Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing benefit tonight at Firestone Live

They call it the Spring Swing Food Drive Fling, which is not something I’d want to say three times fast.

Whatever you call it, this sounds like a groovy show and it’s also for a good cause.

Hard to beat that.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is performing a full Cab Calloway set tonight, Wednesday, April 13, at Firestone Live. The show is also a Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank.

A portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold will go directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Alongside purchasing a ticket concert goers are being asked to bring nonperishable food items to the show. Containers to accept donations will be posted at the entrance of the theatre. Anyone bringing 5 or more items will receive an autographed poster from the band.

General admission tickets are $19, but you can shave that down to $15 if you bring along a canned food donation to the box office tonight. The headliner will be preceded by another act that specializes in making a show: Beebs and Her Money Makers.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with the music at 8. I’m told that the Food Truck pod gathering will be underway again in the club’s backlot.

Tickets for the show can be purchased by visiting (The Club at Firestone is located at 578 North Orange Avenue, Orlando.)


India.Arie teams with Keyboardist-Composer IdanRaichel at The Denver Botanic Gardens. July 21, 2011

Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series 2011

Blues in the great outdoors

By Matt Farley

For the 30th year running, Denver Botanic Gardens has lined up a slew of top-notch, family-friendly acts to celebrate summer in style. From Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings to the legendary B.B. King, there’s a definite bluesy feel this year. But with chilled pop-rocker Chris Isaak and sound artist India.Arie in the mix, there’s definitely something for everyone.

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Controversial Singer Asks, “Show Me Your Beautiful Country”


It may have been stormy outside Atlanta’s Spivey Hall last Saturday night, but inside, a rapt crowd was all ears as buzzworthy jazz singer René Marie and her nimble combo performed their version of the great American songbook, tackling everything from Dobie Gray’s 1970s hit “Drift Away” to the folk classic, “John Henry.”

Even the Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director, Sam Dixon, who books world-class artists such as Itzhak Perlman and Ellis Marsalis into the venue annually, was floored by Marie’s “richly expressive vocal nuance” and “ability to inhabit vastly different musical worlds.”

Although Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination” aren’t considered national treasures in the vein of “Shenandoah” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” Marie’s just-released Voice of My Beautiful Country reimagines them all as equal, tonally and socially.
In the jazz realm, where fans are finicky and standard remakes a dime a dozen, Marie’s Country (her eighth album, and once-again lauded by NPR) is grabbing headlines for both quality and controversy: while Marie and pianist Kevin Bales heat up Dave Brubeck’s “Strange Meadowlark” to a pleasing percolation, her rousing fusion of “Lift Every Voice and Sing/Star-Spangled Banner” had her in hot water with everyone from the Governor of Colorado (then-mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper) to Barack Obama long before the song was officially released.

“We had already been doing the song live for a least a year before we were asked to perform the National Anthem at the State of the City Address in Denver on July 1, 2008,” Marie explained in our recent interview. “And just two months earlier, folks from the mayor’s office were even there [at my show].” At that State of the City event, Marie chose to sing the traditional anthem melody with the words of “Lift Every Voice” (a.k.a. the “Black National Anthem”). As an alternative to an official apology, she gave out her personal cell phone and email address — and weathered the storm, including an admonition from Obama (at that time the democratic candidate for President).

Marie has never been one to take the easy road. Nearly 15 years ago at age 40, after 23 years of marriage, she left her husband and a confining life as a Jehovah’s Witness to begin her music career with a jazz group playing at a Ramada Inn in Roanoke, Virginia. Her first few recordings were no less content-driven than Voice of My Beautiful Country; a 2001 mashup of the Confederate-era “Dixie” with “Strange Fruit,” the 1939 Billie Holliday hit that originated as an anti-racism poem by Abel Meeropol so raised the eyebrows of veteran jazz drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, he almost refused to play on it — until she explained her intentions and sang it a capella for him. She’d already released a benefit single inspired by the racially-motivated events in Jena, Louisiana in 2007 and was working on her one-woman play about domestic violence, Slut Energy Theory, at the time of the Denver anthem incident.

Artistically, Marie’s brave choices have paid off. The woman who discovered jazz at 17 when she “went to see Lady Sings the Blues at the movies just so I could watch Diana Ross” always envisioned her repertoire to include the songs that influenced her at various points in her life — whether it was the Beatles’ “Hard Days Night” (which appears on her 2004 album, Renegade Serenade) or “I Loves You Porgy” from the Gershwins, as adored by Mitch Miller & His Gang, whom Marie’s parents played nonstop before they divorced when she was 9.

