Archive | December 2013

WIJSF NEWS December 2013


Celebrating 6 years of Musical Service!   Join us, today!

As of December 1, 2013, we have 253 members131 musicians!

Music, the sound of the spheres, begins in the womb! ~ Diva JC


“Concentrate on bringing your gift to the world rather than becoming a star, because STAR spells RATS backwards!” – Musician, author, and Women In jazz South Florida Founder, Joan Cartwright [Published at WiMN Front and Center]

Featured in this issue: Sandra Kaye, Laura B. Whitmore, Carol Garrett, Irene Robbins, Janice Harrington, and our 4th WIJSF Compilation CD!

Welcome to our new members:  Jeannette Pina (FL), Carol Garrett (FL), Joyce Spencer (TX),TC Eckstein (MA), and Janice Harrington and Vanda Guzman (Germany)

THANKS! to all who attended our Fundraiser on November 7, 2013. We raised $665.

Many thanks to the musicians that kept the music playing, when the lights went out!


joan5a by clevebryantIn 2012, I joined Women in Music, Inc. and National Association of Professional Women. As founder of a group that promotes women musicians, I believe  aligning with other women’s organizations is important. I belong to International Women in Jazz (NY) and Fondazione Adkins-Chiti: Donne in Musica(Rome, Italy). IWJ’s Immediate Past President Dotti Anita Taylor and IWJ member Carol Sudhalter introduced me to the organization in Rome.  Dotti is a member of WIJSF and is featured on our third compilation CD. These associations have brought great value to our organization.

A few weeks ago, I had a lengthy phone conversation with Neeta Ragoowansi, President of Women in Music, Inc. We agreed that cross-associations are beneficial.  Neeta said WIM will establish chapters around the country and one will be in Miami, FL.  My journey to the WIMUST Conference in Fiuggi, Italy, in July, hosted by Fondazione Adkins-Chiti: Donne in Musica, led me to the desire to lobby for women in music in Washington because Patricia Adkins-Chiti successfully brought awareness to the English Parliament in London on September 12, 2013.  However, the 501(c)(3) status prohibits lobbying.  An entertainment attorney, Neeta advised that a 501(c)(6) can lobby.  So, I want to share my 2-year plan with you.

On December 15, I will move to Atlanta, GA, with my daughter Mimi Johnson, WIJSF Secretary. It ‘s been seven years, since I returned to Florida, after moving to Atlanta in 2003, and performing in China for five months in 2006.  Since March 2007, I focused on growing the membership to 247 members with 125 musicians and, in March 2014, WIJSF will be seven years old, the age of reason, LOL!

I would like for South Florida members to join me for lunch at 
Maggiano’s, 21090 St. Andrews Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida 33433, 561-361-8244
Thursday, Dec. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Everyone will be responsible for their own lunch.

Our members are not exclusively Jazz performers.  Classical artists include conductors Sebrina Alfonzo (FL) and Renee Baker (Chicago, IL), who crossed over from classical violin to leading Jazz ensembles.  Elena Correia (FL) and Samuel Eudovique (NY) are powerful opera singers. Celeste Ray plays jazz piano but performs Celtic music on psaltery, also.  Pianist Beth Levin is strictly classical. Randi Fishenfeld and Alicia Svigals are extraordinary Klezmer violinists, and Randi, Elena, Jackie De Los Santos, and Teresa Flores all partook of a Grammy Award for Best Klezmer recording in 2012! 

Jenny Love (FL) is a hot Latina dynamo.  Magda Machado-Garshol (Brazil), living in Hong Kong,  sings and composes Bossa Nova and Samba music.  Many members like drummer Denise Johnon (VA), Mimi Johnson (GA), LeNora Jaye (FL), and Juanita Johnson (FL) perform R&B and Pop.  Kathy Yolanda Rice (VA), Lynn Brown (FL), and Melody Cole (OH) embrace gospel music.

Our Blues singers include Janice Harrington (Germany), Mocha Blue Blaze (LA), and yours truly (although I am a died-in-the-wool Jazz vocalist and composer).  We have two harpists Crystal Sawyer (FL) and Radha Botofasina (CA) and several talented guitarists, including KJ Denhert (NY), Lorna Lesperance (FL), Wayne Rediker (FL), Geetu Hinduja (India), and Eugene Grey (FL).

Trumpeter Arthur Wilson debuted with Otis Redding and is a veteran of the R&B genre.  Violinists Malcolm and Umoja McNeish are carving out a niche of their very own, mixing classical, pop, and hip hop!

My point is that we are an organization of musicians from all genres that continues to expand, exponentially!

My 2-year plan involves more advocacy. I will redesign WIJSF to be more eclectic, renaming it MUSICWOMEN, INC. to coincide with MUSICWOMEN LIVE Radio and MUSICWOMEN MAGAZINE.  I encourage our South Florida members to join Women in Music, Inc.’s Miami Chapter and members in other states to join this organization’s local chapters, closest to the cities, where they reside.  MUSICWOMEN, INC. may not be a membership organization but a firm that lobbies for equity of women musicians for funding, performance, and film music commissions.  My decisions will be based on research that I will continue to do towards my PhD dissertation. I believe Dr. Cartwright will have more credibility on the issue of the importance of the messages in women’s music to society-at-large.


Moving into 2014, I am concerned about how musicians believe they should dress for concerts and gigs.  This year and in recent past years, I’ve noticed that musicians, especially men, have moved away from formal wear to jeans, T-Shirts, sweatsuits and the like.  For me, as a Jazz musician, I like to look fabulous, when I step on any stage.  But horn players and drummers might see it a little differently.  On my gigs, I require my musicians to look presentable. I think it’s important for my image and that of our organization.  What is your take on this subject?  Should you be dressed formally or is it okay to look mediocre, when people are paying to entertain at their event?


Flo, Irene and Carol and their brother Michael Robbins, grew up in Detroit, MI.  Their parents are drummer Samuel Robbins and singer Shirley Robbins. Their father had them singing in harmony by the time they were 4 years old. On holidays, they sang in five-part harmony.  Samuel had a radio show with Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell and he played with many noted musicians. He was in a band with Eric Rosenou and the Continentals, as drummer and vocalist.

Carol Garrett, Michael Robbins, Irene Robbins, and Flo Robbins Paterni

Carol Garrett, Michael Robbins, Irene Robbins, and Flo Robbins Paterni

Carol Robbins Garrett has been writing her own compositions since her teens.  She studied Music at Eastern Michigan University. She is inspired by her musical and philosophical research and influenced by James Taylor, Carole King, Indie Aerie, and Jason Mraz. She taught special needs students for 28 years, using music as a tool to reach them. Carol writes and performs her own compositions. She has performed in Detroit at churches, temples, and private parties. Her first CD is Steps of Faith (1997), available on iTunes, Amazon, and Reverbnation. She is ordained as Interfaith Ministry, since 1999. Carol performs in Florida at temples, churches, and for charities. Her first musical tour was in Italy in 2011.  She is a member of Lake Worth Inter-Faith Network, Lake Worth Kiwanis Club, Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. Carol was nominated as Girl Scouts of America Volunteer of the Year 2003. She was faculty advisor for Santaluces High School Key Club from 2002- 2006. Her name appears on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, AL. She won the I Make A Difference Award (2006), and was nominated for the 2007 Dwyer Award. Carol is working on a CD Live On Purpose with her original music.

Flo Robbins Paterni studied violin as a child, and Music Education at Eastern Michigan University. She taught strings in Detroit Public Schools to many prominent musicians for 37 years. She played with some of the most notable performers of the Detroit Musicians Union, including John Denver, Aretha Franklin, the Wynans, and Kenny G.

Irene Robbins is a decisive figure in the Jazz and Blues scene as a pianist and vocalist. She began her journey at 7, on violin and piano, accompanying herself, and participating in city and state honors choirs. Her first stage performance was at 8. She holds a B.A. in Music Performance – choir direction, piano, voice, and creative writing – from Michigan State University. She composes music and writes lyrics to Jazz standards. She performs in Europe with her band Art Studio 5tet, and collaborates with other groups. Irene recorded seven albums in the USA and Europe. She leads vocal workshops – Finding Your Voice and Voice Therapy, and teaches voice and piano, privately, in schools, and at Jazz festivals. She’s worked with Tony Remy, Michael Rosen, Tommy Campbell, Marcus Belgrave, Enrico Rava, Ralphe Armstrong, Marianne Hayden, Francisco Mora, Lawrence Williams, Rodney Whitaker, Keiko Borjeson, Ivano Borgazzi, Gayelynn McKinney, Fabrizio Puglisi, John Dana, Carlo Actis Dato,Vince Vallicelli, Giulio Capiozzo, and others in the USA: Detroit, Chicago, New York;  in Europe: Switzerland, France, Germany, England, Italy, and Japan. Known for energetic and charismatic performances, Irene is engages the audience with an original approach to music in various styles, including Modern Jazz, Blues, Soul, R&B, Motown, Gospel, and the Classics, making her an important protagonist in concerts and festivals, worldwide. Irene is the 250th member of WIJSF, Inc.!



