Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Springtime means LOTSA gigs!!!

Friends.... after emailing you seemingly every other day for a month.....I thought you might need a break....but now, let me say, I am honored and blessed and overwhelmingly grateful to all the support you all showed me during my supremely intense kickstarter campaign..... which was SUCCESSFUL! This summer I am going to Europe to sing at the World Body Painting Festival in Austria and then spend a month traveling with my videographer Smokin' McQueen as I search out and sing with jazz musicians and on bridges all over the continent! I have musicians in Belgium, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and I'm getting bridge suggestions from Malta, London and Bristol.... I cannot wait! THANK YOU!!!!!!! So much planning! 

Between now and then I have shows like mad! 

TOMORROW NIGHT April 1, 2015, 10 p.m., Smiling Moose, South Side
I am making a special appearance with a world traveling troupe of side show marvels who never fail to amaze me with their wild feats of human daring and ever increasingly stupefying and beautiful shenanigans! Join us for Circus Convergence III!! The Steel City Kitty Show presents Squid Shift Solutions with members of the Squidling Bros. (Philadelphia), Pain Solution ( Oslo, Norway) and Swing Shift Sideshow (Las Vegas), local acts Phat Man Dee and Kat de Lac! 
more info:

Next week on Monday April 6, 2015
I am singing as one of many incredible artists at the annual B-Pep (Black Political Empowerment Project) Annual Jazz Marathon
This event is extremely exciting to me, for it showcases nearly the entirety of the Pittsburgh jazz community in a 7 hour long extravaganza! Tickets $35 and available at the door!

The following week on April 18, 2015 I am excited to participate in a video screening with the filmmaker of my music video "Hey Phat Chick!" by Smokin' McQueen at the Blue Moon in Lawrenceville! Also screening that evening is The Nomi Darling Show "The Indecent Episode"! Other live performers include Lilith Deville, Smokin McQueen, the Indecent Divas, Veronica Lustt and Nomi Darling! More info:

Thursday April 23, 2015 
Altar Bar, in the Strip, all ages, $10 doors, show 6:30 pm
I am *SUPER* excited to announce that I have been working with a new group of social justice activists, who are also, like me, performing artists. Our new group "Pittsburgh Artists for Social Change" is dedicated to affecting positive social justice through the use of our art and music. 
Artists, activists and promoters in the Pittsburgh community have come together to present a concert to benefit the Afro American Music Institute. 100% of all proceeds from the door, and in addition Drusky Entertainment shall also contribute a portion from each and every ticket sold at one of their concerts at Altar Bar for the period of one year to AAMI. 
For this concert, I am one of the hosts and organizers, and I will be singing with the gospel chorale (I joined a gospel choir, yes it's true, and they are fine with me being Jewish....haven't explained SubGenius yet.....we'll get there!) and I will also sing with Christiane D and Geña in our new project "The V*Sage Sangers". Also, the students I teach with Liz Berlin in the We Rock Workshop will also be performing!!!! 

Billy Pilgrim
Students of We Rock Workshop!
DJ Mike Canton of the Soul Show on WYEP
DJ Nuke Knocka of PR7X
Hosted by Phat Man DeeLita D'Vargas and Dr. HollyHood

Speakers to include
Tim Stevens of B-PEP
Anupama Jain of Pittsburgh Coalition for Racial Equity in the Arts
Human Rights City Alliance

About Afro American Music Institute:
Afro American Music Institute (AAMI) began in 1982 by founders Dr. James Johnson and his wife, Pamela. On August 15, 2003 AAMI moved into its current location at 7131 Hamilton Avenue in Homewood. The facility provides a more inviting location with larger rooms and professional appearance and atmosphere. Consistent with its mission, the Afro-American Music Institute provides programs of excellence under the guidance and tutelage of its committed staff and board members. They seek out youth for enrollment and completion of programs and courses offered at AAMI. Their many students gain self-confidence, self-esteem, creativity and problem solving skills. Their curriculum provides specialized instrumental and vocal training in all styles of African-American music, gospel, Negro spirituals, jazz and more. People of all ages who wish to learn music from an African American musical perspective may study piano, voice, percussion and more at this incredibly powerful institution. 
See more at:: http://www.afroamericanmusic.org/
Please join us for this, I am honored to have so many wonderful people on board, and it would mean so much to me to have you as part of this historic evening of wonderful music!!!! 
More info:

Here is some video of my friend Howard Alexander who teaches at AAMI with the Boys Choir:

I am honored to be in a world with you..... and I am grateful more than ever to know how many people truly respect my work and have shown their support with such thunderous waves of applause int he form of monetary donations and sharing of my now funded kickstarter.... Thank you....I am going to spend the next couple months before I leave planning my journey, sending off the rewards to the beautiful people who donated and doing the shows and gigs which led to you believing in me so much...... 

