Cool and the Gang

Cool and the Gang, better known as Kool and the Gang, and their numerous hit songs including “Celebrate” and  “Get Down on It,” have performed at places where they seemingly were loved unconditionally.  No record store has ever sold their music, and no-one had ever seen them perform live, but the Cubans have taken them into their hearts for years. Cuban filmmaker Gloria Ronaldo said the bands sounds of funk, provided the soundtrack for her generations youth. And even though in the 60’s there was a communist government movement that outright banned American music and looked down upon it in the next decade, when it was rarely heard on government airwaves. Ronaldo recalls it being played everywhere.  But Sunday at the Miami stadium for the Orange Bowl, the “gang” rocked the stadium with a performance that set the halftime crowd ablaze. One of the biggest and best bands of the 60’s and 70’s they literally performed like it was a concert. At the Land Shark Stadium, Florida the band including brothers Robert and Ronald Bell along with the rest of the “Gang” gifted the fans and the viewers to a performance not often seen these days.  There are even reports of this halftime show being the best one ever! The guys gaining new fans while thrilling old one’s.   Kool and the Gang have sold over 70 million albums worldwide, and are a American Jazz.R&B/ Soul/Funk and disco group, who originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964.

The Upward Rise of Women in the Music industry

Wilhelmina ModelingThe Founder and President, Rose Green of Unlimited Services, has initiated a list of varied Entrepreneurial services based on her job experiences, equipped with an associated group of highly-experienced like-minded career professionals, who share the same enthusiasm for tackling life greatest challenges and being able to exhibit their professional transformations, as she does.  Unlimited Services specialize in the management of musical artists, is of a worldwide extension and boasts an inclusion of various musicians within different music genre; ranging from Hip-Hop, Reggae, R&B, Continue reading →

Book a Band, Musician or DJ with Gigleader!

joshuaGigleader is the easiest way to book a band for your big event, wedding, private party, bar, club, or venue. Search for the perfect band, musician like (Josiah Leming see photo) or DJ. Browse all of our listings by genre, location, song list, price range and more. Easily book the band for your next big event! Sign up for your account now and be sure that you have the best entertainment available for your next party. Gigleader is recognized as the Internet’s leading Musician booking service and Band booking service. With audio samples, song lists, genre type, pictures and more available, you can make the best decision on what band or musician is right for your wedding reception, business party, venue, or whatever event you have planned or in wich state:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida,  Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,Maine,  Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan , Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington,  West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

 amy_winehouseIt is always nice to see an animated musical artist. With vibrant and spicy vocals, Amy Winehouse didn’t only turn heads with her larger-than-life pouf hairstyle, but with her second studio album, “Back to Black.” The album is all mixed up like the colors on a tie-dye shirt, with R&B, soul, jazz, and rock & roll, all shining brightly.  The single, “Rehab,” was once a prideful song that was, at the same time, humorous. Since Winehouse reportedly entered a rehabilitation facility in early 2008 for drug addiction, the song became a source of ridicule. Putting that to the side, other songs on the album have the classic “motown sound” flare. For example, “Tears Dry on Their Own” is a sample of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” although Winehouse wrote her own lyrics to the song. In the tune, “Back to Black,” there is use of a tambourine that also mimics the sound in a Motown classic. Borrowing the goods that made up ’60s soul music, she adds her own flavor while staying humble to those that started it all.  It is clear that Winehouse is not a shy gal. She speaks frankly about her drug use and relationship troubles on the record. Beside the tambourine in “Back to Black,” Winehouse shamelessly exposes that she loves “puff,” and in “Me & Mr. Jones,” she sings about a man who has cheated on her. These types of assertive lyrics are always a crowd pleaser.  If Winehouse is able to write and sing this well while being addicted to drugs, how will her music sound when she is clean and sober? Oh, it will be marvelous!

Metallica shoved the mosh pit into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

metallicaHeavy metal’s heaviest hitters, whose menacing, monstrous sound has banged heads around the globe for decades, were inducted into rock’s shrine on Saturday night, capping a star-studded ceremony that felt much more like a concert than an awards show.  For the first time, the no-holds-barred show, back in Cleveland following a 12-year holdover in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria ballroom, was open to the public. And nearly 5,000 fans partied in the balconies inside renovated Public Auditorium as 1,200 VIPs dined below at tables costing as much $50,000 each.  Many of the came to pay homage to Metallica, which earned top billing in an eclectic 2009 class that included rap pioneers Run-DMC, virtuoso guitarist Jeff Beck, soul singer Bobby Womack and rhythm and blues vocal group Little Anthony and the Imperials.

