, SoundCloud. “Expanding SoundCloud Premier’s direct monetization offering from thousands, to hundreds of thousands of eligible creators is an exciting step in our commitment to empowering as many creators as possible to grow their careers first on SoundCloud.”

SoundCloud Premier members and alumni represent an incredible range of creators who are shaping music culture including Chance the RapperKali UchisLil Uzi Vert$UICIDEBOY$Alina BarazTowkioLouis the ChildLil YachtyBryson TillerblackbearMadeinTYOMetro Boomin and many more. Beginning their careers first on SoundCloud, today these creators’ accolades include GRAMMY Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, BRIT Awards, chart-topping hits and sold out shows around the globe.

Joining SoundCloud Premier offers independent creators:

  • Leading revenue share: SoundCloud meets or beats any other streaming service.
  • Instant availability: Eligible original tracks are available for immediate discovery and monetization – no waiting.
  • Direct connection with fans: Likes, comments, follows and reposts in real-time from SoundCloud’s global community

Creators will be contacted via email and in-product notifications when they receive access to the program. The program roll out will begin with eligible creators with at least 5,000 plays in the past month from countries where SoundCloud listener subscriptions and advertising are available (US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand), and will scale over time. For more information, creators can visit, and follow @creatorsonSC on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

LIVE SET: Mateo Senolia (Yoruba Records, Defected, okayrecords) | HDG (house + disco + garage)



Mateo Senolia (Yoruba Records, Defected, okayrecords) spins live set at the HDG (house + disco + garage) from the event that took place on Sept. 2, 2018 at the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice Beach, CA.


A full 2 1/2 hour set of non stop disco and deep house from LA’s own producer/DJ Mateo Senolia (of Trinidad-Senolia). Follow on Twitter and Instragram


KCRW Presents Louie Vega & E.O.L. Soulfrito LIVE ft. Anané – Fusicology 15 Year!


KCRW Presents GRAMMY® Award-winning bandleader Louie Vega, renowned the world over for helping to create and establish house music’s soulful, Latin, gospel, & jazz influenced style. Based in New York City, Vega is a dance music legend both as a DJ and as a prolific – and successful – music producer. Louie and his band, E.O.L. Soulfrito ft. Anané, will perform live at the Ford Sunday October 21 in a special celebratory concert commemorating Fusicology‘s 15th anniversary! Tickets are available at 

Vega, who last performed live in LA in 2009 at the House Of Blues, is pleased to bring his new “Elements of Life” show to Los Angeles for the 15th anniversary of his friend Asya Shein’s company Fusicology, noting, “I have seriously known Asya since she was a teenager! It’s wonderful to see her all grown up, operating a top online outlet for urban events, producing shows, and generally running the game in LA and nationally!”

With his latest album NYC Disco on Nervous Records topping the charts this summer, two Grammy nominations (of his seven nominations) in the last two years, and a lifetime of adoration and success in the dance music community, Vega is certainly not slowing down! 


Active since the ‘90s as a DJ, producer, and label operator, and as one-half of Masters at Work, Louie Vega is a permanent part of dance music history. Vega made a name for himself behind the decks in the New York City club circuit prior to branching out with studio work. Besides producing his own releases with an array of vocal and instrumental collaborators, he has produced and remixed tracks for commercial dance-pop vocalists and underground artists and producers alike. 

Remarkably eclectic across four decades, Vega has been deeply immersed in an array of club music styles — house being foremost, and has all the while kept the genre’s connections to disco, freestyle, rap, Latin and jazz illuminated. Among his most notable career achievements are number one Billboard club hits such as “Ride on the Rhythm,” with Marc Anthony, in 1991, Saint Ettiene’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, Chic’s “Chic Mystique” and “I Can’t Get No Sleep,” with Masters at Work featuring India, in 1993, and a Grammy award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his remix of Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” in 2006. 

His revered discography of mix albums and studio projects includes Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII, which was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy in 2016. Vega has never lost touch with his roots, epitomized by his new album NYC Disco on Nervous Records.

Born and raised in New York City’s Bronx borough, Vega grew up surrounded by music, as the son of latin & jazz saxophonist Luis Vega, Sr. and a nephew of salsa legend Héctor Lavoe of the Fania All Stars. Vega began DJ’ing as a teenager, after he watched his neighborhood friend & hip hop pioneer jazzy Jay spin records. He was soon a regular at Bronx block parties and New York City events at the Roxy. 

