THE MUSICIANS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS FEATURE: JODY WATLEY

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the fifth in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with Grammy™ winning board member, prolific music trendsetter and maverick (Pop, R&B, Jazz, Dance and Electronic Soul): Jody Watley - vocalist, songwriter, producer and visionary leader in video, fashion and style!

© 2014 Jody Watley by Albert Sanchez

© 2014 Jody Watley by Albert Sanchez

Sit back, and make yourself comfortable, because you’ll definitely enjoy reading her truly amazing bio HERE

Since her earliest days (starting at age 14!) as a popular dancer on Soul Train and her later success with the group Shalimar (1977-1983), Jody has never stopped creating, inventing and moving forward as a pioneer with her own extremely successful multi-dimensional career.

She became an immediate success as a solo artist, winning the Best New Artist GRAMMY award in 1987.

Grammy Award Best New Artist 1988

She quickly topped the charts with her 1987 smash hits, “Looking For a New Love”:

 “Don’t You Want Me”:

Followed by “Real Love” in 1989:

Since embarking on her solo career in the 1980’s, Watley has continued to evolve into a powerhouse artist who has sold over 20 million albums and singles worldwide, as well being known as an international style and music video icon.  Her ability to combine music and fashion has remained an inspiration for many artists today such as Rihanna and Beyonce. She has served as a Governor for the LA Chapter of The Recording Academy, and is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Magazine for her career spanning over 25 years.

In Harper’s Bazaar Nov. 1991 by Andrea Blanch

Harper’s Bazaar Magazine feature: Nov. 1991 by Andrea Blanch

Fashion icon reel: 

Jody’s latest release is entitled Nightlife, from the soon-to-be-released EP “Paradise”:

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Check out the Jody Watley Nightlife Official Video (Dave Doyle Remix):

Recently. she performed live for a very enthusiastic crowd at Yoshi’s in Oakland, reviewed HERE

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 Here, Jody pays tribute to 40 Years of Soul Train… 

With Cuba Gooding, Smokey Robinson, , Questlove, et al

With Cheo Horari Coker, Smokey Robinson, Cuba Gooding, Don Cornelius, Questlove

 We’re honored to have Jody Watley serve on our board, as a powerful role model and mentor for aspiring musicians, entertainers and artists!

Jody Watley's Newest upcoming release: PARADISE

You can stay connected with Jody Watley, for all the latest news:

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We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!

 

 

Summer Notes and Our New Video

Beth Marlis

Beth Marlis

Notes from our Executive Director

Happy summer everyone!

As I hope you’re enjoying these sultry dog days of summer, I wanted to share a quick update on some of our latest initiatives and projects that will launch in the next few months.

It’s our 10th anniversary, and every week (on these very blog pages) we’re featuring profiles of our fantastic Board of Directors.  I invite you to scroll thru our previous posts and check it out!

Looking ahead to September of this year, we’ll be awarding $70,000 in scholarships to the students at Musicians Institute, via 40 unique scholarship opportunities (including our annual flagship Stanley Clarke Scholarship).

We’ve just finalized our fantastic (co-sponsored) series of 10 music-specific class titles for LAUSD high school students held at The Grammy Museum, running from November thru May 2015.

Today

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We’re also very excited that our non-profit partner unite4:good (an amazing, altruistic organization), has shot a promo video highlighting the work of The Musicians Foundation.

As we grow, we are continuing to form extremely beneficial relationships with other non-profits like: unite4:good, Little Kids Rock, The Grammy Museum, The Recording Academy, and our local Hollywood-area arts organizations.

Have a look at our new video, and check out our unite4:good page, where this video will be featured:

Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation today?

Beth Marlis, Executive Director

Let’s serve up more music, and give it to more kids! 

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THE MUSICIANS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS FEATURE: MICHAEL MOLENDA

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the fourth in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with board member extraordinaire: Michael Molenda, Editor-in-Chief of Guitar Player magazine.

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Michael Molenda

We found a great overview of Michael’s successful tenure as Editor-in-Chief at GP (since 1998) and his insights about working at the world’s most respected and longest running guitar magazine (est.1967) HERE. 

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It’s not an exaggeration to say that he’s a gear expert and one of the foremost authorities on the world of contemporary guitar.

Here, he gives a brief promo shout out about Fractal Audio and the never-ending quest for tone at the NAMM ’13 show:

When he’s not editing or writing, (Michael has published an impressive six books – check out this interview about his “Guitar Heros of the 70’s” book).

…he might be hanging around with rockstars and guitar stars…

Backstage with Ringo in July 2014

Backstage with Ringo in July 2014

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Robben Ford receives the Guitar Player Magazine Hall of Fame “Certified Legend Award”-2013

Luke, Earl Slick and MM

Luke, Earl Slick and MM

or he might be roadtesting all of the coolest new guitar gear…

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When not doing ALL of the above, and serving as a member of our board… Michael can be found playing live, and having a blast around the SF Bay Area with the retro-fun Monkee’s tribute band “The Trouble with Monkeys”

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Performing with “The Trouble With Monkeys”

Here’s a promo video:

To keep up with all the latest, you can find Michael Molenda online at these fine establishments:

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We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!

THE MUSICIANS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS FEATURE: JAMES LEACH

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the third in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with board member James Leach Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations and West Coast Operations for SESAC (the nation’s fastest growing performing rights organization).

Pictured (l-r): Trevor Gale (SVP) of SESAC, SESAC writers Paul Schaffer and Nate "Danja" Hills, 
James Leach (VP) and Dennis Lord (EVP) of SESAC.

Trevor Gale (SVP) of SESAC, SESAC writers Paul Schaffer & Nate “Danja” Hills, 
James Leach (VP), Dennis Lord (EVP) of SESAC.

Prior to joining SESAC in 2001, James began his music career at Famous Music Publishing, and then later moved on to become Director of Creative Affairs for Michael Jackson’s ATV Music Group. This is where he worked with distinguished song catalogs of the Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, and Michael Jackson. Upon leaving ATV Music in 1994, Mr. Leach formed Leach Entertainment Enterprises where he consulted for several indie labels and placed music recording projects in various film/television projects. He has also worked as music supervisor at Fox Television.

With Harvey Mason

With Harvey Mason

Here’s a great interview with James, where he discusses his insights and many years in the industry. He also shares a bit about the current work he does with major industry talents (writers and publishers) and the great services/opportunities provided by SESAC.

In addition to his SESAC gig, and serving on our board; James is also a Governor for the LA Chapter of The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s™). In this video clip, he’s featured talking about why Academy membership is valuable.

Thank you James for sharing your tremendous expertise and knowledge of music publishing, songwriters and their needs in our ever-changing industry; and your dedication in support of music education by serving on the board of The Musicians Foundation!

James-Leach

James Leach

 

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Announcing the 2014 Stanley Clarke Scholarship at Musicians Institute!

Click HERE for all information and application form

2014 Stanley Clarke Scholarship

Stanley Clarke wants YOU!!

Attention! Talented (current) MI students are invited to apply and submit their DVDs for the prestigious Stanley Clarke Scholarship at Musicians Institute.

 

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Stanley is looking for the best, brightest and most talented musicians at Musicians Institute!

Two grand prize winners will be awarded a tuition discount and cash prize package of $9,000 each. Three runners-up will win a tuition discount and cash prize package of $2,000 each.

This scholarship will be determined on the basis of musical talent, performing ability, stage presence, musicianship and charisma in any style or genre of music.

Please visit our scholarship website for all information, application details and deadlines. This scholarship is open to CURRENT MI performance program students (AA and Bachelor’s Program) ONLY.

The Finals Performance event (with the top five finalists) will be held at the MI Concert Hall on November 23, 2014 at 8pm.   This event will be open to the public, and will feature celebrity music industry judges who will also perform with the finalists. More details regarding ticketing will be announced in the near future as we get closer to the event. Current MI students will be admitted to the event free of charge.

Four-time Grammy Award Winning Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music-MI at 2012 scholarship event

Four-time Grammy Award Winning Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music-MI at 2012 scholarship event

With 2012 winners and judges

With 2012 winners and judges

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Applications are due: Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

 

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THE MUSICIANS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS FEATURE: STANLEY CLARKE

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the second in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with four-time Grammy™ winner, jazz pioneer, bass virtuoso and living legend: Stanley Clarke!

Stanley Clarke, Liberator of the Electric and Acoustic Basses

Stanley Clarke, Liberator of the Electric and Acoustic Basses

We know that (in reality) we can’t actually “catch up” with Stanley, because he is an amazing blur in perpetual creative motion: performing, evolving, composing, mentoring, and serving as an inspirational role model.

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We’re honored that Stanley has served as member of our board since 2009 and that he has generously sponsored a performance scholarship in his name via his own foundation  for “the best and brightest talents” at Musicians Institute every year since 2000.

Grammy Award Winning Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music-MI at 2012 scholarship event

Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music (MI) at his 2012 scholarship event

Here is the classic and extremely star-studded video from “Night School” filmed at Musicians Institute (for the SC scholarship concert) in 2002! You’ll even spot fellow MF board member Sheila E taking a slamming drum and timbale solo: 

We’re looking forward to the 2014 scholarship concert event (with very special guest judge/performers TBA) to be held on November 23rd at Musicians Institute Concert Hall. This event will be open to the public, and ticketing details will be posted as the event gets closer.  Applications and full information for the 2014 event is available HERE.

We found Stanley last weekend, (coming off of several live dates performing as The Stanley Clarke Trio (feat. 17 year old virtuoso Beka Gochiashvili - keys, 19 year old phenom Michael Mitchell – drums) closing the Toronto Jazz Festival on June 28th.

Beka and Stanley

Beka and Stanley

Here, Stanley talks about bringing up talent, teaching and being a mentor to younger players (with appearances by Beka and Michael): 

old school george and stanley

George Duke and Stanley Clarke

Just two weeks ago (June 14), Stanley and vocalist Al Jarreau headlined a special tribute in honor of longtime friend and collaborator George Duke featuring John Beasley, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Ndugu, Byron Miller, Greg Phillinganes, Jeffrey Osborne and Phil Perry at the 2014 Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl.

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Yet another accolade was extended to Stanley recently when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy Awards) invited him to join the organization along with 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.

The 2014 invitees are listed here.

Chick and Stanley

Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke

For the entire month of July, Stanley will be touring Europe with Chick Corea, on the festival circuit performing “The Songs of Return Forever” as a duo. First stop is tomorrow (July 3rd) for the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway.

SC at home

Looking ahead…Stanley has a new record set to be released September 30th featuring Stewart Copeland, Paul Jackson Jr., Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic and MI alumnus), the Harlem String Quartet, and more.

To stay up to date on the latest of what’s happening with Stanley, you can find him online:

Here are a couple of other great clips of Stanley showing us how it’s done!:

Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stanley Clarke & Omar Hakim -Cantelope Island

All we can say is…”wow”:

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Joe Henderson. (L’S BOP)

 

MF LOGO LARGEWe’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!

The Musicians Foundation Board of Directors Feature: Alex Skolnick

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, current exploits and upcoming adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

AlexMain

Alex Skolnick

For the first in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with highly respected, world-reknown (and ever-prolific) metal/jazz/world music/improvisational guitarist, writer
 and MF board member: Alex Skolnick (Testament).

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Most recently (last weekend), Alex performed (on June 21st) with his exciting new acoustic/world recording project Planetary Coalition at the Make Music New York/Mass Appeal: Guitars event reviewed by Guitar World magazine HERE.

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Alex with his signature model ESP guitar

Next weekend (June 30 – July 4, 2014) you’ll find Alex teaching masterclasses, private lessons, leading jam sessions, directing ensembles, and performing at the Guitar Intensive Workshop in New York City along with guitar improviser/educator Bruce Arnold, fusion guitar heroine Jane Getter, and bassist Jerry DeVore.

When he’s not busy recording, performing live, teaching, serving as an interviewer, music industry spokesman, contest judge, guitar magazine columnist, or touring the world… he’s an author(!) His first book Geek to Guitar Hero” was released in 2013.

The stylistically versatile and virtuosic Alex has been known to venture from Thrash Metal and Jazz into the territory of Flamenco, World Music and beyond.  Upcoming plans include live performance collaborations with guitarist Prasanna R for “Raga Metal Conversations”.  Alex also recently served on the judging panel for the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in India.

