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MAY AND THE BEAUTY OF BALLERINO

Since Adele I don’t believe I have heard the depth of a voice like that of May. She brings an ambience of darkness – light and the feeling that something really amazing is about to happen. It has been a blessing to work with her since meeting in New York and we are so pleased to bring you her latest offering ‘Ballerino’

Thank you May – it ‘s beautiful.

M A Y 

Ballerino is filled with Parisian undertones – please share how this resonates within you

Firstly, I love French music. The romance and melancholy of artists like Edith Piaf and Jacque Brel resonates with me… I have always found inspiration in music with great depth and beauty like theirs.

For this song in particular – A few years ago I lived in Paris and this past July I returned for the first time. The visit brought back many memories and took my mind back to a time when I was younger and more naive. It was during this reflection that I was inspired to begin writing ‘Ballerino.’

With similarities to both the works of Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen can you tell us about these influences

Leonard Cohen is my favorite artist. I listen to his records constantly and was introduced to his music by my mother. Alongside his beautiful music, I admire his lyrics and poetry.

Whilst recording ‘Ballerino’, (which was live) I took myself to a place where I imagined Nina Simone would be back in the day – In an underground, smoke filled jazz club. I wanted the song to sound heartfelt and authentic.

With 2016 holding some heavy moments for all – did it have an affect on your song writing

2016 was a very emotional year for so many of us worldwide, and also personally for me as I very sadly lost my father in November. I wanted to enter into 2017 with a message of love, acceptance and hope.

Regarding my songwriting, I am inspired by life and whether that be something that brings me joy or complete despair, I find great comfort in putting my emotions into song.

a may music

What can you tell us about the making of this beautiful video Ballerino

I originally had the idea to film a more abstract and lyrical piece with a music box ballerina twirling in slow-motion. Then I met with my friend, director Meredith Truax, who quite literally brought my idea to life and introduced me to the wonderful dancer, Shay Bares. Shay was incredibly moved by the song, and choreographed his dance especially for the video. His performance was exquisite and from the moment he stepped into the spotlight and in front of the camera I knew it was going to be something special. I am so thankful for the finished product, and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented people.

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JP Maurice – Vancouver

JP MAURICE

“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. 

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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?

by
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.”

a-danilo-perez

Danilo Perez at piano – Photo by Kelly Davidson

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