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