by David Cohen

With impressive powerful vocals and charismatic magnetic stage presence, TaQuita Thorns is the new ultimate Diva of Rock and Soul, coming out of the birthplace of Motown, Detroit, Michigan.

TaQuita was constantly influenced by the sounds of iconic artists like Little Richard,  Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Etta James, James Brown, Jackson 5, The Temptations and Whitney Houston. Thorns remixes pop songs with undertones of R&B, house, disco, and funk that creates a unique and inspirational beat. “I cannot define my music. I have no particular sound or style. It’s a never ending river of grooves and blues,” explains TaQuita.

At the age of 25, TaQuita is determined, focused, passionate, and ready to make a difference, but life wasn’t always this way. 

Growing up in a poor family of five, TaQuita didn’t always have it all, but she always had her music and lots of love. Her parents had always encouraged her to sing, and at the age of four TaQuita already was  performing her songs at family gatherings and events. By kindergarten, TaQuita was singing over the P.A. at school, writing her songs and pairing them with illustrations. 

She was born with a natural spark of energy. As a preteen, the bright-eyed girl kick-started a professional singing career by joining girl group Diamonds in the Rough.  A gifted young athlete, TaQuita ran cross-country and relay, joined the cheer team, as well as JROTC, (Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps) a program designed to encourage high school students to become better citizens and leaders, and she was part of the marching band, while attending Denby Tech and Preparatory High School.

But her real love to music always gave her hope, inspiration and the energy to keep on moving forward. During her teenage years, TaQuita became the lead vocalist of Denby Tech’s concert choir, and the captain of the dance company. She was picked to perform with the “All City” group, representing the best dancers from Detroit’s high schools. After graduating from Denby Tech, the shining performer attended Wayne State University where she focused on music and dance. 

During her time at Wayne State, at the age of eighteen, TaQuita auditioned for major music executive Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and was invited to move to New York, where she filmed MTV’s Making the Band (MTB) III. Industry executives immediately took note of her burning passion and natural talent. When Making the Band wrapped, MTV hired TaQuita to star in a spin-off series. “The TaQuita & Kaui Show” aired in 2007. Set in Las Vegas, Nevada, the show followed TaQuita and MTB alum Kaui Beamer as they “followed their dream” as performing artists, while sharing a cramped efficiency unit at the Happi Inn on the Strip. 

Since "The TaQuita & Kaui Show," TaQuita has been working diligently as a prolific songwriter and recording artist. TaQuita’s artistry draws from her life’s journey and brings reveals the boundless energy and positivity that drives this exceptional young talent.

Strutting fiercely to the top, the singer is currently recording the finishing tracks of her debut album, “Rough & Fancy.” “I hope my music puts people in a good mood and inspires them to get up and groove!” 

The song “Believe (Power of Love)” is her motto in life “You always have to believe in yourself,  to believe in life, and to believe in love. This is where my energy is coming from,  that’s what keeps me moving forward, LOVE NOT HATE,” said TaQuita.

Growing up with a lesbian sister, TaQuita is no stranger among gays and lesbians. As an ally of the LGBT community, TaQuita recently devoted her talent and time for good cause. She brought the house down with an electrifying performance of the 1966 Motown #1 hit “Shotgun” by Junior Walker & the All Stars at the 2012 OUTMUSIC Awards After Party in Las Vegas, NV.

With a natural sparkling gift and charisma like no others, we are witnessing the birth of the new star. A diva who is surely one of the most exciting new R&B music artists to emerge in years, and the one who is worth watching––Diva TaQuita Thorns.
 
 
WATCH DIDO’S ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE OF THE TITLE TRACK FROM HER FOURTH AND FORTHCOMING ALBUM GIRL WHO GOT AWAY

 
 
After performing 450 shows on Broadway’s The Fantasticks, Aaron Carter leaves the Broadway scene to kick off a new tour… And finish what he started 12 years ago. The tour, “The After Party” is the a reference to his 2000 record release Aaron's Party (Come Get It). Aaron will be performing his  heart-throbbing songs that made his fans fall for him.

