I am so grateful for my life!!! The most extraordinary experience in my musical career to date was the opportunity to sing background vocals for The Monterey Jazz Festival’s Tribute to Quincy Jones: “The A&M Years” with Quincy Jones as Honored Guest. Christian McBride, Musical Director, John Clayton, Conductor. Hubert Laws, Dave Grusin, James Carter, Paul Jackson, Jr., Sean Jones, Lewis Nash, Valerie Simpson AND MORE. If you don’t recognize any of these names, look them up. Everybody on the stage is a master musician. And on top of all that, I got to sing with the Oh So Groovy (and one of my favorite people on the planet) Lynne Fiddmont (www.lynnefiddmont.com) and my dear sisterfriend Tammi Brown (www.tammibrown.com).

Why was it so extraordinary? On my “bucket list” of who I wanted to meet, there have only been two people: Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones. For me, these two African-American icons have represented the epitome of music, spirituality and social activism in their own authentic ways; Maya as a voice of authenticity, creativity, versatility and strength in overcoming, and Quincy as a voice of authenticity, musical brilliance, collaboration and connection. I had the honor of meeting Maya Angelou before she passed. Now I have had the opportunity to not just meet, but actually sing for and have a conversation with Quincy Jones. And I sincerely hope to have many more.

Also, the experience of singing with amazing musicians, watching us all in our authentic mastery was so inspiring. And the energy of joy was electric! The lessons that I learned from that night will remain with me forever. Right before the van picked us up for the show, I wrote on a piece of paper that I stuck in my purse the following words:

Breathe
Be present
Know my part
Blend
Listen
STAY PRESENT!
YOU GOT THIS

And whatever it is that you are endeavoring to do, I say the same to you!