Ganessa James Music
It's been a whirlwind musical start to the year! I played 4 shows on 2 coasts with Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely, a late night set at Rockwood with one my faves, Mishti, and an incredibly dynamic set with Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller's new project Holler & Bam in the Winter Jazz fest (check their blazin tunes on soundcloud!). I got to catch a good bit of live music too, which is something that always gets me inspired. At the moment it has me tinkering with arrangements of some of my songs which you'll soon be able to check out.
So, February. Black History Month. Birthday month to some really beloved Aquarian friends of mine. To some folk, it's the month when we celebrate the loveliness of love. Whether you're a fan of Valentine's day or not, we invite you to come down and get musically loved up on in another edition of Good Folk Love Sessions at Joe's Pub on February 12th. This year we're bringin you 'Soulful Love', playing some of my favorite tunes - with some amazing singers that'll have you on cloud nine! Get your tickets: HERE, and we'll see you out there for this soulful situation!
Happy 2016, family! I'm so excited about what this year will bring. Already, January is kicking off with a slew of amazing performances. January 11th, I'm holding down bass for bluesy-rocker Mishti at Rockwood. It's been a while since I've been on the Rockwood stage, and I love that I'll be doin it with friends and fam. Then on the 16th, I'm holding bass for Holler and Bam, Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller's joint project. That's happening at Subculture as part of the Winter Jazz Fest. And at the end of the month, Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely heads off to California to play two shows in the Off Center Festival, followed by the annual birthday shows at Joe's Pub in NYC.
I hope you can get out and join us for some of this live awesomeness. Also, if you're following along on the interwebs, I'm posting tunes and videos so you can share in the evolution of this music. Some of these tunes are teenagers, like Believer and Lost in Me - I can hardly believe it, but years later, they are STILL teaching me things about how they want to be played! And then there are much newer songs like Waterside, which help me think about who and how I want to be in community and in my music. You can check out Facebook, Youtube and Soundcloud for new stuff.
Sending out BIG love to you, family!
I'm still cloud-walking from amazing sets last month with Chaney Sims, Onliest and blaKbushe! The rooms were full of fam. And at one point, I think I had about 50 songs in my head, ready to play at the drop of a hat - on guitar AND bass. I just love that! So I'm bringing my high-stepping into December, kicking off the month by joining blaKbushe for a show at the legendary Bitter End in NYC. We've got a pocketful of funk, I'm tellin you - you gotta see it to believe. Come down and hang out with us and leave with a li'l extra pep in your step. And as for the rest of the month, I'll be doin some more writing and a bit of recording - which I'll be sharing on the Soundcloud with ya.
Speaking of which, family, I wanna thank you for rocking with me this year. I am so grateful for your time and presence when you come out to shows, and when you check out my music online. It's a huge honor. As the year winds to a close, I wish everyone happy and healthy holidays, in whatever way you celebrate!
Takin a quick peek into 2016: In January, I'll be joining BIGLovely on bass for the Off Center Festival in Costa Mesa, and again at Joe's Pub for Toshi Reagon's annual birthday shows at the end of the month. I'll be joining Mishti's bluesy badness at Rockwood, and you might just catch me onstage with one of the acts at Winter Jazz Fest (tbd). What else for next year? I've got some acoustic shows planned, you'll see Onliest out and about as well, and some new collaborations I'm cooking up for your ears.
And there is Much More Music to come!
November rolls in with a bunch of music up her sleeve. I've had the chance to sit in on rehearsals and studio sessions for my beautiful and talented artist homies Climbing Poetree, AND I got to join Rachel Friedman's gorgeous set at Shapeshifter Lounge in Brooklyn (I tell ya, at one point we were singing four part harmony. FOUR!). And of course, I've been cradling my guitar in preparation for my solo set November 18th at Branded, also featuring the fantastic songstress and storyteller Chaney Sims. It's my first time playin solo in a while, and I'm excited. I've got some new tunes to share with you, and some that have been around for a while too. I'll be sitting in on Chaney's set, and of course you can expect some special guests. I hope you can come down and join us!
And then on November 20th, Onliest is back at C'mon Everybody in Brooklyn opening for Shelley Nicole's blaKbushe and also featuring a set by special guest Akie Bermiss! This a night of music that has something for everybody, don't miss it!
Last but not least, I cooked up this newly recorded version of one of the first songs I wrote (many moons ago) an acoustic love song - a li'l something for your ears: **Lost In Me**. Have a listen, let me know what you think on the facebook or the twitter. Much more music ahead... ;)
Happy Fall, Family! We rang it in joyfully at the Word Rock Sword concert, which was music-magic-medicine fierceness. I celebrated my birthday too, (another reason why I love the fall). As part of the celebration, I went to check out Toshi Reagon's Parable of the Sower at UPenn in Philadelphia - more music-medicine! I'm entirely inspired, playing a lot and writing too, so be sure to check out the Soundcloud for new sounds and ruminations.
This month, blaKbushe is back at C'mon Everybody on October 16th. I'll be playin in the 'bushe and for the opener as well: Mishti! It'll be a great night of performances with a li'l something for everyone. And when November rolls around, you can catch me playing with Rachel Friedman's beautiful combo at Shapeshifter Lab (November 2nd), and doing a set of my own in the Songbird Series at Branded Saloon on November 14th, opening for the fantastic Chaney Sims.
See you out there, in love and music!
September brings with it the fantastic Work Rock & Sword Festival: an exploration of women's lives brought to you by Toshi Reagon. There are readings, gatherings and events of all sorts, to bless your mind spirit and surround you with good folk. And it culminates with the concert at Le Poisson Rouge, on Saturday 19. All are welcome. :) Honored to be part of the band again this year holding down music for some of the most incredible artists you ever heard, including Arooj Aftab, Be Steadwell, Nona Hendryx, Imani Uzuri, and Joan as Policewoman (just to name a few). Can't wait to see your faces. Check out the festival events HERE.
If you're followin along on social media, I'm on the Instagram, the Twitter, AND the facebook. For your ears, a li'l love I posted up on facebook recently: my cover of Nil Lara's beautiful tune, Vida Mas Simple.
This is the 40th and final year of MichFest. I'm in awe of all the effort, talent, time and love it took to create this very special space for so many years. I know there's was a lot of disagreement and anger over the festival. I personally am saddened by this ending. Heading into the woods one last time to make some music with Toshi Reagon's BIGLovely. It will be epic as always, and bittersweet. Hopeful that folks will be inspired to create more spaces to step outside of the messiness of this world, breathe, reflect each other positively, and come back energized to do whatever work each person is able to do to make the world a better place.
And in the tradition of that beatiful intention, please check out, join, spread the word about the events in the upcoming Word Rock Sword Festival in September. As always, there is the all star concert at Le Poisson Rouge, this year it's Saturday, September 19th. And there are a whole host of other events, workshops, film screenings, and gatherings to check out. Can't wait to see all the beautiful faces out there!
So, I've been thinking a lot about songwriting, and in this process I started revisiting some older music I've written. Some of the songs come from dreams, some of them from ideas about how I'd like to live or love, a lot come from personal experiences. Recently Onliest had the chance to make some music on the Bowery Electric stage, and I felt called to do this song I rarely play. I'm currently calling this one:'Let This Love', a kind of prayer really, that love will bring out the best in us. Check out the video here: Let This Love.
Love, fam. Continually hopeful, in love and music.
It's summer in New York City! I'm still cloud-walking from the amazing series of shows the BRC Orchestra had in France. We made some new friends and family out there and hope to get back to see you soon! Also, Onliest kicked off some incredible music in June, we have to thank Mishti, and Shelley Nichole of blaKbushe for letting us heat up the stage for their spectacular bands.
On July 17th, Onliest will be opening for blaKbushe once again at one of our new favorite venues: C'mon Everybody in BedStuy Brooklyn. This'll be part of Shelley's residency there which will feature all kinds of surprises, try to catch em all! And if you've missed some of the Onliest magic, I'll be posting up some video on our new Facebook page, which we hope you'll LIKE: *Onliest on FB*!
Also coming up this month, Toshi Reagon brings her LOVE SESSIONS: Michael Jackson vs Prince Edition to MASS MoCA! This'll be an outdoor show with something for everyone. We're so excited to jam with you up there - Saturday July 11th.
And last but certainly not least... I've been writing a whole lot of music. It still knocks me out how this process goes, starting with my guitar and my feelings and a hint of an idea and ending up with a song. I'll be working on these new tunes and I'll share some sketches with you on soundcloud. It's a bit of a different sound, I'll be curious to know whatcha think. Honored to take this journey with you!
Hello from France! The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra has been rocking 'Sisters, Sirens and Songwiters' under the expert musical direction of Tamar-Kali. We kicked off the tour with two beautiful shows at Chateauvallon in Toulon. We're doing a few shows in the Festival Le Standard Ideal just outside of Paris, and we'll finish off the tour with a show in Lyon. These musicians are utterly fierce, doing honor to songs by the Labelles, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Abbey Lincoln, and MANY more. What's more, we're playing some original music of our own. My tunes 'Say Love' and 'It's Only Love' have totally come to life in the capable hands of this orchestra. It's an honor to rock with this crew and to play all of this incredible music!