After a 9 month stint at his first club Sal Abatiello’s Devil’s Nest in the Bronx, he began spinning at the infamous Hearthrob in New York City, and Vega met house producer Todd Terry, who regularly gave Vega his new tracks by Black Riot & Royal House to try out on the crowd. Vega‘s own first remix commissions, in 1986 and 1987, included Information Society’s “Running”, Debbie Gibson’s “Only in My Dreams”,  and Noel’s “Silent Morning”. By then, he was a fixture in the NYC club scene, within DJ booths of the Devil’s Nest, Hearthrob, Studio 54, and the Sound Factory Bar (Underground Network parties) also familiar territory to him.

Vega debuted as a solo producer in 1989 with “Don’t Tell Me” for TVT and “Keep Pumpin’ It Up” for SBK One. Both singles were issued under the name Freestyle Orchestra, the first of Vega‘s many aliases, though the majority of his subsequent solo output has been credited to his childhood nickname “Little” Louie Vega. 

Additional early success came after Vega was commissioned to do songs for the movie East Side Story, which placed him in the path of singer Marc Anthony. Vega and Anthony signed to Atlantic as a duo and released the album “When The Night Is Over” and single “Ride on the Rhythm,” which featured Vega‘s father on saxophone and topped Billboard’s club chart in 1991. 

Shortly thereafter, he and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez became established as Masters at Work. He met Gonzalez through fellow producer Todd Terry, who originally borrowed Kenny’s crew name Masters At Work for some late-’80s output “Dum Dum Cry” and “Alright Alright”. Since 1990, Vega and Gonzalez have issued 100s of 12″ remixes and productions for major artists and some on their own MAW label. They’ve hit commercially with the chart-topping River Ocean Featuring India collaboration “Love & Happiness“ (1993), and have remixed the likes of Jamiroquai, Madonna, Incognito, Janet Jackson, Aliyaah, and Michael Jackson, among tracks by dozens of other artists. 

As Nuyorican Soul, the two worked with such jazz legends as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and George Benson for a self-titled 1997 album that reached top 40 in the UK. The success of Nuyorican Soul cut a path for Vega to lead another all-star affair, Elements of Life, with help from fellow deep house heavyweights Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge of Blaze, along with top-tier vocalists Cyndi Mizelle, Lisa Fischer, Raul Midon, and Anane. 

Another career highlight was composing a song for Cirque Du Soleil with Blaze “One Dream” recorded by Elements Of Life Featuring .ead vocalist Anané. The song was performed by The Elements Of Life Band and Cirque Du Soleil live at the 2007 Superbowl in front of 70,000 people at Dolphin Stadium in Florida and seen by 145 million viewers on television worldwide. 

The Elements Of Life group’s activity culminated with the 2013 album Eclipse  on Fania Records. The collaborative spirit continued through 2016’s Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII, on which he worked with material from Funkadelic, Jocelyn Brown, The Winans Brothers & The Clark Sisters, Lisa Fischer, Cindy Mizelle and his long-term collaborators Anané and Josh Milan. That album was nominated for a Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy in 2016.

Across the decades, Vega has also continued to tour the world as a DJ with his unique blend of house, afro house, disco classics, obscurities, and dancefloor anthems old and new. His selecting and DJ’ing skills have been showcased on over 20 commercially released DJ mixes, such as Little Louie Vega at the Underground Network NYC (1993), Back in the Box (2007), and Vega on King Street: A 20 Year Celebration (2013). NYC Disco (2018) on Nervous Records applied many of his skills with a selection of original productions, plus remixed, edited, and reworked club classics of the late ’70s and early ’80s seminal label Sam Records.

Breaking down musical barriers and bringing people together through a love of music has always been Vega’s aim; after more than 20 years in the game his contributions continue to positively influence global dance music.

Fusicology was founded in 2003 by noted independent dance and urban music agent Asya Shein as a way to help promote her clients’ gigs. Now 15 years later Fusicology is one of the premiere events guides for urban music fans in 25 cities in North America, with Shein as its CEO. 

Joining Shein on the Fusicology team is CTO Michael Sherrill, a respected African American technology business and startup veteran, developing company advisor and angel, an experienced manager of high-volume membership and subscription websites, and an expert in SEO/SEM, E-Commerce and Apps. Business and legal affairs are run by Sapna Lal, with editorial & content direction provided by noted journalists from across the US & Canada.