Metallica’s members have survived some of the dark themes — death, destruction and desolation — that threads through its music, and their induction was a chance to celebrate their legacy as perhaps the hardest band to ever walk the earth. The event also served as a reunion as bassist Jason Newsted, who left the group in 2001, joined his former bandmates on stage for seering versions of “Master of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman.”  “Whatever the intangibles elements are that make a band the best, Metallica has them,” said Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who delivered a heartfelt speech in presenting the band. He recalled being on tour and hearing Metallica on the radio for the first time. “My mind was blown. It wasn’t punk rock. It wasn’t heavy metal. It just stood by itself,” he said. “I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was a mighty thing.” In accepting their awards, Metallica’s members were joined by Ray Burton, the father of original bassist Cliff Burton, who died tragically in 1986 when the band’s tour bus skidded off an icy road in Sweden.  “Dream big and dare to fail, because this is living proof that it is possible to make a dream come true,” said frontman-guitaristr James Hetfield, who then rattled off a long list of hard-rocking bands he feels deserve induction. “Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Kiss, Ted Nugent, Iron Maiden, Motorhead. We’d like to invite them through the door,” said Hetfield, who concluded his remarks by wrapping Ulrich in a bear hug.  The evening ended with a jam for the ages as Metallica, Beck, Jimmy Page, Aerosmith’s Joe Tyler and Flea brought the house down with a performance of the Yardbirds’ “Train Kept A Rollin.”

A guitar virtuoso, Beck, who was previously inducted in 1992 with the Yardbirds, was put in for his solo work. Although best known for his rock accomplishments, Beck’s career has wandered a fretboard of genres ranging from blues to jazz to electronica. “Jeff’s style is totally unorthodox to the way anyone was taught,” said Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who presented his longtime friend. “He keeps getting better and better and better.” Beck, wearing all white, was joined on stage by Page, a fellow guitar god, who played bass during a searing rendition of Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.”  With two turntables and a microphone, Run-DMC broke down the barriers between rock and rap. With sparse, stripped-down lyrics above pounding beats, the trio of Joseph “DJ Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell changed rap in the 1980s by taking the realities of the streets to the suburbs.

“They broke away from the pack by being the pack,” said rapper Eminem, looking like the band’s lost member by sporting the group’s trademark black fedora and black leather jacket. “They were the baddest of the bad and the coolest of the cool. Run-DMC changed my life.” “There’s three of them and if you grew up with hip hop like I did, they were the Beatles.”  Their remake and collaboration with Aerosmith on the rock band’s “Walk This Way” changed modern music.  “We were young guys with a new music that people thought was a fad, but we knew the culture was a way of life and we just lived it,” McDaniels said. “The music that we made then didn’t just impact friends, it impacted a generation. So I guess that’s what rock and roll does.” Any chance of a Run reunion ended with Mizell’s death in 2002, when he was shot to death outside his studio. His murder remains unsolved.  Mizell’s mother, Connie, accepted the award on his behalf.  “My baby is still doing it for me,” she said.   Simmons cited “so many smart people and so much help” several times during his speech. He also thanked Mrs. Mizell, who allowed the group to set up their equipment in her Hollis, Queens, living room.  “She never told us to turn the music down once,” Simmons said, turning to his late friend’s mom. “I’d like to thank you for that.”  Cleveland’s Womack, the son of a steelworker, is best known for his soulful voice, but he had far greater musical range as a talented songwriter and guitarist. He also branched into gospel, returning to the roots that got him his start with a family group, the Valentinos. He later played guitar for Sam Cooke.

Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones introduced Womack as “the voice that has always killed me. He brings me to tears.” Wood then recalled a night in New York when he and Womack hid as some Hells Angels gang members were roughing up Wilson Pickett. Little Anthony and the Imperials, who began their career singing on street corners in Brooklyn, N.Y., opened the program with a gorgeous medley of hits “Tears on My Pillow,” “Hurt So Bad,” and “I’m Alright.” Many in the crowd mouthed the familiar tracks as lead singer Anthony “Little Anthony” Gourdine’s falsetto filled the room.

Longtime friend Smokey Robinson presented the doo-wop group, calling their induction “long overdue.” ourdine thanked his music teacher, “wherever you are” during his induction speech. “We’ve been in this now for 50 years, and when we were kids we never imagined in our wildest dreams we’d ever be here,” he said. “Now that it’s here, the one thing we can look at and say is nobody can ever take this away from us.”  Drummer DJ Fontana and the late bassist Bill Black — both of Elvis Presley’s backup band — and keyboardist Spooner Oldham made it in the sidemen category.  Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson was inducted as an early influence. Dubbed the “Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice,” the 71-year-old Jackson got her start as a country singer. She was a flamboyant dresser, and her choice of skirts and high heels rankled some hardcore fans. It was Elvis Presley, whom she toured with the 1950s, who persuaded her to sing rock songs.  “She could really rock and still kept her femininity intact,” said presenter Roseanne Cash. “She’s the prototype for so many of us.”

