Monday, December 14, 2015

Have Yourself a Phattie Little Holiday!

Make your Yule-tide Gay!!!!!  And what better way to do this than with Pittsburgh's favorite tattooed Jewishly leaning yet pan spiritual songstress??!?!? I am sure you have your traditions, and I hope you hold them with respect and dignity, love and remembrance.... We don't know where we're going if we can't remember the past, right? I remember once as a little girl, lighting my candles on the menorah I had made in shop class out of metal pop bottle tops and 2 x 4 wood, painted purple and green with gold glitter (even back then I was trying to get to New Orleans) with a blue glitter Star of David with hope in my heart, as these days I screw in the blue bulbs in my electric Chanukah menorah, just like the one my Grandma Claire up in Far Rockaway used to have.... and I remember Grandma Alene's Christmas tree in Tulsa, and Santa always went to her house.... but no matter where I was or whose winter holiday we were celebrating, as long as I got to eat a latke and have a candy cane, I was golden.... I am older now and even as I remember these things with sour creamed, apple sauced, and a pepperminty rose tinted fondness, I yearn for a new tradition, one who truly venerates and celebrates who I am today. 

And that my friends, is why Drusky Entertainment and Phat Man Dee Productions have come together to present 
 "A Phattie Little Holiday!"  
Let our new holiday traditions include Candy Cane Strip Teases, Dancing Dreidles and Elf-lesque while Phat Man Dee and her band play salacious holiday classics like "Let it Snow" and Ellington's "Sugar Rum Cherry" as Pittsburgh's top burlesque superstars shimmy it up one side and shake it down the other! Ho ho ho and a Merry ChristmaChannaKwanzaa to you and you and you! We don't care if you've been naughty or if you've been nice! We're gonna show you what Eve showed Adam and we're not talking about them apples! We're calling on and co-mingling the spirits of the Moulin Rouge and old Saint Nick so you can join us and celebrate the holidays with the classiest show in town! 

Featuring the dancers:
*Macabre Noir - director of Steel City Burlesque Academy and Best Variety Entertainer of Great Southern Exposure Burlesque Pageant!!
*Lita D'Vargas - assistant director of the Steel City Burlesque Academy!
*Lilith Deville - founding member of Kabarett Vulgare!
*Kat de Lac - founder of Steel City Kitty Variety show and international traveller!

Live music by:
Phat Man Dee and The Cultural District featuring musical director and bassist Tony DePaolis, guitarist Ronald Wingfield, drummer JT Smitty Smith, and trombonist Reggie Watkins.

Tickets are available online for $20! 
Discount Code for fans and friends will let you buy tickets online in advance for $15!!!! Use the code "PHATHOLIDAY" at checkout online!!! 

FB event page, please share it far and wide! 

Please join us and run from the family or bring them along (if they are over 21, this show is *not* for the childrens!) much love to you, and here's wishing you and yours a Happy (if belated) Chanukah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Merry Christmas and I hope you can join us for some holiday cheer in the form of jazz music, pasties and g strings made of tinsel! 

Stuck on what to buy for that hard to get for someone? You can buy my entire discography, discounted now thru Three Kings Day on CD Baby:

Love, joy, respect and an ever present prayer for peace,
on twitter & instagram @phatmandee

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Phat Man Dee's Guide to Fighting the Terrorists....

I have been a Francophile my entire life. I fell in love with French music and the language and the poetry of it's people and the peoples they invaded a long time ago. I love France, I love West Africa, I love New Orleans, I love a lot of places, but I really really like France. As an adult I look back and wonder WHY do I like France so much? I like cheese, but I like anyone's cheese, cheese is just delicious, and I like the cabaret songs from the 30's and the 40's, but I like most songs from the 30's and the 40's (unless their really degrading, it's a fine line, you have to be careful), I like the architecture,  their's is extremely special, I mean, even the subway stations are works of art! However, I am pretty sure it is because I like the way they live life. They celebrated and praised our Black jazz artists who couldn't even get served at a diner who might even get lynched in their own country.....They consider the music I love to be a form of the "Beaux Artes" a high form of art.... They consider poets and people who think to be important. They value what I care for and they do it passionately and beautifully. The French are not perfect, they have their social issues the same as my fellow Americans do. We are all hopefully evolving.... But it is their passionate love of a beautiful life, which makes them who they are, and what made them such unexpected targets. Their art, their freedom, their spirits and passions are an absolute offense to people who want to control and do so through through unspeakable violence. So, how do I recommend we fight terrorists? I state that we must be ourselves more than ever. We love harder, we celebrate freedom, we celebrate equality, we live life like we're going to the Moulin Rouge and then to an underground cavern filled with jazz and international poets from the Resistance...We refuse to let them make us who they can never be. We refuse to play their game and become the thing we're fighting against. I recognize this is kind of a simplistic view....and that terror doesn't just happen in France, it happens in Beirut, it happens in Kenya, it happens right here at home when innocents are killed by the police in "misunderstanding" after "misunderstanding" and on college campuses in Missouri, and in children's bellies who don't get enough food every day, but we can do better, we can be better, and we will survive to celebrate the gift of life another day. To those we have lost, we will never forget. 

