I have been speechless a number of times in my life, and Andre Manga’s CD Release Party and Concert has been added to the list. On June 16, 2012, I had the pleasure of opening for Cameroonian bassist Andre Manga’s band. He has just released his new CD entitled “Voyages”. Andre Manga, who is currently the bass player for Josh Groban, has played for David Zasloff, Marc Antoine, Andrae Crouch, Donny McClurkin, The Temptations, Patrice Rushen, Boys2Men, All4one, Chaka Khan, Peter White, Rick Brown, Howard Hewett, Jonathan Butler, Ashley Maher, Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Kevin Peter Jones, Ziggy Marley, John Barnes, Andrea Boccelli, Josh Groban, and the list goes on. Andre toured the world with Grammy-Nominated singing diva, Angelique Kidjo as her Musical Director and bass player. Andre was also responsible for assembling the musicians for Paul Simon’s album, RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS. He played with Manu Dibango, Youssou N’dour and Salif Keita and worked on Dibango’s star-studded album, WAKAFIKA, which featured King Sunny Ade, Peter Gabriel, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sinead O’Connor, and several other world music luminaries. The band that that he put together that night was out of this world!!!! I was truly inspired by how Andre’s compositions weren’t enslaved to time or rhythm, but remained open to every type of musical possibility there is. I knew that I had to represent, for there are sooo many artists that he could have had open for him, but I was chosen in the end. My band (Cedric on keys, Dani on bass, Kahlil on percussion, Sam on guitar, and Kurt on drumset), came and showed out; and I’ve very proud that Andre was pleased. Check out the pics below and a short clip of our last song; the premiere of a song that’s going to be on the upcoming album “A Negroe’s Spiritual”. It’s called “Come Enjoy This”. Bless and talk to you soon!
This past week has been such an experience. I truly understand that plans are only made to be broken…but I have come to appreciate what manifests out of what is broken. I now think to myself, “How can I say I’m making an album called “A Negroe’s Spiritual”, and think it’s going to be easy?” I know. What has been many, many years in the making, I now had to produce in three days of rehearsals; and two days of recording. What seemed like something that wouldn’t be easy, came out totally the way I wanted it to. So I learned, when plans are “broken”, God takes over. Having two of the baddest percussionists as producers, Mr. Alberto Lopez and Kahlil Cummings, the recording went so smoothly and the music that was created blows my mind even now. Alberto told me months ago when I approached him to come on the project, that I needed to just rehearse and just record everything live; keeping the dynamics that are apart of my shows. I knew that if we combined Kahlil’s digital production with Alberto’s live magic, then it would truly embody the spirit of what this album’s supposed to be. With all the songs already rehearsed, one by one, each musician came in, tuned their instruments, and got through 4 songs on the first day! Dani Lunn, an amazing dancer/artist, on bass. Sam Wright, a BOMB guitarist and strict vegetarian (LOL), on guitar. Cedric “C#” Lilley, a BAD melodic instrumentalist, on keys. Kurt Mashall, Mr. “IN_THE_POCKET”, on drumset. Lastly, Kahlil Cummings, Producer, Djembefola, Executive, (this dude wears many hats), on percussion. This group was solid, and I was happy to see that they actually liked the music because when it was time for solos, they would go OFF! Needing a male voice to do the lower parts for the background vocals, I was so happy to finally get back in contact with John Patrick; a man with the most beautiful voices I have heard in a LONG time. He ain’t nothing to play with. He patiently waited for hours to go through 4 songs in 30 minutes! Talk about efficiency…and congrats to him and his wife on their new baby girl! Because we did so much on the first day, there was only one song left to record with everybody on the 2nd day. Kahlil also had to do all the percussion for the live songs.
The funniest part of it all (that I’m still laughing about right now) is the fact that Kurt and Cedric had an “Instagram Photoshoot” for two days in the studio! This is how I was able to post these studio pics above. Cedric alone took 89 pictures of his recording with me…smh..If you would like to check out his personal photoshoot of the recording, click on the link below.
I will never forget this. So the only way to show my appreciation is to come hard as hard as I can. Stay Tuned. Bless
NEW PROMO ON AFRIJUKEBOX.COM!!
Today, I woke up to see that an online website that promotes music from every country in Africa, has chosen to exclusively promote my music and social media information on their site! I was very touched by this, but I also read how the owner really loved the music and knows that Africa will love it too. Please click on the link to check it out!
THE STORY BEHIND “BLACK MAN”
When I wrote “Black Man”, I had just finished watching yet another episode of “First 48″ on the A&E Channel. I am hooked on that show because I’m attracted to the sub-stories behind the reasons for senseless violence between people..majority of the times black men. There was one story where a young guy murdered another guy, but he never had a record; was a really straightforward guy. However, because he started to see particular people “picking” on him in his neighborhood, he decided to start carrying a gun. Well, his intuitions were right (in-a-way) because soon later, someone instigates a fight with him and begins shooting at him from across the street. He ducks and hides, and with one shot in retaliation, he kills the other guy. After the cops take 2 days to find out that he was the killer, and after much denial, the guy finally asks while crying, “Can I just call my son?” That hurt my heart so much because in front of my face I saw a situation where a person thought that they didn’t have any other road to travel; and because of it, another son won’t see his father anymore. I wrote “Black Man” as an encouragement to black men everywhere; and for them to see that they are not the “invisible man”. People are watching and copying everyday…lead the way. Be a leader of righteousness.
