Photo Flash: Ebony Jo-Ann Reprises Nuttin' But the Blues and Celebrates Debut CD at Sugar Bar This April
Ebony Jo-Ann, a "Blackgold" acclaimed Blues vocalist, multiple award winning Broadway, Film and television actress and social activist, is in residence during the month of April at Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, 254 W. 72nd St. in New York, for the first time since 2011, to reprise Nuttin' But the Blues, the Sugar Bar's weekly Blues series, which she co-created with the late Nick Ashford.
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On Tuesday, April 5th, Ebony Jo-Ann sang tunes from her critically-acclaimed Blues CD, "Please Save Your Love for Me," named on Asbury Park Press' list of The Best Blues and Roots-Rock Albums of 2015, which was released on her independent label, Blackgold Productions. Scroll down to see photos of the night.
Her set list featured tunes from "Please Save Your Love for Me," including the original songs "Just Rain," written by Ashford & Simpson (a radio favorite); "Glad I Waited for Love," written by Aziza Miller; and the cover classics "Send Me Someone to Love," written by Percy Mayfield as a duet with Danny Kean; the title track, "Please Save Your Love for Me," written by Buddy Johnson (her tribute to her idol, Bobby Blue Bland); "Muddy Water," written by Eddie Miller; "Sittin' On Top of the World, written by Walter Jacobs Vinson; and "Is It Because I'm Black," written by Syl Johnson, Jimmy Jones, and Glenn Watts, which has been trending.
With themes of love and passion, the politically charged album represents Blues music to its present day. Sheryl and Don Crow of The Nashville Blues Society writes, "Ebony Jo-Ann melds vintage blues and jazz sounds with today's contemporary canon with style and sophistication. With a voice that's in a class all by itself, "Please Save Your Love For Me" is a very entertaining listen!"
Other songs featured on "Please Save Your Love for Me," include "Burnin' World," written by Danny Kean; "Yo Love," written by Irene Datcher and co- produced by Preston Vismala; "Nosybody," written and co-produced by Miles Jaye."Please Save Your Love for Me," produced by Danny Kean, is available on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.com.
Ebony Jo-Ann will also appear at the Sugar Bar on April 12, April 19 and April 26, backed by a six-piece band led by her producer and musical director Danny Kean (Keyboard) and featuring Mark Bowers (Guitar), Chulo Gatewood (Bass), Howard Robbins (Keyboard), Phonzie Wesby (Drums), Dennis Moriarity (Harmonica); with Aziza Miller and Valerie Ghent singing background vocals. Showtime: 8:30 PM. There is a $10 cover charge and an additional two drink minimum. Call 212-579-0222 for reservations. Click here for more information.
Recording has been a lifelong dream for Ebony Jo-Ann. No stranger to the concert stage, Ebony Jo-Ann has performed on historic stages and venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music; as well as performing arts houses, music festivals and jazz clubs all over the world. She has shared the stage with GRAMMY award-winning and legendary recording artists across multiple genres including the late Big Joe Turner, Horace Silver, Nat Adderley, Sr., as well as Bill Sims, Kenny Neal, Danny Mixon, Onaje Allan Gumbs, and Miles Jaye, just to name a few.
Celebrating over 40 years in music and entertainment, Ebony Jo-Ann is best known for her work in theater, film and television. She has worked in seven Broadway productions including August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Drowning Crow, the revival of The Sunshine Boys with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, Mule Bone, and Sheila's Day (which she co-authored) and has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway, national and regional theatre projects. Her work in film include Adam Sandler's blockbuster franchise Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, Noise with Time Robbins, Kate & Leopold,Marci X, The Orphan King, Pootie Tang with Chris Rock, Eddie with Whoopi Goldberg; as well as other key and independent film releases. In 2013, Ms. Jo Ann reprised her role as Ma Rainey for The Greene Space's AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE Recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Last summer, Ebony Jo-Ann starred in George Faison's 40th Anniversary celebration of "The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music," presented by CityParks Foundation's SummerStage at Rumsey Playfield, reprising her role as Addaperle (which she performed on The Wiz's national tour). Upcoming: Ebony Jo-Ann can be seen in "Difficult People," Hulu's hit comedy series executive produced by Amy Poehler, which was recently renewed for a second season. Ebony Jo-Ann is the recipient of the 2015 Reel Sisters Hattie McDaniel Award, six Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Awards, and a 2014 National Action Network's WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE award for her continuing and outstanding dedication through her artistic talents as well as her contributions to civil and human rights.
Producer Danny Kean and Ebony Jo-Ann
Aziza Miller (background vocals), Dennis Moriarity (harmonica), Mark Bowers (guitar), Phonzie Wesby (drums), Ebony Jo-Ann, Chulo Gatewood (bass), Howie Robbins (keyboards) and Valerie Ghent (background vocals)
Ebony Jo-Ann and her makeup artist Danny Irby
Poster of Ebony Jo-Ann with a photo by Carmen L. de Jesus