So I'll be back to play some music in NYC on June 8th - with Onliest (twinsounds!) and blaKbushe, brought to you by Mishti, who'll also be rocking that night. Later in the week, I'll be playing an intimate set with Rachel Friedman at Shapeshifter Labs in Brooklyn. And on June 21st, I'll be with Onliest and blaKbushe live in Brower Park in Brooklyn as part of the Make Music New York Festival.
I'm posting pics from the tour on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Big love to the beautiful folks we have met on the road and as always, love and music to you, family!
We are so grateful to all the fam who came to join us at Putnam's for their monthly 'Full of Soul' event - special thanks to Devlin of Sweet Little Bloodhounds for curating! After Kita P opened up the night with some sweet acoustic sounds, Onliest laid down some twin-sized harmonies with very special guest Matsu on cajon. We had a blast, and we can't wait to do it again! Next up for Onliest is an acoustic set opening for blaKbushe at Bowery Electic on June 8th - hope you come and hang with us!
In the meantime, I am completely geeked to be preparing for the BRC's Sisters, Sirens and Songwriters tour under the musical direction of Tamar-Kali. We're heading to France at the end of the month with a thunderous set of tunes. I get to play some of my favorite basslines of ALL TIME: everything from Chaka Khan, to Aretha Fanklin to the Labelles. I get to sing some Joan Armatrading, AND I'll have some of the baddest musicians I know playing with me on my tunes 'Say Love', and 'It's Only Love.' (I think I'm detecting a theme here...)
So I'm sending a ton of love to y'all as I dig in to this music and get ready to travel. Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for pics and updates from the road! When I get back, I'll have the honor of playing alongside Rachel Friedman at Shapeshifter Labs (that's June 11th)! She is an incredibly storyteller. We'll be playin tunes from her recently released CD 'My Marching Band', and I'll share a few of my own songs as well.
Can't wait to see your gorgeous faces out there, in love and music!
We welcome all that is FIERCE in April. And Fabulous. We kicked off the month with #FIERCEFabulosity at WOWCafe, and helped meet their fundraising goal! Big strong love to the FIERCE family, please keep looking out for them and support their work. Also on the fundraising tip, I'm joining the lineup of performers at A Cultural Artist Night, raising funds for work in the Philippines. This is Saturday April 25th, come hang with us at Project Reach in Manhattan.
Next on deck, I'm super excited to say that Onliest will be serving up some twin-sized harmonies at Putnam's Pub in Brooklyn on May 3rd! It will be all sultry and fantastic, with special guest Kita P opening up the evening. Tiffany James and I are workin on some treats for your ears, so do come thru to Putnam's Pub say hello! Get your love-on.
Annnd coming up at the end of May, I'm joining the BRC Orchestra in France for Sisters, Sirens and Songwriters, curated by the divine Tamar-Kali. We're making tribute to great women peformers and songwriters like Chaka Khan, The Labelles, and Betty Davis - to name a few. I'll be playing bass, guitar, and singing a little of my own music alongside some incredible musicans and singers!
Also... I've been writing some new music. It's been a really inspiring season for me, and I'm looking forward to sharing these tunes with you soon! In love and music!
All revved up and super inspired from an amazing month of music! The Love Fest at Joes was off the hook, AND I got to check out a bunch of my favorite artists live, including Tamar-Kali at BRIC, DB2 at Piano's, and Akie Bermiss at BAMCafe. SO SO GOOD. I got super inspired and new tunes are percolatin. :)
This month kicks off with Toshi Reagon and the Dorrance Dance project at American Dance Institue in Rockville, Maryland on March 6-7. Watching these brilliant artists move makes my heart pound. If you're in the area, you have to see this show! And on March 9th, I'm playing bass in the Nona Hendryx Tribute at the Schomburg in Harlem as part the 'Celebrate the Great Women of Jazz' series curated by Toshi Reagon. And to round out the month, on the 29th BlaKbushe will be rockin the stage at Putnam's in Brooklyn. And of course, there's more to come... See you out there, in love and in music.
Hey family, thanks for sharing your beautiful energy at Joe's Pub in January. We had a blast with Rachel Friedman's Marching Band CD release and later on in the month with Toshi Reagon's gang of musical geniuses for her birthday concert series. What could be better? Also, special thanks to the folk who came through to songwriter night at Putnams, where I played some of my own tunes to a very loving crew of folk. Look out for more music at Putnam's, they're supporting the independent artists! Tiffany and I will join forces for a set there, for those who have been waiting for an Onliest show - coming soon.
