Featuring Special Guests

Select album to play

previous next
Being in Love Official Album Cover
 
MICHAEL SPIRO
MUSICIAN_MICHAEL_SPIRO
CLIFTON BROCKINGTON
MUSICIANS_CLIFTON-BROCKINGTON-feature
DAVID PINTO
MUSICIANS_DAVID-PINTO-feature
DEREK ROLANDO
MUSICIANS_DEREK-ROLANDO
EUGENE FRIESEN
MUSICIANS_EUGENE-FRIESEN-feature
HOWARD LEVY
MUSICIANS_HOWARD-LEVY
JOHN SANTOS
MUSICIANS_JOHN-SANTOS
QUARTET SAN FRANCISCO
MUSICIANS_QSF
RICARDO PEIXOTO
MUSICIANS_RICARDO_PEIXOTO

The music for this album consists of a wide range of rich sounds and we recorded personal takes on standards old and new – like Better Than Anything, Lovely Day, and even a rocking rendition of Taking It To The Streets – with a distinctly fresh, new feel.

Every tune was an invitation to collaborate with another superb artist and everyone took the invitation seriously.

Click on the pictures of these amazing featured artists for a bit more information about them, and then scroll down for more information about the songs and the players. Enjoy!

Dreamer (4:26) ~ Antonio Carlos Jobim / String Arr: Weber Iago

Corcovado Music Corp
This song to me embodies the essence of love. When you are immersed in those heightened sensations that are elusive and all encompassing…perfectly dreamy. I had never heard this Jobim song before and was driving home on the GW parkway in Washington, DC and I was overcome when this song began playing. Weber Iago and his amazing Brazilian sensibilities brought fresh vibrancy to the string arrangement of this beautiful gem.
Amikaeyla—lead voice
Howard Levy—piano & harmonica
Eugene Friesen—cello
David Pinto—bass
Ricardo Peixoto—Brazilian guitar
Deszon Claiborne—drums
Glen Velez, Michael Spiro—percussion
Quartet San Francisco —Jeremy Cohen—Violin; Alisa Rose—Violin; Keith Lawrence—Viola; Joseph Hebert—Cello

Lovely Day (5:04) ~ Bill Withers

Golden Withers Music, Universal Music
This was one of my quintessential favorites growing up. Recording this in an “Acoustic BBQ Style” with world-class musicians such as these has truly been a blessing.
Amikaeyla—lead voice
Sheila E—congas & hand percussion
Esperanza Spalding—bass
Ray Obiedo, Theresa Perez—guitar
Peter Michael Escovedo—drums
Carl Wheeler—Fender Rhodes suitcase piano
John Santos, Michael Spiro—percussion
Sharon Henderson, Kimiko Joy, Helen Grey—background vocals

Better Than Anything (6:31) ~ D. Wheat & W. Loughborough / Skating ~ V. Guaraldi / Lyrics & Arr: Amikaeyla

Figs D. Music, Inc
This enduring classic intrigues me because there are many different versions “lyrically.” So my creativity overflowed as I freely wrote about what I have loved since childhood while collaborating with the virtuosos of Trio Globo! Roger Glenn added such a lovely cherry on top with alto flute in three-part harmony!
Amikaeyla—lead voice, percussion
Howard Levy—piano & harmonica
Eugene Friesen—cello
John Wiitala—bass
Roger Glenn—alto flute
Deszon Claiborne—drums
Glen Velez—percussion

Midnight Sun (5:39) ~ Lionel Hampton, Sonny Burke, & Johnny Mercer / String Arr: David K. Mathews

Regent Music Corp., Crystal Music Publishers, Inc
This song is the reason the album came into being. It is an everlasting piece harkening back to one of my great idols, Ella Fitzgerald, and is all about that singular moment when eyes and hearts meet. Evocative of a soul love, it sets the atmosphere of the whole album, and David K. Mathews string arrangement takes it over the top.
Amikaeyla—lead voice, percussion
Howard Levy—piano & harmonica
Eugene Friesen—cello
John Wiitala—bass
Deszon Claiborne—drums
Glen Velez—percussion
Quartet San Francisco —Jeremy Cohen—Violin; Alisa Rose—Violin; Keith Lawrence—Viola; Joseph Hebert—Cello