I have some really special events coming up and I would love to see you. If you can't be there please share this post and let some folks know, I am singing for some great causes this weekend, let us stand up to the jagoffs who want to ruin the world, and refuse to let them steal our joy and faith in humanity. 

This Thursday November 18, 2015 (that's tomorrow as of the time of this posting!) I am singing at the "2nd Annual War on Women Art Show" at Clear Story Studios in the South Side, 1931 Sidney Street. Be a hero in the war on women by bidding on work by nationally recognized and respected regional artists that addresses the reproductive and social inequalities faced by women on a daily basis. All artwork will be available for purchase in a silent auction throughout the evening. I will sing and also performing will be the fabulous Tami Dixon, story teller, Producing Artistic Director, Bricolage Production Company, Carol Brown Awardee, and Post-Gazette Performer of the Year. Catering will be provided by Kate Romane Productions.
General admission is $50 and includes drinks and light fare.
VIP tickets are also available and include a pre-show reception from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
You can purchase tickets here:

The next night on Friday the 20th of November, 2015 I will be singing at Mr. Smalls Theater for a night of fun and fancy with live music, a silent film, and great performances from unique artists. Sport your best top hats and parasols and meet us at the Steampunk Ball and Fashion Cotillion! Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door!

Then on Saturday November 21, 2015, I am joining Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington Chorale at the Fall Festival of Praise at the Pentecostal Church in East Liberty. Pastor Tines believes in radical inclusion and I am honored to be part of this incredible group of singers. We will bet at 6300 E. Liberty Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 at 5 pm. Tickets are $5 and you can get them at the door. 

On Monday November 23, 2015 I am singing at the August Wilson Center for A ReMARKable Recovery!
Mark Clayton Southers is a well loved and brilliant director. His passion for the 100 year cycle of 10  plays by August Wilson has helped bring them to light to many who may not have ever seen this invaluable work. His own company Pittsburgh Playwright Theater produces ground breaking independent theater for many years and his work is respected and celebrated by the entire community. He was in a terrible car accident earlier this year and I am performing at an event to help him and his family ease some of the burden this unexpected tragedy has cost him. Other performers to include: Vanessa German​, Wali Jamal Abdullah​, Tameka Cage Conley​, Raymond Werner​, and Leslie Ezra Smith​ will be reading selections from Mark's Chronicles at the event on November 23rd.

All details:

Then on the Day after Thanksgiving on Friday November 27, 2015 I will be singing with my full band at James Street Ballroom with Tony DePaolis, Carlos Peña, Reggie Watkins and JT "Smitty" Smith. 
8 pm - midnight, tickets $5 at the door. 
After the turkey, after the cranberries, the sweet potatoes, the pies, please come join us and raise a glass to the many blessings we share.


**The coolest jazz cats playing holiday classics for the hottest burlesque dancers in town!**
I will send more info and event details after Thanksgiving, but save that date, cuz I am sure it will be a deliciously salacious night to celebrate the holidays! (this event is kind of a bellwether for me, if it does well, I am going to A.) make it an annual occurrence and B.) use it sell the idea of hosting a burlesque and sideshow festival here in Pittsburgh! 

Also, while we're discussing holidays.... I launched a music store on CD Baby. I ask this year you consider the gift of music, for yourself, for your loved ones, many friends of mine make a killing on selling their beautiful wares on Etsy, I don't make physical items you can purchase, I make music, but they told me to market the heck out of it.... so I am making an effort to sell the work I have made over the years. It's kind of crazy how much music I have made....if you bought some, it would be just amazing to me....
Here is a link to my CD Baby Music Store online:

We have each other. Right now, we have each other. That is major. It is not something that everyone gets. The headline to this post is "Phat Man Dee's Guide to Fighting Terrorism" and my plan for fighting terrorism is fight hard to love each other, fight hard to sing every song you can, fight hard to be as happy in this life as you can be and make all the people around you as happy as you can help them to be. Every day, every time, for tomorrow is not promised any single one of us. We have right now. Make it count. For me, that means doing waaaaaaay too many shows, for not nearly enough money.... but you know what, I do it cuz I love the people I am doing them for and I love the people I am doing them with. Now or never, there is absolutely no reason to wait.

One final thing to leave you with.... my dear friend Donna Davis, known to us in the Pittsburgh Jazz Community as the High Priestess, passed away several weeks ago. I was (as were all who knew her) hit extremely hard by this. She had an aggressive cancer which was diagnosed late because she like many musicians, had no health care.... I am going to miss her until I see her again on the other side of the rainbow.... please listen to her music as she played at my last show with her at James Street last  month. And tell someone you care about that you love them. Don't wait. I told her I loved her when I last saw her. And that comforts me every day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Psychedelic haunted maze, World Premiere Video debut!!

Hello friends,
I hope your fall is progressing in a fashion not unlike the falling leaves, bursts of brilliant of colors, beauty, a crisp clarity and then chaotic falling so that the new growth can appear when waiting is fulfilled come next Spring! Things are changing, if I have learned one thing on this earth, everything changes and it can be good and it can be bad and sometimes you can't tell immediately which is which.... but we are here and we are doing the best we can. We’re all working every day to speak life into the world with our words and deeds. My words and deeds have led me to some incredibly exciting experiences these past few weeks. I have met my childhood heroes and found them more human than I expected. I have made music with geniuses and fools and found something sacred in all of it. I am working on a new song right now, it goes "I never belonged anywhere and so I went everywhere - And everywhere I took my temple with me". If you would like to worship with me in the ways of my people (which can include is not limited to music, sideshow marvelry and psychedelic blinky monster mazes) please check out the 2 really exciting shows I have this month!!

This Friday October 16, I am at at a new venue in Lawrenceville called “Spirit” with my old friends David Apocalypse, Andrew the Impaled and his new apprentice, Fangs the Clown! They have formed a new group to help create madness and mayhem through the mediums of sideshow and music called “Stranger Dangerous Sideshow”! Here is a picture of the maze, I can’t wait to see it and sing for the nice people who come to it! My sweet husband tommy Amoeba will be playing the following Friday on Oct 23 with Amoeba Knievel!!!

The other show I am totally stoked about is the Creative.Life Support Revival I will be doing at Mr Smalls theater on Wednesday October 28, 2015!
We are presenting a  World Premiere of Video Shorts by "Take it to the Bridge with Phat Man Dee" We are going to show some of the videos we have edited so far from the hundreds of hours of footage we shot of my musical collaborations in Europe. We are very lucky to have my friend Moe Seager, an American jazz poet who lives in Paris, we shot video together on a bridge over Canal St. Martin, join us for a set, as well as my friend Maria Hamer’s Level One Bellydance students. Maria and her sister Christine Andrews both appeared in my very first Take It to the Bridge video before I departed on the journey. My friend and videographer who accompanied me on this journey will also be performing a number, Smokin’ McQueen!
Mr. Smalls is located at 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA! Please register for your free ticket online: The show is free, but if you register for and redeem the ticket your request online, the act you register for will get $1 from the club. More info about how the CLS Revival series works in great article by Pittsburgh City Paper:
I did my video internship at Mr Smalls through the Creative.Life.Support program and I am really excited to be bringin the work “home” so to speak. Hope to see you there for an evening of wonderful performances and video of the journey you all helped me make!!

Please make some time for me to adore you in person. I hope to see you. If you cannot make it, know all my music is online and anything you get helps me make the next thing…..

Thank you for being in my world and thank you for allowing me into yours,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"The Greatest thing I ever learned...

Was just to love, and be loved, in return...." -  Eden Ahbez’s final phrase in his composition “Nature Boy”, first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1948, is one if the songs I shall sing this Friday October 2, 2015 at my first show back home since my grand adventures across the sea! I saw many things in the world, beautiful people, music, food, art, culture, I saw a world where things can go very hard for people without friends, but amazingly, wherever I went, I found old friends I hadn’t seen in many years, and I also made many new ones. I went looking for musicians, artists, dancers and boy howdy did I find them! We are in the thick of editing the footage and I am just amazed by how many creative and dedicated souls there are in this world and it gives me hope that enough of us are working towards a kinder and brighter tomorrow….

Please come this Friday Oct 2, 2015 to James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, in the Northside of Pittsburgh, PA, from 8 pm - midnight. Tickets are only $5 at the door and there is plenty of good food and great drinks to tempt your palate! I am really excited to perform with my friends and musicians the High Priestess Donna Davis - piano, Tony DePaolis - bass, Reggie Watkins - trombone and JT “Smitty” Smith - drums. It’s been way too long and I have missed them and you, dearly. Please come on out to see the show and support a club which has been featuring live music for decades.

