Ganessa James Music
It's been an impactful summer. We've seen turmoil and upheaval around the globe, and also here at home. It seems to me that the temperature of things is way high. Maybe it can lead to some much needed change: we need the police and the government to respect our communities and provide services - not containment. And we need leaders who respect the planet, everyone's humanity, and people's right to be free. We need them to lead/legislate from that space.
So, I'm extra glad it's time again for the Word Rock and Sword Festival. There are many events here that will be informative, transformative, empowering. And as always, it will be topped off by the concert at Le Poisson Rouge, where we'll celebrate ourselves, and all the things we've learned, and keep momentum to be the change we want to see in the world. The show will feature an all-star line-up performers, and this year I'm honored to be offering a song of my own. Check out the events of WRS, let's gather in community: WRS EVENTS.
We need to genuinely connect with one another, now more than ever. See you out there, in love and music.
My mind's been blown by music this summer. First off, the Deep Roots of Rock and Roll at Lincoln Center outdoors was just... A towering juggernaut of amazingness. Not only was I deeply impacted by the all the music we played, exploring the eras of rock and roll. But I was onstage playing bass while craft-masters like Nona Hendryx, Corey Glover, Toshi Reagon, Tamar-Kali, rocked the mic. I was also standing right next to Vernon Reid *shredding* the guitar, and across the way, the incredible Kat Dyson holding down guitars with the fierceness. There was so much love flowing from the crowd to the stage and back. Completely unforgettable - I'm grateful to Toshi Reagon for putting me on the crew and to everyone on stage and audience who added their beautiful energy to the mix.
So, in addition to that, we've been preparing to record with Shelley Nichole's blaKbushe, we've played a ton of great music and we'll have a special producer who is going to take the recording to the stratosphere, so keep your ear to the ground for that. And In August, I'll be holding down bass for blaKbushe and Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely at MichFest. I'll also sit in on bass for my beautiful friends Climbing Poetree and for Barbara Higbie and Linda Tillery, and I'm so excited that I get to play with such great folk, and such great music!
Also in August, I'm working on a show with the super-talented Ashley Phillips and Monica McIntyre - stay tuned for specifics on that. And then hello September! It brings the annual Word Rock and Sword Festival, which feels a lot like a birthday present for me. :) In this year's concert, in addition to holding down the bass, I get to share a song of my own. I'm so honored to work with such amazing musicians setting such powerful intention.
Thanks to you all for staying tuned. In love and peace!
Happy Summer, beautiful ones! I've been making some joyous music this past month with Shelley Nicole's blaKbushe, Toshi Reagon, and had blissful fun doing an acoustic set of my own on the solstice at Make Music New York (special shout out to our fam at Peace and Riot for hosting)! It's all been feeling real good, and of course, the music don't stop. This month I'm proud to be supporting FIERCE at a fundraiser event in Dixon Place's HOT! Festival on July 21. Come support an awesome organization and get treated to sights and sounds you won't soon forget.
Also later this month on July 26th, I'm holding down the low end for an epic production at Liconln Center: 'Deep Roots of Rock and Roll' curated by Toshi Reagon. This is an outdoor show with some serious heavy hitters - Nona Hendryx, Vernon Reid, and Cory Glover just to name a few - and it is FREE! So bring your friends, your boo-thang(s), your cuzins, everyone you know. Let's ROCK.
Another not specifically musical but fun thing that *just* happened: I was selected in DapperQ's 2014 100 Most Sytlish DapperQ's! Check me out at *number 61* :)
Again, I wanna thank you all for taking this ride with me and staying tuned. It's a pleasure to make music for you and with you! Love!
Hello From Lyon France! I'm here on bass for this produciont of 'Zinnias', a play about the life of the insping painter Clementine Hunter. I have the triple pleasure of seeing this work, playing this music for the first time AND being in Lyon. I'm super grateful to musical director Toshi Reagon who tapped me for this particular honor. This play will open the Nuits de Fourviere Festival here in Lyon, taking place in an ancient amphitheatre known for its incredible beauty and amazing acoustics. I'm telling you, I wish everyone I knew was here to see this!
But even if you can't make it to Lyon for this show, there is more great music to come in NYC as always. I'll be playing a set in the Make Music NY Festival hosted by the fam at Peace and Riot in Brooklyn. And don't forget, at the end of the month BIGLovely is LIVE at Subculture!
See you soon in NYC - love!
Epic Spring!! I've been out catching a bunch of great music these days and getting inspired. I'm writing some new music, and working on an acoustic recording project as well. This long awaited spring has me feeling open and sort of poetic. Find me on facebook and catch some of my spring inspired haiku. ;)
Also at the end of the month I have the immense pleasure of heading off to Lyon France, joining Toshi Reagon and an incredibly talented crew putting up the opera 'Zinnias' in the first week of June. I LOVE being part of ensemble performances and getting to do it with these all stars? In France? Epic spring, like I said.
And speaking of the All Stars, Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely is hitting at Subculture in NYC at the end of June. We'll have the same crew we had at Brooklyn Museum. So if you were there and dug all that energy, you'll wanna come through and bring a friend. And if you missed us in April, here's your chance to feel the fire...!
So much love to you!
Hola Familia, thanks for hanging with us at Bronx Academy of Art and Dance for the BAAD!Ass Women festival. Tiffany and I kicked off a set drawing a bit on our Latin/Caribbean roots, covering Mark Anthony and Seu Jorge as well as sharing some of our original work - thanks for all the love in the room!
April kicked off with Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely at Brooklyn Museum's First Saturday. To say that the show rocked might be an understatement, but if you were there, you know what I'm talkin about, right? So honored to be a part of the BIGLovely family and play Toshi's powerfully inspiring music. As for the rest of the month? We'll see what fun stuff pops - I'll keep you updated on Facebook and le Twitter.
In love and in music, thanks for staying tuned!
February was rock solid with music. First off, I played bass in the epic Love Jones set with Toshi Reagon and crew at Joe's Pub. Corey Glover, Tamar-Kali, Mem Nahadr were just a few of the powerhouse singers that took the stage that night - sometimes I felt that I was just hangin' on to my instrument as each performer cast their musical spell. In addition to that, I got out to see a ton of music which deeply inspired me. Toshi Reagon, Honey LaRochelle, Gina Breedlove, Stephanie McKay, Davi, Akie Bermiss, James Rouse, all amazing singers, musicians, and bandleaders I want to give a shout to for sharing their music and inspiring everyone with their gifts.
This month, I'm honored to be playing my own brief set in the Bronx Academy of Art and Dance's annual BAAD!Ass Women series. This is such a cool space, and the series has been so thoughtfully and lovingly curated. I play on the 21st, and encourage you to also check out the other programming in the series. I definitely will!
Also, I'm playing bass with BIGLovely at the Schomburg in The Blues Project with Dorrance Dance as part of the Women's Jazz Festival, another series with a TON of amazing events you won't want to miss, including an evening with MeShell N'Degeocello and Mem Nahadr (yes!!!!)... And I'll be on with Shelley Nichole's blaKbushe in the middle of the month for a Purim celebration which promises to stretch the boundaries of all our imaginations. :)
In love and in music, hope to see your shining faces out there, in the house or on the stage!
Family! January was an amazing month of music. I spent some solid time in the studio, and played some amazing shows, starting with Toshi Reagon's birthday concerts at Joe's Pub. It was thunderously amazing to play bass in the 'All-Women' crew that night to kick off Toshi's birthday concert series. I think the audience and the band gave the subway a run for it's money, shaking the house that night. Then the Ganessa James Trio rocked Piano's to an amazing room full of beautiful spirits! Thank you for showing us so much love at Pianos! We had a blast opening up for DB2, The Rooks, and the Shadowboxers. We're definitely gonna put some more Trio shows in the works.
Meanwhile, this month, I have the awesome honor of playing bass in a show masterminded by Toshi Reagon, featuring some of the most incredible talent in NYC. Whether you dig Valentine's day or not, celebrate your LOVE JONES on February 15th at Joe's Pub with us! Toshi's brought together some fierce folk, including Tamar-Kali, Corey Glover, Kimberly Nichole, Rachel Friedman to share some love songs from movies we love. :) I'm stoked to be playing bass, with Allison Miller on drums and Alex Nolan on guitar (so honored to play with all these musical powerhouses)! Get your tickets HERE, we've got music to warm your heart!
