By Dawoud Kringle
Photo by Chris May
This is the second of a series of articles devoted to the women of jazz. It is a small attempt to give props and respect to an inexcusably overlooked segment of the music community (the first installment featured Emily Remler. This installment features Alice Coltrane, because there are few musicians in the history of jazz who successfully embodied the balance between music and spirituality as she did.
Born Alice McLeod in Detroit, MI in 1937 to Solon and Annie McLeod, Alice developed an interest in music in early childhood. By the age of nine, she played organ during services at Mount Olive Baptist church. She pursued music and started to perform in various clubs around Detroit, until moving to Paris in the late 1950s. By 1960, she worked as the intermission pianist at the Blue Note Jazz Club. She studied classical music, and studied jazz with Bud Powell, and also appeared on French television in a performance with Lucky Thompson, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke. In the early 60’s she returned to Detroit and began playing jazz with her own trio and as a duo with vibraphonist Terry Pollard.
“Success in music is not guaranteed, but as long as you are persevering and helping others along the way, you will reach your goals.”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews conductor and pianist Geraldine Anello about immigrating to the United States from France in her early 20s which ultimately led to a career as a Broadway musician. Topics discussed include how she created an online community and professional development resource called Theatre Music Directors, the issue of gender inequality on Broadway, and finding a new creative outlet as a writer and poet during the pandemic.
Geraldine Anello has conducted Kinky Boots and School of Rock on Broadway, The Fantasticks off-Broadway, and played in the orchestras of Broadway’s School of Rock, Bronx Tale, Aladdin, and On the Town. She has also worked on the Broadway productions SpongeBob the Musical, An American in Paris, On Your Feet, and Matilda. Anello served as music director of We Are the Tigers off-Broadway, and of Renascence for the Transport Group, Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and Children of Salt at the New York Musical Festival.
The Rhythmic and Harmonic History of Brazilian Music from Choro to Bossa Nova
Report by Dawoud Kringle
On Friday, March 26, 2021, MFM presented its 4th Zoom Webinar. MFM Members Richard Miller and Stephen Johnson presented a discussion on the history of Brazilian music.
Guitarist Richard Miller has performed extensively throughout the United States and Latin America in concerts that explore his roots in Brazilian choro, American Jazz, and classical guitar. He has a Ph.D. in music theory from Catholic University of America and a Masters in guitar performance from Manhattan School of Music. He taught music theory and ear training at Columbia University for eight years and has just relocated to Southern California. Lambert Academic Publishing recently published his book The Guitar in the Brazilian Choro.
“Stay true to yourself, and stay true to the game. If you give music your all, and be honest with yourself, you will be rewarded.”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Dawoud Kringle interviews Royal Bayyan. Royal is a Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Music Supervisor, Personal Manager, Executive Brand Consultant. He played with and was a founding member of Kool & the Gang.
The topics of the interview include Royal’s beginnings as an early member of Kool and the Gang, the problems and pitfalls of the music business, the art of record production, Bringing live hip hop concerts to Africa, the evolution of music production, surviving in the music business, an alternative perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the music business, and the spiritual aspects of life as a professional musician and as a Muslim.
“We’re operating under a significant cloud… it is important to not only take care of yourself but support your fellow musicians in any way that you can.” – Roger Blanc
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Adam Reifsteck interviews composer, guitarist, and MFM Board member Roger Blanc about navigating today’s music industry landscape, adapting and finding ways to work as a musician during the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of music rights advocacy, and his involvement with MFM.
The following music is featured in this episode: