Sting, Carlos Santana, and Jeanie Tracy to appear on livestream event celebrating new Narada Michael Walden album…

On Saturday, September 19 at 7PM PT/10PM ET, three generations of legendary artists will unite to celebrate the release of Narada Michael Walden’s 18th solo album, ‘Immortality’ on Quarto Valley Records (QVR). Presented by Laudable Productions, the livestream event features a lineup of conversations with Sting, Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman Santana, Jeanie Tracy, Billy Amendola, Larry Batiste, and others who reflect on their long-standing relationships with Narada.

Narada Michael Walden has produced music royalty like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Patti, Labelle, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and Barbra Streisand, and worked with world-class musicians like Sting, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Lenny Kravitz.

Producing hits for artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin (including the platinum ‘Freeway of Love’), Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Patti Austin, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, George Benson, Angela Bofill, Al Jarreau, Nathalie Cole, Regina Belle, Stacy Lattisaw, Steve Winwood, Wynonna Judd, Tom Jones, Clarence Clemons, Kenny G., Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge and The Temptations, the Emmy and multi-Grammy winner (Producer, Album and Song of The Year) has been at the helm of hit music that spans decades. His music flows freely from soul, pop, and rock, to the rarified realms of jazz, fusion and world music. Walden was an integral part of introducing Whitney Houston (producing six of her seven #1 hits to break Michael Jackson’s record) and mega-star Mariah Carey to millions of fans worldwide, producing and writing the breakthrough hits that first brought these divas to the spotlight. Billboard Magazine honored him as one of the Top Ten Producers of all time.

Before he became a mega-successful producer with hits constantly dominating the R&B and pop charts, Walden burst on the music scene as a virtuoso drummer with the groundbreaking jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra. Soon after, his impeccable rhythmic chops and inveterate creativity made him a first-call drummer and collaborator for other instrumental heavyweights such as Jeff Beck, Tommy Bolin, Joe Zawinul, and Weather Report.

On August 7, 2020, the multiple award winner released his dynamic new solo album, ‘Immortality’, via Quarto Valley Records. The album represents a change of direction for Narada, one that brings him back to his roots in Dance and Club Music, Funk and Soul. The superb musicianship and masterful production of ‘Immortality’ are fueled at every beat by Narada’s abundance of amazing energy. He is a true artist, in a class by himself

“‘Immortality’ is an album for that part of my fan base”, Walden explains. “I love pop music, but I come from a world in which we mix it all up together – jazz, rock, pop, funk, soul and R&B. That’s what fusion is all about. A lot of my early fans still want to hear me stretch out and fly, so this record is me drumming and singing and putting my heart out to them. People can hear the love that’s inside of me when they listen to this record”.

Walden, who plays both drums and keyboards on ‘Immortality’, produced and recorded the album at his own Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California, with his longtime engineer, Jim Reitzel, and his astonishingly gifted band Thunder (keyboardist Frank Martin, bassist Angeline Saris and guitarist Matthew Charles Heulitt).

‘Immortality’ makes good on Walden’s goal of making ‘a killer jazz-fusion/progressive-rock record’, but it’s also an album that was made to be performed live.

I was always thinking, ‘We’re going to take this music out to the people. I’m looking forward to playing with the band in the spring. It’s going to be a love fest. My thing has always been to shake, rattle and roll with good spirits and electricity. I can’t wait to get out there, play my drums and bring good times to all of my fans.

Narada Michael Walden

“This is one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with”, Walden says. “The joy they bring to music is remarkable, and there’s literally nothing they can’t play”. Guesting on the record is guitarist Jackson Allen, whom Walden calls “a sensation. He played on a session with me, and I really enjoyed the sounds he got. Bringing him in on the album felt natural to me”.

Unfortunately due to the Corona virus it is not possible to celebrate the launch of the album as Walden is used to, with family, friends, and everyone who has worked on the album. Then you have to come up with something else to celebrate the launch….

Artists set to take part in a virtual event this Saturday, September 19, celebrating the recent release of ‘Immortality’. The livestream gathering, which will be viewable on YouTube and Facebook starting at 10 p.m. ET, will feature conversations with Sting, Carlos Santana, Carlos’ wife Cindy Blackman Santana, good friend and singer Jeanie Tracy, and a number of other musicians chatting about their relationship with Narada.

The virtual retrospective will give viewers a behind the scenes look at his expansive career as a drummer and producer. The livestreaming event also incorporates the premiere of a new music video ‘We Can Live Forever’, the lead-off track from ‘Immortality’, and a screening of the recent video for new COVID-themed tune ‘The Quarantine Blues’ that Narada recorded remotely with Carlos and Cindy Santana and jazz-fusion legend John McLaughlin.

‘The Quarantine Blues’ was written by John McLaughlin with Cindy Santana Blackman and Narada Michael Walden. The song was socially distance recorded and filmed in Monaco, Hawaii, Detroit and San Rafael in a collaboration to raise money for Musicares Coronavirus Relief Fund to help struggling musicians who have been hit hard by the shutdown of all live music. ‘The Quarantine Blues’ features John McLaughlin, Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos Santana, Narada Michael Walden and Ralphe Armstrong and Narada’s dancing kids, Kelly, Kayla and Michael with mom Katie.

Narada, who plays drums and keyboards on Immortality, notes that the album is geared more toward jazz fusion and progressive rock than pop music.

I love pop music, but I come from a world in which we mix it all up together – jazz, rock, pop, funk, soul and R&B. That’s what fusion is all about. A lot of my early fans still want to hear me stretch out and fly, so this record is me drumming and singing and putting my heart out to them.

Narada Michael Walden

As previously reported, Walden also recently produced several tracks for Cindy Blackman Santana’s upcoming solo album, ‘Give the Drummer Some’, which will be released this Friday, September 18. Among the songs is the cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, on which Cindy collaborated with Carlos.

Come into the beautiful world of Narada Michael Walden.

MasterClass Follows the Beat with Legendary Drummer Sheila E.

MasterClass, the streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to learn from the best, today announced that Emmy and Grammy nominated Queen of Percussion, Sheila E. will teach its first class on drumming and percussion.  Through a series of dynamic lessons, Sheila E. will help members find their rhythm, explore the fundamentals of percussion and drumming and share intimate stories and career advice for aspiring musicians.

Sheila E. is a musical pioneer. Her MasterClass is a rare opportunity for members to learn drumming and percussion from a legend—and you don’t even need a drum set to get started. Sheila E. is nothing short of inspiring and magical.

David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass

Sheila Escovedo, best known to music fans as Sheila E., first picked up drumsticks and started making music at the age of three. Inspired by her percussionist father, she delivered her first solo performance to a live audience only two years later and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionists in the world.

By the age of 20, Sheila E. was already a top session and touring musician, performing with some of the industry’s biggest names such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and Stevie Nicks. In the 1980s, her undeniable talent and hits like ‘The Glamorous Life’ and ‘A Love Bizarre’ led to her international fame. Sheila E.’s producing, arranging and performance talents have been showcased in the music industry through numerous Grammy nominations and performances with the likes of Beyoncé, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Lopez and Pharrell Williams.

Away from the spotlight, she co-founded the Elevate Hope Foundation, which helps young people heal from trauma or neglect through music and art. Sheila E. continues to produce and perform music across the globe and her most recent album, ‘Iconic: Message 4 America’, pays tribute to songs that have defined movements fighting for justice and peace.

I am honored to be the first-ever drummer for MasterClass. When you know what your passion is and what your purpose is, no one and nothing can stand in your way. In my MasterClass, I will share my passion and teach members the fundamentals of percussion, drumming and hopefully, inspire them to make their own music.

Sheila E.

Sheila E.’s MasterClass will take members on a musical journey through her dynamic world of rhythm, percussion, and drumming. Rooted in the belief that anyone can learn to drum, she will demonstrate how to find rhythm by moving, clapping, and using household items like pots and pans. Not only will Sheila E. bring the foundational techniques of drumming to life, but she’ll also teach you how to play some of her most beloved instruments, including the congas and timbales, with help from her father, renowned percussionist Pete Escovedo, and her brothers, Peter Michael and Juan.

Sheila E. will share intimate stories and insight from her experiences capturing the spotlight on stage alongside some of the world’s greatest talents, to rising to fame as a solo artist and becoming one of the world’s most famous Latin percussionists. Members will begin by learning the principles of rhythm and basic rudiments on the American drum set, in addition to music theory. The class will also cover intermediate concepts, such as leading a band, training tips, performance techniques and career advice.

MasterClass members at all experience levels will master basic drumming techniques and develop a language for drumming that will inspire them to make music and play with others. 

Sheila E.’s class joins the 85+ classes taught by world-renowned instructors on culinary arts, photography, writing, performance and much more. Each MasterClass has digestible video lessons sized to fit into any part of your day and cinematic visuals with close-up, hands-on demonstrations that make you feel one-on-one with the instructor. The All-Access Pass gives you access to every MasterClass and new ones as they launch. Learn on the go with mobile apps or in the comfort of your home with Apple TV®,  Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku® devices. Subscribe to greatness at MasterClass.com.

Diana Ross Diamond Diana

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Diana Ross is a diamond. She shines. And she has stood the test of time. Diana Ross is one of only a handful of performers who inspires generations of artists, lights up the mammoth screen and defines the fashion industry.

Not one to live in the past, Ross is still performing to sold-out audiences. She’s recently become the novel darling of the Las Vegas Strip after several recent triumphant residences. Ross will return to the Wynn in Las Vegas in February to perform nine shows.

It’s only fitting her latest album release is titled Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection. The 15-song collection is now available and contains some of Ross’ biggest and most treasured songs in her iconic career. Whether she’s belting out an anthem like ‘I’m Coming Out’ or spreading worship and hope in ‘Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)’ Ross’ music has been the soundtrack of our lives.

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Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection also includes a brand novel dance remix of Ross’ signature song, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’. Producer extraordinaire Eric Kupper says he was ‘floored’ when he was asked to the remix.

What an honor, but fairly daunting as well. The original is só magical and timeless. I’ve loved it since I was a child. My goal was to preserve the integrity of the original while bringing it to a contemporary day dance floor, but without adhering to trends.

Eric Kupper

The whole new ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ remix has hit the clubs worldwide. It debuted in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Dance Club Chart. A whole new generation is discovering this timeless and enduring diva.

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Now the famous American singer launches a new perfume for women with an elegant, sensual, and glamour aroma, Diamond Diana. Diana Ross Diamond Diana is a signature perfume, ultra-feminine, and very sensual. Diana Ross, who is one of the most famous and recognizable women in the world, said about her new perfume:

This personal fragrance is inspired by the powerful connection between music and sensual memories. Sensual scent vibrations are carried from heart to heart like music. Everyone should have a diamond.

Diana Ross Diamond Diana opens to impress with a fresh aroma made of mandarin, bergamot, lemon and sweet apricot nicely mixed with spices, coriander, floral accords of jasmine, and orange blossom. The woody base settles down with sandalwood, amber, cedar, incense, vetiver and sweet vanilla.

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Mandarin, Apricot
Heart: Orange blossom, Jasmine, Coriander, spices
Base: Black rose, Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla, Cedar, Musk, Veytiver, Incense

The delighting and long-lasting aroma creates a new story each time a woman wears it. The bottle inspires an expensive accessory – a precious diamond with 60 facets creating an exquisite point cap with an internal Diamond Diana logo sealed in a black velvet jewellery box embossed with sparkling 24-karat gold dust.

Diana Ross Diamond Diana is available as 100ml Eau de Parfum for $74,95, and as a beautiful purse spray, exclusively at HSN.

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Divas Week: Celebrating The Birth of Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin & Mariah Carey

America loves it’s holidays. There is literally something to celebrate every single day of the year. From National Pancake Day to National Punctuation Day, we do it all here in the US of A. This week, March 23 -30, we are in the trenches of the holiest time of the year (sorry Jesus), for Divas Week! Somehow, Chaka Khan (23rd), Aretha Franklin (25th), Diana Ross (26th), and Mariah Carey (27th) were all born within these five days!