Fusicology’s premise and footprint since consists of user generated event listings curated by over niche promoters, artists, agencies, talent managers, and venues. The site, newsletters, and apps specialize in providing socially significant information for multicultural early-adopters, providing a rich connection between brands and a progressive cosmopolitan audience.

In addition to the site, Fusicology is an award winning full service digital, experiential, and strategic boutique agency, that offers a targeted marketing through its expansive national digital platform, along with in-market venue activations, and a vast promotional force.

With an audience of over 200,000 users Fusicology is unique in that it delivers a trend-setting audience that is 74% 18 to 44, and 73% multicultural. In addition to being the go-to site for notable live event purveyors like Goldenvoice, AEG Live, House of Blues, Live Nation, and the LA Phil, brands that have utilized this trendsetting group of early adopters include Red Bull, HBO, Puma, Diageo, Lions Gate Films & many other advertising partners.

In addition to the Louie Vega E.O.L. Soulfrito event at the Ford Theatre, Fusicology’s 15 Year celebration will kick off in August 2018 with a brand-new website, mobile apps, redesigned newsletters, and more special events nationwide in the fall to commemorate their 15th Anniversary. 


For info about the event please see

For information on Fusicology see

For press info, please contact Susan von Seggern on o213-840-0077. 

NEW SINGLE: Sy Smith “Camelot” + Tour Dates

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Sy’s performance in Austin, TX September 30 Kicked Off a new round of dates in support of the album over the next few Months, including stops in NYC, Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington, DC and on the 2019 Capital Jazz SuperCruise


On “Camelot,” the beautiful, sensual new single from Sy Smith’s critically acclaimed new album ‘Sometimes A Rose Will Grow in Concrete,’ the “Queen of Underground Soul” takes us on a heavenly, throwback-quiet-storm type of journey; inviting us to dream and fantasize along with her about the perfect love, “all in my mind.” The track is the third single from the collection following “Now and Later” and “Perspective.




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Singles released earlier this year, “Now and Later” and “Perspective” became a popular tracks on smooth jazz and Urban AC radio outlets, including rotation spots on Sirius XM’s Adult R&B hits station Heart & Soul and Music Choice’s R&B Soul channel. The official video Sy shot for “Now and Later” scored over 35,000 views on YouTube/Facebook. “Perspective” currently has over 64,000 streams on Spotify with the live video performance getting over 60,000 views on YouTube/Facebook.


The multi-talented singer/songwriter and performer has done two rounds of touring since the album’s release in February, starting with late winter-early spring performances in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York. This summer, she did shows in Oakland, Boston, Montclair, NJ, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Detroit, St. Louis and Chicago. “Camelot” has received rousing ovations everywhere, with audiences connecting deeply with the perfect romance and hopeful “love will come and find you” scenario. Invariably, they have risen to their feet as the song draws to its dramatic crescendo, with Sy, voice and emotions rising, singing the title over and over.


“Whether one associates the word with King Arthur, the Broadway musical or the Kennedy erain American history, we all know that ‘Camelot’ is not a real place but a realm of a fairy tale,” Sy says. “The same goes for the character in the song. She’s experiencing a relationship that only exists in her mind. Yet it’s very real to her and plays out beautifully as she envisions it. In real life, the man she is singing to and about has no idea…but as I sing, ‘it wants to take flight.’ “When I perform the song,” she adds, “I introduce it by telling the story so that when I start singing, people know that I’m describing a dream – and the floating feeling of the music truly reflects that. In modern terms, I compare Camelot to a fictitious place like Wakanda from ‘Black Panther,’ and people get a kick out of it. There’s definitely a line she’s walking between a full on fantasy and making it real, and I have fun exploring that. When I sing the ‘la la la’ part, it’s me sort of snapping her – and the audience – back to reality.”


Sy will be headlining more dates in support of “Camelot” and ‘Sometimes a Rose Will Grow In Concrete’ with her current schedule includes November dates in NYC (11/2) and Annapolis, MD (11/20), a week on the Capital Jazz SuperCruise in January (17-24) and February shows in Baltimore (2/8) and at Blues Alley in Washington, DC (2/9-10).


Sy’s previous albums include The Syberspace Social, named one of the Top Albums of 2005 by The Boston Globe); 2007’s Psykosoul Plus, featuring stellar production from A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and The Roots’ James Poyser; and 2008’s Conflict, which included the charting radio singles “Fly Away With Me” and “The Art of You.”


