*“I try to see music visually,” said lead guitarist Blake Aaron about the titled of his September 18, 2020 album release “Color and Passion” (Innervision Records). “Music makes a lot of color to me.”
Blake is currently promoting the latest single release from the upcoming project titled “Day Light.” The “Color and Passion” album features saxophonists David Rahn (“Vivid”); Najee (“Sunday Strut”); flutist Kim Scott (“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”); bass players Darryl Williams, Hussain Jiffry and Mel Brown; drummers Tony Moore and Eric Valentine; keyboardists/pianists Rob Mullins, Tateng Katindig and Mike Whittaker; horn players/arrangers David Mann and Lee Thornburg, and guitarist Adam Hawley (“Sunday Strut”). Two of the singles, “Fall for You” and “Groovers and Shakers” went #1 on Billboard. The project consists of previously released hit singles, new original material and cover songs.
“A lot of them I’ve worked with quit a bit,” said Aaron about the featured guests on the “Color and Passion” album. “I worked with Najee. He and I been working together for quit sometime. I have some great piano players, Mike Whittaker produced by first record in 2001.”
Blake is fluent in Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Pop, R&B, Latin, Caribbean, Jazz Fusion and Rock. As a musician he has played for such acts as The Gap Band, Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire), Bobby Womack, Carlos Santana, Sheila E. and Najee, and for such television shows as Fox’s “Mad TV” and ABC’s “The Next Best Thing.” He is also a radio show host for his “Blake Aaron Live with Tina Anderson” aired in San Pedro, California at KSBR.
“The guitar stuck…the guitar expressed what I felt. As a kid I wanted to play Rock-n-Roll, then Jazz. I ate it all up. I even went to the school of music,” Blake explained. “Someone said, ‘Check out R&B.’ I played R&B. I was even a studio musician. A never ending thing…I loved everything, but it made my career less focused. I went from sideman to being an artist. I had songs I wanted to get out there. I had a five song EP I programmed myself. Peter (Vidmar), was a gymnast who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, he said. ‘I want to give a gift to those who attend my motivational (classes) something special.’ He wanted my EP. I said let me do it better.”
Aaron told Vidmar that they might as well make it official and they launched the Innervision Records label to distribute the EP from. Twenty-five years later not only do they distribute Blake’s music worldwide but a long roster of Jazz, Neo-Soul and Smooth Jazz musicians and artists. So watch out for the full-length “Color and Passion” Blake Aaron project on September 18th via Innervision Records and catch Blake live at the “Mallorea Smooth Jazz Fest” in Spain October 4 – 10th. www.InnervisionRecords.com www.BlakeAaron.com www.BlakeAaaronRadioShow.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]
Women with A Message – UMe’s Urban Legends Focus on Women’s Empowerment / LISTEN
Los Angeles – With the goal of fostering a community and the creativity it curates, UMe’s Urban Legends division will launch “Women With A Message,” a campaign highlighting grassroots activism, leadership innovation and self-determination from women who have redefined industry, sports and political activism.
The campaign will feature conversations amongst influential women who are crafting and delivering the global message of equality in real time. Rooted in the importance of representation and inspiration, the campaign’s music and editorial (video and written) content is designed to motivate both women and men to help spread the message of equality and respect. Available, HERE.
“Through their stories and voices, we hope to inspire more women to empower themselves and to participate in the upcoming elections. Inspiring more women to exercise their right to vote is about emphasizing the fact that we are all empowered to make choices about this country, in part through engagement in the process of choosing our leaders,” comments Katina Bynum, EVP, East Coast Labels, Urban, UMe.
“From board rooms to conference rooms to classrooms and beyond, heroic women have used their voices both to question and encourage others, and Motown is proud to present pioneers who paved the way in all aspects of culture,” adds President of Motown Records & EVP Capitol Music Group, Ethiopia Habtemariam.
Urban Legends and its editorial partner uDiscoverMusic invited community leaders, athletes and music executives to discuss how music and songs inspire, motivate and play a role in their lives.
