Wednesday, August 23, 2017

From Nashville to Pittsburgh to Burning Man!

Friends! Yinzers! Co-conspirators in Patriotic Magic! Fellow lovers of jazz and bellydance and burlesque and everything that makes life worth living!!!! I am happy to know you! I am happy that we are connected, even if it's sometimes only through the digital ether we know of as the inter webs! 

I don't write enough. In this modern age, we who began our journey hitch hiking on the "information superhighway" are sometimes (maybe I am just speaking for myself here, but I doubt it) are sometimes overwhelmed with the immense connectivity of it all. Everything is a tweet of one hundred forty characters or less and has a sparkling animation and a hyperlink to somewhere else.... And I am guilty as anyone. I instagram. I tweet. I facebook. Sometimes I dream of myspace, Tribe and Friendster and simpler times... I even remember actually writing cards and letters. I also remember beepers and pay phones.... but lest we fall too much into nostalgia, I must say, I also love the new stuff. I love making music with people all over the world. I love writing something in one place and then emailing someone else in Los Angeles or Dublin and having them send me a track back. I love being able to load my music onto a small device and have the carefully and passionately composed tracks play out of speakers that I get to sing to, and I dream of the days when I can actually take when whole band with me.... 

But I digress! Here is a short list of my whereabouts in the next month or so. I would love to see you! 

August 24-27 I am heading to Nashville, TN to attend the DIY Music Conference by CD Baby, so if you are at that conference, I hope to see you! I am hoping to learn all the new things and bring them on home to Pittsburgh!

Tuesday August 29 I am singing at the "Stars of the Silver Screen Rooftop Shindig"! This wonderful event is hosted by The Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, they are teaming up with Pittsburgh Filmmakers to present a special edition of the PDP’s popular Rooftop Shindig series highlighted by a screening of the 1932 Greta Garbo and Ramon Novarro spy thriller, “Mata Hari” (1932). All Pittsburghers are invited for a free evening, featuring the classic film, food and themed cocktails, and vintage fashion market. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., entertainment begins at 6:00 p.m. and the movie will be shown at dusk. Guests are encouraged to bring their own seating or blanket though a limited number of stadium chairs will be available for purchase. This is what they say about me: "Phat Man Dee, a local jazz cabaret singer and part-time sideshow marvel will be joined by some of her most colorful coterie to provide an evening of Warholian entertainment." I am defined as "Warholian entertainment"!!!! Can you imagine?!?!?!??? I am honored and hope to carry this legacy of Pittsburgh art and Pittsburgh music and Pittsburgh weirdoes far and wide. Hope to see you there! 
Time: Tuesday August 29 at 6 pm
Where: The Roof of the Parking Garage at 7th and Penn Ave downtown, above Katz Plaza at Theater Square aka "Eyeball Park"

The next day I fly to BURNINGMAN!! My first "burn" was 1996, I was with the Bindlestiff Family Roadshow, performing as a half man, half woman cabaret singer and part time glass eating cellist. "Mistah Sistah Phat Man Dee" was the name given me by David Apocalypse, and so began a lifetime of sideshow, burlesque and a journey into the odd and delightful. It has been almost 10 years since my last "burn" and I am thrilled to head back to the desert this year to celebrate their 30th birthday as an event which has shaped the lives and creative journeys of hundreds of thousands of people. If you also are fool enough to venture to one of the most inhospitable places on the planet and suck down some alkali salt dust for a week, you may find me at the Center Camp Café stage on Friday September 1 at 230 pm and then again Sunday September 3 630 pm. I will be making a cameo appearance on a ginormous Victrola on Friday evening about 8 pm in the deep playa , and just before the Burn itself, I will be making a special appearance in the People's Fashion Show hosted by Dr Hal and Spy Emmerson at the Center Camp Café. 