For the past year the Platinum pop sensation has been on the world’s longest running musical The Fantasticks. Even though he has previouslbeen seen on Broadway in Seussical, and as a 2009 contestant on "Dancing With the Stars," the stay with The Fantasticks has marked a new era for Carter and the show. Aaron’s time here will go down in the history of The Fantasticks. His experience on Broadway highlights Carter’s commitment to pushing boundaries in his career and exploring his interests beyond the world of commercial music that he was groomed for.

Carter still holds the record of the youngest male solo artist to have four Top 40 Singles. He is currently in the studio recording and prepping to tour again. This time around he will be bringing back some of “Aaron’s Party” to “The After Party.” Eager to get on stage in front of his fans he that loved him in the early 2000s Carter says, “I'm so excited to get back out on the road again. It's truly the only place I can call home. My fans have been extremely supportive throughout the years and I can't wait to see them all.”

 Carter has released thirty-two tour dates. Check out if this after party is coming to you http://AaronCarterNow.com
 
 
To the Latino reader: 
I like Viajero's new single and I wanted to share it with you, To listen use this link http://www.viajerooficial.com/#method-link.
This is the press release I got from Azul PR (in Spanish), so don't expect me to speak it as good as it apears here. I may use diffrent language rather than English sometimes, so this is just an experimental try. Let me know what you think.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Enero 23, 2013) – Hoy miércoles se lanza oficialmente en las estaciones de radio de Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico la canción “Sé Que Te Vas” del cantautor nicaragüense VIAJERO. Con este sencillo se marca el debut mundial de esta joven estrella que desde ya ha generado mucha expectativa en la industria musical.

El primer sencillo de su disco debut, “Sé Que Te Vas” es una hermosa balada pop que explora los sentimientos de una ruptura con una letra muy original. La canción ya se encuentra disponible en iTunes.

Nacido en Nicaragua, de padre nicaragüense y madre costarricense, VIAJERO se ha consolidado en su país y en Centroamérica como una de las voces jóvenes y con mayor proyección internacional, no en vano desde los seis años comenzó su romance con la música cuando comenzó a tocar el piano y con el tiempo pasó a componer y tocar guitarra.

Motivado por el éxito y buenas críticas que recibió con una presentación en Premios Claro a la música Nicaragüense en Managua y luego de ser observado por el experimentado ejecutivo musical Pietro Carlos, juntos comenzaron a planear y trabajar lo que sería su estreno formal e internacionalización de su música y carrera. Así VIAJERO se embarcó en el 2012 en la producción de un disco muy completo que es su carta de presentación y con los mayores estándares de calidad y contenido.

Con un concepto claro de su primer álbum, VIAJERO compuso todas las canciones y luego sumó a su aventura al productor chileno Jaime Ciero (Alejandra Guzmán y Luis Fonsi, entre otros) y un grupo excelso de músicos que lo acompañaron en la grabación de su disco en Miami, Los Ángeles e Italia. Así, junto con el guitarrista Tim Pierce (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John), el baterista argentino J Morelli (Al Jarreau, Fito Paez, Enanitos Verdes) y con el respaldo en la sección de cuerdas del maestro Piero Vallero y su Orquesta Labirinto de Torino (Eros Ramazzotti, Alejandro Sanz) en Italia, se dio forma a un conjunto de canciones muy diverso y especial.

De esta forma VIAJERO comienza el 2013 desde ya, presentando su nueva canción, pronto su correspondiente video y un álbum debut que genera curiosidad y gran expectativa en la música latina para este año.

 in English

VIAJERO has his feet on the ground as his music transports us to fascinating destinations

The young singer/songwriter known as Viajero (Traveler) has a crystal clear idea of his place in the world and the role that his music has to play.

Born in Nicaragua to a Nicaraguan father and a Costa Rican mother, Viajero strongly believes that travel is not only the best way to keep growing as a person, but an appropriate metaphor for life. “Living something of a nomadic life has enriched my artistic career,” he says.