On November 25, Janice Harrington taught four classes of 9th graders.  The next day, she was at another school with 4th and 5th graders.  Then, she had a presentation at Lüneburg Museum on Authentic American Music – Spirituals, Blues, Jazz and Gospel at the request of Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany.  When not teaching or lecturing, Janice is bringing joy to European audiences singing her brand of the Blues.


Marko Nesic conducts his choir in Serbia

Our 50th male member Marko Nesic conducts his choir in Kragujevac, Serbia

WIJSF, INC. is an honorary member associated with WOMEN IN MUSIC, SERBIA

Marko Nesic and his mother Vojna Nesic, Founder of Women in Music in Serbia

Marko Nesic (50th male member) and his mother Vojna Nesic, Founder of Women in Music in Serbia, who made WIJSF, Inc. an honorary member of her organization, when Joan was in Italy for the WIMUST Conference

misssandrakayeSandra Kaye is an American Jazz Vocalist and resident performer in the Long Bar at The Waldorf Astoria, Shanghai, China.  She is a vocal instructor at JZ’s School of Music in Shanghai.  This is her account of her long-term tour in China.I have traveled in Asia numerous times to perform in Japan, China, and Thailand,  in these cities: Kyoto, Osaka, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Beijing, and Bangkok. From 2004 to 2008, I traveled extensively.  I had grown accustomed to working regularly in my home town of Dallas, TX, so I set out to scout for gigs.  I realized that gigs were either non-existent or difficult to attain. I spoke to many singers, who felt the way I did.  I compared my calendar to years past and realized that I had not played a wedding in almost a year, in Dallas. I even auditioned (something unheard of for gigs where you live) to play a steak house in downtown Dallas, received thumbs up, and never got a call back. I knew something was wrong. I was playing four gigs a month and not a single wedding or house party.

I had to do something drastic to save my career. I called my husband, a long-distance truck driver and opened up to him about my fear of losing my investments, if I didn’t get some gigs.

SK: Sweetheart, I need to make a move. I am in over my head. I need to go overseas to make things work out.

sandrakaye-deboDebo: OK darling, what do you think you can do now?

SK: Well, I will start in Japan.

Debo: I think that’s a good idea.

SK: Great! I just got the contract in the mail, today. I will leave in two weeks.

Debo: WHAT?  Two weeks!

SK:  Yes, in two weeks, I’ll be packed and ready to go.

I left for Japan and from there went to China. In 2009, I decided to make a home for myself in Asia for a lengthy period if possible.  Shanghai was my city of choice, since I had played there longer and had a connection with musicians and others in the business.  The first two weeks, after my decision to stay in Shanghai, I was able to live with a lady from Dennison, Texas, not far from Dallas. I found a lovely flat in the French Concession and, while making the deal to move in, I was also making the deal to play a club in Wenzhou. I played the Wenzhou club for four months and, at least twice a month, I made the five- hour trek to my apartment and visit friends in Shanghai.

Before returning to Shanghai, I was contracted to perform at the Waldorf.  A year later, I moved to the Huangpu District, ten minutes from the Waldorf. I found a spacious queen’s palace complete with a beautiful China hutch that I have filled with lovely artifacts, in walking distance of Wal-Mart and the world famous fabric market with tailors and shoe makers. Fresh fruit and vegetables are at my fingertips and every kind of sweet little shop you can imagine.

sandra_kaye_Full_of_HeartPerforming in a world class hotel has its perks.  For certain, one perk has got to be the people I have met from every imaginable place on the globe. I have seen famous Americans too! I met two very interesting men, who owned the only underwater restaurant in the world. They were brilliant. Most guests, no matter where on Earth they are from, are familiar with the American Song Book.  Most request the songs of Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and George Gershwin. I wish I had a dollar for each request for “Sophisticated Lady,” “The Very Thought of You” and “Someone To Watch Over Me.”

Chinese musicians are devoted to the music and many are very good at Jazz.They remind me of Dallas musicians. However, foreign vocalists in China are not always privileged to play with Chinese musicians.  Club owners and planners of private functions require “Foreign Singer and Band Please.”

I look forward to playing with Chinese musicians because they love to rehearse and are professional.  I played with an all-Chinese band in Wenzhou and had a WONDERFUL time with them.  I had never heard of the Island of Mauritius before I went to China.  Many musicians from Mauritius reside in China.  My first meeting with a native of Mauritius floored me because I was certain that I was meeting an African American.  It’s amazing how much they favor us. Today, I know that their background is similar to ours. The musicians from Mauritius are big fans of American music and many are very good musicians and great singers.