Next week on Friday Oct 9 at 8 pm at the Bulgarian Macedonia Center in Homestead, PA, I am singing for my friends Maria Hamer and Christine Andrews at a performance of Raquy Danziger, middle eastern style darbuka percussionist and musician. She has played with the Egyptian National Orchestra, she is a really beautiful player and I am very excited to sing for two of our favorite bellydancers, the sisters Hamer!  
More info and pre sale ticketing available:

Save The Date!!!
Wednesday October 28, 2015, at Mr Smalls Theatre
Doors 7, show at 7:30 pm, Free show, under 21 $2
the World Premiere of Video Shorts by "Take it to the Bridge with Phat Man Dee"
Featuring live performances by Phat Man Dee, Moe Seager - jazz poet from Paris, France,
Maria Hamer's Level One bellydance students, and boylesque sensation Smokin' McQueen!

We uploaded some new edits of some of my experiences in Paris since my last email to you….
Here is one Alistair shot and we edited up last week, my friend Moe Seager (who I am showcasing at the Mr Smalls show on Oct 28th) and I are jamming out on a little bridge over Canal St Martin :

Moe also took me to a little spot in the Oberkampf called Au Chat Noir which hosts Spoken Word Paris and I read my poem “Jim Crow is Alive and Well” we had just heard about Sandra Bland and I was yet again left wondering how many more people need to die before a rehaul of the “justice system” can occur. Here is the video from that experience:

Also, next week, my beautiful friend Vinsantos is coming up from New Orleans to perform at the Harris Theater as part of the Reel Q Film Festival. The movie shown that evening is “All About Evil” by PEaches Christ, other live performers to include Janite Granite and Bambi Dearest.

Love to you, may every day reflect how much I honor your presence in the world,


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Home again, home again, jiggity jig, I went to the market to buy a phat...hey!!!

Friends, I am home.... it has been months..... I came home last week actually, but I had a show in NY and didn't actually return to my home til a couple days ago. Been getting settled, cleaning house, doing laundry, getting reacquainted with my dog, Mr. Pumpkinseed, cooking for the Amoeba....

The last 10 days of my journey were spent in the UK. I went to Scotland, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was glorious. 3000 shows happening simultaneously in a gorgeous city with incredible people, culture, food and architecture. There was a Game of Thrones musical (sold out every night), I saw "Ecce Homo" a drag cabaret performer surviving over 30 years with HIV/AIDS....and I saw "Le Gateau Chocolat" and "Tshwame Gospel Choir" from South Africa, Dandy Darkly a rhinestone clownboy storyteller from Georgia via NYC.....I personally performed with Chaz Royal and Betty D'Light's nightly presentation "Best of Burlesque" at the Spiegeltent Columbino, part of Assembly Fest. This was an excellent show, with some the best burlesque and variety performers working at the top of their game right now. It was wonderful to be part of this exceptional crew.  Here is a nice pic of some of us on my last day there with Chaz Royal, Betty D"Light, CeCe Sinclair, Whisky Falls and Eliza Delight:
While I was in Edinburgh, I fell in love with a show called "Church of Malcolm", became their backup singer and dancer, and we were selected to perform at the "Best of the Fest" showcase here is a pic from us from backstage, me with Malcolm Doherty and his son Callum McQuattie:
My sweet Amoeba had joined me for this leg of the journey.... we made it through the looking glass and back again.... here's a nice shot of him with Malcolm backstage as well...
And then, after an incredibly informative and delightful run of magnificent shows, with tears on me cheeks, we boarded a train to London to perform at the oldest gay pub in London town, The Royal Vauxhall Tavern:
It was a delightful evening that included trans hostess who sang like angel from Detroit, an opera singer from Italy, local live LBGTQ community news, the stars that night were Smokin' McQueen, his  kookaburra puppet and me!  The lady who booked us, Inge, is a force in the community and her event "Bar Wotever" has been going on for years and I was honored beyond words to complete my journey at this incredible and legacied venue. It was a journey.... 12 countries, 15 cities.....I am home now..... the footage is on 2 harddrives, we are beginning the process of editing now and I am getting back to my gigs and performances.

I ask you can mark the calendar for my next one, October 2, 2015, I am singing for the first time ever with my group at the James Street Gastropub, on the 3rd floor, in the newly restored ballroom. This venue is incredible, it housed the first ever racially integrated dances in Pittsburgh, and their history of showcasing the best in local jazz continues today. It closed briefly but reopened in 2011, so please do come out, see me there, support this venue and their work. They have great food, great cocktails and beer selection, and most importantly, they maintain stages featuring live music. It's becoming a rare thing, stages that regularly support live music, and it won't stick around if we don't support it. It's only $5 and I am singing all night, with Donna Davis, the High Priestess of Soul on piano, Tony DePaolis on bass, JT "Smitty" Smith on drums and Reggie Watkins on the trombone. Here is a link to the facebook event page, please share it, if I do well, they will have me back, I have waited a LOOOOOONG time to get into this venue, please come out and celebrate with me!