He spent all of 2012 writing and recording his international debut album El Viaje (The Journey). By juxtaposing elements of pop, Latin trova and singer-songwriter genres, he has created a sweeping, fascinating record with a signature sound.

El Viaje is produced by the Chilean maestro Jaime Ciero, whose production and songwriting credits include Alberto Plaza, Alejandra Guzmán and Luis Fonsi. Recorded in Miami, L.A. and Italy, El Viaje features contributions from the legendary Tim Pierce (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John) on guitar, and from Argentina’s great Jota Morelli (Al Jarreau, Fito Paez, Enanitos Verdes) on drums. Furthermore, the album’s gorgeous string arrangements are conducted by Piero Vallero with his Labirinto Orchestra (Eros Ramazzotti, Alejandro Sanz) from Turin, Italy. Mixing was handled by Matt Marrin (Celine Dion, Usher) with mastering by Chris Bellman (Elton John, Neil Young) of Bernie Grundman Mastering en Hollywood, California.

All of the songs are written by Viajero, and he marveled at shepherding his compositions from conception to arrangement to full production, while giving them a sound that’s distinctly his.

The first single, “Sé Que Te Vas” (I Know You’re Leaving), is a pop gem with a gorgeous guitar solo from Pierce that intersperses observations about nature with scenes from a breakup. “The aesthetics of Miami helped me put some poetry in the lyrics,” he notes.

Music always found a way to captivate Viajero, even when he wasn’t seeking it out. He started playing the piano at age 6. “I enjoyed it in a childlike way,” he says. “But my interest in it was very honest and natural.”

Over time, he picked up the guitar and figured out that playing music could be more than an end unto itself. It could also serve as the conduit between an inspired thought and an unforgettable new song.

Still, he was determined to show his mettle in other fields, and graduated from college with a degree in finance. But even as a dedicated student, he was constantly thinking up music and lyrics.

Shortly thereafter, in 2011, his music caught the attention of Nicaragua’s Premios Claro music awards, where he won five trophies. Among the judges – Pietro Carlos, the veteran record executive and manager to the stars who agreed to manage this young talent and is helping him launch a promising international career.

Now based in Miami, Viajero realizes that his viaje is just beginning.
 
 

Art Decade, the cross-genre outlet with music so beautifully mysterious, releases their debut album Western Sunrise via Eldest Only Recordings to the world. The accompanying video, which was made almost entirely using Procreate, a $5 iPad app, got major praise from such outlets as MASHABLE, HYPEBOT, MOTIONOGRAPHER, and many more.  Art Decade has teamed up with visionary animator and director, Whitney Alexander. The initial concept of a video was to create a sort of painting in motion in the style of the impressionists. WATCH IT HERE!

The outfit describes its music as neo indie classical, symphonic post-pop and rock, but it actually fits all these categorizations and more. You don’t have to listen long to pick up on a progressive electric guitar part here, and a club dance beat there. Were you to limit it mentally to only the classical/symphonic label, you may well miss out on also recognizing the group’s more aggressive rock instincts, which are very much on overt display.

Art Decade’s guitarist/vocalist/arranger Ben Talmi “grew up on a strict diet of the finest classical music there is,” and it shows. The group’s Western Sunrise album is filled with some of the most breathtaking string arrangements you’ll ever hear on a popular music album.  The band’s other half is Binod Singh, its lone Canadian and more of a Motown and soul guy, on bass. Talmi describes his band’s music as “very organized and clean. The albums are like architecture,” he continues, “every piece has a reason.”

Art Decade’s music is as entertaining, as it is thought provoking. Every once in a while, a band comes along that throws you for a loop. Just when you think you've got them figured out they hurl themselves in the opposite direction, making it impossible to confine them to a singular style. Art Decade is just such a discovery.
 