And so it's February. This month we're back at Joe's for Toshi Reagon's annual Love Songs series. It's a perfect evenin out with your bestie, your boo or your soon to be boo - or date night with yourself! This year we take on Michael Jackson vs Prince, feature Tamar-Kali, Toshi Reagon, KiKi Hawkins, Morley, and that's just to name a few. Need I say more? See you on the 13th at Joe's!
It's a New Year, and I'm already feeling infused with renewed energy. I'm hopeful about what we can accomplish especially if we can get present to how interconnected we truly are. Everything that's alive is precious.
For this reason, I'm feeling especially excited to make some beautiful music right now. I'm honored to be playing bass in three shows at Joe's this month, kicking off on January 7th with Rachel Friedman's CD release. This is a gorgeous CD, with seriously lovely tunes and production, and Rachel's got an amazing crew of musicians to bring it to you live! Hope you can check out the show and get your copy of the 'Marching Band' CD.
Also, it wouldn't be January with Toshi Reagon's annual birthday shows at Joe's Pub. I'll be playing bass in the sets on January 21st and 22nd. Treat yourself right: come see this show!!! It is never the same, you will take something home with you, maybe something you didn't even know you needed - no kidding.
Love and and music to you, bright lights!
There are events in the world which lay heavy on my heart, and maybe you're feeling the same way? My thoughts are with the families of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Yvette Smith, and SO many other victims of violence at police hands - acts startlingly uncensured by our justice system. For now, I know that we need to keep gathering, sharing information, and reflecting each other's light. Please keep yourselves and each other safe. And as we move into this holiday season, not only can we choose where we spend our time/attention, we can also speak by being thoughtful about where our money goes. I can think of many great organizations who need our support more than say, the Waltons - food for thought.
So, on December 11th, we're getting together for this year's final Micia Mosely and Friends. This show will benefit FIERCE, an organization doing terrific work in the world. We've got music, movement and more which we think will inspire and connect you. We hope you can come gather with us, and that you have a safe and love filled end to the year. See you out there, in love and solidarity. There's more music to be made and much more work to do. Stay tuned, family.
November starts out with musical collaboration! Amazing choreogapher, activist and good friend Maria Bauman of MBDance curates Voices Up!: an evening of music in BAX's SUBMERGE series highlighting queer artists of color. I'm honored that Maria chose to bring Ashley Phillips, Monica McIntyre and I together again to make some music. I'm longtime fans of both these incredible songwriters. If you missed our show at Friends and Lovers in August, we invite you to come through and share the space with us - you might see a little something like THIS. AND plus, I'll have some new music to share with you!
Also gracing the stage is special guest Christine King (formerly of Urban Bush Women). Check us out on Saturday November 8th , 8pm at Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Also, be sure to look for the other events in the series: SUBMERGE@BAX.
Then on November 15th, I join Lynnette Williams' series This Is Not the Radio @ Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. There's a whole host of talented folk on this night. We hope you come through and hear some new music!
Fam, what an epic beginning to the fall! The fourth Word Rock Sword was huge and full of love. June Millington, Nona Hendryx, Toshi Reagon, Mahina Movement, Morely, all the musicans - so many incredible artists sharing their gifts with the most beautiful room full of people you ever saw. Thanks to everyone who came out, and for all the love folks showed checking out the 'Believer' EP.
Also, thanks to Kandia Crazy Horse and Greg Tate fo having me on the Honky Tonk Thursdays sessions at Cafe Latte in Harlem. It was a gorgeous night of acoustic music, and there is much more to come! Fall is my birthday season, and it always feels like a perfect time to slow down, reflect, and to write, so I'll be shaing some new music with you soon. Stay tuned here and also on Facebook/Twitter for the latest.
In love and music!
September 20, 2014
Tonight Word Rock Sword lands at Le Poisson Rouge! I'm so excited, fam! From Nona Hendryx to Climbing Poetree, to Joan as Policewoman, Toshi Reagon, Tamar-Kali - and so many more amazing artists - all sharing their incredible gifts tonight on one stage. I've had a blast learning the tunes with the 'Band of Angels': Alex Nolan, Allison Miller, Juliette Jones, Christelle Durandy, Rachel Eckroth, and our fearless leader, Toshi Reagon. AND plus, I'm super excited to step out and share a song of my own. :)
So we hope you join us and add your own special sauce to the room. What makes this show so special is that it really is about each one of us adding our presence and attention to the mix - it's magic. If you haven't already got your tickets, you can get them at the door, or here: WRS TICKETS.
In love and 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!
For Your Ears:
Title track from my EP Believer