**NOTE: NEW WEBSITE IS KARAMACK.NET**
Always beginning my day with a prayer, I never want to lose the humility I have for being able to perform my revelations through music to an audience. On March 30th, 2012, I had the chance to do this once again in my life at the Museum of Music and Instruments in Venice, CA. Having my full band this time, in such a long time, I was filled with joy to present my music to the new crowd of people. A lot of people only see me as a dancer because that’s been my profession for such a long time here in Los Angeles; but I like that I have a fresh slate to start with. To watch people’s faces go from curiosity to pure joy from dancing around shows how truly blessed I am to be given such a gift. Never will I take it for granted. It causes me to think about the worth of time; and how important it is to not waste it. A lot of people misconstrue the statement “Live in the moment.” That doesn’t mean to live like you would like to forget the moment; neither does it mean to live for someone else’s moment. I interpret this to mean, live a life as worthy as the purpose you were given. If people would look at it that way, then they will understand the responsibility they have as a human to fulfill their purpose in their way. In these sad events that have occurred in the past month, I am truly discovering how important that statement really is. R.I.P. Trayvon Martin and all those who are wrongly killed while no one seems to be watching. Bless
Kara Mack is one of those ‘True Southern Gals’ and heralded as one of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets. Being a native of Columbia, South Carolina, she got her start performing for youth ministries, schools and conferences. Her contemporaries have nothing but praise for her, admiring her voice that emulates her birthplace, her melodic tone as sweet as a river and her soothing harmonies like water from the mountains.
Kara has brought that Southern heart and soul with her when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a young budding artist. Now in her new setting, with the sunny beaches of LA as her backdrop, Kara, not constrained by the limitations of being a typical solo singer, she branched out and demonstrated her abilities as a talented dancer. Kara has showcased her dance prowess performing in several awards shows including the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards, the 2005 BET Awards and the 2005 Billboard Music Awards. Her newfound but not at all surprising success as a professional dancer led her to teach West African Dance at Debbie Allen Dance Academy and she has lent her abilities and expertise to the First and Second Annual Dance and Music Festival. Her foray into the dance scene in LA has ultimately led to becoming an Artist Residence for the renown ‘Theatre of Hearts” program, a non-profit organization that focuses on reaching out to the at-risk youth in Los Angeles through the Arts. Not content with contributing to only one charitable organization, Kara hasn’t forgotten her roots. She has managed to co produce and direct the Fashion Extravaganza for Jewels Inc., a South Carolina charity organization that aims to inspire the youth of the state through fashion and the creative industries.
Obviously impressed by her natural ability, Canne’, an African dance troupe originating from LA approached Kara and recruited her. From there Kara became a mainstay figure in Swing Brazil (Afro Brazilian Dance and Drum Company) and Balandugu Kan; a traditional west African drum troupe where she performs the duties of artistic director/choreographer. Her choreography quickly became as renowned as her voice, featuring heavily in West Africa; including Ghana’s number one song “African Reggae Fever”. FIFA World Cup Official Song “Waka Waka” performed by international superstar Shakira and Pape N’Diaye Rose’s song that topped the charts in Senegal. Clearly Kara’s ability and impressive all round talent is not limited by country lines and geography.
Despite finding so much success as a gifted dancer, Kara has not placed her musical career on the backburner. Putting no limitations on her God given abilities, she also collaborates with JaJa Productions and is working on her up coming solo album, “A Negroes Spiritual EP” due out this spring. The album features Kara’s signature sound, singing from her soul that is deeply rooted in the resonance of the old school, she understands the power and gift of words and has seamlessly translated this understanding onto her EP. It becomes all too apparent that performing for her is natural as she communicates untold realism with the confidence and grace of a seasoned veteran of the stage. Her presence is haunting and her ability awe inspiring, through her music you will see and get to know a young lady determined to make her own niche in the dance and musical arena. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
“Beautiful voice and sound mix on “Hazel Eyes” Kara!!!” – John Revitte, Reverbnation
“Fela Kuti day was great!! Outstanding artists like you Kara!” – Tera Mayan
“Just got a chance to hear Black Man…really loving the vibe of that one!” - Turtles Patience Productions
“Kara Mack is a Columbia, South Carolina native with an old soul and a voice as sweet as a river. Understanding the power and gift of words, Kara uses the messages in her music to teach audiences of all generations. A multi-talented soul/world artist, Kara counts Lauryn Hill, Adele, Whitney Houston, and Be Be and Ce Ce Winans among her influences. Her ability to write and sing in other languages, including Italian and various languages of the African Diaspora, has made her a sought after songwriter for artists in the Los Angeles hip hop and R&B scene.” – TheUrbanMusicScene.com