Buffy Sainte-Marie on Okawimaw askiy

Buffy Sainte-Marie fits into the ethos of my zine perfectly. The point of this magazine is to talk about artists that I admire that champion a cause using art and music to engender this change.

Buffy is an artist that provokes memories of my childhood days. She is a visual artist, singer, songwriter, activist and pacifist. She is an advocate for the protection of this planet and its peoples and her music and words certainly shout this out.

I had the extreme honour and pleasure of photographing Buffy on her latest world tour to promote her thought provoking album – Power in the Blood. The venue was the Brooklyn Bowl at the 02 (worthy of a mention, for it relaxed and informal atmosphere).

The audience were fairly relaxed and laid back; certainly not  the  usual crowds that I am used to. They waited eagerly for Buffy’s stage entrance and when she walked on stage, she walked into an arena of raucous roaring of sheer admiration.

She is a small lady but what an amazing voice she has – she truly sings from the heart and means every word she sings. Her performance was tribal, strong and totally alive: The set was bursting with pure energy and certainly had the audience  (including myself) reeling and jumping around. Throughout the evening Buffy was quoting from one of her lectures about our own responsibilities to help each other and our planet, to speak up against greed – for it is greed that is truly destroying our world and its inhabitants – and it always has been.

She wrote a song called No No Keshagesh (Keshagesh is a Cree word that roughly translates as greedy guts) this song is about the rape of this planet and the destruction of peoples by the elite few, to pillage the Earth resources for monetary gain. It is an impressive song that has an hypnotic Native American tribal beat running through it. This song certainly impressed me.

The set was laced with some of Buffy’s love songs including, Until its Time for You to Go. This is one of her most well known songs and was recorded by many artists including Elvis Presley and Shirley Bassey. Buffy’s rendition of her own song certainly brought a tear to my eye and to a few other people’s. Her set was contemporary, but isn’t that Buffy anyway? She has always been different, not fitting into the mould, but why should she? Why should any of us, for that matter? Her music does not fit into any box. She is a free and expressive spirit that has many wise words to deliver, and if music and art is her way of delivering it, then that is all good. For music and art has the power to effect change.

Buffy echoes my own feelings on life, as an artist, Mother, woman and lover of life with all of it’s beautiful diversity. Her songs to me are not protest songs but rather songs of guidance. WE would all do well to listen to her words – to learn from the past and act now to protect our futures, our children and our planet.

Proud and Shy!

The Proud Camden is an intimate venue bathed in lambent blue light, that played host to the Shy Project on Wednesday evening. The ambience was perfect for an evening of exquisite vocals and meaningful lyrics. The artists put on an eclectic show of R&B and Dance music that certainly impressed the mid-week audience. Each artist sang roughly a 20 minute set to showcase what they were all about – they were certainly talented; each artist, in fact, were sui generis, every one unique in their approach to music. They all displayed a love and enthusiasm for what they do.

Supporting MikeShy were the artists Florieme – her lyrics were soulful and she reached the high notes impeccably, delivering a contemporary jazz folk fusion of music, along with her acoustic guitar man. Sheanne Breas’ heavenly vocals captivated the cozy audience as she soulfully expressed every note. Will Hatton was incredible to watch and to listen to – I have seen many drummers and some of them among the best in the world, this guy was not only a drummer but a showman with it. He was dancing with the drumsticks, throwing them in the air and not missing a single beat.

MikeShy was the last act. He is the co-founder of a music art form that is known as The Shy Project. MikeShy has  grown up with  condition called Chlosteatoma – that has caused permanent deafness in one ear. He has not let this deter him from his love of music in fact rather than give in to this condition he chose to embrace it, drawing inspiration from the wellspring of experiences and emotion, this is evident when you see him perform and hear the soulful lyrics. MikeShy is totally at one with his music. It was short set, but full of intense emotion each note was pitch perfect interlaced with catchy riffs whilst evocative melodies cobwebbed the mise-en-scene.