At both Burningman and the CD Baby Conference, I will be singing songs from the new record I have been making (and am almost done creating) with my old friend Liz Berlin. I have emailed you about Social Justice Disco before. We had a somewhat successful indiegogo campaign before we started and while we did not raise as much as we had hoped, we raised enough to cover studio time and pay the musicians small stipends. We are done recording it now and we are in the final stages of mixing, mastering, production and soon we will announce our cd release party date! If you would like to be part of this AMAZING process... please buy an advance copy and join the wonderful VIP people who are financially supporting this work. Our Pledge Music presale store is live and will be up for another month. You can check out the exciting things we have for our friends and fans here: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/socialjusticedisco

Here are some videos of what the Social Justice Disco songs sound like, even though the record isn't done yet, the people we recorded with are very excited about it, and folks want to hear the songs, so please enjoy these couple of videos I have been able to put together. 

Here is a clip of me and Liz Berlin at Sirius Rising at Brushwood Folklore Center in New York, we did several of the new songs there and people really dug the message and the music, this is our version of "Stayin' Alive - Black Lives Matter"


Here is The Lemington Chorale singing "I Can't Breathe" at the Harambee Arts Festival in Homewood, they all sing with us on the record with 2 poets, Ezra Smith and Christina Springer, though only Christina could make this particular performance: 


If you like what you hear and want to be in the exclusive club that gets our updates and is part of the creative process, please check it: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/socialjusticedisco

After I return from the Burningman, I have 2 wonderful events in September!

September 14 at Wallace's Tap Room at Hotel Indigo in East Liberty! I will be singing with Carlos Peña and Miguel Sague III from 7-9 pm! 

September 19th I begin my monthly jam session "Tune It Tuesdays!" at Black Forge Coffee Shop, it will be happening every Third Tuesday from 6 pm - 9 pm and it is a community oriented jam session. I will be playing with my friends Howie Alexander, Carlos Peña and Miguel Sague III and we will be inviting anyone who wants to join us up to sing or rap or read poetry or sit in with their own instrument! This event is supported by a grant from Neighborhood Allies, with additional support from Drusky Entertainment and Copies at Carson! Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1930595047185218/
flyer artwork by Danielle Robinson

So, if you are one of the people who don't do the facebook/instagram/twitter thing.... I apologize for not emailing about my gigs more often. Please don't get salty, I am about to download a new email service that I think will help me do this better. It's called mail chimp, so if you start seeing emails coming from me in future from Mail Chimp, it's not spam, I am just upgrading for more functionality. I may still use this, but I just wanted to give you heads up, in addition to letting you know about my gigs and my new record with Liz, which I seriously hope you will help spread the word about and buy your advance copy. Its taken quite some time to fully put together. But we are in the home stretch and I think the country needs it now. I am extremely active on instagram, facebook and twitter as well, but sometimes all that info is just too much. Just know I love you, I appreciate you and I am grateful that have allowed me to be part of your life in this manner, as an artist and a musician. 

One last thing... it's about one of my best friends, Geña Musica, she is an amazing singer from Puerto Rico and she has taught me so much about music and friendship.... she is struggling right now, she was in a bad car wreck last month. She and her child are physically mostly ok, but the expenses just wiped her out. She is a single mom, and even though it was a hit and run and the other lady is the one who hit her and then left the scene, the woman's insurance company won't pay anything till the court rules against her (which they will because we have witnesses). Geña is a music teacher as well as a Spanish language coach, but she only gets paid during the academic year. Please support if you can. Every bit helps. https://www.gofundme.com/hit-run-demolished-savings <3! 

Also, as a reminder, I will be teaching the youth again this Fall and Winter and Spring at Afro-American Music Institute, so if you would like to sign your child up or take another class for yourself, please visit http://afroamericanmusic.org/ and register!

Thank you so much. Thank you for listening to my rantings against injustice, thank you for listening to my music and appreciating the beautiful and the bizarre. To you I say, One Love, for we are one people, on one beautiful earth, and I hope we can move through this madness with some degree of grace, decorum and dignity. There are those who have lost their way, but let us ever be a beacon to pull them toward the light and may we share the love and the equity and the rhythm. 

Love, light, and justice, 
Mandee

Friday, May 5, 2017

And yet we persist! ART! MUSIC! LOVE!

My favorite Smoky Robinson and the Miracles song is "I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying" and I think it's appropriate for the state of the world.... I am going to dance harder, sing louder, play more music and harmonize with more intensity than ever before. I am going to keep sharing my knowledge with the next generation and hope they have the strength and opportunity to do the same. I am going to defend the people who make this world beautiful and different. I am going to celebrate culture and religion and the incredible rainbow of humanity we can be when we aren't killing each other. 