Artist features include: Erykah Badu; Kelis; Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; Queen Latifah; Salt-N-Pepa; Zhane; and Mariah Carey, whose new memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, is available now. Additional features showcase past trailblazers, including Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Marlena Shaw.
Music industry professionals tell their stories from adversity to accomplishments and how they are enacting change: Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Motown Records and EVP Capitol Music Group; LaTrice Burnette, EVP and GM, Island Records; Sujata Murthy, SVP Media & Artist Relations, UMe; Anastasia Wright, VP Rhythm Nation.
Urban Legends will introduce athletes’ stories as a way of amplifying the pursuit of equality. And of course, a look at the many ways that music motivates is sure to be part of the discussion with professional athletes, including Tamera “Ty” Young, star forward with WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces; Essence Carson, guard/forward for WNBA’s Connecticut Suns and Senior Manager of Label Relations and Production for Motown, Caroline and Priority; Taylor Townsend, tennis professional; and Lia Neal, champion swimmer and two-time Olympic medalist.
Activists will round out the “Women With A Message” campaign wtih Ciara Taylor, a founding member of the Dream Defenders community organizers, and a conversation with Alicia Garza, Creator of Black Futures Lab / Co-founder Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Katina Bynum, EVP, East Coast Labels, Urban, UMe.
About Urban Legends
Urban Legends is the UMG label imprint and cross-platform initiative devoted to the curation and celebration of over three decades of urban catalog music and culture. Urban Legends celebrates the revolutionary and defining recordings primarily of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. At its core, Urban Legends serves as both an editorial content site and e-commerce platform, delivering daily news, editorial features and franchises, and video updates on hip-hop and R&B artists within the UMG ecosystem. Urban Legends is a division of UMe.
Shonda Rhimes Says Clash Over Disneyland Ticket Lead to ABC Exit: ‘I Felt Like I Was Dying’
*Shonda Rhimes has detailed her decision to leave ABC and the straw that broke the camel’s back was a request for a Disneyland pass.
For 15 years, Rhymes created TV magic (and made history) at the network, with shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” She reportedly make more than $2 billion for Disney, but had a constant battle with ABC, which is owned by the studio. The writer producer tells The Hollywood Reporter that her creativity was limited at the network
“I felt like I was dying,” she said of her work producing nearly 70 hours of annual television. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in 2017, over a pass to Disneyland.
Here’s more from Us Weekly:
As part of her contract, the showrunner had an all-inclusive pass and had negotiated a second one for her nanny. However, her pass was not interchangeable so when her sister needed one to take Rhimes’ daughter to the park, she had to go back and forth with the network and was told, “We never do this” multiple times.
The park eventually issued her an extra pass — which would have cost $154 — but it didn’t work when her family arrived at the park. Rhimes then called a “high-ranking executive,” who allegedly asked her, “Don’t you have enough?”
With that, she called her lawyer and asked to exit ABC to go to Netflix. Rhimes later inked a deal with the streaming giant worth $150 million.
In August, she announced her new deal, saying, “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company.”
Her statement continued, “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for—the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation.”
Shonda’s first two projects with Netflix include a documentary about Hollywood icon Debbie Allen (releasing Nov. 27) and the period drama “Bridgerton” (releasing Dec. 25).
Quibi is No Mo’! – $2Billion Streaming Service Shutting Down After Six Months
*(Via UrbanHolywood411.com) – Quibi, the shortform mobile-focused streaming service, is going bust just six months after it launched.
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” Katzenberg and Whitman wrote in their open letter to employees, investors, and partners.
Quibi, short for quick bites, launched in April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streamer offered a free trial, with subscriptions costing $4.99 with ads or $7.99 without ads.
The platform was filled more than 100 original programs, including #FreeRayshawn [shown above]. The drama starring Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James and Jasmine Cephas just won two Emmy Awards.
This article continues at UrbanHollywood411.com.
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