Happy New Year, family! This holiday season, I've had the amazing opportunity to get back in the studio to start working on a musical offering for this year. I'm so excited about this process of digging deeper into the songs and watching them grow. I'll keep you posted on when you can hear some of the new stuff - and buy it if you like it! And in the meantime, I definitely want to hip you to two peformances I'm involved with this month:
On January 22nd, I'm playing bass for Toshi Reagon's 'All Women' version of Big Lovely as part of her annual birthday concerts at Joe's Pub. This celebration is going to be epic. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, I strongly advise you to go to Joe's Pub website and grab some before they sell out. There are shows through Saturday with different guests, so see a few!
AND I'll be doing a show with the Ganessa James Trio at Pianos on January 30th. It's been almost a year since the last trio show, so we got a lot of energy to share with you! We're opening for the Rooks, who are pretty fantastic - it'll be a hot night all around. I'm so much looking forward to seeing your faces out in the world! And I'm listening for your thoughts n feedback, so write mee if there are songs you'd like to hear live or video recorded. You can stay tuned here for show dates, and also check out my facebook page for updates, video, and more music.
December already? Hope you all are safe, well n warm as we work our way into wintertime. I'm pretty stoked about the next few weeks. First off, I'm playing a songwriter circle with Kierstin Gray and a bunch of other talented folks at Jimmy's 43 on Friday December 6th. Then I'm doin some recording with the talented Ashley Phillips. THEN I'm gonna do some recording of my own for an EP I've got planned... This has been a lot of fun, mulling over what songs to include, and how I wanna approach them. I'm so excited to see how it will evolve, and hear your thoughts too!
And in January, I'm so stoked and honored to hold down the bass in one of Toshi Reagon's birthday shows. This is a big anniversary for her, so she's got quite a few shows in the series. I'll be on the January 22nd show, with the amazing rhythm section: Alex Nolan on guitar, and Allison Miller on drums. Best ever? Yeah.
Finally, at the end of January, I'm playing a 'Ganessa James' set at Pianos. This is January 30th, at 8pm opening for the Rooks - who make fantastic music. I'm puttin the word out early, cuz I'm hoping to see a ton of your friendly faces in the crowd. Thanks again family, for staying connected and supporting me on this journey. I'm so deeply appreciative for the gift of music, and for community to share it with. Much love!
Happy November family! Here in NY things are starting to get real chill. This means I get to spend more time cooking up new music, and this feels totally right - new music for a new moment. In the spirit of getting open and free, I'm going to do a show this month, somewhere low key. It'll be mostly acoustic, I'll try out some of the songs I've been hinting about and just get into the sharing. Most likely I'll have a few special guests joining me on that date. It's been a long minute, I realize, since I've played a set of my own. So I'm definitely looking forward to seein some fam and sharing with you.
Also look out for future collaborations. There's a lot of great music happening with Be Steadwell, Marcelle Davies Lashley, and Toshi Reagon all playing at the top of the month. Seek em out and get your fill of goodness.
I'm still glowing from the amazing Word Rock Sword Concert in September. It's amazing to play so many kinds of music in one whirlwind show, with the likes of Nona Hendryx, Toshi Reagon, Joan as Policewoman, and many other powerhouses rocking the stage. Also, the BIGLovely set featuring Bernice Johnson Reagon totally rocked my world - pretty much the ultimate birthday present.
So I got a lot to be thankful for and to marinate on, that's mostly what October is about. I'll be out there checking out shows, supporting my fellow musicians. As we really transition into fall, I also plan to dig deep into creating new works, so there'll be more to share with you soon. The next shows on the docket are in November, with blaKbushe, and with my new friend Be Steadwell. Stay tuned!
Family, I want to thank all the appreciative listeners! You come to the shows and help create the magic. If you were out there at Michfest (which was amazing!), or if if you came to check out Chaney Sims and I at 55 Bar, or if you listen online - I'm deeply grateful for you.
It's September, already?! Well, that means a few things, for one, fall's coming, which I dig. Also, it's my birthday month, which... I dig. And it's also time for Word Rock Sword festival - so much goodness! There are readings, showings, performances going on which are all gonna be killer, and it all ends with the giant concert/love fest at Le Poisson Rouge on September 21st, where I'll be holding down the bass all night long. Check out the full schedule of events here: WRS Events.
Also happening this month, I get to be onstage for the first time with the amazing Bernice Johnson Reagon from Sweet Honey in the Rock, special thanks to Toshi Reagon. This is a private show, but you get my excitement, right? Peace, love, n music!