So, I was just featured in this month's edition of Whirl Magazine!
I was so honored to be included in this issue, it was all about powerhouse women in Pittsburgh! Check it! 
Link to the article by Rachel Jones! 

photo by Michael Fornataro
Here is a list of gigs I have worked very hard to put together and be part of!
I would be thrilled to see you at any one of them! 

Next Friday May 12, 2017
My vocal and performance students are having a CD Release Party! 
Show 7 - 9 pm, Mr Smalls theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA

I teach at the We Rock Workshop, which is a recording and performance workshop for current and former foster and homeless youth, led by Liz Berlin and Creative Life Support, sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. This all ages event, and all proceeds benefit the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund. Tickets are free to foster or IL youth and $25 to everyone else. 

Later that EXACT SAME EVENING!!!!! AND THEN AGAIN THE NEXT NIGHT! 
May 12 & 13, 2017
Doors at 9, show at 10 pm, 21 and over
Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St, South Side, Pittsburgh, PA 

I am thrilled to be appearing in the 9th Annual Morose and Macabre's Atrocity Exhibition! This year we are performing a collaborative interpretation of Dante's Inferno! This annual, award winning, cavalcade of the beautiful and bizarre promises to create an immersive theater experience that tells one horribly wonderful story through the art of nationally recognized sideshow, burlesque, and cabaret entertainers. The Atrocity Exhibition is also host to an array of exhibiting artists, for those of a darker sensibility. As we enter into the Exhibition's 9th annual event, we head....down.  This year's event will take guests on a journey through the depths of Hell in a re-telling of Dante's Divine Comedy of Atrocious proportions.  

The tickets are selling really fast and if you want to come, please don't wait to buy them at the door, because I sincerely doubt they will be there. We have made it a 2 night event to try to accommodate the incredible number of people who want to see it, but even so, the tickets are going.... all the seated tickets are gone...so if you come, wear your standing shoes... it's a long walk down.... to the INFERNO! 
More info:
Tickets:

THEN THE NEXT DAY IS MOTHER'S DAY! 
Sunday May 14, 2017
I will be singing at my dear friend Cecilia Coleman's Mother's Day and Fashion Show Event! 
Doors at 3 p.m. , Show at 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
400 Sherwood Ave, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221
$20 donation includes dinner, all ages welcome! 

I am singing at my friend Cecilia Coleman's first annual Mother’s Day Celebration at the Sherwood Event Center!  Entertainment provided by the jazz musicians James Johnson III, Clifford Barnes, Howard Alexander and Phat Man Dee, line dance instruction by Roland Ford! DJ Wreck the Club Powered by Tuff Beats and hosted by MC Akil Esoon. 
Refined Culture Fashion Show!  Raffles and giveaways! 
Dinner provided by Win10 Catering! Desert by Mad Dez Sweets by Dena Stanley! 
Please join us for a delightful celebration of motherhood and fashion with music, food, entertainment and dancing! 

Next month, save the dates for these performances which will include my full band! 

Sunday June 4 at 3 pm I will be "Singing in the Stacks" at the Carnegie Library on South Side!
With Howard Alexander, Carlos Peña and Miguel Sague III! 
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.! Free and ALL AGES! 
Come on down and celebrate our wonderful library's new SUNDAY hours! 

Sunday June 11 at 2:30 p.m. I will be singing on the Main Stage at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival! 
Joining me will be Howard Alexander, Carlos Peña, Miguel Sague III and Jeremy Papay! 
More info:

Thursday June 15, 2017 I am heading to sing at Snake Oil Festival in New Orleans! 
I am thrilled to heading down to the magical city of New Orleans! I will be joining the delightfully debaucherous denizens of the sideshow and burlesque world at the Howling Wolf!  
Doors 8 pm, show at 9 pm, tickets from $20- $105 
More info:
Tickets:

We just had our spring recital at Afro-American Music Institute where I teach voice to students between the ages of 10-17 and we have one more session left if you would like to study with us before our summer break! We are open to students of all ages and skill levels and offer piano, guitar, bass, drums, saxophone voice and more! Individual and groups lessons available! 

