1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself and your background.
I have been described as “THE TINA TURNER OF JAZZ” due to my vibrant energy and passion!
I have toured internationally with my own Jazz Band, sharing the stage with Cyrus Chestnut, Leonid Ptashka Peter Cincotti, Miss Phyllis Hyman, Misha Tsiganov, Jeff Barone, Cleve Douglass, Ms. Bobbi Humphrey, Evgeny Lebedev, Andrei Ryabov, Valery Ponomarev, Michika Fukumori, Nutsa, to name a few!
I have had countless radio/TV commercials under my belt (my favorite is a spot with the legendary Blues guitarist BB King); Loop Groups for several films over the years from Malcolm X to Bessie (starring Queen Latifah), Mudbound (starring Mary J. Blige.
2What led you to become a talent/artist/influencer/performer/current profession?
I have never wanted to do anything else! When people in my childhood would inquire "what I want to be when I grew up" I'd ALWAYS say: Singer or Actress!
3Tell us more about your studio/company/academy.
JAZZMATCHMAKER is a niche indie label – in other words, it's mine to produce, me, just the way I believe I should be seen!
4What skills have you learned that will help you in your result and/or performance?
Don't OVERTHINK and remember to have fun. Find the humor in a what may be a stressful situation.
5What is your own definition of an impressive performance/show/masterpiece?
They establish a connection with the audience, focusing solely on that aspect—similar to how PINK does.
6What is your creative or ideation process like?
I leave my mind and spirit open to receive!
7What has been the best performance of your career so far?
Best performance? Wow, I don't know if there is ONE! You hit the stage, play your heart out, and suddenly the audience vibes with you in a way you never saw coming. It's like you've stepped into musical heaven, and it's not just one performance but a bunch of them, all folded into your memories.
8Congratulations! As the winner of LIT Awards, what does it mean to you, or your team, to receive this honor?
It makes good press, people pay attention and that makes my heart smile!
9How has winning an international awards help promote you and/or your masterpiece?
So far receiving recognition from the LIT Awards really impressed many people. I hope this will lead to new opportunities and performances. I now have a tangible recognition to show to people and it truly speaks volumes. I am very grateful to LIT Awards!
10What are the challenges, for your winning entry, that you faced?
BUT YOU DO GOTTA was inspired by a true event! I was dead tired, almost ditched my regular gig, but that feeling of obligation pushed me to show up. The lyrics and melody were stuck in my head, wouldn't let go, until I connected with my songwriting buddy, Robin Radus. He totally got it, and that's how it all came to life!
11What advise you will give to those who are in the same industry and/or are interested with your craft?
Stay strong, focused and give yourself grace (no pun intended). The hardest task is to NOT give in to giving up! Don't fear taking a break if you need it. Most of all, everyone will NOT understand your vision for YOU, that's fine. Always stay true to yourself!
12Who inspired you in your life, and why?
One artist who did, was the song-stylist Nancy Wilson, I had the pleasure of meeting her, and she gave me the extra boost of confidence. Although, I NEVER met him, it was quite an experience attending Prince's concert, it affirmed me to be authentically myself!
13Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Miss Reba! Bruno Mars! Dolly Parton! Masa Takumi! (I know I'm forgetting some)
14What is the key that made you succeed? Any parting words of wisdom?
Don't allow anyone to convince you that you should not do what you LOVE, simply because they don't have the same dream!
15What is your upcoming masterpiece, that you’re currently preparing, about?
All kinds of genres!
16If you could change anything about the entire industry, what would it be?
Diversity and inclusion!
17Do you have anything else you would like to add for the interview?
A heartfelt thank you to: the incredible musicians I've had the pleasure of working with; my true friends who've been there through it all; the jazz-authors Debbie Burke and Sammy Stein; my awesome audiences everywhere; the unforgettable Anyway Cafe on 2nd Ave in NYC (though it's now closed); and a special shout-out to Anyway Cafe on Neck Rd in Brooklyn, where the booking manager and the staff are absolutely fantastic!