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She's not Billie, not Judy, not Jennifer, not Carmen, not Nancy, it's Cynthia Holiday!
Cynthia Holiday is a real crowd pleaser and her renditions of straight-ahead jazz, blues and pop standards are full of swing, improvisation and soul. Clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable.
Kevin Mahogany says, "I met Cynthia many years ago when I used to frequent various jam sessions in Harlem clubs. I was struck by her ability to quickly command the stage. Cynthia has fantastic stage presence and it's time for her music to be heard."
Cynthia says "I love the up-and-close feeling of performing in small, intimate venues like SMOKE or Showmans Jazz Club in NYC. I also enjoy the thrill of performing for an audience of 10,000 + people at outdoor events like the Harlem Jazz & Blues Festival or Hartford Jazz Festival." Following her performance, the Hartford Courier's music review said of Cynthia "She may have been unfamiliar to the audience, but Holiday quickly won over the crowd with her blues-soaked swing and charming banter."
Since the 2008 release of her debut album, All The Way, on the Miles High Records Label, Cynthia Holiday has made new fans and friends in the US and internationally. Most recently she served as a judge in the 2013 Asian Dreams Jazz Vocal Competition followed by a performance with the TS Monk Septet in Osaka, Japan.
Cynthia's gifted vocals and natural inclination for jazz is attributed to her upbringing in Newark, New Jersey where music filled her home on any given day. Her stepfather, trumpeter Calvin Hughes was a band leader and performed with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and Big Maybelle.
Early on Cynthia was a dancer, studying for years with the Garden State Ballet Company and teaching dance during college years. But singing was her true love and she began studying classical voice with Jacklyn Snyder in New York City.
Eventually Cynthia switched to the jazz vocal program at the Newark School For the Arts with Inez McClendon, followed by private lessons with Duke Anderson, Myrna Lake, Ulysses Slaughter, Jim Carson and the late Rita DaCosta Turrentine. She considers the late bassist Earl May to be an important mentor as she began sitting-in at jam sessions.
Released in 2008, Cynthia's debut CD "All The Way" was produced by John Snyder and Eulis Cathey with guest artists pianist Cedar Walton, bassist David Williams and drummer Joe Farnsworth for Miles High Records. The core band included pianist Radam Schwartz, bassist Andy McCloud, drummer Joe Brown Jr, alto saxophonist Gerald Hayes, guitarist Geary Moore and drummer, Wayne Henderson.
"All The Way" spotlights Cynthia giving her own personal touch to standards, blues and introducing some originals. In fact, she co-wrote two of the tunes with Radam Schwartz, "I Like What I See" and "You've Got A Job To Do." When asked to pick out a few favorite selections for the CD, Cynthia says, "My Little Rainbow" is a lovely tune recorded with the Cedar Walton trio and "Samba de Amore" is a light samba.
"Her time has come with this release," says WBGO Jazz88 FM host Sheila Anderson. "Cynthia seeks to continue the tradition of jazz women who sing the blues, a style that has become a lost art among vocalists. I hear the humor of Helen Humes, the soul of Ernestine Anderson, the warm timber of Nancy Wilson and the storytelling of Marlena Shaw, but make no mistake, what you hear is pure Cynthia Holiday."
Minott penned "Lest We Forget," which not only serves as its anthem but a poignant reminder of how far African Americans have come.
LEST WE FORGET
Music artist David M (aka David Minott) is using music to remind us of those who fought for justice and racial equality.
In his moving worldbeat song, "Lest We Forget," the Jamaica-born world-music songwriter / singer invokes the names of African American leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Marcus Garvey to illustrate the contributions that black people have made to society and to encourage listeners to remember their sacrifices.
This soul-searching song which opens with excerpts from Dr. MartinLuther King Jr's famous "I Have A Dream" speech, not only speaks to the Civil Rights Movement and the hard work of Dr. King, but also gives credence to the work and sacrifices made by stalwarts such as Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Steven Biko and others who have been instrumental in the struggle for equality and justice, paving the way for positive change.
"Trayvon Martin is not unlike many others in our past who have fallen victim to violence and racial injustice," he says. "His slaying and the movement that it has inspired serves as a wakeup call to all of us that there is yet much work to be done before all men, regardless of race, are indeed treated equal."
Written in 1994 on the eve of the inauguration of South African President Nelson Mandela, "Lest We Forget" is equally as relevant today as it was back then, says David M. "The feeling that I had on that day has been renewed many times over the years. From the election of President Barack Obama to the many other achievements by men and women of African descent, I am proud of our achievements and humbled by the opportunity to pay homage to them in song. I am also reminded of how far we still have to go and how many of our people are still being victimized by racism and hate crimes. The death of this defenseless, unarmed teen makes this message ring true like never before."