The inspiration for Voice of My Beautiful Country was borne from a 2007 interview Marie conducted with a Russian reporter who asked her about being an “American” performer.

“That’s when the spark came,” Marie says. “The surprising realization that I hadn’t considered myself ‘American’ in that sense before. Then I had the flashback of my living under Jim Crow laws. I wanted to take the patriotic themes [of all those traditional songs] and redo them to my perspective. Something was missing in those renditions: the black experience. By bringing in jazz, gospel and blues influences, I wanted to show there’s more than one way to love my country.”

In light of the controversy surrounding her performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing/Star-Spangled Banner,” Rene Marie wants to know what the American public really thinks about their beautiful country. Comment below or upload photos, videos, poetry and more at about what America means to you.

For more information about Rene Marie, visit

Follow Kristi York Wooten on Twitter:

Source:Huffington Post Entertainment

Botanic Gardens sets summer dates for k.d. lang, India.Arie and Bela Fleck


Since we gave a rundown of upcoming summer Red Rocks shows yesterday, it’s only fair to do the same for Denver’s Botanic Gardens. According to a Denver Post blog this afternoon, the folks at Swallow Hill have announced three shows, with the promise of more to come next week. Here’s the rundown so far, direct from the Post’s post:

July 21: Denver-born R&B star India.Arie will spend a night with captivating Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel.
July 24: Bela Fleck and the original, old-school Flecktones will share a night at the Gardens’ Chatfield location with Bruce Hornsby.

Aug. 4: k.d. lang and her Siss Boom Band will play a late-summer engagement at the DBG to celebrate the release of their latest, “Sing it Loud.”

Again, we’ll have the full schedule before anybody else, so come on by next week for more goods.

Fine, rub it in, you guys. ’Cos I actually wasn’t gonna point out that it’s Siss Boom Bang, not Siss Boom Band, but hey, if that’s the way it’s gonna be …

Anyway, here are a couple of pertinent videos, including a brand new clip of what’s surely the best song Roy Orbison never wrote, featuring lang singing “I’ll be your daddy” to a hot stripper. Go, k.d.!




Written by Jon Stickler

With over 11 million worldwide sales over the past 3 years, a million in the UK alone Cascada has become one of the biggest dance acts in the World and now they return to the UK for three UK tour dates for June 2011.

See below for details on how you could win a pair of tickets to one of the UK shows.

Bonn-based Brit Natalie Horler grew up with music and got influenced by her father, an acclaimed jazz musician, who passed on his passion for music to her. From the age of four she began to perform with enthusiasm lots of Jazz and Disney songs together with her father. Later then, she was more influenced by pop music artists such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston than her dad’s trombone playing.

Before the 28-year-old met the Cologne-based Yann Peifer (Yanou) and Manuel Reuter (Manian) in 2004, she had already begun to perform and to play smaller gigs whilst working hard on her magnetic and soulful voice. The pair of producers invited Natalie to front their new project, Cascada.

While rocking huge crowds nightly during on her international tours, Natalie was also needed in the studio. After an efficient time of writing and recording Natalie, Yanou and Manian succeed in developing their dance-pop-style continuously.

In sum, 5 million sold copies of her albums, several international music awards and hit-singles including a No #1 Hit speak for themselves. Without any doubt nothing can stem the tide: Cascada are climbing the top of Mount Olympus of Music.

The Multi-platinum selling artist is due to release a new album later this year and you can catch Cascada live at:

Thu 16 June – Glasgow O2 ABC
Fri 17 June – Newcastle O2 Academy
Sat 18 June – Manchester Academy

Cascada Tickets For Summer UK Shows are on sale now. Click Here to Compare & Buy Cascada Tickets

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Coming To The Ross School In East Hampton

Join Ross School as they launch the Hamptons Summer Season with the Eighth Annual Live at Club Starlight in the Great Hall in the Center for Well-Being. The Starlight is Ross School’s major annual fundraising event. Proceeds benefit Scholarships and Programs at the School. The festivities begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, dancing and live auctions.

