Shenole Latimer admits that the reason he wanted to learn the saxophone was because it was shiny and looked complicated to play because of all of the keys that it had. Shenole's interest in jazz, though always present, found a new level of intensity when he met jazz bassist Todd Coolman during his undergraduate studies at Stony Brook Unversity on Long Island. Coolman's professionalism and breadth of knowledge about jazz fascinated Shenole and made him give consideration towards pursuing jazz for a living. This feeling was cemented, however, when a friend loaned Shenole a CD by Chick Corea called "Three Quartets", which featured Michael Brecker on the tenor saxophone. All it took was Michael Brecker's solo on the very first track of the CD to have Shenole make up his mind that jazz was what he wanted to do with his life. Shenole had never, up until that point, heard a saxophone played in such a manner.Shenole's CD "Front and Center" is a must for any serious jazz lover and collection>
Mario Coleman aka The Nxt LeveL hails from Chicago Ill. where he grew up to until age 15. From there he moved to Erie PA. This is where his journey into music began.
Nxt got his first exposure to Jazz, by hanging out with his uncles and listening to cats like Wes Montgomery, and the Jazz Crusaders. But it wasn’t until Grover Washington’s Mr. Magic dropped, that his interest peaked. From there, It was George Benson’s Breezing, by the time Ronnie Laws came out with the Friends and Strangers album, it was pretty much a wrap as far me moving between Jazz, and R&B for inspiration. I remember at one point Reading the back of albums covers like magazines just to see who was playing on them.
Poetry came from the ability to listen deeply to love songs and get lost in the flow and imagery they created. Not to mention how much the ladies love to hear a brother say something sweet to them. As a matter of fact the first poetry piece that was posted was to his X Girlfriend entitled In Silence. My Girl was so moved by the piece she posted it on a poetry website, the response was so overwhelming. From there it all began.
Sandra Turner-Barnes, a South Jersey/Philadelphia area artist,
is a national award winning poet, author & vocalist, known across the East Coast as "The Cadillac Lady" because of her amusing poem-song by that title. In 1995, Sandra won the Ebony Magazine Literary Competition for short fiction; and, she felt truly honored to be named "Diva of Poetry" right along with Nikki Giovanni, Sonya Sanchez and Ntosake Shange in 1997 in the City of Philadelphia. In 2000, Sandra won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Competition in Chicago, and was published in the Gwendolyn Brooks Anthology, "WarpLand."
As a performance poet & vocalist, Sandra has appeared across the East Coast with artists such as Jazz Divas Gerri Allen, Shirley Scott and Evelyn Sims; R&B singer, Freddie Jackson, and writer and motivation speaker, Iyanla Vanzant, to name a few. In 2001, Sandra's jazz vocal performance with renowned jazz pianist, Barry Sames, was selected for national airing on BET's "Jazz Discoveries." Sandra's first book of poetry, "Always A Lady," published for the third time in 1995, sold over 5,000 copies, and is still in demand; her second book, "That Sweet Philly Jazz" published in 1997, is a tribute to jazz and jazz musicians; and, her soon-to-be released book, "Too Much Woman" is a long awaited collection of poetry, prose and passion. A children's book entitled, "Chicken Bone Beach" is near completion; this tale depicts racism through the eyes of a Black child during the days of segregation in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Sandra chose to entitle her first CD, "September Will Never Be The Same" in tribute to the many lives lost last year on September 11, but also in gratitude to the many lives spared by God's Grace, including that of her son-in-law, Enzo. Sandra dedicates the title poem to all the children of this world, and especially those children who will be born as a result of efforts to bring about healing from this tragedy, specifically, her own (soon to be born 911 blessing) granddaughter, "Mia." "September Will Never Be The Same" features the up and coming jazz quartet, "Mysterious Traveler," four very gifted musicians who provide that jazzy balance that gives Sandra's poems and vocals that added uniqueness that bring joy to the listeners' ears.
"Mysterious Traveler" consists of leader, Theo Primas, who co-produced the CD, on Saxophones & flute; co-producer, Raimundo Santos, on keyboards; Bob Turner on bass; and Kenny Adams on drums. All wonderfully executed selections on this fabulous CD are smooth, easy to listen to, extremely entertaining, and destined to put this CD on your "must have" list.
Classifying herself as an “Artistic Poet”, NeoSouljah was born Unnita [Yah ‘KNEE Tah] Chambers in Cleveland Ohio April of 1962 and began singing almost as soon as she could talk. Having been a vocalist for 39 of her 45 years on Earth, her talents have been lent to nearly every style of music you can name: Jazz, Neo-Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Country & Western, Rap, Hip Hop, Gospel, Madrigal, Classical and Hymnal, as both lead and background vocalist, and vocal arrangement. As a Singer, this Diversity has afforded her the ability to work with some well known Ministries and Artists including HBO Def Poets Abyss and Georgia Me . As a performer, NeoSouljah has appeared in underground productions of The Wiz, A Brand New Me, a movie production "Water My Flowers", and is a member of the Christian Comedy Association.
But it was her craft of Songwriting that eventually led her to the love affair she now holds with Poetry. This gift was discovered during a showcase in an International music conference hosted by Multi Award winning Gospel artist Babbie Mason.
As a poet, NeoSouljah, or “Neo” as she is nicknamed, has not only held her own within the Open Mic circuit winning several slams, she has been found on the mic at local churches as well, given room to ‘tell it like it should be’. Sharing her years of knowledge as a stage performer with her poetic peers, she regularly holds poetry sessions in her home. Called “Confessions” these nights are filled with food, laughter, poetry, writing contests, information, and performance tips as she coaches those alongside and coming behind her. These sessions have also been visited by poets within the National Slam Poetry and HBO Def Poetry community of artists.
Outsane, as she describes herself, Neo boldly addresses the church and it’s biases, our constant decay of morals, and everyday life issues with pictorial prose that is intellectual, funny, educational, and sobering. A firm believer that you can't talk about what you don't know about, every rhyme crafted is from her experience as a Woman, Lover, Friend, Counselor, Minister, and Artist. But she is best known for her Erotiq poetry which addresses issues of the heart, mind, and body, and is Sensual without being vulgar. Her craftsmanship and knowledge of intimacy within a relationship has led The National Society of Black Engineers National Convention to called upon her several times to serve as a Clinician for a Standing Room Only workshop she has entitled: Sex And The City: Being Healed from E.T.D.’s. [Emotionally Transmitted Diseases]. designed through poetry and interactive exercises to help the participants heal from the scars of verbal abuse and develop healthy communication skills and relationships that branch from the home to the workplace, church, and neighborhood.
Currently NeoSouljah is working on a CD, as well as production of various projects both within her own company [One Love Ink], and alongside her business partner, Executive Talent Consultant for HBO Def Poetry Jam, Walter T. Mudu of Mudu Multimedia. Be sure to look out for her project “The Instrument – Me” this summer, as well as a Devotional Journal infused with Poetry later this year.
Clay Corley Sr.
My name is Clayton E. Corley, Sr. aka Big Trigger host and producer of an award winning internet program!