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MikeShys ‘Graveyard Shift’ will be released on the 31st of January on ITunes and and E.P called ‘Escape’  will be released in the next couple of weeks. When I asked MikeShy about the impending E.P he told me that it represents a musical embodiment of his minds journey throughout the duration of the anaesthetic: MikeShy has had six operations under general anaesthetic. He is certainly gifted as he writes, sings and co-produces. This guy is certain to go far and definitely one to watch out for.

The Sweet Life and the Sunshine Jive Band

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I have been a lover of all things jazz, jive and swing for most of my life, yet I had never been to the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Well, what a wonderful experience i had on Sunday: featuring in the lunch time show at this most welcoming of venues, was one of Britain’s top jive and swing bands on the circuit – the Jive Aces.

The Jive Aces with their trademark sunshine yellow suits and suitably matched smiles are probably one of the most fun bands there is to experience at the moment. Never let it be said that bands have an easy life – these guys are always on the go. They are either, touring, recording or raising money for charity and still squeeze in time for family life and royal tea parties. One of their recent charity events was a gig for the charity Crisis where they played to the homeless over the Festive period. Yet despite all of their hard work they still find time to smile and make great music. These guys are adaptable and are equally at home on the big stages in Vegas or at the more intimate venues such as Ronnie Scott’s.

They played two – forty five minute sets to a mixed audience – many of whom had been queuing for hours to get a seat. Needless to say it was a full house. They started the entertainment with the jumpy tune Rock That Boogie that certainly set the tone for the rest of the afternoons entertaining extravaganza. Much of the Jive Aces set was comprised of covers presented in their own unique musical, slapstick style. Ian Clarkson the lead man has a facetious manner and characterizes this as part of the entertainment with one-liners, he may project a slapstick style but he is one seriously talented showman, musician and singer. The rest of the band are equally talented and perform with precision and style.

Singing with the Jive Aces today was Cassidy Janson, currently one of the busiest actresses on the theatre circuit – being in the original cast of Wicked as stand in Elphiba and the final cast of Avenue Q, playing Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut. But today she was the touch of beauty with sang with passion. Clarkson and Janson bounce of each other – they sing the Louis Prima and Keely Smith hits, Just a Gigolo, Hey Boy–Hey Girl and Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby, they deliver the duet – not with the comical vs straight laced style of Prima and Smith but with their own animated and bantering style – the audience loved them. Incidentally Keely Smith once sang on stage with the Ian at a Jazz festival. The Jive Aces even turn their hand to skiffle and very fine skiffle they play too. Alex gets out the thimbles and washboard as they start their rendition of Mama Don’t Allow – a song that was popularized by Washboard Sam.

The Jive Aces also have an extensive repertoire of their own original music and today the Ronnie Scott’s crowd were treated to their soon to be released single -La Dolce Vita. Ian tells me that he always wanted to recreate a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the famous fountain scene from the Fellini film of the same name. Just after hearing of the passing of Anita Ekberg, Ian says, “Our music vid was gonna be a homage, I guess it’s a tribute now.” The audience was delighted with the song.

They are also releasing a new album that contains a lot of their own material in April, called Spread a Little Happiness. And spread a little happiness they did judging by the sea of smiles that was leaving Ronnie Scott’s that afternoon. The audience really did feel part of the whole show and were suitably warmed with a little sunshine music, ready to face the cold London air.

Oh and before I forget, happy birthday Ken!

http://www.jiveaces.com

All photography and article Nadine Wood

My own art practice and the meaning behind the dark clown.

I was recently interviewed by Australian playwright and maker of theatre Peta Lily about my own art practices. Here is a link to that interview. Please enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed doing. Below is a link to the interview.

http://www.petalilyphotography.com/blog/mysterious-rooms-and-intersecting-worlds

kali

http://nadinecwood.wix.com/portfolio

http://www.nadinecwood.com/#!social-documentary/c1hd9