Ganessa James Music
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!
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!
For Your Ears:
Title track from my EP Believer