You may recall I have been working on a pretty fabulous project with my old friend, mentor and boss Liz Berlin from Rusted Root and Mr Smalls Theater, we are co-creating a new album called "Social Justice Disco" and we are about to launch a Pledge Music Campaign to help us sell pre-order cd's and vinyl records. It will be the very first vinyl record I have ever made. I am so proud of the music we have been creating. I don't have a link yet because we are getting together next week to finalize our store on Pledge Music, but do keep your eyes open and please remember, we must love each other and we must defend our ideals.  Love thy neighbor as thyself and be the person who stands up for what is right. I am working on this new record to underscore these ideals and I can't wait for you to hear it. Keep eyes open and ears peeled for us, online you can find us now only on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SocialJusticeDisco/

Love yinz, stay strong. Remember you can also keep up with my shenanigans online on instagramtwitter and facebook
Phat Man Dee

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

22nd Annual Ides of March March, Benefit for Burke, Aisha Ali & Rock Against Trump!

Friends! Patriots! Countrymen, women and all beateuous freaks in between! 
I have 3 incredible events coming up in the next month and I would love to see you at any or all of them! 
On March 15, we have the 22nd Annual Ides of March March! Then March 19, I will be in Richmond, California to sing at a benefit concert for my old friend Robert Burke! On March 31, I return back to Pittsburgh to emcee an incredible dance showcase presented by Maria Hamer, featuring the legendary Aisha Ali! 

On Wednesday March 15, 2017, at  6:30 pm, we shall gather for the 22nd Annual Ides of March March!! Join us at 12th and Carson, Birmingham Square, on the Southside of Pittsburgh, PA for NO APPARENT REASON! We shall wander up the street and then back down again to celebrate and protest EVERYTHING AND NOTHING SIMULTANEOUSLY! 
Like Oprah says, "Be the freak you wish to see in the world!" Or maybe Gandhi said it, the truth isn't important! What's important is that we have gathered and marched and beat the drums loudly and called to all who would and would not hear that they should BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE THE 22nd ANNUAL IDES OF MARCH MARCH! Normalcy will try to crush us all down to fit into someone else's preconceived notion of who, what and why we should be what they think we should be, to them we loudly defy their expectations and insist they must BEWARE!!!!!!

Please dress responsibly. Sensible walking shoes. If it's raining and you are wearing a paper mache creation, use a poncho so you don't get waterlogged and get hypothermia. Bring a drum or a horn and let your freak flag fly! This isn't a bar crawl, we aren't stopping at the bars, but there will absolutely be cake after the march at the Beehive. Stay freaky friends, this world won't pull us down if we don't let it.

Gather at 6:30, leave at 7 p.m.! March and warn the good people to Beware! And then, there shall be cake!

https://www.facebook.com/events/398165823883805/

On March 19, 2017, I shall sing at an event benefitting one of the first Art Car builders I ever sang for. If you are in the Bay Area, please join us for an old school, all-day Burningman freak family party on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!! We gather at noon-thirty til 7:30p to raise some money and love for our dear brother Robert Burke, who has been stricken with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  

Where: Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor, 1900 Western Drive, Richmond, CA 94801 https://www.facebook.com/events/398165823883805/
To donate directly online, please follow this link:
https://www.youcaring.com/robertburke-757875


On March 31, 2017 I am deeply honored to be emceeing the
"ELEMENTS OF NORTH AFRICA FEATURING AISHA ALI" 
Tickets online:
https://embed.showclix.com/event/Aisha-Ali
ADVANCED TICKETS $15/ DOOR $20
7:30 doors/ 8pm show
https://www.facebook.com/events/242332642814210/

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO STUDY WITH AISHA
HERE IS THE WORKSHOP REGISTRATION :
http://www.mariahamer.com/aisha-ali.html

The one & only Aisha Ali will be coming next April for the last time to the east coast! The woman who has inspired so many of the bellydance rockstars of today with her knowledge, raw footage of her travels from back in the day, & her beautiful & elegant dance IS COMING ONE LAST TIME TO THE EAST COAST!!! MARK YOUR CALENDERS- YOU CAN'T MISS THIS! MORE ABOUT AISHA
http://www.aisha-ali.com/