An internationally acclaimed vocalist, Sy has toured and/or recorded with many legendary artists and musical greats, including Whitney Houston, Meshell Ndegeocello, Macy Gray, Chaka Khan and Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. Her longtime association with bandleader Rickey Minor includes six seasons as a vocalist on “American Idol.” A part of trumpeter Chris Botti’s ensemble on and off since 2007, Sy appears on his current Great Performances special on PBS. She is also featured on three tracks of legendary bandleader Pete Escovedo’s new album ‘Back To The Bay,’ and is prominently featured in the video for “Let’s Stay Together,” which has over 2 millions views on YouTube/Facebook combined.





OUT NOW: Cécile McLorin Salvant “The Window”

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In just under the span of a decade Cécile McLorin Salvant has evolved into a multi-GRAMMY® Award-winner (with all three Mack Avenue Records releases receiving nominations, and the last two winning the Best Jazz Vocal Album category) and a prescient and fearless voice in music today.


Her newest release, The Window, an album of duets with the pianist Sullivan Fortner, explores and extends the tradition of the piano-vocal duo and its expressive possibilities. With just Fortner’s deft accompaniment to support McLorin Salvant, the two are free to improvise and rhapsodize, to play freely with time, harmony, melody, and phrasing.


Each new recording by McLorin Salvant reveals new aspects of her artistry. WomanChild and For One To Love established her style, her command, and interpretive range. Dreams and Daggers is a work that highlights her fresh and fearless approach to art that transcends the conventional—live and in the studio, with a trio and with a string quartet, standards and original compositions—held together by a vocal delivery that cuts against the grain, ever deepening, intensifying, and nuancing the lyrics.


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Thematically, The Window is a meditative cycle of songs about the mercurial nature of love. The duo explores the theme across a wide repertory that includes Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim, the inner-visionary Stevie Wonder, gems of French cabaret, and early Rhythm and Blues, alongside McLorin Salvant’s brilliant, original compositions. Just as a window frames a view—revealing as much as it hides, connecting as much as it separates—each song on the album offers a shifting and discerning perspective on love’s emotional complexity. McLorin Salvant sings of anticipation and joy, obsession and madness, torment and longing, tactics and coyness. The Window traverses love’s wide universe, from the pleasure of a lover’s touch with its feelings of human communion, to the invisible masks we wear to hide from others and from ourselves.


All of McLorin Salvant’s study, training, creativity, intelligence, and artistry come together in her voice on The Window. The sound of her voice covers the gamut from breathy to bold, deep and husky to high and resonant, limpid to bluesy, with a clarity and richness that is nearly unparalleled. When she first burst onto the jazz scene, many listeners were struck by her ability to recall the sound of Bessie Smith, Sarah Vaughan, or Betty Carter. Yet with each new album, McLorin Salvant’s voice has become more her own, more singular. While conjuring the spirits of the ancestors, her references are controlled, focused, and purposeful. Her remarkable vocal technique never overshadows her rich interpretations of songs both familiar and obscure.


Touched at every moment by Cécile McLorin Salvant’s brilliance, The Window is a dazzling new release from an artist who is surely, to quote Duke Ellington, “beyond category.”


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”With vast vocal range and meticulous execution, Cécile McLorin Salvant took command of the Tiny Desk with a calm demeanor that felt both humble and persuasive.” – NPR Music 


Watch her Tiny Desk




“…an artist with so fresh a point of view that her singing amounts to a kind of re-writing.” – The Nation


“Salvant, regularly and rightly, is considered one of the greatest jazz singers of her generation, but that label sells her short.” – Rolling Stone


“She is wry and unflinching, stating the songs so boldly that their male chauvinism, untenable romanticism or high morality start to form a genre of dark humor.” – The New York Times





9/28/2018 New York, NY Metropolitan Museum
11/16/2018 Newark, NJ New Jersey Performing Arts Center
11/17/2018 Washington, DC Kennedy Center
11/18/2018 Princeton, NJ Mathews Theatre
12/1/2018 Katonah, NY Caramoor Music Room
12/4/2018 Durham, NC Durham Fruit & Produce Co
12/7/2018 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center
12/22/2018 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Fisher Center



House of Blues Music Forward Foundation: Celebrating 25 Years of Transforming Lives Through Music


Anniversary marks $25M invested in inspiring and empowering 1,000,000 youth


House of Blues Music Forward Foundation has launched a special anniversary campaign to celebrate the organization’s 25th year enriching the lives of young people and kick-starting careers in the music industry. As one of the nation’s top youth development organizations focused on the music industry, Music Forward has made a big impact in its first quarter-century, in total investing $25 million to inspire and empower over 1,000,000 youth.


