JP Maurice – Vancouver


“Big change is coming”
That is JP Maurice’s anthemic promise to anyone who has seen their share of adversity. This seasoned Vancouver based musician, songwriter and producer knows the highs of his craft, but it’s in the lows where he finds his fire – taking the fuel of failed record deals, broken hearts, and the loss of loved ones and forging the pain into something beautifully optimistic.

Was fun to catch up with JP to talk about his new EP ‘Girls’ – the video release of the first single from the album ‘Shapeshifter’ and hearing how much he has grown in the very best of ways.
Having worked with him before we will always hold appreciation for the voice he was blessed with and the caring heart that he lends to others by being the first one there when called upon saying – what can I do.
Enthusiastically optimistic about all the good things to come from his creative space at ‘Bluelight Studios’ in Vancouver B.C.

Be sure to come down to the Biltmore Cabaret Saturday night for his EP release party.

a jp saturday biltmore

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Still The Big Man

Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr. respectfully known as The Big Man was born on January 11 1942.

Born in Norfolk County, Virginia  his father gave him an alto sax as a Christmas present when he was nine years old. He later switched to baritone and then settled on a tenor. As a youth Clemons showed potential as a football player and attended Maryland State College on both music and football scholarships. He attracted the attention of the Cleveland Browns who offered him a trial. Clarence also tried out for the Dallas Cowboys; however the day before, he was involved in a serious car accident which effectively ended any dreams of a career in the NFL. He would be eventually posthumously inducted in the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

a bicep

At the age of 18 he started doing some studio session work, some of  which were eventually released in 2007 by Truth and Soul Records as ‘Let Me Be Your Man’. While at Maryland he joined his first band, The Vibratones, which played James Brown covers and stayed together from 1961 – 1965. While still playing with this band he moved to New Jersey where he worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children at the Jamesburg Training School for Boys between 1962 and 1970.

The story of how Clarence Clemons first met Bruce Springsteen has entered into E Street Band mythology. ‘The E Street Shuffle’ with a monologue about how they met and the event was also immortalized in ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’. The story is they met for the first time in September 1971 and Clarence was playing with the Norman Seldin & the Joyful Noyze at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was Karen Cassidy, lead vocalist with Joyful Noyze who encouraged Clemons to check out Springsteen at the nearby Student Prince. 

a glare

This is how Clemons recalled their meeting:

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Where Gifted Musicians Grow

Danilo Perez with BGJI students – Photo by Dave Green

Where do gifted musicians go to become student leaders of a world community and affect positive social change?

Doug Hall

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, founded by Grammy-award winning jazz pianist, composer, professor and educator Danilo Pérez, through a curriculum that includes world-music exploration from roots up, to arrangements and performances of original composition, to internships and projects in remote under-represented communities around the globe, students develop into ambassadors for humanity. This is not an ethereal concept or group meditation on a “better world” but a hands-on curriculum that directs these young extra-ordinary musicians to park the “self” for a greater good. Pérez speaks to this part and emphasis in the program, “ When somebody has a gift, I believe he/she has a responsibility…you must have the desire to be a role model in society – and step away from your instrument.” BGJI offers a unique alternative approach to a discipline that has often focused more on developing self-achievement and acceptance based primarily on talent. Pérez keeps his mission and integrity close to the selection process, “you have to have the desire to experience the process of human development…fame is a four letter word.”


Danilo Perez at piano – Photo by Kelly Davidson

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Merry Christmas

2016 has been a year of amazing moments all encompassing growth, tender triumphs and loss.
Each equally important as they fuel us forward in our journey along a path often less traveled.
Fresh Independence is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your world and we look forward with genuine optimism to the ‘Conversations’ and stories waiting to be told – the music, films and photographs longing to be etched upon the soul.
The new year will find us in the UK, tackling ‘Selfless’ and the road of adventure within the completion of this documentary – back in Nashville, Los Angeles & Vancouver for some great music – and out in the nature as we lift off some new projects we can’t wait to share with you all.
From the bottom of our hearts we wish you a season of peace, hope and joy.
May each remember to reach out and help where ever we are able and never forget that it all began with Christmas.

We would like to leave you with this moment forever etched in history from the great Charles Schulz who was not afraid to speak up for what he believed. For if we are not brave enough to stand for something – we will surely fall for anything.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

xo Fresh Independence


During the making of the animated Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz had a meeting with Lee Mendelson, the show’s producer, and Bill Melendez, its lead animator. The discussion concerned Schulz’s insistence about including a New Testament scripture reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. The scripture reading was to be spoken by Peanuts character Linus Van Pelt in response to Charlie Brown’s lament, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Mendelson and Melendez both voiced their concern about the reading, with Melendez telling Schulz, “It’s very dangerous for us to start talking about religion now.” Schulz answered him by saying, “Bill, if we don’t, who will?” In the end, the scripture reading was retained, and the CBS special was the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965.

Linus’ King James version scripture reading from Luke 2: 8-14, read:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

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