April 7, 2017 I will singing with Qlitteratti at the Funhouse at Mr Smalls for the first "ROCK Against Trump!" event! ATS and friends present Rock Against Trump!! Raised By WolvesLove LettersQlitteratit and A.T.S. will play their bleeding hearts out for your auditory pleasure. Drink, Dance, Be Merry! Feel the Love. Squash the hate, sexism, racism, ignorance, greed & Trumpism. Donations at the door to support the homeless, LGBTQ/human/civil rights, marijuana legalization, anti-mountaintop coal removal, religious equality and nuclear non-proliferation. The first in what will be an ongoing series of events at various Pittsburgh venues with bands, emcees and guest speakers.

Doors at 8PM - Music at 9PM - 21+ Bring ID
Join our page and submit your band for an upcoming show! 
ROCK Against Trump
https://www.facebook.com/events/738588972972926/




UPDATE ON SOCIAL JUSTICE DISCO! 

Liz and I are almost done recording! We have 2 more recording sessions scheduled to get the horns and choir on but almost every track has it's rhythm bed, the guitars, the bass, the drums, the conga and some organ.... next is horns, gospel choir and some guest artists. You can keep tabs on us on facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/SocialJusticeDisco/
Also, these buttons featured here are created by Pittsburgh Buttoner! The design was by Danielle Robinson and Liz Berlin and he made a bunch of them for us! You can have him make buttons for your every button need! 

Stay strong friends, we can get there together if we keep on keeping on and defend each other. Stay safe. Use the buddy system. Take care of yourself and those you love. We all need to protect each other. Don't give up and keep on singing.

Love, respect and justice, I am yours, Phat Man Dee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Baby Dee is Coming to Town!!!!

Friends! Please accept my apologies for the recent radio silence.... I will work on doing better, especially in these distressingly troubling times, at maintaining communication. The Book of Face and the Tweeter and the 'Gram are excellent tools for reaching out and connecting with your audience, old and new, but it can get really overwhelming to us old heads who still blog and read entire emails. While I am pretty masterful at expressing intricate concepts in 140 characters and square imagery, I am a musical poet. I like descriptive language and full sentences. If you have read this far, I am guessing you're in that crazy boat of folks who like to read as well!!!!

So.....I am extremely excited to announce a wonderful event I have worked VERY hard to put together these last few months. My beautiful friend Baby Dee is coming to sing and play accordion for us with Allysen Callery, at The Funhouse at Mr Smalls, and ALL the proceeds from the door got to benefit Proud Haven, a new LBGTQIA youth shelter. I am very excited to say I am co-presenting this wonderful evening with the newly formed Steel City Sisters, a local mission house of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The evening is sponsored by the Positive Health Clinic. I will open the evening and sing with my friend Howie Alexander, a fellow instructor with whom I work at Afro-American Music Institute, and then......

The GLORIOUS AND WONDERFUL BABY DEE will enchant us with her incredible songs! She and I toured together with the Bindlestiff Family Circkus in 1996 and I must say, I fell quite in love with her everything. She moved away to Holland some years ago and I was mightily afeared she would never return, but return she has and with a new record on Tin Angel Records called "I Am A Stick". So I sincerely hope to see your beautiful face in person at the Funhouse at Mr Smalls next Wednesday March 1. Doors at 7, show at 8 and tickets are $15 suggested donation.

Here is the interview Bill O'Driscoll from Pittsburgh City Paper did of Baby Dee last week!
http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/short-list-feb-22-mar-1/Content?oid=2059596

I must repeat myself, my friends, please come support this wonderful event, on Wednesday March 1, 2017 at the Funhouse at Mr Smalls in Millvale!
Buy tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1424870-evening-baby-dee-phat-man-millvale/
Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/348067445592242/
I want to sing to you!  And I want you to hear my old friend, she is so beautiful and her music so hauntingly ethereal!

Also, this Saturday February 25, I will be making an appearance at the Anti-Valentines Hafla Bellydance party at Bodiography Center for Movement at 5824 Forbes Ave, in Squirrel Hill, 6:30 - 9:30 pm! I will be singing for the beautiful sword dancer Angela Mitchell! $10 admission goes to benefit Animal Friends! Many wonderful dancers will be there!
More info:
https://www.facebook.com/events/246459549104065/

And for my final thought today, here is a video of me singing at the Winter Moe Down at Maureen's Jazz Cellar in Nyack, NY. I went up the first weekend of January to sit in with the musicians who came to pay homage to the late, great and truly missed vocalist Maureen Budway. Her brother Dave and his wife Brianne opened a club to honor his sister and I was honored to attend the evening. I sat in with Mike Murray, Jeff Grubbs and Tom Wendt and we played "You Are Special" written by Mr. Fred Rogers.


Stay strong friends, there is much hate and much bigotry happening right now, hold your friends and family close and stay strong against the bigotry. We shall overcome. Write your congressperson and stalk your senator. 

Cogitationally and constituently yours,
Phat Man Dee

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tomorrow last day to donate to Social Justice Disco on IndieGogo!

Dearest of friends, it has been a hard year.... and as much as I understand all who say "can't wait till this year is done" I think to myself, "but you don't know how much worse it could become...." I do know, that I am deeply grateful for all the incredible people I have in my life, my fellow artists, my audience, my friends and family.... and I am not willing to see them abused by those who voted for our President-elect. That is why I am focusing on producing music with Liz Berlin, she and I have been working on this album and we've been on the radio and also some podcasts; meanwhile we've been teaching our students and doing our shows and just trying to spend time with our families and hold them close during the holidays. 

Our campaign through indiegogo ends at midnight tomorrow, Friday, Dec 30, 2016, and we may not make our goal. We have made enough to cover cost of pressing the cd's, but not really enough to pay the musicians what they are really worth, cover studio time, or have a decent marketing budget of any kind. If you could please send this out on your social media, directly to any friend or family, we would deeply appreciate it. 


Here is the link, please share it, please support it. We need you to help us make this music happen. Donations are tax deductible. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/social-justice-disco-by-phat-man-dee-liz-berlin--2#/

With our fundraiser ending tomorrow, it is clearer than ever that we absolutely must get this recording into the world. To quote the activists of ACT UP "Silence = Death". We also feel Eldridge Cleaver words also ring very true today, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Mahatma Gandhi's "Be the change you wish to see in the world"speaks to us as well...all of these inspire us as artists and musicians to create the music we wish to hear in the world, music from us who shall not be silent in the face of oppression, but will inspire us all to get up and dance for a world we wish to live in. In biblical times, the armies would send forth the musicians first, when Joshuay brought down the walls of Jericho, he did so blowing  ram's horn.... while we haven't worked a ram's horn into any of the arrangements yet, if we get enough to cover the horn players.... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!! 

We must all stand together against all forms of oppression, environmental devastation, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, all of it is part of the same thing and we must fix it for the sake of our world and everyone trying to live freely in it. 
Thank you for everything, please help us make this final last push! 
Some video for you!
Liz and Mandee editing "Your Racist Friend" at Mr Smalls Recording Studio!


Mandee and Liz and Mark F Strickland on WNJR on T Mitchell Bell's show "Acoustic Songs" :


Then later the same night as the appearance on WNJR with T Mitchell Bell, Mandee and Liz sing "Hallelujah" at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls 


If you missed the show itself, here's a link to the playlist from my favorite parts: 

One love and thank you for being part of this process, we appreciate you so much!!!!!!
Mandee


PPS Love yinz. I really do. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I am thankful for you!

