Friday, September 12, 2014
2014 has seen Shanachie Entertainment release a bevy of stellar music in every style, from long time greats like Jennifer Holliday to exciting new acts like Avery*Sunshine. As the late Summer turns to early Fall, Shanachie is pleased to announce the release of albums from two legends: Jazz/Broadway chanteuse Ann Hampton Callaway, and Reggae luminary Willi Williams.
Ann Hampton Callaway’s album, From Sassy To Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project drops Tuesday, September 16. The album, a beautiful live concert recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City, features Callaway’s supple voice soaring over exquisite piano arrangements of some of Vaughan’s greatest songs. There is a significant buzz on the record around the Jazz community, with Callaway’s performance being unanimously hailed as nothing less than extraordinary. In support of the record, Ann is in the midst of a busy coast to coast tour which runs all the way through Spring 2015.
Willi Williams’ album, Unification: From Channel One To King Tubby’s With Willi Williams & Yabby You drops Tuesday, September 30, and is a “lost” treasure of a recording of Williams in association with fellow roots Reggae legend Yabby You. Recorded at both the fabled Channel One and King Tubby’s studios in the late seventies, the golden age of reggae, this project is an absolute must for collectors and lovers of classic Roots Reggae music! Williams is also planning a tour in support of the release.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Shanachie Entertainment is proud to announce the signing of classic R & B/funk band ConFunkShun and will release the band’s first new studio album since their initial break up in 1986. ConFunkShun initially broke through in the "golden age" of self-contained R & B bands in the 1970's, joining such ground-breaking ensembles as Earth, Wind & Fire, War, The Meters, Kool & The Gang and many others as innovative hit-makers. ConFunkShun had 25 chart singles from 1977 – 1986, including 5 Top Ten hits and sold millions of albums. The band broke up when Michael Cooper went solo in 1986; he enjoyed a successful solo career in the ensuing decade. After playing some successful performances in the new Millennium the band reunited with key members, including lead vocalists Michael Cooper and Felton Pilate. The new album will be released in the Fall following a heavy touring schedule this Summer. This signals the true re-emergence of one of R & B's greatest bands!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Jamaica’s Luciano, the foremost singer of roots reggae to have emerged during the past twenty years, celebrates the release of My Soul, a brand-new inspirational single, with a coast to coast U.S. tour which runs through June and into July. My Soul, released on Shanachie Entertainment June 5th, is an inspirational ballad which adds another flavor to Luciano’s already diverse palette, including a rock-style guitar solo. Produced by C & I Productions, the team who produced Luciano’s 2005 album JAH WORDS, My Soul is a conscious attempt to deliver his message in a musical setting that will be accessible to a wide variety of listeners, not just reggae fans.
"Over the years I have listened to other international icons like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Jim Reeves," relates Luciano. By listening to all these great brothers, I have learned to appreciate other works and see that there are no barriers in music. Although I am well known as a cultural reggae singer, I have an International message and so I cannot deliver it just to reggae fans. I have to extend it to people from all walks of life"
My Soul showcases the evocative timbre and extraordinary power of Luciano’s singing, showing that his talent and ability to touch people’s hearts transcends genre. With the ongoing controversy over the lack of substance and often negative lyrical content on recordings coming out of Jamaica today, Luciano’s consistent presence as both a touring and recording artist gives badly-needed substance to music fans hungry for uplifting music.
As great as his recordings are, Luciano truly reaches higher heights when performing live, which has enabled him to be one of the most active touring reggae artists in the world today. With the release of My Soul, Luciano demonstrates his continued commitment to artistic growth and musical quality.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Platinum-selling South African singer/model/actress Lira has already conquered South Africa and much of Europe with her irresistible blend of R & B, Jazz and African styles. Like Sade before her, she is now set to conquer America, having just released Rise Again, her US debut. The album’s first single, "Feel Good," is a slinky, jazzy re-mix of one of her major South African hits, a perfect showcase for Lira's soulful, melodious singing style. That unique style led Essence Magazine to name her as one of "Five Unique Artists To Change Music in 2012.”
"Lira has all the ingredients to be a star in the U.S.," says Shanachie General Manager Randall Grass. "She has a unique sound, a wonderful voice, model-quality looks and is already a popular artist, not only in Africa but in much of Europe as well, with a wide-ranging appeal to Jazz, R & B, World music and Pop audiences."