So, last year, you may remember that I had a dream, a dream to show the world how awesome our music scene in Pittsburgh was, and I went about this dream by studying video at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and did my internship at Mr Small's Theatre as part of their Creative.Life.Support program..... I shot a bunch of video....and I learned that filmmaking is not a solo mission. It can be, if you want to spend 25 years doing one thing, but if you want to get the work out in a timely fashion and not lose your sh*t, you should work in a group, which I did, to shoot it.... but I thought I could edit it, but my schedule is nuts. Like all the time. I am starting to get a handle on things, but I always overbook before I went to Europe, I began working with a recent graduate of Filmmaker's intensive program, Andrew Klein, and while Alistair McQueen and I were off shooting new video, he started in on editing my old video. And I am so happy he did.... I just uploaded my first concert from my Sunday Phunday series today, there is more to come, trust me, but these musicians mean so much to me.... Terry Griffith, Irish Balladeer and his grandaughter, Grannia Griffith, have been like family to me since I was but a wee Phat Man Dee....(I'm working on my brogue....I definitely left a piece of my heart in  Leith....) actually, before I was "Phat Man Dee", Terry's son Damon aka "The Big Daddy Bull Seal!" and I had a poetry troupe for a decade before I even started singing with a band.... and his daughter Grannia I have known before she was even out her mama Mary Crow's belly...... so, to see her all grown up and a lovely young woman and songwriter in her own right is an amazing miracle to me.... I hope you like this first episode of "Sunday Phunday with Phat Man Dee and Phriends, featuring Terry Griffith and the Grannia Griffith Story": Link:

It should be noted that one of our camera operators, Ms. Nancy Evelyn Gold, passed away recently, while I was in Scotland. I am so sorry to see her leave us, she was far too young.... she was special for many reasons, a wonderful friend, and her work was so important. She shone her cameras on communities who rarely are given voice, the LBGTQ youth, the cast always, the gender dancers and trans people in our lives who too often go unheard. Please check out her work and remember her fondly, I know I will miss her terribly.
There is a service and memory walk planned for her if you knew her, or want to get to know her friends. 

Love, respect, and may music unite you with the family you never knew you had, it did for me,

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dearest friends and supporters! I am currently in Scotland, at the Edinburgh Fringe, it is a festival unlike any I have ever attended. The city is filled with artists and performers from all over the world. 3000 shows are happening right now, and there are industry professionals who book, manage, produce performances of every genre and medium imaginable, all looking for new projects to work with. It is wildly exciting. I have so many ideas for what I am going to bring here next year and the people I am working with now are performers at the top of their game. I am honored to be among them. My companion and videographer Alistair McQueen has been working really hard to capture all of our experiences and put some of them up for your enjoyment. Most of the editing will be done after we get back and can actually watch the hundreds of hours of footage logged and piece it together in a sensible format. A tv producer is coming to our show tonight at "Best of Burlesque" and who knows if it will actually lead to "Take it to the Bridge" to be picked up or not? But hope is a good thing..... Another good thing is clicks, likes, and shares.... social media is the currency and Nielsen ratings of the modern age, so please check out the youtube channel where we have been posting the videos and share them.

The most recent video was made this week, at the Fringe, with members of the 2 shows I am performing with. I mentioned "Chaz Royal and Betty D'Light's Best of Burlesque" (the cast of whom are some of the best burlesque and variety performers working in Europe right now, truly talented and dedicated performers) with whom I have been appearing every night at the Spiegeltent Columbino, I have 2 more shows with them, one tonight and tomorrow and I also have appearances with another show I have made friends with a singer and composer Malcolm Doherty, and his show "The Church of Malcolm" is truly delightful. I adore his music and his message. Please check out our video we made this week, I am singing a song with the Church of Malcolm on the Blue Bridge, Leith docks, Edinburgh, Scotland. We have a dancer named Whisky Falls from Best of Burlesque with us, the song is "Beauty Comes from Within":

And we put one up earlier this week as well, it's my collaboration with 2 wonderful jazz musicians in Hamburg, Germany, Helmar Marczinski and Jan-Phillip Meyer, and our version of "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans"

 Please, like, share and help me get these videos out there! World wide social media is what will help me win this game of art and life! @phatmandee @churchofmalcolm @bestofburlsque @mswhiskyfalls @smokinmcqueen @edfringe @assemblyfest are all great twitter and instagram handles to mention....let the world know! Phat Man Dee and Friends are coming with music and song!

My next hit after the Fringe is in London, England, at Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a historic gay pub, with Smokin' McQueen and the event is "Bar Wotever" if you have any friends in London, let them know! Facebook event page:

Love, respect, gratitude, I am yours, Mandee

Thursday, August 6, 2015

So It's 2 am and I am in London Gatwick Airport......

Somehow I guess I thought my arrival into England would include Mary Poppins and Doctor Who greeting me at the border with a blue box, a bumbershoot and some charming chimney sweep with a terrible cockney accent.... that's not what happened..... what happened was I had to wrestle 50 tourists at Termini train station for 2 seats on the bus to Rome's FCO airport, spend about 45 minutes wandering around the most confusing airport I have ever been in, though I did manage to locate the plane after 2 gate changes, all in a rush for the privelege of sitting at a coffee shop on the other side of the security gate all night in suburban London....But it's all ok though, cuz just before I left Rome, I carbo loaded at Mama Angela's with a burlesque dancer named Wonderful Ginger, and that's something I could have never predicted, after I sang for her on a bridge, she stuffed me full of pasta, panna cotta, tirimisu and bruschetta...... and then on the plane I sat next to a delightful choir master and conductor and we chatted for hours about music, art, debauchery, who was our favorite Doctor (Who) and the social merits of fist mastication whilst flying the friendly skies.... And, really, the last several weeks have been a kind of blur.... we documented everything, so it's all on tape, and we will edit it and get it into a movie form when we get home.... but really, we have been changing locations every 3 or 4 days and it's just long enough to make a couple friends, or re ceonnect with old ones, sing on some bridges, go to jam sessions, make plans for future ventures and I am deep down tired and  exhausted through every bone and fiber....I think I am on my 27th wind right now..... I have been trying to post pictures and videos on my facebook page..... I have two now.... the one I have always had for my music which is and my new one, for this video documentary project which is I hope you will "Like" it and "Share" it.

Some random recent memories.....
Squeezing into a basement with 111 new best friends for a marathon 4 hour long poetry reading extravaganza led by an Italian in a French basement in the Oberkampf in a club called "Le Chat Noir" with Pittsburgh born, Paris based jazz poet Moe Seager, and getting a standing ovation for my poem "Jim Crow is Alive and Well" with cries of "Viva La Resistance" and "Black Lives Matter" resonating through the stone walls....and somehow it not feeling rediculous.

Reconnecting with a Swedish bagpiper named Steffanos di Panoptico, whose music I fell in love with 15 years ago and singing with him on the Oberbaumbrucke in Berlin, Germany.....standing on the former border of East and West Germany, we sang "Herr Mannelig" a Sweidsh folk song about how one is not always open to seeing the beauty which lies within the one before you. Berlin also included a phenomenally delightful evening set up by a 7 foot high professional Blue Bunny named Scottie who I used to tour with in Bindlestiff Family Circus....

And the jazz clubs....such beautiful jazz basements, in marble, in caves, in Prague, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Venice, Belgium, Rome.....with truly beautiful players....from all over the world..... making music together in an international language of standards and community. Even though we didn't always speak the same language, we spoke music....and we connected in song.... this music which started in America, derived from the African American experience and fused with European instrumentation and international rythyms and traditions..... its resonating all over the world.....

Bridges.... sometimes I got some musicians to join me on the bridges.... sometimes I didn't. In Malta I sang alone before the "Azure Window"..... a natrual land bridge with a window looking out on the sea and sky. In Rome I sang on Ponte Fabricius, built in 64 AD with an accordionist named Daniele Mutino, who I met in San Francisco when we both performed in "How to Survive the Apocalypse a Burning Opera" and then I sang on "Ponte della Musica" for a dancer I had just met the night before named "Wonderful Ginger". In Ghent I performed with Nik Phelps, a brilliant composer who scores animations and played on every Tom Waits album for over 10 years..... we played "Lush Life" on a bridge in Ghent and he made me a "Prarie Chicken" in his Western Swing band and we played at Gentse Feeste...For the rcord, Belgians LOVE to dance.... in Hamburg I played with a 65 year old saxophonist named Helmarr and a 19 year old drummer named Jan-Phillip on a bridge and we jammed it over "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans"..... in Prague I sang on a 1000 year old bridge with 3 cellists with whom I only had in common one song, "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley......In Paris I interviewed Chrisopher Henderson, a drummer who played in Sun Ra's Arkestra then I jammed on some poetry on a bridge over Canal St Martin with Moe Seager..... In Austria I sang at the World Body Painting Festival with an 18 year old wind player who is just starting his studys at conservatory in Vienna, but who plays like he's 4 times that age.... his daddy is a super hot Jewish trucker from Georgia who runs Body Art America..... In Malta I sang on Sister Mable's Magic Terrace and witnessed my cousin marry into a beautiful family from Iran.

It's a weird, beautiful, artistic and musical world...... I am so grateful to be having this expereince..... it's rounding the bend....but not quite done. In 5 hours I will fly to Edinburgh, sing at one of the world's biggest festivals....if you know anyone in Edinburgh or London, let them know Phat Man Dee is coming..... here are the deets for those shows, feel free to spread the news.....