On October 19, 2013, I had the distinct pleasure of opening a show for Patti Austin and had the thrill of a life time. I heard that she had been ill but she showed no sign of that. She performed so well. She was just beautiful!

Since making the decision to live in Asia, I have experienced much heartbreak. We must realize that anything worth having requires sacrifice.  I believed that since my mother and father were gone on to glory, I would be fine, living abroad.  My children are young and my grandmother had her children to take care of her.  So, I felt comfortable living abroad. However, recently, my dear friend and mechanic Athan Njoku lost his battle with cancer. My brother-in-law and friend Calvin Nunnally a/k/a Olu Ogunseinde succumbed to diabetes. Another close friend Charlene Reynolds lost her battle with cancer and her son, Conan D. Reynolds, also died from cancer.  My mother-in-law Serena Ogunseinde, whom I cared for, died of malaria and my dear grandmother and best friend Annie Ruth Lewis passed at the ripe age of 95. I was stunned and just plain sick to hear of their passing because I could not get home to comfort my family and friends. God, please continue to be with me!


Releases January 2, 2014 – Place Your Order, Today!




Live Interview With Laura B. Whitmore


WiMN founder Laura B. Whitmore was interviewed on Thursday, November 21st, on Musicwoman Live at 4:00 PM EST. Hosted by Diva Joan Cartwright (Diva JC), the radio show features women who compose and perform their own music. Listen to the conversation here.


The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Musician, Author, and Women In Jazz South Florida Founder, Joan Cartwright

Renowned jazz musician and women in music advocate Joan Cartwright has toured the world with her swinging music, performing with some of the biggest names in the genre.

Cartwright’s talents stretch beyond music as well. She is an author of 10 books and has given music business lectures to thousands of children and adults across the globe.

A steadfast supporter of female musicians, Cartwright founded Women In Jazz South Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting women in jazz locally and abroad. She also stays busy with her online magazine and radio show, MUSICWOMAN (which featured WIMN founder Laura B. Whitmore this past Thursday!).

We are thrilled to present our interview with the incredible Joan Cartwright. To find our more, visit

WiMN: What is your first music related memory?

JC: The piano in our basement by the back door. I would play it with my feet when I was only three or four years old. [Read more]




12/05/2013 4:00 PM Patricia Barber
12/12/2013 4:00 PM TC Eckstein
12/19/2013 4:00 PM Karrin Allyson
12/26/2013 4:00 PM Janice Harrington


Check Jeannette Pina’s South Florida Jazz Venues


***** FREE CD with paid cover! *****

lindapresgrave2The Linda Presgrave Quartet presents
The Premier of “Along the Path”
Sunday, December 8, 2013 @ 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Somethin’ Jazz Club
212 E. 52nd St. #3Floor, New York, NY 10022
(Subway: E/V to 53rd St./Lexington & 6 to 51st St.)
$10.00 Cover plus $10 minimum
For info and reservations:

***** FREE CD with paid cover! *****

Linda Presgrave – piano, Stan Chovnick – soprano sax, Mister Fred – bass,  Seiji Ochiai – drums

Linda Presgrave, jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, relocated to New York City in 1998, leaving a very active music career in St. Louis. Linda released four CDs on Metropolitan Records – Inspiration, The Journey, The Linda Presgrave Quartet – Live and In Your Eyes. She’s performed at  JVC Jazz Festival, in New York, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at Kennedy Center with Astoria Big Band, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, World Forum on Music in Los Angeles, VI.  Festival Internationalde Musique en Catalogne in France and ControCanto: Donne in Jazz for Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica. In November 2012, Linda and husband Stan Chovnick opened the 2012 Donne in Jazz Festival in Frascati, Italy for the fourth time.

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NickiMathisSunday,15 December 6:00 pm  Nicki Mathis’ Afrikan Amerikan Jazz Concert

Wishing you and yours Warmth & Cheers, while remembering Leona Ford Washington

Billy Townes Trio, Jim Foster (b), Ruben Galvan (d)

McCall Neighborhood Center, 3132 East Wyoming Av, El Paso, TX 79902, 915.566-2407

FREE Admission – Donations accepted – McCall Neighborhood Center, a non profit organization will benefit. Thank you for supporting our legacy, global jazz, and for sharing performance news with jazz lovers, family, friends, colleagues, the world!

Nicki Mathis’ Afrikan Amerikan Jazz inviting/accepting Touring/Booking 2014 – 915.860-9044/591-6846 – mathis

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FRIDAY DECEMBER 20,2013 8:00 PM TIL 12:00 AM
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2014 Fundraiser


YOUR STORIES: Members please submit photos, fliers, and announcements to Joan Cartwright at
by the 28th of each month.