Colourful Radio launches in London

colourful-radioA new radio station for London, Colourful Radio, launched on 2 March on the DAB digital network, with over fifty people from the worlds of politics, music, stage and screen popping into the studio to wish the revolutionary station luck and talk about their life and work.

As great soul, jazz and r’n’b music played, celebrities and VIP’s began to flood the station. First on, were main representatives from all the major political parties, talking to award-winning broadcaster Henry Bonsu about topics of prime importance to London. The Chairman of the Conservative Party, Eric Pickles MP began the interviews, quickly followed by David Lammy MP, Minister for Higher Education and then the ‘political man of the moment’ Vince Cable MP.

This was followed by musician Heather Small, hot footing it straight from a tour in Australia talking about her Strictly Come Dancing role and jazz legend Courtney Pine strutting his stuff, alongside the cool music maestro and dj that is Jazzie B of Soul II Soul. Screen and stage actors, Karl Collins, Ray Fearon and Michael Obiora, all wished the station well and fitted in a visit to the station among busy schedules.

Colourful Radio is set to take the radio industry by storm with a mix of the best soul, jazz, reggae and r’n’b from the sixties to the current day, coupled with informative debate on topical issues. The station, run by broadcasting professionals with years of experience, including Henry Bonsu, will bring a real alternative to the mainstream stations currently flooding the radio waves.

The Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show.

eurovision-song-contestAlready for 53 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s favorite TV show. After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe’s collective mind. Read on to find out how it all started over half a century ago…
After 53 years, the database with Eurovision Song Contest facts and figures, stories and anecdotes is huge! A true, die-hard fan knows how many points Luxembourg got in 1980 (56), who came last in 1972 (Malta, with 48 points) and how many times the Netherlands got 12 points in 1996 (once, from Austria). Because no one can expect you to become a living Eurovision Song Contest encyclopedia, Eurovision.tv takes you through the contest’s history in fast forward. It’s all you need to know before you dive into the rich history of the Eurovision Song Contest…

How it all begun
Did you know that not only stars like ABBA, Celine Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias took part, but also dance act Riverdance thanks its fame to the Eurovision Song Contest? The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed on 12th February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in Devon, United Kingdom. It was on the 6th of June, 1954, that Montreux became the venue for the first transmission by the EBU’s Eurovision Network of the Narcissus Festival and its flower-bedecked procession floats. The first Eurovision viewers eagerly watched on four million television sets in homes, bars, and shop windows in Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Ambitious project
In 1955, the EBU came up with the idea of an international song contest whereby countries, represeted by their respective public broadcasters, would participate in one television show, to be transmitted simultaneously in all represented nations. This was conceived during a meeting in Monaco in 1955 by Marcel Bezençon, a Frenchman working for the EBU. The competition was based upon the Italian Festival di Sanremo, held for the first time in 1951, and was also seen as a technological experiment in live television: In those days, it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist yet at that time, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne was born!

The successes
Without interruption, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, which makes it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. In 2003, the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place, while the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated her 50th anniversity 2005. Viewers picked ABBA’s Waterloo as best ever Eurovision Song Contest song. In 2007, Europe could see the first ever Eurovision Dance Contest.

The 2008 running saw a record of 43 represented countries, as Azerbaijan and San Marino joined the family. The competition has been broadcast throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. In 2009, an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest is expected to be launched.

Andrew Bird UK tour dates

andrewbirdIn the UK, Bird is currently Rough Trade Shop’s ‘Album of the Month’. He follows this overdue breakthrough by announcing a UK tour for May 2009. Dates are below, including a headline date at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 11 May.  Details on an exclusive EP release will follow shortly.

Andrew Bird UK tour dates:

Sun 10 May Bristol Thekla £13.50
Mon 11 May London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Wed 13 May Manchester Academy 2
Thu 14 May Glasgow Oran Mor 

About Andrew Bird.
Born in 1973 near Chicago, IL. Education: Northwestern University, bachelor’s degree in music, 1995. Addresses: Management–Andrea Troolin, Ekonomisk Management, P.O. Box 249, Buffalo, NY 14205. Website–Andrew Bird Official Website: http://www.bowloffire.com.

Based in the Chicago area, singer, songwriter, and violinist Andrew Bird has attracted a following to his unique blend of swing, jazz, rock, and blues music. Bird performs as a soloist and with his group the Bowl of Fire, as well as with other musicians such as Kristin Hersh and Howe Gelb. Bird got his start with the zany swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers in the 1990s, and then left that band to produce his own CDs. After releasing three albums and playing on the soundtrack of the 1999 film The Cradle Will Rock, Bird turned to recording more accessible, pop-sounding music with his 2001 release The Swimming Hour. Featuring rock drums and electric guitars, this album achieved critical acclaim and brought the composer to a new level of success. He followed this up with the more experimental Weather Systems in 2003.