Here, he’s seen having fun with the fantastic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela:

Here’s a great clip of Alex performing at NAMM 2013- Alphonse Mouzon’s (d) Mind Transplant featuring Alex Skolnick (g), Rhonda Smith (b), Steve Weingart (k) on “Nitroglycerin”:

Thus far, 2014 has been a very exciting year for Alex.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

January ’14   ESP introduces Alex Skolnick Signature Series Guitars here is the   Guitar World Review

February  ’14  Testament tours Australia Soundwave Festival (headlined by Green Day).    Alex begins writing for The Talkhouse with review of new release by Dianne Reeves.

March  ’14  Collaborates on composition for Richmond Ballet with Lamb of God Frontman Randy Blythe, performed April 5th & 6th

April ’14     Performs as part of Stu Hamm Band at The Iridium, New York City

May ’14    The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music and Make Music Monthly presents a conversation between Alex Skolnick and Aaron Friedman on innovative heavy metal guitar solos, including Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption (with live demonstrations by Alex).

 Alex Skolnick Trio performs at Festival Guitars du Monde, Rouyn-Noranda QC

For the very latest news updates and career highlights, you can find Alex on Facebook -his blog – his website.

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We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!

 

We’re redesigned and looking good!

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We hope you like our new blog design for 2014!

We’re also launching a brand new series (coming soon) that features the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.  Stay tuned…

Donate now to support our music student scholarship programs — 100% tax deductible — instant donation acknowledgement — you CAN make a difference!

Click: donate

 

Mike Campbell, 22 Year Veteran Instructor and former Vocal Dept. Chair at Musicians Institute Announces Retirement

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Much-loved vocal instructor, former Dept. Chair of the Vocal Program, and longtime member of the Musicians Institute family–Mike Campbell has retired after 22 years of exemplary service to the students of MI.

Everyone at MI congratulates Mike, wishing him the greatest success in this new life chapter! He will be very much missed by the students, faculty and staff of MI.

During his retirement party on June 17th, Mike performed with his talented daughter Katie, trading choruses of the blues (Band: Christian Klickovits (k), Dave Keif (b), Tim McIntyre (d):

Mike is known for his extraordinary musical talents, patience, ability to encourage and genuine care for those who were fortunate enough to study under his tutelage.  He’s been an inspiring teacher and important mentor to thousands of MI students, and over the years he taught courses including: Jazz Vocals, Sightsinging, and Private Lessons and more.

Mike and his wife Elaine

Mike and his wife Elaine

As a Department Chair, Mike created a supportive and welcoming environment for students in the Vocal program to be challenged, grow and study with an exceptional vocal faculty.

Dawn Bishop performs a gorgeous rendition of "My One and Only Love" in Mike's honor.

Dawn Bishop (Vocal faculty) performs a gorgeous rendition of “My One and Only Love” in Mike’s honor.

His bio is voluminous and includes seven solo recordings, several instructional books and videos, and multiple appearances and recordings with A-list performing artists. Over the years, he’s contributed his vocal talents to numerous jingles, TV and movie soundtracks, and has performed on over 40 major television shows, He has served on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s) and is a member of AFM, SAG and AFTRA.

Prior to becoming a well-respected Jazz Vocalist and educator, Mike was a member of this group that appeared on TV regularly.  Mike is in the lower left corner. ca.1967

Prior to becoming a well-respected Jazz Vocalist and educator, Mike was a member of this groovy pop group that appeared on TV regularly. Mike is in the lower left corner. ca.1967

1985 Album Cover

1985 Album Cover

 

Thank you Mike for all you’ve done for the MI Community, and congratulations!!

 

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Chuck Silverman Memorial Drum Scholarship – Applications now being Accepted

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Musicians Institute and The Musicians Foundation have created a drum scholarship to honor the memory, exceptional talent and artistic career of longtime MI Drum faculty member Chuck Silverman. 

The $1,000 scholarship is provided to support the educational growth of a newly enrolling Musicians Institute Drum Program student (for Fall 2014) who demonstrates outstanding musicianship in the Latin, Brazilian and/or Afro-Carribean genres.

The deadline to apply is: August 29th, 2014

Please click HERE for complete details and application form.

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