Rise Again is the perfect introduction to the full-spectrum of Lira’s artistry. Songs such as “With My Eyes” and “Typical” highlight her sultry vocal tone on songs that deal with the subtleties of romantic relationships. “Rise Again,” “Feel Good” and “Believer” are all upbeat, inspirational, feel good anthems that exemplify Lira’s ability to touch people of all different backgrounds. She incorporates reggae into “Valley Of Darkness” and “Call Me,” a natural move since reggae continues to be a vibrant presence on the contemporary African music scene. “Ixesha,” “Hamba” and “Phakade” are all African-language songs that bring South African musical textures to the fore.
Lira was born in Ekurhuleni, East of Johannesburg, South Africa. Having grown up listening to Stevie Wonder, Miriam Makeba, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, she began writing songs and performing at age 16. In 2000, she was discovered by the musician producer Arthur Mafokate, who signed her to his label, releasing her debut album All My Love in 2003. The title track surpassed Beyonce's "Dangerously In Love" on a chart-topping run. She was then signed to Sony Music in South Africa and saw her debut Sony album win awards at the South African Music Awards (SAMA), the South African equivalent of the Grammy awards. In summer of 2010 she joined such artists as Alicia Keys, Shakira, K'Naan and John Legend as featured performer in the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert. That year she also made her cinematic debut as the support lead in the Italian feature film Consul. The Star newspaper in South Africa declared her the foremost Adult Contemporary solo artist in South Africa. The release of her high-end concert DVD, Live In Concert: A Celebration, was certified Triple-Platinum and knocked Celine Dion's Live In Las Vegas out of the #1 spot on the video sales chart. Her first two Sony albums were likewise certified Platinum. Lira has appeared on the cover of more than twenty magazines around the world and has the largest Facebook following of any South African musician with over 400,000 fans. She also received a BET Awards nomination as "Best International Artist" in 2012. With the release of Rise Again, American audiences will at last experience the magic Lira has brought to audiences in Europe and Africa.
All of the songs on Rise Again are written or co-written by Lira, except the deeply moving “Something Inside So Strong,” written by Labi Siffre. Lira performed the song for Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebration. Having just announced a nationwide US Summer tour, Lira is clearly poised for a major stateside breakthrough.
Check out Rise Again on iTunes.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
There's a lot of talk about the lack of substance and positive values on the urban music scene today. Where are the positive images of men and women, particularly African-Americans? Where are the songs promoting romance and lasting love? There are such songs and images but somehow they get overshadowed by superficial sexuality and material celebration. No one has done more in the last decade to deliver great, down-to-earth songs about love, relationships and family and the struggles ordinary people face than Kindred The Family Soul, the Philadelphia-based hit-making husband-and-wife duo Fatin and Aja Dantzler. On such hits as "Far Away," “Magic Happen," "Stars" and "House Of Love," Kindred The Family Soul delivers soulful, honest portraits of love and family. They not only sing about this life, they live it! They balance a committed marriage and six children with a successful career as musical artists. Their website has become a focus for many people who are dealing with the same struggles or who simply see in Kindred The Family Soul inspiration to do the same. On June 10, 2014, Shanachie Entertainment will release a new album A Couple Friends, their latest installment in their ongoing love story.
Working with such front-line producers as Vidal Davis and Andre Harris (Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius), Anthony Bell (Jaheim, Estelle), James Poyser (John Legend, The Roots) and Steve McKie (Bilal, Jazmine Sullivan), Kindred wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album.
While their critically-acclaimed last album, Love Has No Recession, was very oriented toward social commentary, A Couple Friends focuses more on the original Kindred themes of love and the joys and challenges of a committed relationship. A special 22-minute short film featuring material from the album is in production and will be released soon. The new album is one more affirmation that Kindred The Family Soul has created a unique style and approach to music-making that is a welcome dose of substance and "real life" on an all-too-often vapid music scene.
"Touching people with genuine emotion and true-to-life lyrical content has always been our mission, " Fatin says. "We want people to know that soul music has not left the building. We are here to stay and are carrying on the tradition!"
Listen to Kindred The Family Soul's new single "Everybody's Hustling" here.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Augustus Pablo is a legendary figure in reggae music, widely acknowledged, along with King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry as one of the prime architects of dub music, which has had a profound influence on hip-hop and electronica. Pablo was also a first-rate producer who launched the careers of such reggae legends as Jacob Miller and Hugh Mundell. He was also a highly-skilled multi-instrumentalist who played not only on his own recordings but as a session man on a number of great roots reggae recordings of other artists. He was an enigmatic figure who rarely performed in public, touring internationally only a handful of times in his nearly 30 years as a reggae artist. His greatness is demonstrated by the fact that two of his albums appear on most lists of the top reggae albums of all time--King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown, widely considered the greatest dub album ever recorded and East Of The River Nile, one of the greatest instrumental reggae albums ever recorded.