This month it's off to Michfest! This year I'm playing bass for Toshi Reagon, who's just amazing. And I'm also playing for Reina Williams. Not only that, but I get to rock with some of my favorite musicians: Alex Nolan (fierce guitarist) and Allison Miller (drummer extraordinaire, plays for Brandi Carlisle), Vicki Randle, and Julie Wolf. I mean, chock full of fierce. You'll see some of us onstage with Toshi, Nona Hendryx, MeShell, and more powerful performers in the 'band of angels' this September at the 3rd annual Word Rock Sword concert. So much love and music! See you out there. :)
Thanks to all the fam who came out to hang with us at 55 Bar in June. Chaney Sims and I felt the love during our duet show on the 21st, and then we brought the whole crew through on Pride Sunday for A Family Affair. We had Reina Williams, Ashley Phillips, Clare Rodriguez, Tiffany James, and even a special guest peformance by BJ Watkins - say what? Best Pride Ever.
On July 10th, I'm rocking with Shelley Nicole and with Chaney Sims for the blaKbushe silent auction/fundraiser at Rockbar: 'Can a Girl Catch A Break'. Come on through, enjoy the show, and help support independent music. Thanks for listening!
June 10, 2013
Family, quick update! The Vicki Randle and Friends show on June 12th has been cancelled due to a last minute scheduling conflict! We're sending Vicki huge love out on the road with Mavis Staples - and when she's back in town, we'll have another date for our jam.
Meanwhile, you can still catch some great live music in June. I'm back at 55 Bar with the incredible Chaney Sims on June 21st. I plan to unleash my new country inspired tune on the audience there... :) And we're also cookin up a li'l something for your Pride Sunday - stay tuned.....
So the incredible Vicki Randle, amazing singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist who has toured globally with HUGE acts (currently Mavis Staples) is going to be dipping into Brooklyn on June 12th for a li'l all star jam. This at the Branded Saloon, and it promises to be epic.
Other things cooking this month: I get to rock out on bass with blaKbushe at the Schomburg's African Vocies 20 Year Anniversary on June 20th. And for the EARLY SET fam out there, Chaney Sims and I are back at 55 Bar on June 21st, 6-9, hitting you with the smooth sultriness. FREE. :)
Lastly, I've been sharing a li'l musical love on youtube, highlights from the experimental set we did a li'l while back at Rockbar. Click *HERE* for a glimpse, and see you out there for more live music!
Taking a break to enjoy the blossoms and the beautiful weather! I have *no shows* in May and that feels kinda weird! Glad to take the time to take things in so I can reflect it even better in the new work. Some new songs have been born in the past few weeks, and I'm excited about where they might go.
In any case I'll be back onstage in June with some INCREDIBLY SPECIAL GUESTS, more about that as we get closer, but for now, save the date: June 12th in Brooklyn. And keep on the lookout for more 55 Bar with Chaney Sims and myself, when she comes back from touring the world with the Heritage Blues Orchestra. Thanks for stayin tuned!
Branded Saloon in March was so much fun! I'm totally a new fan of Nadia Bourne and Small Talk. I love meeting new artists and hearing their music. Also had a blast at Rockbar with Reina Williams a few days later, and of course cast a loving spell at 55 Bar with Chaney Sims.
I broke out some new tunes at Branded and tried a new trio set at Rockbar with Tiffany and Jeff Jeudy. I'll be putting up some videos on youtube from both shows. Thanks to everyone who came out and rocked with us!
Next up is 55 Bar, on the last Saturday of the month. See you there!
Thank you for staying tuned to the music! This month I'm doing a unique solo set at Branded Saloon as part of the Queer Country Monthly series. I'm really excited about this - I've got some new tunes to share, and I'm looking forward to hearing the sounds of Nadia Bourne and Small Talk.
I'm also joining up with Reina Williams for her streaming set on March 24th, and for the monthly series I host with Chaney Sims at Rockbar on March 27th (we're there every last Wednesday of the month). If you've never seen Reina perform, you'll definitely wanna check this out. She's a great songrwiter and performer.
And lastly, Chaney Sims and I play our monthly set at 55 Bar. We're there every last Saturday, and it's FREE!
See y'all out there. In love and in music,
For Your Ears:
Title track from my EP Believer