David M says he plans to use the song to motivate the spirit of unity for all mankind, globally.The poignant video for "Lest We Forget" has been featured on BET's "Lift Every Voice," Music Choice, Tempo and BET-J. The song was also the focus of a Black History Month 2011 campaign called "Our Silence Speaks Volumes."
Says David M, "It is my hope that this song will urge us to remember many of our fallen brothers and sisters, from Emmett Till and Medgar Evers to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and, of course, lest we forget -- young Trayvon Martin."
What does the future hold for music? The question is answered by some of the tightest harmonies heard since the days of New Edition-and with as much potential appeal, according to their growing fan base. Out of the label 4Ever Young Music Group (4EYMG) comes this generation's fix of harmonic all male groups- '4EY The Future', comprised of three powerhouses-Demetrius Mechie, Kenny Iko, and Tre Anthony-bringing us a group whose sound is made even more potent by their individual talents.
The hot trio is comparable to the syncopated rhythms of past hit makers like N'Sync and Boys to Men; with added flavorings not unlike Mindless Behavior and One Direction. Even with such comparisons, the young men have risen rapidly into their own style, with the help of their label's stellar production team. While still bringing the energized Pop sound indicative of mainstream radio hits today, '4EY The Future' comes with the soulful R&B underpinnings of old school seasoned vocalists.
Comprising the group:
Demetrius Harris-popularly known by his stage/social networking name Mechiesocrazy or Mechie; whose early musical inspirations come from Michael Jackson, Usher, Prince, Neyo and Chris Brown. Studying great performers growing up encouraged his
abilities and drive-to not only become a bett er singer, but an amazing live performer as well. In the summer of 2011, he started marketing himself by hosting parties that increased his popularity. He later opened up for top acts such as Meek Mill at Lincoln University, Chrisette Michelle and more.
Another rhythmic layer is then added to the group with Michael Timmons-AKA Kenny Iko-a native of Washington D.C., where he first discovered his love and talent for singing. By the time he was 13, he had already auditioned for and dominated over 20 showcases. He was a featured artist for the 93.9 WKYS DMV top Artist Contest and was the second runner up. Nationally he has performed for 106 & Park on B.E.T. and Blaze the Stage. He harnesses a perfect falsetto and jagged tone, (like on the group's track 'ThirstyLove'). He has opened up for Chrisette Michelle and Bow Wow among others.
The trio is topped with the vocal additions of Tre' Anthony Garrison-out of Maryland, who also honed his talents from an early age by allowing the sounds of Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and New Edition to influence his own. He has sharpened his craft over the years, training and working with 4Ever Young Music Group (4EYMG) to master his performances. His smooth tenor mixed with an impeccable falsetto puts him in the lane of Usher and Chris Brown; yet with a listen, one can hear the unique standout potential his growth as a musician will bring over the years.
All three blend musically together, with the assistance of their label's team including acclaimed music gurus: Jarod 'King Beatz' Barnes (Ron Isley, Sisqo); Nelson Frank (Latoya Luckett, Tank, Ginuwine); Leonard Huggins, Sr. (Melanie Fiona, Keyshia Coles, Jennifer Lopez); Be 'Girl Wonder' Gantt (Sophia Green); Santino Rose; and River Dakota among others.
Combined with the talent grooming process provided for each of them by their label-4Ever Young Music Group (4EYMG), under the tutelage of Russell Webste
r-4EY The Future has broadened their skills even more. From physical and performance enhancement training to other forms of industry preparedness, the group has greatly benefited from the nearly yearlong, extensive Artist Development boot camp. Professionally sculpted in sound and show, the group launched a new album '4EY 4EVER' slated for a 2015 release of eclectic Hip Hop/Pop sounds. Out of the gate, they have already teamed with heavy-hitters such as Jada Kiss, featured on the cut 'Show Me Something'. On the song 'Going Crazy' they feature Soulja Boy and We Are Toonz.
Already they have spun a new dance craze with their single 'Scoot Ova' produced by Zaytoven and written by Santino Rose. Social media has taken to it enthusiastically with multitudes of postings of the trio's video for the song. The high school crowds have embraced their performances with nationwide requests coming in daily, particularly after their appearance at the B.E.T. Experience. Shows at the Verizon Center in 2014 further publicized the group, as well as one that amped up the crowds during the halftime performance at the Washington Wizards game. The pandemonium from their Pop hit 'DANCE' made crowds go wild.
In collectively showing off, each of their own, captivating skills on their forthcoming album, they offer listeners songs like the grittier SUGAR-lead first by Mechie, then Kenny Iko, followed by Tre. Or more seductive tracks like Thirsty 4 Love, where Iko's soothing tones, backed by the trio's combined rhythms show the three can take us to any level. Altogether, the hot singles highlight a group that is cementing a firm musical foundation with each new worldwide fan base.