T.K. & LaRonda Davis. DO NOT MESS with these sistas as they will out organize and outclass anyone before you can wake up and say BOO!
When T.K. calls me for a gig, I’m never sorry to hear her voice on the other side of the phone because she does it right. I pretty much say “when, where, & what time”. This one was sponsored by the BRC (www.blackrockcoalition.org – founded by Vernon Reid of Living Color currently being run by Pres. LaRonda “LaLa” Davis)
T.K. – “Frae, we’re doing a Nina Simone tribute and I need you on drums. Shows in France and Nyc. All female performers and we will be picking up a percussionist there in France”
Me – “cool. When where & what time?”
I love Nina Simone, I really do. She was straight up no joke. I love how she sang, played piano, led her band, and DEMANDED connection with her audience. As a drummer, I appreciate the way she manipulated the time in order to express the depth of emotion of a lyric or a phrase, or a chord. I love how she was playful, sensual, vulnerable, cynical and sometimes tormented. I love that she was a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, and Jazz, and broadway…. and ALWAYS the BLUES!!! I am where I am, in part, because of her activism. I consider her to be a role model and inspiration. How could one not love a woman who as a child, refused to play her piano concert unless her parents were allowed to sit in the front row…seats they were saving for white people only???! (incidentally, her family was seated in the front row)
We did pick up a percussionist in France who was of Tunisian descent and coincidentally looked like me at first glance because of the curls. Her name is Narjess(www.myspace.com/narjesss) and she was wonderful. She told me she stayed with Salif Keita @ his compound and recorded for two weeks with a group of percussionists. I thought that sounded like such a wonderful experience! She was pretty bad ass.
I shot this video backstage as Narjess was warming up on a table. (that is me with the multicolored ring)
We returned to NYC and did another sold out show at the Schomberg. This time we had the WONDERFUL Hanna Fox on percussion. (I heart Hanna Fox) www.myspace.com/babetheblueoxmusic
Apparently there are more shows in France scheduled for the fall.
I’m so psyched.