To honor this week properly, let’s get into the best and deepest cuts of our divas’ catalogue.

Chaka KhanChaka Khan

Before making it on her own, Chaka Khan was the lead vocalist of one of the hardest bands of the 70s, Rufus. Decades later, there are few people that can stand next to Chaka.

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin

Live at the Fillmore has to be one of the best live albums of all time. If we’re being honest, Aretha Franklin taught the world what real singing sounds like. She offered up those receipts by dropping an album of covers that make you never want to listen to the originals ever again. Sorry Adele!

Picture: Aretha Franklin performing at McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC on February 13, 2012. Franklin performed a tribute to her goddaughter, Whitney Houston, who had passed away two days before. Photo by Daniel Coston

Diana Ross CoutureDiana Ross

Diana is the boss! What else needs to be said?

 

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Mariah Carey

Her… She is Mariah. The elusive chanteuse and next star of a sure to be sold-out Vegas run.

Paul Jabara: Last Dance

 

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Today, twentythree years ago, Paul Jabara died. A name that doesn’t say anything maybe to our youngsters, but hearing songs as ‘It’s Raining Men’ ‘Last Dance’ and ‘No More Tear’s (Enough is Enough)’ would ring a bell…

He Paul Frederick Jabara, was born in Brooklyn, New York on Januari 31, 1948. He was an American actor, singer, and songwriter of Lebanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn, New York City.  – Jabara’s cousin and close friend Jad Azkoul is also a Lebanese-American musician specialising in classical guitar.

Paul Jabara was the only son of Olga and Sam Jabara and was the youngest of three children and had two older sisters, Delores and Claudette. His love of music originated almost from birth, and he entertained his family and their friends as soon as he learned to talk. This multi-talented phenomenon began his career a teenager modeling for magazines and appearing in television commercials. As a teenager, he also auditioned for The Sound of Music and was offered a part in the road company, but his parents wouldn’t allow him to go. His first big break came when he was offered a feature role in the original cast of Hair.

 

Paul Jabara in 'The Day Of The Locust',

Impressionist Paul Jabara cuddles Donald Sutherland as Karen Black and William Atherton are amused in a scene from the film ‘The Day Of The Locust’, 1974. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

In the 1970’s, Jabara was in the Original cast of the stage musicals ‘Hair’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. He took over the role of Frank-N-Furter in the Los Angeles Production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ when Tim Curry left the production to film the movie version in England. He appeard in John Schlesinger’s 1969 film ‘Midnight Cowboy’, as one of the attendees at the counterculture party, and in Schlesinger’s 1975 film ‘The Day of The Locust, where he sang the song ‘Hot Voo-Doo’.

But it wasn’t only acting he did. Jabara released his first album, ‘Shut Out’ in 1977. Jabara’s solo albums on the legendary disco label Casablance Records include three duets with Donna Summer;  ‘Shut Out’ (1977), ‘Something’s Missing (In My Life)’ (1978) and ‘Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor’ (1979).

 

Paul Jabara and Donna Summer ‘Something’s Missing (In My Life)’ This power ballad has also been recorded by Karen Carpenter, Freda Payne and Australian pop royalty Marcia Hines… It’s recorded in several versions, one of them with Summer is featured on Jabara’s CD ‘Greatest Hits and Misses’.

In the 1978 film ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ he played the role of Carl, the lovelorn and nearsighted disco goer, and he also contributed as a singer on two tracks on the original soundtrack album, with the songs ‘Disco Queen’ and ‘Trapped In A Stairway’.

 

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Thank God It’s Friday album cover.

 

Donna Summer Last Dance Thank God It's Friday

Donna Summer in ‘Thank God It’s Friday’.

Paul Jabara wrote Donna Summer’s ‘Last Dance’ from ‘Thank God It’s Friday'(1978) and Barbra Streisand’s song ‘The Main Event/Fight’ from the album ‘The Main Event’ (1979).

‘Last Dance’, featured in the film ‘Thank God Its Friday’, earned Jabara a Grammy Award and the 1978 Academy Award for Best Song. Clearly, his music defined an era and continues to keep us all dancing.

