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! 


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:

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

So about that fascist running for office....

I will admit to having slight panic attacks when I hear the orange cheeto dusted eugenics spouting, nuclear winter promising mad man speak. I will admit to laying awake, wondering who else he is tweeting angrily at from his bed, the one he shares with his immigrant wife, at that totally random sleepless moment in the middle of any given random evening. I also will own the fact that for the life of me, I cannot understand how so many people can have so much hate and intolerance for refugees, immigrants, women, people of color, LBGTQ folk....that they could allow someone who has absolutely nothing substantive to say except hate to take the nomination of the same political party which once freed the slaves.....but here we are. I am here, you are there, and amazingly this internet and technology allows us to communicate and be in community with each other all over this beautiful earth.  So, I have been working with intent and at a somewhat feverish pitch over here at Phat Man Dee Productions, in collaboration with my old friend, the talented and beautiful musician Liz Berlin. She is a founder and current member of Rusted Root. We have been producing an album called "Social Justice Disco : Songs to Fight Fascists By". For she is like me, worried about the world we are creating right now, she, unlike me, is a platinum record selling artist..... but I have hopes. Whether or not this album gets me there, is not as important to me as making sure the songs are heard. We are choosing to use our music to foster extreme tolerance, unity and to be used a danceable tool with which one may rhythmically and melodically fight fascists. We have assembled a force of musicians who are united with us in this mission. We have about 8 songs tracked and another 6 to go. I cannot wait for you to hear it in it's completion.

We have released one track so far and it is "Fourth Reich Arising" you can check out the brand new music video online:

You may purchase this song on CD Baby:

If you REALLY want to help us make this album and be part of the community who is standing up and saying we are going to help this world through music, love and tolerance, I humbly ask you support and share our fundraiser:

We have 3 weeks left on this campaign, it is tax deductible and we have studio time booked in mid December, when Liz gets back from Rusted Root tour. It's pretty intense working with her, it's kind of like being in an art tornado. She is one of the hardest working artists I have ever been blessed to collaborate with.

Here is a great article written by Scott Mervis at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It has been featured on the radio shows by Mike Canton of the Soul Show on WYEP in Pittsburgh, listen here:

Also on Desolation Angel radio in New Orleans, listen here:

And on Hell's Kitchen with John Hell on Radio Valencia in San Francisco:

I hope you like the song, I hope you support the album and help us make this a reality.
photo from our first performance of "Social Justice Disco" at the Funhouse at Mr Smalls.
Don't say no to these faces. We want to sing to you and we really need your help to do it.
Thank you for believing in me to this point. I believe in you. Let's show the world together who we are, and demonstrate that we won't let the bullies win. Please support our project and please, for the love of everything holy on God's and the Goddess's good green earth, vote.

Love, faith, hope,