Recorded in 1977 and initially released in Jamaica after the atmospheric, hypnotic title track created a sensation as a single release, East Of The River Nile was released internationally in the United States in 1981 by Shanachie Entertainment, following Shanachie's release of Pablo's Rockers Meet King Tubby Ina Firehouse as Pablo's first U.S. release in 1980. The release of these two critically-acclaimed albums propelled Pablo into mainstream consciousness for the first time. These releases began a nearly 20-year relationship between Pablo and Shanachie as the main North American outlet for Pablo's music up until his death in 1999. The enduring beauty of East Of The River Nile stems from its entrancing marriage of rhythm and melody, led most often by Pablo's uncanny soloing on melodica. The release by Shanachie Entertainment of East Of The River Nile on vinyl LP is the first time it has been legally available in vinyl form since 1989.
Augustus Pablo was born Horace Swaby in St. Andrew near Kingston, Jamaica in 1953 and was a teenage prodigy. At an early age Pablo was drawn to the sound system dances and in his early teens frequently cut school to hang out in downtown Kingston record shops and recording studios, absorbing everything he heard. Proficient on keyboards, by chance he tried playing a melodica belonging to a friend's girlfriend; entranced by it, he was told by the girl that he could have it. In young Swaby's hands, the melodica—essentially a child's toy—became an evocative solo instrument. One day he was standing outside Aquarius Studio with the melodica and Aquarius proprietor/producer Herman Chin-Loy, who happened to be searching for a unique sound for a recording, spotted him and asked him to play on a track. The result was successful and soon Pablo was playing on sessions regularly for Chin-Loy, who bestowed on Swaby the nom-de-plume Augustus Pablo, which Chin-Loy had invented as a vehicle for his instrumentalists. Pablo soon teamed up with school chum Clive Chin, whose parents owned Randy's Records recording studio, and scored such classic hits as "Java" and "Pablo In Dub." Early on, Pablo established his own sound system, Rockers International, and his own labels and began producing both his own recordings and for other artists. He forged a close relationship with King Tubby, the hugely influential producer, engineer and sound system operator generally acknowledged as the inventor of dub music. Pablo's 1975 dub recording "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" was a huge hit and the album of the same name because a reggae classic. Throughout the 70's Pablo recorded prolifically, re-cutting classic Studio One rhythms in heavier style and creating his own original rhythm tracks. His own recordings were either instrumentals, in which lead instruments played melody throughout, or dubs, which moved snatches of melody in and out of the mix. He also produced many great recordings by established artists such as Leroy (Heptones) Sibbles, Dillinger, and Johnny Osbourne, as well as new talent which he frequently discovered, including Hugh Mundell, Jacob Miller, Tetrack, Delroy Williams, Norris Reid, Jr. Reid, Junior Delgado and Earl Sixteen. The release of the single "East Of The River Nile" and album of the same name in 1977 was another landmark. The single, which was a radical re-working of a recording Pablo had originally done for Herman Chin-Loy, was unlike any other reggae recording or, indeed, any other piece of music anywhere. Its impact was immediate. Pablo continued recording and producing both his own works and that of other artists up until his untimely death at the age of 46 in 1999 from a collapsed lung devolving from a nerve disorder - Myasthenia Gravis. His work was always informed by a strong sense of spirituality and devotion to Rastafari. Pablo's legacy is multi-faceted, encompassing a number of certified reggae classics, a body of work of great originality and substance, and an exemplary devotion to artistic and spiritual purity.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Celebrated and world-renowned independent record label Shanachie Entertainment is pleased to announce their exclusive partnership with leading YouTube multi-channel network INDMUSIC. INDMUSIC will be focused on enhancing Shanachie’s existing YouTube channel and content while capitalizing on Shanachie’s eclectic and diverse catalog of music. “We’ve been searching for the right YouTube partner for some time” says Rick Rosenberg, Shanachie’s SR. VP, Sales & Marketing/Digital. “After meeting with INDMUSIC executives Brandon Martinez and Arshan Shadri, I knew that INDMUSIC had the independent spirit to match Shanachie, while also possessing the skills and knowledge to make sure we are maximized in the growing and changing space that is YouTube. We are excited to be working with INDMUSIC.”
“YouTube is a difficult platform to navigate for so many labels especially as they work with such robust catalogs of artists. As experts in monetization and the proper asset management, labels we've been working with find tremendous value in our approach to YouTube strategy," states INDMUSIC CEO Brandon Martinez. "Shanachie has a tremendous history and an excellent roster of talent and we're looking forward to teaming with them on engaging those best practices to collectively take both of our businesses to the next level."