Bird grew up in a musical household in the Chicago suburbs of Evanston and Lake Bluff. He grew up listening to classical music, which became his music of choice later in life, although he was also influenced by other styles. At the age of four he learned to play his first instrument, the violin. Although he was later to play many other instruments, the violin remained his primary instrument through high school and college, and in his career as a recording artist.

Bird first learned to play music using the Suzuki Method. Under this style of instruction, students learn to play music without learning to read music. It was only when he got to high school that Bird had to learn to play by reading music. He called this a traumatic, although invigorating, experience. In high school he developed a reputation among his teachers for being musically lazy. He worked hard to overcome this impression. “My teachers always said you have a nice tone and you’re very musical, but you don’t do the work,” Bird explained to National Public Radio’s John Schaefer. “I just wanted to get in here and play, I wasn’t very patient.”

Following high school, Bird attended the music school at Northwestern University in Chicago. There he received rigorous training and developed a strong foundation to his work that was to serve him well in his later career. But he also felt confined by the strict adherence to classical music that marked his training at Northwestern, and he began to seek out other styles of music, including jazz and music from around the world. Bird graduated from Northwestern in 1995.

After his graduation from college, Bird continued his musical explorations, picking up jobs playing in musical theater, in studio sessions, and at renaissance fairs. For a brief time he played with the rock band Charlie Nobody. This period of Bird’s musical development culminated with his joining the avant-garde jazz and swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers. After playing on the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ second and third albums, and playing with them in concert, he self-produced and released his first solo CD, Music of Hair.

Bird then teamed up with a couple of his Charlie Nobody band mates, drummer Kevin O’Donnell and bass player Josh Hirsch, to create his own band called Bowl of Fire. The trio was soon joined by two other musicians, guitar player James Mathus and singer Katharine Whalen of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. After cutting some demo tracks, later released as the album Thrills, Bird and his band mates were signed by the Rykodisc record label.

While his new band still focused on the same pre-1940s jazz and swing inspirations of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Bird soon began to branch out in other directions. Much of this new music was inspired by pop music, and culminated in his 2001 album The Swimming Hour. He later explained that the reason he waited so long before turning to pop music for inspiration was because he had never listened to it before. He told Mark Guarino in the Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, that until his stint with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, “I was as much in a vacuum as I could have been.”

Bird left Rykodisc in 2001, after cutting The Swimming Hour, citing their diverging interests as the reason for the break. Rykodisc sought to appeal to a wide audience, while Bird was more interested in continuing his genre-defying musical explorations. He opted to move to another, smaller label, where this would be more possible.

In 2002 Bird moved from his apartment on the North Side of Chicago to a farm in rural Illinois, near the town of Elizabeth. There, not far from where his parents made their home, he set up his studio in a converted barn, spending the majority of his time letting inspiration come to him from his surroundings. He farmed crops such as soybeans and corn, and raised chickens and cows. His daily routine during this time consisted of getting up in the morning, gathering eggs for his breakfast, and then letting ideas for musical compositions slowly grow like the crops all around him, until they took strong enough hold in his mind for him to commit them to recordings.

It was at the barn that he conceived his 2003 album, Weather Systems. Although each piece on Weather Systems is a complete composition in itself, the nine songs on the album blend thematically to create a whole, in which Bird’s violins, voice, and other instruments evoke the Midwestern farmlands surrounding his barn. This music follows no conventional musical form; the music is pure artistic creation. “I’m getting away from style now,” he told Schaefer in 2003. Just as Bird’s compositions defy convention, they also leave interpretation up to the individual listener. With surreal, poetic lyrics, Bird enjoys making his audiences think about what they are listening to, rather than giving them answers.

In addition to his familiar violins, Bird plays the glockenspiel on Weather Systems, and also sings and whistles. Adding a high tech element to his work, he plays an electronic violin that records melodies as he plays them. At key points he has the violin repeat what it has recorded. The effect is as if a small orchestra were playing the music, and not just Bird. He is able to create this effect even while playing the music in concert.

In addition to recording and performing his own music, Bird continues to collaborate in the work of other artists, including Kevin O’Donnell, Kristin Hersh and Howe Gelb, both in concert and in the studio.

Andrew Bird’s Career
Learned to play violin at age four, 1977; played in musical theater, a rock band, and in studio sessions immediately after college; joined avant-garde swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers and recorded with them, 1990s; self-produced and released first solo album, Music of Hair, 1996; formed band called Bowl of Fire, signed with Rykodisc, released Thrills, 1998; released Oh! The Grandeur, 1999; played on soundtrack of film The Cradle Will Rock, 1999; released pop-inspired album The Swimming Hour, 2001; left Rykodisc, released self-produced live album Fingerlings, 2002; released Weather Systems, on Righteous Babe, 2003.

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