August 8 - 16, 2015 I am singing in Chaz Royal's Best of Burlesque and vareirty cabaret show at the Spiegeltent Columbino! Show time is 11:30 pm, it is 16 pounds to attend, and patrons must be 16 years old or above. The show lasts an hour and I will be there with Tommy Amoeba and Smokin' McQueen as well as some of the best performers currently working in Burlesque from all over the world! Linkety link link link:

August 18, 2015 I make my London, England debut at Royal Vauxhall Tavern at a delightful event called "Bar Wotever" a "Royal Queer Variety Show" hosted by Virgin Xtravaganza and Mzz Kimberly!!  Linkety link link link:

On Aug 19 I come home....

There is one thing I am very sad to miss, and if you could check it out, it would make me happy....and you too, cuz it's awesome.... my friends Ed Pinto and Mike Mangiafico are brilliant artists, working in glass and wood..... they have a major display of their work at Touchstone Center for Crafts and the opening is this Saturday August 8 at 5 pm - 7 pm. It will be up for some time, if you can't go to the opening, you shuold go check it while it's up. The work is incredible. There are 4 people in the world who know how to make glass casts of honeycomb. Only 2 of them can make 2 sided honeycomb. That's Eddie and Mike. I can't truly explain how beautiful their work is, if I were in town, I would definitely be singing at this opening. Check it:

So, there we's now 3 am and in 4 and a half hours I shall fly to to Scotland. I shall board a local bus and ride to town, for one of the biggest festivals in the world. Will anyone see me? Will anyone like my music? I think so.... will it lead to something bigger? Probably.....but even if it doesn't..... even if this goes no where past what I am experiencing RIGHT NOW..... so long as the video we make is seen and heard and enjoyed.... then we win....I feel like I won every present under the Channukah Bush and even though it seems from over here like my country is going off the damn rails.....For example, is Trump REALLY being considered seriously??? And  what in the world is going on, when Sandra Bland and Samuel Dubose are the latest victims in a centuries old hunt of Black people by the authorities, and how many more innocents have to die before the world stands up and demands justice and release from the madness????? I am grateful for this opportunity but I must admit I am having a hard time looking for international jazz musicians, which is a form of music started by Black people and right now my own country seems to be having open hunting season on the very people who gave it to us...... but I digress..... or do I??? Music is born of heartache and struggle, but I beseech the world, I would like to write music born out of a sense of security..... not fear. I leave you with this..... tell someone who you care for that you love them. Our art, our music, our communinty is a blessing, and when we share it with one another we create a better world than the one we had yesterday. Tomorrow is not promised to us, and today is now.

Love, respect,

Monday, July 13, 2015

2 weeks! 6 cities, 4 countries, a month to go!

I have been going at it hard, friends! I have seen some truly amazing things, met some incredible musicians, crossed some phenomenal bridges, big small, old, new.... sung with some delightful people and made some wonderful new friends and fans! It  has been a very difficult and emotionally wrought journey, but I wouldn't trade a single moment of it for anything in the world..... 

We left Pittsburgh, PA amid much consternation, did we have everything we needed??? Or had I brought too much? Would people even like my voice? Would i be too pushy, and seen as some loud mouth American (which I kind of actually am???) Would I know enough words in their languages to not look like a jagoff? How do you use a bidet? What do you mean flipping someone off in Germany is illegal and punishable by up to 1000 euro fine? Would I be able to carry my heavy luggage onto boats and trains and busses and over the bridges I so wanted to see and sing on? Would we lose all the camera gear in an absinthe inspired jazz brawl under a 1000 year old bridge in Prague? All of that (except I didn't flip anyone off in Germany, cuz it's not the kind of thing I do anyways and did I mention that if you do it really is illegal??? And also we didn't fight anyone under Charles Bridge, though some drunk crusty spangers were giving us the "hey you look like you might be carrying $2000 worth of camera gear stink eye", but I "hey man, you aren't the only crazy person here" look and stunk eyed them right back and they left us alone....)

So i cannot recount the whole story right here and right now, it would be too much, and anyways its still being told and thats why were filming everything and making this whole "Takei It To the Bridge"  documentary. Editing will happen after we have created all the content, backed up the data and footage twice, watched it all and compiled it in a way that makes sense, so by winter is our eventual deadline.... but  I did want to touch base, let you know what is happening and where I am at right now.... which as of this writing is in a little air b n b in an artists loft in Fredrichshain, Berlin, Germany. I have some pictures, I have a little video, I have a show to promote (it's tomorrow, we confirmed it yesterday, so if you know anyone in Berlin, make sure to invite them for me!) 