Love, light and faith,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Once, there was a little phat girl, and she had a very big dream!

Right now....in a land known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there sits, at her 12 year old desktop imac, a little phat girl who has dreamed of singing in Europe for the past 25 years. Since the birth of her dream, she has studied and made music with Pittsburgh jazz greats, ballet orchestra cellists, vocal teachers of great renown, medieval German bagpipers, Afro Cuban dance bands, Puerto Rican bomba bands, Egyptian classical and electronic composers, Middle Eastern master percussionists, Afro Latin master percussionists, gospel choirs, punk rock circus side show bands, heavy metal mavens, social justice singers, SubGenius spiritualists, hip hop producers, flamenca guitaristas, burgeoning rock operas about Burning Man, complaint choirs, I even led a Pan Spiritual Multi Lingual choir at Sankofa last year and we backed them all up with my jazz band, the Cultural District!!! I give thanks every day for the AMAZING power of the Lord, the Lady and Bob.... I am a pan spiritualist, I love God and the Goddess in all their forms and I feel blessed by everything every day. I was alienated as a child, felt bullied (was bullied) for being fat, weird, Jewish.... you name it.... small town, middle of Pennsylvania.... you know.... and as I grew I have come to understand we are ALL made to feel "less than" for some reason or another. Some friends of mine, it's because they're Black and we live in an inherently racist world with a ton of work left to do, some beautiful new friends of mine in Puerto Rico apparently STILL don't have the right to vote cuz of some CRAZY OLD racist laws on the books, some for religious, sexual orientation or economic bias, there are so many reasons for people to hate you in this world.... BUT I DIGRESS..... As an adult, I have turned the hurt and shame of being me around into joyous celebration of self and those around me through my music and art and it has allowed me to see the beauty of everyone else, I love language, culture, music, the flavor of a people can be heard in their songs and I want to sing with them ....

Here is example of the kind of videos I would make in Europe, on bridges.... this one I am on the Smithfield Street Bridge, down the street from my house:

As of this posting I am 22 hours from my deadline, at 10 AM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) tomorrow, my kickstarter campaign expires and if I don't get it all, I get nothing.... I am so close to this that I can hear the accordions in Rome and the jazz trumpeters in Belgium..... and the bridges are singing in my mind's ear..... I just added some amazing last minute rewards.... music listening sessions with my bassist/producer/arranger Tony DePaolis, you can choose ANY RECORD YOU LIKE from his massive and seriously eclectic catalogue of vinyl (this comes with a wonderful souvenir of the session), glass figurines by Ed Pinto accompanied by my poetry, a photo shoot with me as co model and stylist with photographer Erica Dilcer, Saturday morning cartoon watching parties with Tommy Amoeba and I in our home with overly sugared cereal, laser printed clutch zippered wallets by Suz Pisano, Phat Man Dee jewelry by Angela Rocco..... or go whole hog and book my band for a special event, private party, wedding, Bas Mitzvah band.... (though if it's for a Bas Mitzvah, it won't really be "whole hog", I can keep it kosher...) you can see some pictures and look at the updates here:

Please help me make this reality. I love living in a world with you. We're all weirdoes and freaks and artists and we need to support each other. Every little bit counts, and if you don't have a couple bucks to send....share a link to someone who might. If you already have, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to post the videos we will be making across Europe.....I have $1557 left to raise from my budget of $16,200, that means FOURTEEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE DOLLARS has been raised by wonderful people who want to see me sing in Europe..... THAT IS AMAZING!!!!  Still need a little bit more to toss me over the edge.... 

One love, I am ever grateful for the love and support we share together in this mad mad world we call home....

