One of the true legends of New Orleans jazz, Germaine Potter Bazzle has been under-recognized nationally and internationally through her entire career. On par with R&B queen Irma Thomas, her voice in jazz is as distinctive as any, with a sweet soul to match. Her exploits singing in the Seventh Ward are unmatched, but she has been known primarily as a teacher. Influenced by the greats like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billy Eckstein, she took on a repertoire of classic jazz, American popular songs, show tunes, and the music of Duke Ellington. Sounds of the church were never far behind, and she sang regularly on Sundays with the Saint Louis Catholic Choir. A graduate of Xavier University, Bazzle chose to stay at home, instructing mostly young girls in choir and music appreciation at Xavier Prep. Her limited discography has her included on the compilation New New Orleans Music: Vocal Jazz and her live document, Standing Ovation. In 2007 she was part of the faculty at the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, along with other Crescent City music icons, in particular Edward “Kidd” Jordan.”
Judy Spellman is the daughter of NO R&B singer Benny Spellman and Gospel pianist Ammerette Rieux. With a Masters in Art and a long career in Medical sales, Judy is now performing full time, locally, nationally and with a German based band “Phavior Adelic” where she is featured and preparing to launch a cd and tour in Europe this fall.
Judy performs annually at the NO Jazz fest, as well as many other venues throughout the year. Judy states that she is at her happiest when performing for causes which assist in helping the people of our great city. “Judys life motto is….”If I Can Help Somebody As I Pass Along This Way, Then My Living Is Not In Vain”! God bless the Sisters of the Holy Family,we love you and appreciate all that you do!
Jeanine is originally from Lafayette, LA, but has been living in the New Orleans area since the mid 1970’s. Her musical “career” began almost from birth, being born into a musical family where singing, piano playing, guitar strumming, and kazoo playing were frequent pastimes. She has been in several musical groups, ranging from country to rock and roll, and is currently in the New Orleans based band, 30 x 90 Blueswomen, as a singer and rhythm guitar player. When not playing music, Jeanine is a special education teacher and director of school musicals.
Charmaine Neville is a member of the New Orleans music family, which includes the The Neville Brothers she is the daughter of Charles Neville, she is currently the leader and lead singer of the Charmaine Neville Band, a jazz/funk band based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Charmaine is heir to a rich New Orleans musical legacy but is busy putting her own stamp on this musical heritage. Neville and her band dish out a spicy mix of the best of New Orleans music, from the nastiest of blues to some V-8-driven R & B. Add a funky rhythm and some jazzy ballads, and you’ve got yourself one helluva Crescent City gumbo!
Charmaine is a great cook and a member of New Orleans Women In Music.
Cellist, Vocalist, Lyricist, Wellness Advocate, and Sound Healer are a few titles used to describe Monica McIntyre. She weaves a beautiful tapestry of colors and sounds so unique that one genre simply does not cover it. Monica uses her cello as a conduit to seamlessly blend: Blues, Soul, Folk, Classical, Reggae and Middle Eastern sounds into an unforgettable musical landscape.
Witnessing Monica perform is an enthralling experience and before you know it you will be swaying or stomping your feet. Meticulous storytelling, metaphor and word play dominate her lyrics, allowing her songs to be seen and heard as succinct novellas. The smoky texture and emotional quality of her voice has left audiences crying, dancing, laughing and testifying.
Living in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, immersed her in a serous education of: Funk, Soul, R & B, Jazz, and World Music. In October 2003 she self-released her debut album ‘Blusolaz’ — a collection of original songs which fused: Blues, Soul and Jazz. ‘Bars of Gold’, her first single, was self-released in August 2005.
In November 2010 Monica relocated to New Orleans, LA and became immediately involved in its thriving local music scene. She joined forces with singer-songwriters Lynn Drury and Margie Perez to form, The Honeypots, an acoustic genre blending group. Their debut album ‘Something Sweet’ was released in April 2012 on the ThreadHead Record label and was nominated for The 2013 New Orleans Best Of The Beat Awards. They have been featured performers at the French Quarter Fest (LA) 2013, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (LA) 2013, and The Creole Tomato Festival (LA) 2014.
Additionally, Monica has featured at numerous events and venues throughout the world most notably: Soul Sista’s Jukejoint (GA) 2005, The 215 Festival (PA) 2005, Sistahood Celebration (Vancouver) 2008, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA) 2008 & 2009, The Black Women’s Art Festival (PA) 2009, Sisterspace (MD) 2009, Ladyfest New Orleans (LA) 2010 & 2011, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (LA) 2013, and The French Quarter Fest (LA) 2013. Most recently Monica was a featured artist on the online International music show “Balcony TV”.