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In 1979, Jabara won both Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song performed by Donna Summer, ‘Last Dance’.

 

Paul Jabara The Third Album

Paul Jabara ‘The Third’ album contains the duet with Donna Summer ‘Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor’, a great song with the typical Jabara/Summer sound!

 

Paul Jabara Donna Summer Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor

Paul Jabara and Donna Summer ‘Never Lose Your Sense of Humor’.

 

Donna Summer Barbra Streisand No More Tears Enough Is Enough Paul Jabara Francesco Scavullo

Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand ‘No More Tears Enough Is Enough’ another monster hit for Paul Jabara (Photo’s by Francesco Scavullo).

1979 was an amazing year for Jabara and Summer. Disco’s big finish in 1979, who could ask for a bigger finish of the greatest era of dance music? The ‘Disco Queen’ and Barbara Streisand together working Paul Jabara’s magic together. This cut was a power house, anyone who experienced the energy that this cut created when it was released will never question it’s reign. Casablanca Records has definitely made a place in music history with this on. The song was a hùge Platinum-certified, #1 Billboard hit.

 

At right, songwriter Paul Jabara (1948-1992), at the premiere of Bette Midler's movie, THE ROSE, 1979

At right, songwriter Paul Jabara, at the premiere of Bette Midler’s movie, ‘The Rose’, 1979 

1981 Jabara starred in yet another John Schlesinger film, the comedy ‘Honky Tonky Freeway’ as truck driver/songwriter T. J. Tupus, hauling lions and a rhino.

Composing myriad hit songs, his credits include many platinum and gold records. He is also known for: ‘Jinxed’ (1981), written for Bette Midler and her movie of the same name, but it was never commercially released. ‘Work That Body’ (1982) a modest hit for Diana Ross. The hit single is included on her Platinum album ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’.

He co-wrote The Weather Girls (Sylvester’s former background girls, the Two Tons of Fun: Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes) monster hit ‘It’s Raining Men’ together with Paul Shaffer, which was also recorded by Geri Halliwell and a worldwide hit for the second time in 2001.

The former Two Tons of Fun: The Weather Girls (Matha Wash and Izora Rhodes) with their monster hit ‘It’s Raining Men’ (1984).

Jabara’s album ‘Paul Jabara & Friends’, released in 1983, features guest vocals by a then 20-year-old Whitney Houston on Eternal Love. It also includes the song ‘It’s Raining Men’. An other song Jabara wrote to perform include ‘  Two Lovers’ for Julio Iglesias (1984).

Jabara received many awards for his work throughout his lifetime. Jabara had been honored for creativity and excellence winning numerous awards including The Oscar; Grammy; Golden Globe; People’s Choice Award; Your Choice for the Oscar and many others giving him global recognition.

It has been reported that Jabara co-founded the Red Ribbon Project in 1991, and was credited with conceiving and distributing the first AIDS Red Ribbons. This highly recognized symbol spawned the use of different colored ribbons to quickly raise awareness to other causes and is widely used today.

Paul Jabara died of complications from Aids at the age of 44 in Los Angeles on September 29, 1992. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. As a tribute at his memorial service, his friends and collaborators got together and performed a song he wrote entitled, We’re Gonna Win. Later recorded by long-time friend Donna Summer.

Martha Wash, one of the original members of The Weather Girls, re-recorded several years later, together with drag supermodel RuPaul the It’s Raining Men. Again, it became a huge hit! Like it also was for ex-Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell.

 

A Hot Jabara Night 2012 Paul Donna Summer

‘A Hot Jabara Summer Night’ 2012

In 2005, a workshop of a musical entitled Last Dance played New York City. It was a musical assembled from Jabara’s well known disco songs and told the story of a modern day teenager who goes back in time to spend one night at Studio 54.

Paul Jabara’s music lives on. Not only ‘the big names’ in the industry still performing his songs. Every season of Idols or .. Got Talent, we can here some of his songs performed by the ‘new’ artist. We hear his music still in films, and in clubs, and sometimes in the most fantastic long versions or remixes. Yes, it’s still a Hot Jabara Summer Night then. And it will always be……

by Jean Amr