Guests will enjoy a spectacular evening of swing music with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Playing contemporary swing revival music, their notable singles include “Go Daddy-O,” “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby),” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” The evening will also honor David and Sybil Yurman. David founded the high-end jewelry company David Yurman, Inc.

Purchase Starlight tickets and receive 13 FREE 45-minute Swing/Big Band Dance Lessons from May 3 to June 14 at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Southampton. There will be two lessons per week, on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:30–7:15 p.m. The studio can hold up to 40 couples per evening. Babysitting will be offered. Parents and friends must sign up for lessons through the Development Office. Please email Courtney Wingate at or call 631-907-5232.



Capitol hosts Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

CLEARWATER – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs at the historic Capitol Theatre downtown Clearwater on Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

Since their arrival on the music scene in 1993 in a legendary residency at Los Angeles’ Brown Derby nightclub, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s irresistible live show and aggressive, musically perceptive approach has proven them over time to be the singular standout among the numerous

bands that launched the Nineties swing revival. The seven-man group forged a massively successful fusion of classic American sounds from jazz, swing, Dixieland and big-band music, building their own songbook of original dance tunes, and, sixteen years later, BBVD is a veteran force that to this day adds new fans by the roomful every time they play.

Their eighth studio album, How Big Can You Get?, A Tribute to Cab Calloway captures the essence of an American icon in a rowdy celebration of musicianship, mischief, genius, street smarts and fun. Longtime fans of “America’s favorite little big band” will immediately recognize the album as a milestone in Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s multi platinum-selling sixteen-year career. “Making the album was one of our biggest musical moments,” says lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Scotty Morris, who co-founded Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) with drummer Kurt Sodergren in southern California. Recorded in Los Angeles’ legendary Capitol Studios, located at the famous record-shaped building at Hollywood and Vine, How Big Can You Get came out of the rooms where innumerable classics had been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, and many others.

Using Capitol’s vintage microphones and studio equipment, “we achieved a real marriage of his music and our arrangements and the group’s voice,” says Morris.

BBVD’s originals rocketed the group into its first phase of stardom, when You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three (Tonight) and Go Daddy-O were featured in the 1996 indie film landmark Swingers. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, named famously after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins, sold more than two million copies of the albums Americana Deluxe and This Beautiful Life, and received national critical acclaim while the band’s music has appeared in over sixty movies and television shows.

The band’s career milestones have included appearances in the Super Bowl half-time show, writing theme music for ESPN and network television, and performing for three American presidents. They have appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brian and Live with Regis & Kelly, and wrote, performed and recorded the current theme song for the Carson Daly show after appearing multiple times as the show’s house band.

And now, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s songs have passed into the classic American songbook, playing alongside pop standard songs in film and television, and even on reality competitions like Dancing With the Stars.

“We just turned 16 this month. I couldn’t be more proud that this is the album we’ve made at this moment,” says Morris. “I did think it would last this long,” reflects trumpeter Marhevka, who joined BBVD more than fourteen years ago, when the band was 1 years old and still a trio. “I had played in many groups, and stopped doing everything else – I put 100% in, and never looked back. People ask: ‘Are you gonna be here in five years?’, and I say: Yeah! Every guy in the band has that feeling about it. The greatest moment is being here right now, doing this. The goals are always the same: getting better at what we do individually, and moving forward in the same direction. We’re still playing, and have something to say.”


Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Rapper ‘DMC’ to be Keynote Speaker at Swampscott

No one knows this better than Darryl McDaniels, who also knows that “it’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time/it’s tricky.”
McDaniels, better known to the world simply as DMC (Devastating Mic Controller), helped pen those words as lyrics to a hit single in the 1980s for his rap group, Run-DMC.
McDaniels has lived a life that saw him rise up from inner-city New York to become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the pioneering Run-DMC, one of the first rap acts to incorporate hard rock into their sound. He also has dealt with addiction, to both prescription drugs and alcoholism, but has overcome the odds in his life to become a valued motivational speaker who is still heavily involved in the music business.
McDaniels will talk about the values of teamwork and community to the gathered athletes at an upcoming girls basketball clinic in Swampscott known as the Spring Stretch.
The event will be held at Swampscott High School on May 15, and will feature a girls basketball clinic for girls ages 9-13, followed by a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for girls ages 14-plus.
“This is an event to be held to foster a spark for particularly girls in basketball,” said Annie Balliro, the organizer and on the Stretch Award Board of Directors. The Stretch Award, which has a scholarship amount attached to it, is named for her father Joseph Balliro III, a pharmacist in town who earned the nickname “Stretch” and was a basketball player for Boston’s old American Basketball Association team.

