Reggae meets Jazz/R&B
With Kansas City’s own, Queen Makedah, Jazz/R&B meet Reggae music for a complete powerhouse of vocal talent, an uplifting message and an incredible sound that captures the Groove of the Caribbean and the Soul of America.
Her style has been compared to Sade meets Bob Marley, with a signature vocal style that draws from traditional Soul, Jazz/R&B and Gospel roots. Her lyrical ability is reminiscent of Jill Scott and India Arie and addresses a range of social, political and spiritual issues. Her music has an original Jazzy Reggae Groove that’s totally refreshing in the scheme of today’s corporate generated talent.
Upon reviewing the single "Lift You Up" from the Spiritual Healing Album, Reggae-Reviews.com says that Queen Makedah "melds a sultry R&B edge with a rootsy reggae foundation. Her smoky voice and crossover appeal remind me quite a bit of Diana King. With reggae being as popular in the USA as it's ever been, it seems there's perhaps never been a better time for such a style to succeed. The single 'Lift You Up' is certainly a step in the right direction. This effervescent, life-affirming roots tune has the feel of classic and deserves much exposure."
Queen Makedah, a native of Kansas City, Missouri - Jazz Music Central and home of jazz great’s Charlie Parker and Oleta Adams - attended the Charlie Parker Academy of Music and the UMKC Conservatory of Music. Her vocal influences include Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Chaka Khan, Tremaine Hawkins, Oleta Adams and Sade and she won a recording contract with a local record label, Intrepid Records, by the time she was 16. She has performed before such prestigious audiences as Blacks in Government (BIG), the NAACP, the Urban League, Freedom Inc., and for numerous weddings and area churches.
In the 70's and 80's, as the winds of change blew across America, she fell in love with conscious Reggae music via Bob Marley and Third World as a youth.
In the 90's, she met one of the most talented composers in today's Reggae and Jazz world, Brooklyn’s own, Tuviel Lewis. Together they've written over 40 songs and make a unique and uplifting sound that can be called “Jazzy Reggae.”
In 2000, with the release of their first album, "The Awakening," Queen Makedah shared the stage with one of Reggae Music's great legends, Ras Michael of the Sons of Negus (called the 'Nyabingi Specialist' by Bob Marley), at Zazoo's of the Bay Area of California. Her CD release party was attended by none other than Bunny Wailer and has won high praises from dj's and music fans all over the globe (see Reviews and www.queenmakedah.com).
This Winter/Spring, Queen Makedah and her family label, Oriyah Music, will do a full release and promotion of the 2nd album Spiritual Healing (after the birth of her son this past summer). The album features "Healer," a duet with Ras Bakim of the Atlanta, Georgia area via St. Croix and was completely written and produced by the Queen Makedah and Tuviel Lewis songwriting duo.
You can get a sneak preview of the new tracks by clicking on Audio files above or of both albums at www.queenmakedah.com. You may also review the new video from the Spiritual Healing album, "Yah Yireh" by clicking the video link above. Reviews and comments can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIOGRAPHY: TUVIEL LEWIS (CO-WRITER)
Tuviel’s professional career in music began as a youth, studying and playing classical music on the upright bass for the Highland Springs high school Orchestra of Richmond, Virginia. His skill was so excellent that he was nominated to play contrabass for the City Orchestra of Richmond, Virginia for youth.
This Brooklyn born Musician-Composer was first inspired by reggae music as a youth in the dance halls of Flatbush, New York.
It was in Nigeria, West Africa, in the early 90’s, however, that Tuviel acquired a passion for writing reggae music, after being exposed to Alpha Blondy’s Jerusalem. He says of the experience: “I was in love with this sound, which spoke especially to my Ethiopian Jewish ancestry through the delivery of Alpha Blondy’s famous vocals. From there I began writing instrumentals.”
Some of Tuviel’s early influences include Aswad, Steel Pulse, the Gladiators and the Abysinnians, just to name a few.
After almost 15 years of writing and developing his skill as a reggae musician-composer, Tuviel’s unique sound and talent has won him acclaim and slots with Queen Makedah, Rahsul and Roots Africa, founded by the original bass player for Alpha Blondy. He has humbly played music with the legendary Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus and ‘Lion’ the bassist for Joseph Hill of Culture.
In 2001, Tuviel received his degree in Sound Engineering from the Academy of Music and Sound in Birmingham, England. It was here in the UK that he met Selwyn Brown and David Hinds of the legendary Steel Pulse, while engineering for Ritch Bitch studios in Birmingham.
Of his time spent in the personal studios of Steel Pulse he says, “Being in their presence gave a boost to my writing and production skills through being exposed to their level of professionalism and musicality.” (Tuviel’s production and composition skills can be heard on Queen Makedah’s new album, Spiritual Healing, currently being promoted in Africa and Europe. www.queenmakedah.com).
Tuviel’s sound is reminiscent of the Roots and Culture sound of the great Aston “Family Man” Barret, the band leader of the wailers, with the goal of spreading ‘Yah works’ through ‘this Yah’ reggae music.
Spiritual Healing Album (Spring 2005)
Lift You Up Single (July 2004)
The Awakening (Jan 2000)