To honor this accomplishment power future development, Music Forward has launched its 25th anniversary campaign. Running 25 weeks, the campaign aims to raise $250,000 to continue and expand impactful programs that accelerate opportunities for the next generation of music industry leaders and innovators. Already helping to reach this quarter-million-dollar goal is generous support from 25th Anniversary sponsors including City National, EPAM, Go Vision, Mastercard, Oracle and Visa.


Throughout the 25th anniversary season, online activations will share the stories of 25 individuals who were shaped by and have influenced Music Forward programs throughout its history. There will also be online auctions for a chance to bid on exclusive music memorabilia and experiences, as well as celebrations and special events at House of Blues venues across the country.


Formed in 1993 by the founders of the House of Blues, they envisioned a charitable arm to the venue that would bring the arts to schools and communities through programs that promoted cultural understanding, encouraged creative expression, and manifested their core belief of Unity In Diversity. Current programs are designed to help youth hone their interests and artistry while instilling a strong foundation of knowledge, skills, and confidence that will enable them to excel – not only in the professional world of music, but in all of life’s endeavors. According to a recent outcomes’ assessment, 100% of alumni are employed or in school, and 94% regularly leverage skills and knowledge they gained from Music Forward.


Music industry professionals generously provide more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service each year, and collaborative partnerships with hundreds of schools, businesses, and other nonprofits strengthen the organization’s ability to bridge community to industry and serve youth nationwide. Music Forward is also proud to hold the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition for organizational efficiency and transparency offered by the world’s largest source of nonprofit information


“I love being involved because I see myself in these young people—they are curious and passionate about starting a career in the music industry,” said Manuel Moran, Live Nation’s Vice President of Latin Touring and Music Forward mentor. “We have an opportunity to inspire these young people and show them the many possibilities available to them in this industry. The experience provided me with a unique sense of purpose.”


Music Forward is doing its part to address a nationwide challenge today’s youth face when it comes to education and employment. 11.7% of the nation’s 16-24-yearolds are disconnected, meaning they are not currently enrolled in school or working which can result in a variety of socio-economic difficulties throughout life. By providing fundamental resources and strategic opportunities, the organization helps youth turn their passion for music into professions and map pathways to success. Music Forward removes barriers to ensure that under-represented voices have a bridge into the music industry and the industry becomes a more accessible, diverse, and equitable place to work.


Music Forward alumna Lirio Hernandez states about her experience, “I grew up in LA and come from a low-income family… I knew that I wanted to do something in music, but I was not sure what. When I found out about Music Forward, I was really excited and interested…Music Forward solidified my dreams of going into this industry and made me more confident and determined to pursue my career.”


One of Music Forward’s biggest supporters is Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company. Live Nation provides support to the charity through House of Blues revenue streams including Foundation Room member donations, as well as restaurant and retail items designated specifically to benefit the foundation. The company provides access to its venues and professionals for young people across the country to learn first-hand about the music industry. Live Nation also provides the nonprofit with organizational infrastructure which is critical to ensure that the charity invests a majority of every dollar raised directly into programs for disadvantaged youth.


The talent that has been cultivated by Music Forward spans a diverse range of backgrounds and genres. Alumni have gone on to achieve impressive accomplishments in the industry including being signed to prominent record labels Atlantic Records (Ravyn Lenae, Class of 2015) and Tommy Boy Entertainment (Almost Awake, 2016) to performances on larger platforms including SNL musical appearances (Elliot Skinner, 2015), American Idol placements (Trevor Douglas, 2015; Zach Person, 2015; Sabrina Lentini, 2016) as well as festivals like Made In America (Red Letter Day, 2016) and Vans Warped Tour (Hoity-Toity, 2016).


Music Forward invites everyone to play a part in redefining what’s possible for the next generation of music industry leaders by growing our family of supporters. Follow the celebration across social channels @HOBMusicForward and learn more at

OUT NOW: Raul Midón – If You Really Want + Tour Dates

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The New York Times has called Raul Midón “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” Now, with his exciting new album – If You Really Want, out now via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue – Midón’s voice and guitar ride the waves of an actual orchestra: the acclaimed Metropole Orkest, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Dutch ensemble that has collaborated with artists from Al Jarreau and Elvis Costello to Laura Mvula and Snarky Puppy. Midón – who earned his first GRAMMY nomination for Bad Ass and Blind, his Artistry Music/Mack Avenue album of 2017 – worked hand in glove on If You Really Want with another renowned GRAMMY winner and frequent Metropole Orkest collaborator: conductor-composer-arranger Vince Mendoza.