Some pics and stories:

1st we flew to Venice, Italy.... if you want to know how strong you are and if your luggage is any good, go there first. I amm weak. And my braind new luggage was held together by tape when we arrived if that is any hint to my mental state when I arrived..... we bought the vaporetto passes (public transport via water on boats) and made our way to the first hotel, several really gorgeous bridges (there were thousands to choose from) and one phenomenal jazz club (simply called "Venice Jazz Club") in this ancient and sacred city of art, culture and passion.....The musicians there were incredible..... I cannot wait for you to hear the footage we got of them! 

After Venice we went to the World Body Painting Festival in Portshach am Worthersee in Austria so i could sing for Madelyn and Scott of Living Art America's wedding!! Madelyyn painted me for my set at the Green Stage on the Friday afternoon!
Then I sang for her wedding on Sunday!!! Which was featured in this month's Makeup Magazine! 
here is a beautiful shot of the entire body painted wedding party!!!
Btw, the guy on the right in the horns, he is 18 years old and just enrolled in the Conservatory of Music in Vienna and he's a bad ass wind player, he totally sat in with me and he killed it, cannot wait for you to see THAT footage! 
After this mind blowing and phenomenally incredible experience....we moved on to Munich.... where I found my old friend Jodi Mates Phlegar, who I have known since the age of 3 when we played in kindergarden together at Agudah Achim Synagogue day care in Altoona, PA.....she booked me at the club where her comedy improv group plays with a wonderful singer named Tracey Adele Cooper! Small world.... Tracey is dear friends with the man who sold me my cello when I was 12 years old.... after my Bas Mitzvah in Altoona..... even weirder, a lady named Shirley came to the show, she was born in Germany but raised in Altoona and we were children in Altoona but Jodi was living in Munich.... so weird.... it was an amazing night of music with Tracey's musicians and the next day we went off to play on a small bridge leading to the Nymphanburg Palace.....

here we are the "Sirens of Munich" as we sang "Wade in the Water" at the bridge at the palace! With the beautiful song stylist and operatic jazz vocalist Tracey Adele Cooper on my right and Jodi Mates Phlegar on my left and the Nymphanburg Palace at our backs! 
After Munich we headed for Prague.... beautiful, old, stunning and intense Prague.... so many musicians.... I found these gentlemen, the "Prague Cello Quartet" playing on the Charles Bridge which was built in the 1300's, before Spain started colonizing the Americas.... I sat in with them just yesterday..... we  had very few songs in common, because they are not jazz musicians, but we knew a couple in common, so I sang "Love Me Tender" with them.....
And then later that night I checked out a killer jam session at an underground jazz club, built into what looked like a bona fide cave called "U Mahelo Glena". I sang 4 tunes with them, but the band leader didn't seem to understand that when I said "May I video tape this show" that I wanted to show it to Czech is truly terrible.... so hopefully after we edit it and send it to him, maybe he will change his mind, but for now, I am not allowed to play it on youtube or anything.... thankfully the musicians in Munich and Venice didn't feel that way, nor did the cellists on the bridge! But the club was pretty epic and this morning I ran into 5 French tourists at the train station who loved my singing and told me where in Paris to go to find the best jam sessions!!! So all is not lost!
Here is Alistair aka Smokin' McQueen getting B roll at 7 am on the Charles Bringe yeysterday morning! 
Today I am in Berlin! I have never been here before, and when I arrived it was RAINING! Jossephine Baker once said that it is good luck if it is raining when you go somewhere new.... It means that the city is washing itself for you and you for was raining when  she arrived in Paris the first time you see....Well it was pouring fit to burst! Luckily we had waterproofed the camera bag, covered it in plastic and had an umbrella, and found shelter.....ON A BRIDGE EXITING THE S BAHN!!!! (fancy German metro) 
So, we have not had alot of time to edit and put movie clips up, we are madly creating the music and opprtunities to film, but I promise we will get something up as soon as we can!!!! 

And tonight, at Chelsea Bar. A dear friend of mine, who just happens to be world's tallest professional blue bunny, Scotty Blue Bunny, has kindly offered to present me to Berlin at this very special show..... he is beautiful and I am so excited to see him, I haven't known him quite as long as Jodi, but I've known him since I was in the circus sideshow back in the 90s.... he's beautiful....
here's the facebook link to that show, please help me spread the word, if you have anyone in Berlin..... 

So that's it for now..... I been busy..... If you want to get more stream of consciousness on the go stuff definitely find me on instagram, twitter or my FB page..... LOVE YOU!!!!!!
I am @phatmandee on both the twitter and the instagram and I am Phat Man Dee on the book of face.....

Love, light and creativity for all, let us now say together "Take It To the Bridge"