Musical Artist, Producer, Record Label, Publisher, Educator, Clinician, Music Director, Composer
Tell us a little about your background...
I have been performing professionally since 1972 where he studied with the late great African-American pianist Horace Tapscott in Los Angeles, California. This led to a lifetime relationship with Tapscott's Pan-African People's Arkestra, during this time I served as assistant conductor as well as arranger, composer, copier and player of saxophone, clarinet and flute. I have performed from coast to coast in the U.S. and in the last 16 years in Europe, both leading my own ensemble as well as sharing the stage with such greats as Walter Bishop Jr., Jimmy Garrison, Bill Shadrack Cole, Charles Owens, Jeff Littleton, Rudy Stevenson, Wole Soyinke, Ed Blackwell, Arthur Blythe, Queen Negus H. Somayah Moore-Kambui and the Black Belt Symphony, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Danny Harper, Eddie Davis, Joe Jennings, Joe Bowie, Hal Singer, Sugar Blue, Michael Session, Sha'Ifa, Nedra Wheeler, Abdu Salim, D*** de Graaf, Abraham Burton, Ed Schuller, Joseph Bowie, Omar Sosa, Winard Harper to name only a few.
My professional credits include three films. My theater credits include the writing of original scores for three plays as well as performing roles in these plays, the most well known . . . "Yardbird's Vamp", performed in Atlanta, Georgia and in Berlin, Germany.
My music is as diverse as my musical experiences during my life. I feature in my ensemble the bassists Stanislaw Michalak from Poland and Max Hughes from San Diego, drummers Kenny Martin from New York and Nirankar Khalsa from Madrid, and pianists Reggie Moore from New York, Rolf Zielke, Sjan Pho Duc and Tino Derado from Germany.
I also have a Latin Jazz group where I feature Pina Lopez and Daniel Allen Oberto from Cuba. With these groups I perform original compositions from all the members of these ensemble as well as playing different and "fresh" new musical pieces from established composers and performers from all around the world.
Since 2006 I have been performing in a new group called "The Horace Tapscott Memorial Ensemble". We are performing compositions from my late teacher and mentor Mr. Horace Tapscott. (www.posi-tone.com/tapscott/). He was a musician, community activist and a hero in Los Angeles who dedicated his life to creating, performing and preserving the music of the African American community in Los Angeles, California so that our children after us and generations afterwards would know and remember the contributions that we’ve made as artististic members of this community before them. He had been involved with many famous and well known international musicians, as well as many famous musicians being involved with his organization which included the likes of Azar Lawrence, David Murray and Arthur Blythe.
He was the founder of the Union of God's Musicians and Artist Ascension (U.G.M.A.A:) and the Pan African Peoples Arkestra both founded in 1962 which I have been a member of since 1973 and which still exist today. There are 3 books written about his contributions in Los Angeles; “Central Avenue Sounds”, “Songs of the Unsung” and “The Dark Tree”. He died in 1999 but he is well known and remembered on the international scene as a great composer and performer.
In 2007 I worked as the music director of a traveling show called "AFRICA AFRICA" for several months www.afrika.pte-ag.eu/.
In May 2008 I released my 4th CD "The Abakua"which can be purchased through CDbaby, iTunes and Amazon.
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My Friend Ray Blue
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
Mr. Smith’s biggest hit, “Walk Don’t Run,” became famous in covers by other bands, notably the Ventures. Mr. Smith, the writer of “Walk, Don’t Run,” gave up his career in 1958 to care for his daughter.