Bill Frisell came in second as Best Guitarist (he won the category overall in the recent Downbeat critics poll - for the fourth consecutive year and 11th time in the past 15 years!) and ranked high in Best Jazz Artist of the Year and Composer categories, while his CD All We Are Saying... scored among the top dozen Jazz Albums of The Year. Allen Toussaint ranked in the top five in the Arranger category, while Bettye LaVette was listed among the top artists in the Blues Artist or Group category. Meshell Ndegeocello ranked high in the Beyond Artist or Group category, and her recent release Weather was ranked among the top choices in the Beyond Album category. Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band also ranked among the best in the Baritone Saxophone category.
Muddy Waters, a Rosebud artist until his passing, was ranked among the top readers choices for the DownBeat Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to all the artists. To Catch These Artists Perform Live On Stage, See Tour Dates >>
AUGUST 2012: Meshell Ndegeocello's Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication To Nina Simone - out October 9th
Meshell Ndegeocello will release Pour une âme souveraine: a dedication to Nina Simone on October 9th. The new release features special guest appearances by Sinead O'Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT, and is dedicated to the life and work of the iconic singer Nina Simone: Pour une âme Souveraine ("For a sovereign soul"). Recorded in only 10 days, Meshell, accompanied by musicians Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Deantoni Parks (drums), has reworked some of the most iconic songs associated with Simone's legendary career. As Chris Bruce (arranger and co-producer with Meshell) reflected on the recording process, "We really wanted to do something we felt was true to Nina Simone. By that, realizing it meant we had to do what felt true to us…The aim was not to re-create the existing versions, because we felt strongly that the only way to honor Nina would be for Meshell to find her own voice in the material."
To celebrate the release, NPR premiered "Be My Husband" from the new album featuring vocals by New York singer-song-writer Valerie June. NPR says of the reinvention of this iconic track and the forthcoming album, "Ndegeocello makes a natural accomplice to [Nina Simone's] legacy, and she tackles these songs with all due respect and understanding". Meshell's admiration for Simone and Simone's fight for equal rights in the United States is unwavering, "She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible," explains Meshell. "She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard."
Pour une âme souveraine is a collection of classics made well known by Simone and have given an inspiring and creative reinvention by Meshell and her very special guests, so honoring Nina Simone's spirit.
JULY 2012: Mavis Staples And Meshell Ndegeocello In Tribute To The Life And Music Of Curtis Mayfield
Mavis Staples and Meshell Ndegeocello were both featured at New York's Lincoln Center, celebrating the life and music of Curtis Mayfield. The night, billed as "Here But I'm Gone: A 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield", took place on July 20 and featured the surviving members of The Impressions (the group originally led by Mayfield in the Sixties) and an array of special guests including Mavis and Meshell as well as; Dr. Lonnie Smith, William Bell, Sinéad O'Connor, The Roots, Ryan Montbleau, Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Inyang Bassey, Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, with band leader Binky Griptite of the Dap-Kings.
The evening's event also celebrated the launch of the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, set up in his name to help disadvantaged youth progress in the arts.
The concert showcased the immense influence and impact Mayfield's vast musical catalogue has had across the decades, from Meshell's rendition of "Pusherman" - a song that was featured on Mayfield's 1972 Hit soundtrack album Superfly - through to Mavis' performance of "This is My Country". A song symbolic, in tying together Mavis and Mayfield's long history of activism since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement to the musical collaboration between Mayfield and The Staple Singers.
Mavis also joined The Impressions on stage, ripping through The Staples Singers/Mayfield collaboration on their number-one hit song "Let's Do It Again", originally released as the soundtrack to the movie of the same name that starred Sidney Poitier and Bill Crosby.
Rounding off the evening's celebration was an encore that featured the all-star line-up, raising the roof with feel-good funk classic "Move On Up", with Rolling Stone praising it as, "a collective soul-stirring rendition....ending the show with the kind of uplifting note that any true payment of respect to Curtis Mayfield's positive force certainly demanded."
Trombone Shorty joined Frisell in the Jazz Album of the Year category for his CD For True. In fact, Trombone Shorty scored high in seven categories including Best Trombone Player (ranking third), Rising Star Jazz Artist (also 3rd), Rising Star Jazz Group, Rising Star Trombone, Beyond Artist or Group, and Beyond Album. Also, appearing in the latter two categories is fellow Rosebud artist Meshell Ndegeocello.
Frisell's long-time collaborator, the late Paul Motian, was also inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. Frisell worked with the legendary jazz drummer for three decades. Some of Bill Frisell's other frequent and current collaborators were named in the following categories - Ron Carter (Bass category), Jenny Scheinman (Best Violinist and Rising Star - Violin categories as well as Jazz Album of The Year), and Joey Baron - Best Drummer category. Bill's Manager and Producer as well as collaborator on 2012's Floratone II CD, Lee Townsend, was also named among the best in both Producer and Rising Star-Producer categories.