Friends, as we enter into the final month of 2016 I am taking a moment to breathe. I had it tattooed on my hand, many years ago, that word, "BREATHE" so I would always remember as a vocalist to breathe. When you don't breathe, you strain your vocal folds, and you can't sing without breath. Without breath, there is no song and there is no life. So, I am breathing and thinking of you. If you are reading this on my google groups email list, if you get this on my blog, or my Phat Man Dee facebook page, or if you listen to my random stream of consciousness ravings on twitter and instagram, or on my blog on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.... thank you. Thank you for reading it and caring about me and my work as an artist. You are the reason I do this. You are the reason I don't lay down and just stay there watching Star Trek re-runs and Doctor Who Christmas specials and listen to Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and just rage into the night alone with a bowl of curried pierogies in a room filled with jasmine incense..... Some days it's very hard to get up and function and do the gig and sing the thing, but I know there are people out there who want to hear me sing that next song, and I am so grateful that you are one of them. I am working hard to maintain clarity and keep beaming out joy. I invite you to be part of that which I am creating and be a light in the darkness that shines forth with a message of radical inclusion, equity, love and extreme tolerance! Now more than ever we need to stand up and be heard that we are one people and we are Jewish, we are Muslim, we are Christian, we are Pagans, we are Druids, we are SubGenius, we are Indigenous people with traditions and heritage as meaningful as any and all of these, and we are also agnostic. We are Black, White, Yellow, Brown, and also we are Straight, Lesbian, we are Gay, we are Bisexual, we are Transgender, we are Intersex and Asexual. We are old, we are young, we are abled and disabled, and we are all human and have basic human rights and in this country basic Constitutional rights. But we needed to fight for those rights before we got them, and we need to defend them and we must not be afraid. So in the spirit of fighting white supremacy and fascism, I am liberally applying multi ethnic holiday jazz combined with the power of beautiful women dancing and I am creating an evening I really hope you attend. 

Saturday December 10, 2016

I shall croon and belt seasonal classics to accompany the performances of Pittsburgh’s most delightful darlings of dance, Macabre NoirLita D’VargasHakan Dances and The Hamer Sisters - Maria and Christine! 
Dancing dreidels! Candy cane wielding elves! Extreme burlesque Grinch over dramatizations! 
Live music provided by members of the Cultural District - Carlos Peña, Jesse PrentissJeremy PapayMiguel Sague III and Langston Kelly

The Funhouse is the small new venue inside of Mr Smalls at 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA
Doors 8 pm, Show at 9 pm, 21 and over

Tickets $15 for general admission and $25 for VIP guaranteed seating close to the stage, includes a  a special holiday gift! 
Make it an entire evening with dinner and snacks, locals beers on tap and effervescently refreshing cocktails! 
Free hugs for the holiday from ME after the show! 

I even made a promo video!

Tickets available now:
Facebook event page: 

 Right now I am also building, with my old friend Liz Berlin, a recording project "Social Justice Disco: Songs to Fight Fascists By"! 
We really need your help to make it the way we truly envision it, we want to pay the musicians and we have to pay the studio time and we want to promote it to the absolute best of our abilities, and we just need some help. We have been blessed that we have raised 10% of our goal so far, but we need alot more and we hoped that between the two of us, with our extensive fan bases, if everyone chipped in just a little bit, we could fund this, but we need help financially and also with spreading the word. We went on Lynn Cullen Show this week to sing some of the songs from it and also talk about why it is such an important project for us to complete. Check out the video! 

HERE IS THE LINK TO OUR FUNDRAISER PLEASE HALP!!!!!!!! 

Recently we had a terrifying upset..... I didn't take for granted that Secretary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump. But I hoped. I hoped there were more of us then there are of them.... and there are. Almost 2 million of us. So that gives me hope. In addition to my work creating events and live performances, I am still teaching at both Afro American Music Institute and the We Rock Workshop. I am also still singing with my old friend Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington Gospel Chorale. I will be singing in the choir on Saturday December 3, at Bethlehem Baptist located at 716 Walnut Street, McKeesport. Here are the details, tickets are $10, the event is from 6-9 p.m. and we will be recording a set of immensely powerful music. The choir is about 45 members strong and the median age is 75. You will not want to miss this! VIP tickets available as well for $35, for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/290798784615795/

Have a blessed thanksgiving and hold in your hearts and be ready to act in defense of those who need it, I have friends out in North Dakota right now and I am terrified for them but then I have friends here in Pittsburgh and I am terrified for them as well, so you and I, we must all stay strong and be ready to use music and rhythm, words and action to be our swords and shields in the face of hatred and injustice.
 
Much love, 
Phat Man Dee