The Night I Met Genius Extraordinare Multiple Grammy Award Winner Marcus Miller

20170727_184148Last month Chicago Music Exchange hosted a wonderful night of great music and a meet and greet with Grammy award winning bass guitarist extraordinare Marcus Miller.  He has had his own solo career, collaborations with many musicians and artist throughout his career, it is relationship and friendship with the late Luther Vandross where I truly fell in love with his sound and his magic.

He is a producer and has scored a host of movies and television shows which many of have heard the music and listened to its melody but did not realize it was him and his bass guitar or his way of musically make a scene come alive frame by frame. He has given us jazz, funky funk in rhythm and blues, and genres in between.

In 1987, I went to the Budweiser Superfest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  It was a great line up because besides Luther there was also Patti LaBelle, The Whispers, and a host of others.  The show started at 3:00p and my friends and I made sure we were planted in our seats no later that 2:00p

It was a great night but when the bass guitarist hit that first note in “Bad Boy Having A Party” my ear perked up, my body was ready, and my happy feet gave way to a wonderful evening. That point forward I have been a huge fan.  I have now seen him live at various jazz festivals and other events but never thought I could scratch off my bucket list, one day meet Marcus Miller.20170727_183721

The Chicago Music Exchange sent invite via social media and I immediately registered to attend.  As the days leading up to the night of the event, I had to keep my mind occupied with other things so I would not go into overload fan girl in my head.  I kept saying to myself “he puts his pants on one leg at a time” to keep from over exciting myself with anticipation of meeting one of the greatest bass guitarist extraordinare.

The night of the event those in attendance were also fans but they were musicians who at one point have worked with him or local musicians wanting pearls of wisdom from the genius extraordinare.  When he arrived I to catch myself from running up to him saying how much I have adored his music over the years but thank goodness I thought better of it because I did not want to scare him back to his bus.

The beauty sometimes of my height often times I can maneuver my way to the front and on this night I was like a ninja moving stealthily to the front  where I see facial expressions and finger movement glide across those strings.20170727_222222892

Every song he played and every note that came from his guitar sent me back to why I originally fell in love his his music and his musicianship.  He gave the group his time and his love of the craft. The question and answer session was the best.  I am not a musician but have worked in the music industry and have family members still heavily entrenched in the industry as well but the questions asked and his answers made me appreciate the knowledge I learned.

By the end of the night I was in love with spirit of giving the musicians tips and sharing of wisdom and knowledge of the business of music, and the ability to give of himself to make us all feel like we were his friends sitting in his living room having a jam session.

Afterwards, I had the chance to speak with him and take some pictures.  By the time we were taking the pictures, he had made us all feel so welcomed into his world my nervousness and over anticipated excitement had tampered down and I became a fangirl without the extra overzealous fandamonium that was in my head and spirit.

It is now crossed off my bucket list to meet genius extraordinare Marcus Miller. I am a happy woman who now listens to Luther and many others including Marcus’s solo project with a deeper love and respect but also with a more enriched love for the sound of his music and musicianship with his fellow community of those in the industry.  He gave all of us wonderful pearls of wisdom, great music, and friendship.

This was one night I was to cool for school and I loved it! It was a great way end out the Summer and a delightful treat.

#ChicagoMusicExchange #GeniusExtraordinareMarcusMiller #JazzRhythmBluesFunkAllGenres
#LutherMarcusPeanutButterNJelly #AMusiciansMusician


Summer 2017 is starting off just right~ The Original Queens House Music History will be back at the Daley Plaza Chicago and you need to be there 6.26.17

The Queens House Music History jackin’ bodies in Chicago and globally

The Original Queens of House Music History will be back at the Daley Plaza Chicago and you need to be there 6.26.17.  Once again, Toni Shelton Productions presents The Queens House Music History and lunch time will be a great time to celebrate our Queens of House Music.  It is going to be a great time for all. The dynamic DJ Lori Branch, Celeste Alexander, and First Lady will have the Daley Plaza celebrating the female dj who have been a part of the House music world for many years including giving birth to many djs who are still spinning the music making people “jack their body”.

There has always been the male domination of djs in the house music world and it was time to celebrate the ladies who have been a part of the house music world since the beginning of its inception. Since Chicago is the birthplace of house music it only seemed fitting that if it is the woman gives birth then we need to celebrate the women djs who have shed the same blood, sweat, and tears to make house music a household sound and known across the world.  Many of the djs have gone on and worked in other industries but their first love will always be music, house music. It has been exciting to see the growth and be a part of the movement to keep house music and its legacy alive for many generations especially for those little girls who may one day want to be a dj.

Last year was the inaugural event for the celebration of the contributions of female djs to the house music genre. It was a great time for all and many were there from all walks of life and from other countries dancing and had a great time. It was fun for all and this year 2017 will be no difference!! It was such a joy to see so many old friends, new friends, and those who never have heard of house music but stopped by because they heard the ladies on the turntables! There were workers from various office buildings surrounding the plaza and a few people who were visiting from other countries who took the time out on their lunch break to join us!