MAY 2012: Meshell Ndegeocello Speaks On PBS's News Hour About The Importance Of The Arts In Education
Ten time Grammy nominee, Meshell Ndegeocello, spoke with PBS News Hour on the crucial role arts education in schools plays in a child's development. A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Meshell notes that "for someone like me who didn't excel in a regular high school environment in terms of academics, [music class] was definitely something that made me more secure as a person, finding something I could be good at and a school where I could fit in". To hear more, please view Meshell's interview.
Meshell is currently on a world tour in support of her latest CD, Weather (November 2011), produced by Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco) and features collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe himself.
Catch Meshell performing live on stage in Europe in the next few weeks before returning for dates across the US. Please see tour dates >>
JANUARY 2012: Rosebud Artists Recognized In Village Voice 2011 Pazz & Jop Poll
Albums and singles released by Rosebud artists last year are recognized in the 2011 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Music Critics Poll, which calculated 700 critics' votes for their Top 10 albums and singles of the year.
Also recognized on the list:
• Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings album which features Bill Frisell as well as a single from the album, "Meds"
• Ben Waters, Boogie 4 Stu: A Tribute to Ian Stewart, which features Rosebud Artist Charlie Watts
• Tom Waits' Bad As Me album, which features Charlie Musselwhite, as well as all five singles from the album that Charlie guests on ("Satisfied," "Bad As Me," "Hell Broke Luce," "Chicago" and "Raised Right Man")
• Steve Cropper's Dedicated: A Salute to the 5 Royales, which features Bettye LaVette
Weather was produced by Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco) and features collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe himself. Meshell's diverse and acclaimed musical career has included prior collaborations with Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Billy Preston, Chaka Khan and many more.
Catch Meshell performing live on stage throughout the US as well as on tour dates in France and Switzerland in late-May and early-June. Please see Tour Dates >>
OCTOBER 2011: Bettye LaVette and Meshell Ndegeocello Featured on John Lennon Tribute Album to Benefit Red Cross' Tsunami Relief Efforts - Out November 15
Rosebud artists Bettye LaVette and Meshell Ndegeocello are among a select group featured on The 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute, Live From the Beacon Theatre NYC, due out Nov. 15. Proceeds from the 15-track digital album will benefit the Japanese Red Cross' earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The performances of Beatles and Lennon solo songs were recorded during the 30th annual Lennon tribute show, which took place Nov. 12, 2010. Ndegeocello, a 10 time Grammy nominee whose soon to be released Weather, produced by Grammy-winner Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco), sang "God," and LaVette delivered "The Word," which she covered on her Grammy Award-nominated 2010 release Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. Patti Smith, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Aimee Mann, Shelby Lynne, Joan Osborne, Alejandro Escovedo, Keb' Mo', Martin Sexton and the Playing For Change Band also appear on the album which will be available via all major online retailers.
Concert creator and producer Joe Raiola added that, "John's music and message continue to be a great inspiration to people everywhere....We're so grateful to Yoko and to all of the artists for allowing us to share the great performances from that special night with John Lennon fans around the world."
Meshell Ndegeocello is set to release her new CD, Weather, on November 8th. Her ninth album in 20 years, Weather expands upon Meshell's eclectic and iconic style with an album of intimate songwriting. Produced by Grammy-winner Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco), Weather finds Meshell experimenting with sparse, orchestral melodies paired with thoughtful lyrics, all performed by a band of fearsome musicians. The album also features all-star collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe Henry. Download, listen and share Weather's latest track "Dirty World" here.
Meshell Ndegeocello is a 10 time Grammy nominee who spent the last twenty years forging a unique career that's as distinct as it is critically celebrated. One of the first artists signed to Madonna's Maverick Records, and the first woman ever featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine (Nov. 2007), Meshell has performed and recorded with the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Santana, John Mellencamp, Joan Osbourne, Alanis Morrisette, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Indigo Girls, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan among others.
JUNE 2011: Meshell Ndegeocello's NY Times Raves, Contribution To It Gets Better Book, Featured Guest Appearances On Three New Music Projects PLUS New Album in the Works
Meshell Ndegeocello recently received raves from The New York Times for her show featuring unique renditions of Prince songs. Meshell also recently contributed a story toIt Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, in support of LGBT youth. In addition, she is a featured guest on three new music projects by Madeleine Peyroux, Miguel Migs and Zenith Myth. On top of all this, Meshell is also finishing her own new album project tentatively scheduled for release this Fall.
Meshell also recently contributed the story "Gwendolyn Gone" to the book, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. It includes essays and new material from celebrities, religious leaders, politicians, parents, educators, youth just out of high school, and many more. The anthology was compiled by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage (Savage Love) and his partner Terry Miller as part of their larger It Gets Better Project. It Gets Better "was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach - if they can just get through their teen years... [and] wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better."
In more music related news, Meshell is a featured guest on three new projects. She contributed to multi-platinum vocalist, Madeleine Peyroux's recently released new album, Standing On The Rooftop, along with fellow Rosebud artist Allen Toussaint, among others. Meshell also collaborated with DJ / producer / musician Miguel Migs on two tracks to be released this Summer and she is a featured guest on the debut album by Zenith Myth (out September 6). Zenith Myth is described as a break-up record of sorts, what Meshell calls "the best kind of record." Other guest include Paul D'Amour (Tool), Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins), Mike Bloom (Julian Casablancas) and Sam Goldberg (Broken Social Scene). Last but certainly not least, Meshell is currently finishing her own new album project, tentatively scheduled for release this Fall. She is working with renowned producer Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint,Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, Bettye LaVette, Loudon Wainwright III, Solomon Burke) for release on her new label, the French independent Naïve Records.
JUNE 2011: Allen Toussaint and Meshell Ndegeocello Featured on Madeleine Peyroux's Newly Released Album, Standing On The Rooftop
Allen Toussaint and Meshell Ndegeocello are both featured on multi-platinum Vocalist, Madeleine Peyroux's recently released new album, Standing On The Rooftop. In addition to Allen and Meshell, the album also features contributions from guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Charley Drayton (Neil Young, Johnny Cash), guitarist Chris Bruce (Seal, John Legend), and was produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, k.d. lang and Cassandra Wilson).
This is Madeleine's fifth solo album and she wrote most of the songs herself, though she collaborated with former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman on one song and with violinist Jenny Scheinman (a regular collaborator with Rosebud artist Bill Frisell) on "The Things I've Seen Today." The New York Times has noted that Madeleine Peyroux "has branched out to refine an enigmatic, low-key personal style that is all her own."
JUNE 2010: Meshell Ndegeocello Pays Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron and Named to Faculty of Bootsy Collins' Funk University
"A Night of Gil Scott-Heron Covers" at Joe's Pub NY
Meshell Ndegeocello's April show at Joe's Pub in New York City featured "A Night of Gil Scott-Heron Covers", where she played songs by the legendary poet-musician. Meshell plays some of her own material as well as Gil's, including her own revised lyrics to Gil's classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."
In addition to her other dates over the Summer, Meshell will again present this special show in a limited run on the West Coast at the end of June, please see Tour Dates >>
In other news, Meshell was named to the faculty of Bootsy Collins' Funk University. The online school is the first of its kind, bringing professional musicians in close contact with students. It will feature history lectures, lessons in technique, rhythm, style and gear, as well as teachers keeping office hours once a week in which they will answer student questions. At the end of the semester Professor Bootsy will review student tracks. Other guest professors include Les Claypool, Divinity Roxx and Victor Wooten. Classes are scheduled to begin July 1, 2010.
JANUARY 2010: Rosebud Artists Recognized In Village Voice 2009 Pazz & Jop Poll
Six albums and three singles released by Rosebud artists last year are recognized in the Village Voice 2009 Pazz & Jop Poll, which calculated 697 music critics' votes for the most important music of the year.
Listed among the year's top singles are: Booker T., "Hey Ya" & "Space City" Meshell Ndegeocello, "Mass Transit"
In addition, two Rosebud artists were featured band members on two albums and one single of recognition: Jon Cleary (John Scofield's Piety Street) and Jim Lauderdale (Elvis Costello's Secret, Profane & Sugarcane and the song "Sulphur to Sugarcane"). Also of note are recognition for releases by Rosebud artist Charlie Watts' other band (The Rolling Stones, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out reissue) and Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, Live at Madison Square Garden, which features three songs penned by JJ Cale.
Congratulations to all! Catch these artists live, please see Tour Dates >>
AUGUST 2009: Meshell Ndegeocello To Release Devil's Halo October 6, 2009
Meshell Ndegeocello will release her 8th album, Devil's Halo, on October 6, 2009 on Mercer Street/Downtown Music (David Gray, Ozomatli, Femi Kuti). A renowned bassist, singer, songwriter and 10-time Grammy nominee, Meshell has spent nearly two decades as an uncompromising innovator in the worlds of rock, jazz, funk, soul and beyond. She produced the new CD with guitarist Chris Bruce with a focus on musicianship and live-band energy. Genre-defiant as ever, Devil's Halo is influenced by a wide breadth of sounds - from The Human League to Wu Tang Clan to Yes - and displays Meshell's vocals and diversity throughout. Meshell will be on tour in October.