In September 2013 Monica self-released her sophmore album ‘It Soon Come’, produced by John Chelew, featuring: Marcia McIntyre (violin/vocals), Thea Bashful (vocals), Reggina Thompson (oboe), and Mike Jacobsen (percussion). In December 2014 she self-released her third full-length album ‘Mourning To The Moonlight’.
“I gave away my sorrow to the sunshine, I’m free again” — ‘Mourning To The Moonlight’, Monica McIntyre
Lynn Drury’s compositions are as rich and full of visual imagery as life itself. Often autobiographical, each song is carefully crafted around its initial inspiration, ranging from love and loss to beauty and butterflies. Her sound combines the twang and grit of her native Mississippi and the funky grooves of her adopted home of New Orleans. Drury has performed live on radio and television, and receives frequent local and national radio airplay. Offbeat Magazine dubbed “Spun” the Best New Release of 2003 and presented Drury with an award for Best Emerging Singer/Songwriter in 2004. She was also nominated for Best Roots-Rock Album (“All You need”) at the Big Easy Awards in 2006. Upon moving to New Orleans in 1995, Drury took guitar lessons with local musician Chris Wood. Almost right away, the budding singer-songwriter began performing originals and covers at small venues around town. She also frequented open mic nights at bigger clubs like the Howlin’ Wolf and Tipitinas, eventually landing a weekly spot at Margaritaville, where she played opposite legends like Eddie Bo and Chris Thomas King for 5 years. After honing her musical skills on the bandstand, Drury released her first CD of original compositions, “Crossing Frequencies,” in 2001. Over the next two years, she released a pair of discs — “Blackberry Winter” and “Spun” — backed up by local group Bad Mayo (Dave Stover, Chris Mulé, Trevor Brooks and Chris Pylant). She also played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival every year from 2000-2005. With the help of Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Drury began working on her fourth album, “All You Need”. Progress was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina and the epic failure of the federal levee system in New Orleans that put much of the city under water, so she finished the recording at Delta Recording Studios in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The disc was mixed at the famous Piety Street Studios in New Orleans and released in 2006, scoring Drury her first national distribution deal with indie label 219 Records . After Katrina hit, Drury relocated to Memphis, where she performed at museums and galleries. She also participated in the Diaspora house concerts series in Brooklyn (appearing on the resulting recording), produced by composer Nick Balaban. She was also featured in No Depression magazine Drury returned to New Orleans 2007, gigging around town at major venues like dba, the Maple Leaf, and the House of Blues (opening for Joan Armatrading). She began performing with Italian guitarist Roberto Luti, with whom she moved to Livorno, Italy, in 2008. The duo toured and performed extensively in Europe, including opening for blues-rock legend Robben Ford at the Lake Trasimano Festival. The resulting live CD, “Dal Vivo,” released in January 2009, features their performances at festivals all over Italy. In 2009, while splitting time between Italy and New Orleans, Drury teamed up with Louisiana songstress Kim Carson to form the Tipsy Chicks, playing their unique blend of honky tonk and rockabilly all over the American south and Europe. By August of that year, Drury moved back to New Orleans for good and reunited with her former drummer Chris Pylant and rebuilt her band, which still performs regularly at local and regional venues as well as at Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest. New Orleans-based nonprofit Threadhead Records Foundation awarded Drury a grant in February 2010 to help produce her latest album, “Sugar On the Floor,” which represents a mixture of her Mississippi grit / New Orleans groove and grander styles with horns and strings arranged by Matt Perrine. The stellar lineup includes Alex McMurray (Tin Men, Royal Fingerbowl), Tommy Malone (Subdudes), Ivan Neville, Helen Gillet, Bill Malchow, and Eric Traub. Produced by Carlo Nuccio (who also plays drums on the album), much of the disc was recorded and engineered by Jacques DeLatour at Fudge Recording Studios in New Orleans. “Sugar On the Floor” was released in the spring of 2011, and is racking up impressive reviews. Hear Lynn Drury for yourself! Download song samples or see her live show schedule.
See more at: http://lynndrury.com
When thinking of New Orleans music, country is not at the top of the list. However, 19 year-old New Orleans native, Alexes Aiken, has created a style all her own – blending the blues that New Orleans is famous for with her gutsy country vibe. She has won many accolades nationally in songwriting contests and singing competitions for her original lyrics and melodies and her unique bluesy voice and performance style.
In fact, Alexes’ Nashville based producer for her self-titled debut CD, Jonell Polansky, said, “Alexes could rival any Nashville newcomer especially since she is born and raised in New Orleans but sings like she was born on The Opry stage.” A local country radio personality said, “Alexes is the little girl with the big voice from New Orleans.”