Continue reading “Summer 2017 is starting off just right~ The Original Queens House Music History will be back at the Daley Plaza Chicago and you need to be there 6.26.17” is where you want to listen to great jazz music & available 24/7.

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It’s that time of the year for The Black Women’s Expo Chicago! Don’t Miss Out! April 7th-9th, 2017

Get ready for The Black Women’s Expo Chicago 2017!

It’s that time of the year where Black Women are descending upon Chicago to celebrate another year of the Black Women’s Expo (BWe)!! The Black Women’s Expo (BWe), originating in Chicago, offers unparalleled opportunities for brands seeking to engage with the African American consumer in multiple markets.  BWe is where Black Women can be found, in record numbers, annually for the BWe Experience, where she finds the latest trends, amazing new products and services, where she gets informed, empowered and enlightened!

Black women will not only have the BWe Experience in Chicago, but in Washington, DC and Atlanta in 2017 with their 3-City Tour!   Now in their 23rd year, The Black Women’s Expo presents an array of dynamic speakers and celebrities in seminar sessions, top musical artists on our main stage…and a lively marketplace for corporations and small business exhibitors to engage with the powerful and growing African American consumer!

With their 3-City Tour, The Black Women’s Expo engages millions of consumers through their unprecedented media campaigns, (radio, television, print, digital, social media) with media partnerships in each market. This will be a 3day event with the Phenomenal Woman Awards Dinner kicking off the festivities on April 6th at the Hyatt Regency McCormick! For more details be sure to check out their website

Maxine Waters#SHEMATTERS #CelebrateStrength

You Haven’t Heard Jazz Until You’ve Been to the Richmond Jazz Festival

Last summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the beautiful city of Richmond, VA to attend the Richmond Jazz Festival in Maymont (August 8 – 9, 2015) sponsored by Altria with electric service provided by Dominion electrical.
It was by far the best time at an outdoor jazz festival I have attended in several years. The beautiful area of Maymont in Richmond is a beautiful part of town, the venue is host to a beautiful scene of rolling hills and spacious areas to comfortably see all the acts at the four different stages hosting various artists. There several food trucks with a variety of delicious food items to purchase as well as vendors selling products and merchandise. Dominion electric’s charging stations for phones and plenty of port-a-potties for attendees made this venue one of my favorites for live outdoor music!
The food trucks were a mix of local business and some out of town vendors including one from my city of Chicago. I was excited to see them being a part of this great festival. My favorite was the seafood truck from Richmond. I think I ate there at least three or four times during the two day festival — yummyliciousness all the way around. I also visited several marketplace vendors where I purchased hats, natural haircare products from Adiva Naturals, and a few cigars from Havana Connections to take back to Chicago.
The venue was set up so everyone in attendance could enjoy many artists of their liking and walk around the beautiful landscape while venturing to the various stages. We got up early on Saturday because we did not have tickets and so waited early in line before the venue opened. While in line we met several wonderful people from the Richmond area and many who were jazz aficionados who have attended the D.C. Jazz Festival along with other festivals around the United States. The Richmond Jazz Fest had has many friendly people for working it as they did attending it.

Once the venue opened there was a mad dash for the perfect sitting spot with our chairs and blanket to enjoy the festivities under a beautiful majestic tree which gave us shade for the afternoon. There were three stage areas — all with great artists — and so listeners had to manage their time accordingly because there was always the possibility your favorite act was playing at the same time as another favorite act.
The first day was overcast in the morning, but by mid-day the sun began to shine and so did the musical acts. Then the decision of who we wanted to see most at the different stage venues was upon us (we decided to see as many as possible without to much overlap).
We had the pleasure of listening to Jazz Funk Soul with Jeff Lorber, Everett Harp, and Chuck Loeb, Rebirth Brass Band, Kamasi Washington, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Kirk Whalum with Kevin Whalum and Will Downing. I was especially fond of listening to local favorite JTucker and the Krew! We tried to stay for New Edition but it took longer than expected for them to come to the stage due to the sound system needing some adjustments. That was the only negative aspect of the venue, that the sound system set up sometimes took longer then expected in between the acts.
On Sunday, we got up and did the same thing all over again. We lined up early before the venue opened, met new friends in line and interacted with new staff members to purchase our tickets. We found our same location area that we sat in on Saturday and made new friends in surrounding area. There was such warmth and friendship amongst the attendees it felt like old friends gathering for fun, sun, and a great day of music. We were able to see Sweet Honey in the Rock, Anthony Hamilton, Natalie Cole (we stayed briefly but so glad we did because it would be the last time we would see her perform before her death), and for the grand finale we watched Lauryn Hill as the last act of the festival and it was fabulous!
If you or someone you know is looking for a new and exciting jazz festival to attend this year, The Richmond Jazz Festival Maymont is a must! Be sure to visit the website for more information and vendor application to be a part of this growing festival with a gorgeous backdrop of trees and rolling hills with the stage venues set amongst the beauty of the Richmond, Virginia.

Article originally published: February 3rd, 2016 Slant News: