The Pulse of Entertainment: VaShawn Mitchell Release
Single from Upcoming New Album ‘Elements' / Smooth Jazz Pianist Keiko Matsui Gives Love and
Light on ‘Echo'
"I prayed and asked God. ‘What has kept me in the industry?'...and
‘the elements' came (wind, earth, fire and water)," said Grammy nominated VaShawn
Mitchell about his upcoming new album "Elements" (VMan Enter/Tyscot).
When I mentioned how outstanding the musicians,
especially the guitar, are in the live music video of the project's first single "God
Can Do Anything," which plays as soon as you log onto his website, he said, "Most are from
Nashville. Some I know on regular bases...I have several guitar players!"
a singer/songwriter/producer, was noticed by Bishop Larry Trotter and hired as Minister
of Music at Chicago's Sweet Holy Spirit Church. Though he has a degree in Psychology,
music is his calling. In 1998-99 he debuted as a solo artist with "So Satisfied". His break-through
single was "Nobody Greater" in 2011, which stayed on the top of the Billboard Gospel Charts
for nine weeks.
"Part of it is also giving God the power," VaShawn
said about the meaning of the upcoming album "Elements." "We have to put
our trust and hope in Him."
Born in Harvey, Illinois Mitchell's achievements so impress
his hometown that they names a street after him. As producer he has worked on projects for Grammy Award
winners Smokie Norful and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. He has garnered a record breaking 11
Stellar Award nominations, as well as two Grammy Award nominations. VaShawn has won two
Dove and a Stellar Award for his music. In 2014 he was a featured artist on Billboard nominated JJ Hairston
and Youthful Praise's single "Nothing Compares."
"It's amazing," Mitchell
said about the "Elements" project to be release this summer. "It's a fresh
body of work that will bless generations to come such as ‘Wind of God is Going My
Way.' This is for church goers and hopefully those who just want to be encouraged."
The first single "God
Can Do Anything" is out now and is as a powerful Praise & Worship selection that
is sure to bless generations to come. VaShawn Mitchell's projects have had distribution support from EMI Gospel, Motown
Gospel and Tyscot. The musical achievement of VaShawn Mitchell has solidified him as a Contemporary
Gospel icon. www.VaShawnMitchell.com www.Tyscot.com
World renowned Smooth Jazz pianist Keiko Matsui releases another Shanachie Entertainment project called "Echo,"
where the Japanese icon gives love and light via the piano. Keiko released the "Echo"
project on February 22, 2019 with a CD release party at The Rose in Pasadena, California
and a debut at #2 on iTunes.
"I'd been touring so much so last summer...I
stopped touring to concentrate...for a month. I received inspiration. It's hard to explain in words
the way of life and love, and light...many emotions expressed through this album," Matsui said passionately.
"Songs started coming to me that same month. Four or five songs were very strong,
did not go away. I said, ‘I know this is a sign.' So I went to record them."
That passion is "felt" when you listen to "Echo," which
features Grammy Award winning Kirk Whalum (sax), Grammy nominated Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar) and Grammy nominated Marcus
Miller (bass). Produced by Keiko and Bud Harner, who also lends vocals, the project offers
"The first song...the first time I hear this baseline
it became the opening song...the melody of the blues," she said.
Keiko Matsui is referring to "Unshakeable,"
which is one of my favorites on the project because of the use of the horns (trombone,
trumpet and alto sax) are done in an outstanding way and Keiko on the piano keys seem to uplift
that tremendous sound in a way that Paul Jackson, Jr,'s guitar playing could make you feel "unshakeable."
I also like #2 "Moon Over Gotham," featuring Paul Jackson, Jr., because it's
a masterpiece that is simple but intriguing because of the way Keiko's fingers fly on
the piano. My next favorite is the title track and first single #3 "Echo," featuring
Marcus Miller (bass), because it sounds like a song on the soundtrack of a fairytale movie - I had to reach for
a tissue. The fourth selection "Espirt," featuring Kirk Whalum (sax), is a favorite because
the two makes it is so soulful I forgot for a minute both are considered "Smooth
Jazz" musicians. I'm ending my favorites with #8 "Now is the Moment" because
Keiko brings the light with her piano.
"Echo (the name) came after all the
recording sessions," she pointed out about the title track.
"Echo" (Shanachie) also features
Robben Ford and Ramon Stagnaro on guitar, Kyle Eastwood on bass and Gretchen Parlato on
vocals. Keiko debuted in 1980 in the Cosmo band she founded with her husband Kazu Matsui.
Cosmo released eight albums and Keiko recorded three albums with her husband. She debuted
as a soloist in 1987 and has released 27 albums. In 1996 she received a Soul Train Award nomination.
Matsui tours constantly and will be headlining the Smooth Jazz Cruise at Celebrity Infinity March 14 - 21st,
performing at the Berks Jazz Festival April 6th and in Alexander, Virginia at The Birchmere
on April 7th. www.KeikoMatsui.com www.Shanachie.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated
weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She
is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance
Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: "Uplifting Minds II," a Free Entertainment Conference held annually in Baltimore (Saturday
April 20, 2019), in partnership with Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times
and Los Angeles (November/TBD). Offering an Entertainment Business panel and a talent
showcase and competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) with over $15,000 valued
in prizes for each category. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.