Alexes is a singer, songwriter, and musician. She and her New Orleans based band provide high energy music that has that country “arena rock” sound. “Entertaining and connecting with the audience at every show is my main goal,” she says. “It’s important for the audience to feel like they are a part of my shows, whether that is bonding through a heartbreaking song or dancing with me on stage. I crave that one-on-one, real connection with my fans and making a long-lasting impression.”
Alexes’ originals on her debut CD include “Country Boy”, “Best in Me”, “Note on the Mirror”, and “Wake Up and See Reality”. “My music is my diary. When fans listen to my music, they are listening to the raw version of who I am as an artist,” she explains. Alexes’ re-mixed version of “I Want It All” by Queen could well become a new youth anthem. Her re-mix of “These Boots are Made for Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra celebrates the original song’s 45th anniversary.
“New Orleans shaped me into the artist that I want to be. Rock and blues have always inspired me musically, and I fuse those genres with country to create my gutsy vocal sound and songwriting style,” she says.
Alexes is a member of the Country Music Association (CMA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International. She is working on her second EP that will be released in 2015.
Venessa Joseph was born in New Orleans and her musical gifts became apparent at an early age. Venessa began singing at the tender age of 7 yrs old with New Orleans R&B Legend Tommy Ridgely. Her love of music led her to sing with many local bands at 13 at many favored establishments with the aid of her Mother who would allow this without Dad’s permission. These little outings led to her receive her first paid gigs leaving her with the desire to further pursue the stage.
Some of her first paying gigs as a teenager took place singing at St. Augustine High School and singing a duet with the soulful Teddy Pendergrass at New Orleans premier performance theater, The Saenger Theatre. Venessa has also been on stage with New Orleans’s musicians like Anders Osborne, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, George Porter Jr., Charmaine Neville, and Dr. John as well as with her own band “Fleur de V”. Williams. She has three Grammy credits, has recorded with various musicians and has performed at Jazz Fest for 15 years.
VeeJay is what she calls herself these days.
Venessa is married to New Orleans own Sousaphone player Kirk Joseph of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Venessa is the current president of New Orleans Women in Music and the owner Of Cajun Moon Catering and Realtor at Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty and she is on the executive board of The famous New Orleans “Dew Drop Inn’s” Purple Dog Foundation and radio host for WWOZ Radio.
Keep watching for her first CD project…It’s gonna be an awesome thing.
Her vivacious attitude and vocal talent has allowed her to be onstage with local, national and international acts one such group being Cyril Neville and Tribe 13 performing live in Japan helping to disperse the unique New Orleans funky sound. Her affiliations with many of New Orleans music celebrities and life in the music world led her to join NOWIM (New Orleans Women in Music)in 2009. Venessa’s dedication to the organization resulted in her being voted in as Secretary of NOWIM in 2011 and since 2012 she has been and was reelected as the President of the group.
However, being a woman with many varied interests and talents, Venessa also likes to focus her attention on her other passion, Cooking. She is the owner of Cajun Moon Catering, a New Orleans catering company specializing in local favorites earning her the title of “Fried Chicken Mistress of the Crescent City”. Wearing one of her many hats as an entertainer, entrepreneuring chef or community leader keeps Venessa always busy and looking ahead to many exciting projects.
She has scored big by giving/hosting a series of benefit concerts for the revitalization of the venue.
Margie Perez is a vivacious, Funky Blues Singer/songwriter who has embraced the New Orleans music scene. She performs regularly with her fantastic solo band and has released a CD on Threadhead Records, “Singing For My Supper”. She also lends her voice to many other projects including The Honeypots, The New Orleans Nightingales, Ensemble Fatien and The M&M’s to name just a few. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Fest, and the Indigo and Blues Festival in Bangalore India.
Lilli Lewis is relatively new to New Orleans, but is quickly finding her way. Something of a modern day renaissance woman, Lilli joins the NOWIM board as its secretary when not pounding the pavement with her folk rock and soul band, The Shiz. An award-winning pianist, composer, and solo a-cappella performer, Lilli has produced six solo albums including “Out from Yonder” and “The Promised Land: Songs of the Sacred South,” as well as two albums with The Shiz, who’s latest release “Meet You in the Morning” has been met with critical success. All projects are available on iTunes, Amazon.com or CDBaby.com.
Lilli serves as a voice coach a “musical midwife,” and hosts a weekly songwriter series for the Cutting Edge CE Music Conference at the Little Gem Saloon every Wednesday evening. Above all else, Lilli is passionate about helping talented artists reach their full potential.