Abre Mi Corazón (6:22) ~ Amikaeyla

Proudfoot Publishing, Inc
I wrote this song in honor of Susana Baca, one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I feel a kinship with her because of her deep love for community and the world’s cultures. I was so fortunate to have the great David Pinto—her musical collaborator—work with me on it.
Amikaeyla—lead voice, percussion
Howard Levy—piano & harmonica
Eugene Friesen—cello
David Pinto—bass
Jason McGuire—flamenco guitar
Deszon Claiborne—drums
John Santos, Glen Velez, Anderson Allen—percussion

Parana E / Taking It To The Streets (7:28) Brazilian Traditional / Michael McDonald / Arr: Amikaeyla

Wixen Music Publishing, INC / Brazilian Traditional
These songs speak about activism and moving people to fight for change which is vital these days. The traditional Capoeira song Parana E refers to the War of Paraguay in 1865 when the Whites who didn’t want to be on the front line of battle created a law stating that any slave who fought and returned alive would win their liberty. Thanks to the Angolan fighting style called Capoeira, many slaves did just that and sang this song as they marched home and crossed the river Parana to freedom. For me, these songs together express the power of knowing your own potential and acting on it with love for voiceless people everywhere.
Amikaeyla—lead voice, percussion
Dennis Braughton—berimbau
Carl Wheeler—Hammond B3 & Fender Rhodes suitcase piano
Howard Levy—piano & harmonica
Eugene Friesen—cello
David Belove—bass
Ray Obiedo—guitar
Brian Collier—drums
Derek Rolando—congas
Michael Spiro—Brazilian percussion, bata
Glen Velez—percussion
Sharon Henderson, Kimiko Joy, Helen Grey—background vocals

Hambone (5:51) ~ Southern American Traditional / Additional Lyrics & Arr: Amikaeyla

Proudfoot Publishing, Inc
My father’s side of the family is from Alabama and making June bug kites and doing “Hambone” was part of my childhood. Many people don’t know the story of Hambone. It’s a polyrhythmic musical game passed down from slaves who were forbidden to play their drums and therefore had to play with “found” instruments – spoons, a washboard, a bottle, your thighs and hands. You write your own lyrics or you recite the traditional ones you know – most of which are all about courtship and trying to win the affections of Ms. Lucy or your sweetheart. Jazz IS Roots music, and when you feel the music of both, you realize that they are really part of the same tradition.
Amikaeyla & Linda Tillery—lead voice, percussion & handclaps; Howard Levy—piano & harmonica; Eugene Friesen—cello; Glen Velez—percussion

I Know You By Heart (5:14) ~ Diane Scanlon & Eve Nelson

Blue Mountain Music, LTD, Songs of Peer
What a beautiful sweet love song, full of heart-felt sentiment for good memories of great times. This one is dedicated to my family, one of the deepest and longest loves anyone could ever know.
Amikaeyla—lead voice
Howard Levy—pennywhistle
Eugene Friesen—cello

Say Yes (6:51) ~ Amikaeyla & A. Allen / Lyrics: Amikaeyla

Proudfoot Publishing, Inc
This song is about surrendering to love. It is my offering to the Jazz pantheon of classic love ballads reminiscent of the late, great Sarah Vaughan.
Amikaeyla—lead voice, percussion
Howard Levy—piano
Eugene Friesen—cello
Clifton Brockington—flugelhorn
John Wiitala—bass
Anderson Allen—guitar
Deszon Claiborne—drums
Glen Velez, Michael Spiro—percussion

Being In Love (Lahkme) (2:30) ~ Leo Delibes / Lyrics: Amikaeyla

Leo Geller Delibes, Lyrics by Amikaeyla
It surprises me that at this point in our evolution Jazz and Classical music are considered “inaccessible art”. I love both and am motivated and inspired by each. Lakhme is a stunning piece, and to record a version with a cellist like Eugene Friesen, whom I lovingly renamed “Eugenius,” was incredible.
Amikaeyla—lead voice
Eugene Friesen—cello

BRIAN COLLIER
MUSICIANS_BRIAN-COLLIER-feature
DAVID BELOVE
MUSICIANS_DAVID-BELOVE
DAVID MATHEWS
MUSICIANS_DAVIDMATHEWS
DESZON X. CLAIBORNE
MUSICIANS_DESZON-X
GLEN VELEZ
MUSICIANS_GLEN-VELEZ-feature
JASON MCGUIRE
MUSICIANS_JASON-MCGUIRE-feature
LINDA TILLERY
MUSICIANS_LINDA-TILLERY
RAY OBIEDO
MUSICIANS_RAY-OBIEDO
WEBER IAGO
MUSICIANS_WEBERIAGO
 

 
 
previous next
X