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Becka’s making big noises in the music business

By Jodie Jeynes
Published on Monday 14 February 2011 05:17

Singer-songwriter Becka Pimenta says of her burgeoning music career: ‘I’m always one phone call away from something bigger,’
The 21-year-old from Emsworth had been hand-picked along with nine other unsigned artists by Russell Simmons, one of the founders of US record label Def Jam, for a competition he was running on Myspace. Becka was the only artist outside America to be picked for the contest, which was to be voted for on the music-based social networking site. The winner would receive a mentoring session with Russell himself.

‘It was early in the morning for my manager, because he’s five hours behind in New York,’ explains Becka. ‘So I was surprised when he called.
‘He said: “I’ve just seen on Myspace that Russell Simmons has picked out people on his radar for a competition and number four is Becka from Emsworth”.
‘I said “No you’re lying”. I was so shocked. Then I ran into Starbucks, switched on my laptop and there was my face on Russell Simmons Myspace.
I was amazed just to be on the same page, then I realised I was the only non-US artist that he’d picked,’ she continues.
Though Becka’s spent much of the past three years traveling back and forth between the US and the UK, her home has always been in Emsworth.

Becka studied at Bishop Luffa school in Chichester and then Havant College, where she realised that singing was what she wanted to do with her life.
‘I studied law,’ says Becka. ‘But in my classes, I was always writing songs. ‘Then one day I realised that I didn’t want to go to uni and start a law career and then look back and think “what if I’d tried that”. ‘I realised I need to do it because, before you know it, life gets in the way of your dreams,’ she continues.
So Becka and a college friend who shared her ambitions of breaking into the music industry started making and sending out demos and meeting with producers.

Though she took a lot of time off college to follow her dream, Becka finished her A-levels. Then, at 17, she began focusing on music full-time and signed with Fernando Gibson, a manager who had previously represented Grammy award-winner India Arie. Label meetings in Los Angeles and Manhattan followed, and soon Becka was living a life split between LA and Emsworth.
‘They are two different worlds,’ laughs Becka. ‘I come back home and it’s really easy to forget I was ever in LA. But when I’m there I’m absorbed in the culture, the people and the sun.
‘It’s not as glamorous as everyone thinks. It’s all pretence, fakery, smoke and mirrors. And that was a rude awakening for me.’ Becka spent the whole of 2009 in LA working with established producers and writers. ‘I got quite involved in the LA singer-songwriter world,’ she explains. ‘It’s acoustic and beachy, which suits my personality in a lot of ways and it was familiar because I’d grown up by the sea. ‘But still I struggled to find an identity in my music,’ she admits.
‘I worked with award-winning producers from Nashville to New York, but no-one “got” me.
‘I was so confused. The songs were brilliant, they just weren’t right for me.’
When Becka was offered a deal with music giant Warner Bros, she turned it down.

She remembers: ‘Everyone thought I was mad, but I didn’t want them to take me on and make me someone I don’t want to be. I didn’t want to be moulded into something I’m not.
My struggle when I go away is that Emsworth encompasses who I am. I’ve lived in the same house all my life. Heaven forbid my parents should ever move, I’d be mortified, because this is home.
‘I like coming home to Emsworth. It’s quiet here. I’m not a city girl.’ Becka came home to Emsworth to record her debut EP, Barefoot Sessions. That EP took her back to New York last summer for more meetings with major labels including Universal. Then her second EP, Restless, was released at the start of this year.

‘I’m at such an exciting stage,’ explains Becka. ‘And I’m 100 per cent hands-on. The last two EPs I produced, just sitting with a sound engineer. ‘I’m involved in every step – styling, photography, video – any decision that’s made.’ Amy Winehouse’s publicist recently volunteered to help Becka. ‘She got involved for no pay. She’s just so excited about what I’m doing,’ beams Becka.
Becka is clearly teetering on the cusp of big things. But she is just grateful for what she’s achieved already. ‘Just to be picked by Russell Simmons was a big achievement,’ she says.
‘The artists who came in the top three already had millions of fans, massive followings. And I finished fourth.
‘It’s opened so many doors, just being involved.’


Source: The NEWS