PS The 20th Annual Ides of March March is this Sunday March 15, 2015, we meet at 12th and Carson, South Side, Birmingham Square, Pittsburgh, PA Fly your freak flag high and put on the dog! Bring a drum and beat the gong soundly!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Rewards on my Kickstarter! New Gigs Announced!

I swear to you, asking for help is the most humbling thing I have ever done. And then, receiving it, even more so. I am blessed with the love and support of some incredible fans. I am grateful to live in a world where so many kind people respect me and my work. I have raised over 1/3 of the monies I need to take my music to Europe and create a video document of the journey. I have invitations to sing with musicians, in clubs and festivals. I want to make a video web series of me singing on bridges across the world, to symbolize the connection our city has to the rest of the world as an international hub of art, music and culture and THE BRIDGES THEMSELVES! What doesn't say multi lingual jazz like singing on a bridge? Please, I still need a little help. Every little bit helps, and I have awesome rewards at all levels. I really want to sing to you from the Eiffel Tower. I really want to hand deliver a pie to your home with a song. Please be part of the magic and the project. Also, I should say, if I don't get all the money pledged, I don't actually get any of it.... Kickstarter won't charge anyone's card if the project doesn't get all the funding. I think I made a pretty reasonable budget, and I don't want to take half the $ I need to make it happen and then do the project half way, I want to make it happen right, for real for true. Please donate what you can and please share it around. I didn't become Phat Man Dee all by my lonesome, I became Phat Man Dee because of the wonderful people I have known in my life who helped me get here. Thank you. 

kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/402781557/help-phat-man-dee-get-outta-tahn-and-document-the
facebook event page for fundraiser link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1459809560906487/

Future gigs to keep in mind:

Sunday March 15, 2015 The 20th Annual Ides of March March

Meet 6 pm at Birmingham Square in South Side, S. 12th and E Carson, parade to 21st St, cross street, come back down the other side! This year marks the twentieth annual Ides of March March.... For the past twenty passings of our planet, our giant communal space ship, around our sun, we, artists, freaks, clowns of every ilk, sideshow marvels, dancers and mad blue bakers, we have marched through our neighborhood to warn the good people of South Side of Pittsburgh, PA that we, the Ides of March March, are ever watchful of our own return. Please join us this in this historically lacksadaisacal insistence that we are who we say we are! Put on the dog and let the horns be heard high, we are, and have been and this year we shall continue to be the one and only (except for the one in Phili and we are gonna try to have a virtual satellite feed of their parade to ours, kinda like in that one South Park episode where Kenny had to stay at the video staore so the others taped an ipad to a stick and brought his head trick or treating with them? kind of like that) 20th Annual Ides of March March! 6 pm! Sunday March 15! South 12th and E Carson St at Birmingham Square! Sahs Side! Bring drums! Sidewalk floats! We're on the sidewalk, not the street...remember, this is happening for no particular reason at all..... it's just exactly what it is..... 

Saturday March 21, 2015 
Winterstar Ball : A memorial to Jeff Rosenbaum 
The WinterStar Ball is a fund raising event to honor the life and legacy of Jeff Rosenbaum. The money raised will be utilized to place a headstone at his grave site. Any funds raised that exceed the cost of the headstone will be put towards the continuing vitality of the Starwood Festival which is the enduring legacy of Jeff's life work. Come be a part of something quite special! There will be workshops, live music, a psychic fair and merchants catering to many specialties. 

Also dave these April dates, more info to come! 
Monday April 6, 2015 
B-Pep Annual Fundraiser tix $50, jazz jam session featuring over 50 of the regions finest jazz players in one room at one time! More info tba! 

Thursday April 23, 205
Unity Concert at Altar Bar! 
Produced by Pittsburgh Artists for Social Change and Drusky Entertainment! 
All proceeds to benefit Afro American Music Institute and Hosanna House! More info tba! 

Thank you for your time, you art, your love, yor support, your life, just being on the planet with oyu, there is so much happening, some good, some bad, some really bad.... and I feel blessed to just know we are here and doing everything we can to leave this world a better place then we found it. 
One love,


PPS Rest with God Mr. Nimoy, you were an inspiration and a mensch.