About Shanachie Entertainment (www.shanachie.com)
From an upstart purveyor of traditional Irish music, Shanachie Entertainment has evolved to become one the of the most respected and diverse record labels in the music industry. Shanachie’s recordings have covered virtually every corner of the globe, unearthing gifts from many of the world’s greatest artists who may never have been heard by the masses were it not for their recordings. On the verge of celebrating its 40th Anniversary, Shanachie continues to flourish bringing a unique combination of musical quality, marketing and promotion expertise and personal attention to an ever-growing roster of special artists. Their eclectic roster and rich catalog spans every genre from R&B, Jazz, Reggae, Rock and Blues to Folk, World Music, Country, Gospel and beyond. Their artists have been featured on esteemed programs as “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Tonight Show,” “The View” and NPR among numerous other national outlets. With a string of commercial Radio hits, numerous Grammy wins and other prestigious industry recognition, Shanachie also has a video division, with over 150 titles including acclaimed documentaries and concert performances.
About INDMUSIC (www.indmusicnetwork.com)
INDMUSIC is YouTube’s largest independent music network with over 3.5B video views to date across its 1300 artists and labels including Mad Decent Records, Stones Throw Records, Robbins Entertainment, Okayplayer, Brendan Benson, Major Lazer and Soul Khan. Music on YouTube currently has poor monetization due to fractured rights’ issues - INDMUSIC solves this problem by specializing in optimization, monetization and analysis of YouTube distribution strategies for independent music content creators. INDMUSIC helps its partners monetize YouTube views without sacrificing creative control or rights to their content. The company was instrumental in claiming thousands of User Generated videos using Harlem Shake, which translated directly into increased digital download sales and generated valuable demographic, geographic and viewer watch habit insights for the artist, label (Mad Decent) and INDMUSIC. Founded in 2011 by Brandon Martinez and Jon Baltz, INDMUSIC is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
In accordance with our rich history as a purveyor of some of the best Reggae Music ever to be released, Shanachie Entertainment is pleased to announce it’s re-release of Rita Marley’s controversial (and wildly successful) single “One Draw”, an anthem for the pro-marijuana movement. The song, which was a Top 30 Billboard Dance Club Hit, hasn’t been available digitally until this Shanachie release.
It is important to realize the significance of ganja (marijuana) in Rastafarian culture and in Jamaican culture generally. Many (though not all) Rastas regard ganja as a spiritual aid and smoke it for purposes of meditation or ceremonially. In Jamaican society generally it is reasonably common for it to be smoked recreationally or simply as a way to deal with the stresses of life but also ganja tea has been used medicinally traditionally. It is regarded as an organic, herbal plant with beneficial uses, rather than a drug. Ironically, it seems that America is just now coming to a more Jamaican understanding of marijuana and the re-release of the full hit version of "One Draw" celebrates that development.
Rita Marley states:
"The release of One Draw in 1981 was during a very significant year for myself and my family. I never thought it would create the level of global controversy that it did, while still selling over 2 million copies. With the release 30 years later amidst all the discussion on the legalization of herb in the states, it shows how relevant and timeless music can be. To all Fans and Friends, Thank you for standing by me. We are happy to re-release "One Draw". Hope you enjoy now or better than you did before….Jah Bless you all."
A portion of proceeds from "One Draw” will benefit The Alpha and Omega Senior Daycare Center. This is the newest addition to the Rita Marley Foundation and the planned opening is for July 2014.
Friday, January 10, 2014
As the 56th annual Grammy Awards approach, Shanachie Entertainment proudly congratulates renowned R&B/Jazz singer Maysa Leak on being nominated for a coveted Grammy Award for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for her song “Quiet Fire”, off the Blue Velvet Soul Album. Having performed and collaborated with a plethora of greats in the R&B and Jazz worlds, including Stevie Wonder, Incognito, Pieces Of A Dream, Jonathan Butler, Will Downing, and Dwele, just to name a few, Maysa has established herself as one of the most respected vocalists in the industry. Blue Velvet Soul is Maysa’s 10th studio album, and with this Grammy Nomination, she has proven that she is still reaching for new heights of creativity and excellence. Be sure and tune in to the 56th annual Grammy Awards, which are being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 5:00pm PST. The show will be broadcast on CBS at 8pm ET.