He created beautifully dynamic arrangements, inspired not only by the singer-guitarist’s melodies, harmonies and rhythms but by his lyrics, too. Alongside fresh versions of six favorites from past Midón albums, If You Really Want features four previously unrecorded songs: “If You Really Want,” “Ride On A Rainbow,” “Ocean Dreamer” and “All Love Is Blind.” This past spring, Midón performed in National Public Radio’s popular “Tiny Desk Concert” feature, with NPR prefacing the broadcast by saying: “Raul Midón lives in a world of sound – blind since birth, Midón’s interpretation of his surroundings is borderless. He sings with the passion of the best classic soul singers, and his instrumental chops stand alongside the most accomplished jazz musicians.”


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If You Really Want includes choice numbers from across Midón’s career: “Sunshine (I Can Fly),” “Sittin’ In The Middle” and “Suddenly,” from his hit debut, State of Mind (2005); “Pick Somebody Up,” from A World Within A World (2007); “Everybody Deserves A Second Chance,” from Synthesis (2010); and “God’s Dream,” from Don’t Hesitate (2014). Then there are the four inspired new songs. “I wrote ‘Ride On A Rainbow’ especially for this album,” Midón explains. “The lyric is whimsical, being based on this thing I had as a kid of listening to the radio a lot and imagining that the sounds were riding on radio waves. I still have that in mind, so it seemed ideal for that feeling of riding the orchestra’s wave of sound. I play a six-string banjo on this song, including a solo.”


About “Ocean Dreamer,” he says: “I wrote this ballad expressly to sing with the orchestra, inspired by the sound of the strings on the Joni Mitchell LP Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.” Midón had “All Love Is Blind” on hand for a while, he says, waiting for the right setting: “The melody and chords have this cinematic quality to them that I thought orchestration would maximize – and it did.” As for “If You Really Want,” Midón wrote that years ago, before he moved to New York in the hopes of making it. “I really had this song in my back pocket, and I’m glad I found the ideal place for it as the new album’s title track,” he says. “It’s about the power of positive thinking to fulfill your dreams, as I was able to do by becoming a professional musician, making records and touring the world. Here I am, recording with a great European orchestra. This, like so many things in my career, has been a dream come true.”


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With a GRAMMY nomination under his belt and a batch of new songs already set to record next year, Midón feels like he’s “on a roll,” he says. “And right now, I’m thrilled with how If You Really Want came out. I hope my fans dig the album as much as I do, and it brings some new listeners along for the journey, too.”


VIDEO: “If You Really Want”


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“Raul Midón lives in a world of sound — blind since birth, Midón’s interpretation of his surroundings is borderless. He sings with the passion of the best classic soul singers, and his instrumental chops stand along side the most accomplished jazz musicians.” - NPR Music

“Midón showcases his flawless set of singing pipes, No gimmicks or frills to be found here; just sound, clear vocals.” - Pop Matters

“Regardless if it’s rehearsal or showtime, he’s also adroit in showmanship.” - NBC News


Tour Dates:

9/29/2018 Newark, NJ NJPAC Gala – Christian McBride host
10/11/2018 Largo, Florida Central Park Performing Arts Center
10/12/2018 Bethesda, MD The Amp
10/13/2018 Rehoboth Beach, DE Rehobeth Beach Festival
10/19/2018 Pleasanton, CA Firehouse Arts Center
10/21/2018 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brew
11/1/2018 Seattle, WA Triple Door
11/2/2018 Denver, CO Dazzles
11/8/2018 Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center
11/9/2018 Las Vegas, NV Myron’s Cabaret Jazz/ The Smith Center
11/16/2018 Prescott, AZ Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
11/17/2018 Chandler, AZ Chandler Center for the Arts
11/30/2018 Edmonton, Canada Yardbird Suite
12/1/2018 Winnipeg, Canada Barney Theatre
12/2/2018 Winnipeg, Canada Barney Theatre
12/27/2018 NYC, NY The Jazz Standard
12/28/2018 NYC, NY The Jazz Standard
12/29/2018 NYC, NY The Jazz Standard
12/30/2018 NYC, NY The Jazz Standard




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