To hear a stream of “Quiet Fire”, head here: http://bit.ly/1d5daQX
For more info on Blue Velvet Soul, head here: http://bit.ly/1i2Eq5S
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Renowned R&B, Jazz and Broadway chanteuse Jennifer Holliday, who created and defined the role of Effie “Melody” White in the smash hit musical Dreamgirls, is set to release her first studio effort in 23 years! Over the years, Holliday has made waves as a singer and actress, as well as scoring Tony and Grammy Awards, performing at the White House multiple times and collaborating with a plethora of greats such as Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and more. Now, Holliday is set to unveil her master work, The Song Is You, on January 21, 2014 on Shanachie Entertainment. The album, titled after Holliday’s rendering of a Jazz Standard made famous by Frank Sinatra, is the consummate example of passion, class, and musical excellence. Featuring Jennifer’s soaring, emotive vocals cascading over lush horns and strings, The Song Is You navigates through a tasteful selection of Jazz, Broadway and R&B standards, as well as some lesser-known but equally beautiful numbers. Having won legions of fans throughout her illustrious career, Jennifer Holliday is poised to make her indelible mark on the music world once more.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
As 2013 enters the stretch run, Shanachie Entertainment is seeing an unprecedented run of critical acclaim for its dynamic roster of soul/R&B artists with 9 nominations for the 2013 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards—the largest such show devoted to independent soul music. In Soultrack’s own words “this year's finalists are superb and represent all that is great about Soul Music in 2013”. The finalists representing Shanachie include:
- Independent Album Of The Year - "The Man"
- Male Vocalist Of The Year
- Song Of The Year - "Jesus I Want You"
- Female Vocalist Of The Year
Maysa & Bluey
- Song Of The Year - "Good Morning Sunrise"
- Female Vocalist Of The Year
- Male Vocalist Of The Year
Sandra St. Victor
- Female Vocalist Of The Year
Musiq Soulchild & Syleena Johnson
- Duo Or Group Of The Year
Brand New Heavies
- Duo Or Group Of The Year
Swing Out Sister
- Duo Or Group Of The Year
Voting for these great awards is open to everyone! To be eligible to vote, simply go to SoulTracks.com and sign up for the Free email newsletter (signup box is located on the upper left of the Home Page). A personal ballot will be emailed to every person on SoulTracks' list on October 18. All votes must be received by October 30!
The winners will be announced at the SoulTracks international broadcast on Monday, December 9. Sign up now and vote for your favorite Shanachie Artists on the 18th!
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
R&B/Soul luminaries and longtime friends Musiq Soulchild & Syleena Johnson have partnered up to create a fresh, vibrant new sound! Having sold millions of albums, and between them worked with heavyweights such as Kanye West, The Roots, Santana, R. Kelly and many others, Syleena & Musiq have established themselves as two of the premiere vocalists in the R&B & Soul landscape, and are excited to release a record together for the first time. The project, entitled 9ine, will be released digitally on 9.9.13, followed by a wide release on 9.10. Featuring the production talents of Reggae hit maker Kemar McGregor, 9ine promises to be a musical treat! To hear the lead single from 9ine, the feel good Reggae track "Feel The Fire", head here. Syleena & Musiq are planning a tour in support of their new material.
To keep updated on the latest developments on the 9ine project, connect with Syleena & Musiq on Social media:
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Continuing the relentless schedule of diverse, high quality releases coming out on Shanachie this year, two very different yet both highly gifted women are releasing albums: Exciting new signing Chanté Moore, with Moore Is More, & Keiko Matsui with Soul Quest.
Chanté Moore - Moore Is More
Moore Is More marks Chanté's 25th year in Show Business, and is her 8th studio effort. Displaying her versatility and vocal prowess on tracks that range in style from energetic Dance/Hip Hop to sultry Jazz to soulful R&B, Moore delivers a work that is fresh yet timeless. With her first record in 5 years coming out and a role in R&B Divas: L.A. alongside Kelly Price, Dawn Robinson, Michel'le, Lil Mo & Claudette Ortiz, Chanté Moore is poised to once again make her indelible mark on the entertainment landscape. Moore Is More is available for pre-order on iTunes & Amazon.
Keiko Matsui - Soul Quest
One of the most prolific artists in the Jazz World, Keiko Matsui is known for her distinct, crisp and hauntingly beautiful sound. Soul Quest, Keiko's 32nd album, does not disappoint, delivering the qualities her devoted fans have grown to expect and love, while introducing a bevy of fresh ideas and concepts. Having concluded a whirlwind Spring Tour, she is poised to start an equally relentless run of dates, starting in August and carrying through October. Soul Quest is available for pre-order on iTunes & Amazon.