 
Patti LuPone, Norbert Leo Butz, Christiane Noll and Andrea McArdle, are the first four artists to be featured The Live Album Series, by Broadway Records and 54 BELOW
Broadway Records and 54 BELOW have joined in partnership to create a series of albums recorded live at the acclaimed venue, 54 BELOW, located just steps away from the heart of Times Square.  The album series will kick off with Patti LuPone and Norbert Leo Butz’s recordings due on January 15th, 2013

Patti LuPone Far Away Places - Live at 54 BELOW - available January 15th
Produced by seven-time Grammy nominee Robert Sher (2008 Gypsy Cast Recording) • Executive Produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard, of The Broadway Consortium, and Ken Mahoney • Pre-order at http://amzn.com/B009OYOVLW

Norbert Leo Butz Memory and Mayhem - Live at 54 BELOW - available January 15th
Produced by Aaron Ankrum (Laura Osnes Dream A Little Dream) and Michael Moritz • Executive Produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard, of The Broadway Consortium, and Ken Mahoney • Pre-order at http://amzn.com/B009OZ7EG0

Christiane Noll Gifts - Live at 54 BELOW - available February 5th
Produced by Aaron Ankrum • Executive Produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard, of The Broadway Consortium • Pre-order at http://amzn.com/B00AIRHSFA

Andrea McArdle 70s and Sunny - Live at 54 BELOW - available February 26th
Produced by Aaron Ankrum • Executive Produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard, of The Broadway Consortium, and Ken Mahoney • Pre-order at http://amzn.com/B009OYOVKS

“We are thrilled to be partnering with 54 BELOW on this exciting new live album series,” stated Van Dean, co-founder of Broadway Records. “We believe 54 BELOW has been, and will continue to be, host to a multitude of legendary concerts featuring Broadway’s brightest stars and this is an opportunity to capture these performances permanently for the fans.”

54 BELOW is owned and operated by Tony Award winning producers Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and Steven Baruch. Frankel said, “My partners and I are happy to add the live recording component to our 54 BELOW activities. It is exciting that some of the great performances will be available to audiences world wide.”

To check what performances planned for future, for tickets and for any other information visit www.54Below.com.  
54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. NYC.

BROADWAY RECORDS is a new label dedicated to Broadway and Off Broadway-related recordings and is a division of the theatrical production and investment company, The Broadway Consortium. For more information visit www.BroadwayConsortium.com and www.BroadwayRecords.com.
 
 
by David Cohenphoto by Sarah A. Friedman

Aaron Neville My True Story • EMI Blue Note Records • To be Released January 22, 2013

Iconic soul/R&B vocalist Aaron Neville will release his debut record for EMI’s Blue Note Records My True Story. Produced by Keith Richards and Blue Note Records President Don Was, Neville revitalizes some of his favorite songs from the doo-wop era and beyond. 

“Aaron Neville is one of the most expressive and soulful artists of all time, it's such a thrill to hear him sing,” Was says. “His vocals have a way of reaching into your heart and stirring something really deep inside. It's a huge honor to welcome him to Blue Note Records, along with the legendary Keith Richards, in the production of this album.”

  All the songs were hand-picked by Neville and are close to his heart. “When I was a kid, doo-wop was like medicine to me, I didn’t care what else was goin’ on in the world as long as I could sing along with Pookie Hudson and The Spaniels, The Flamingos, The Clovers, Sonny Til and The Orioles, Clyde McPhatter—I was like a kid in a candy store.”

  A stellar group of session players was assembled to lay down the song tracks. In addition to Keith Richards on guitar, other musicians include: Greg Leisz on guitar (Beck, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams), Benmont Tench on organ (founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), George G. Receli on drums (Bob Dylan, James Brown), and Tony Scherr on bass (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright). Richards sheds some light on the atmosphere in the studio as he explains, "This was a dream session. The band fell right into the groove and Aaron sang like an angel. It was an honor!”

With the ability to perform, collaborate and contribute to a wide range of genres, Neville has done it all. From the funky soul and R&B cuts with the Neville Brothers to Grammy a winning duet with Linda Ronstadt in 1989, “Don’t Know Much,” to the title track of 1993’s The Grand Tour which put Neville on the Country charts for the first time, to his many Gospel records including his most recent project, I Know I’ve Been Changed in 2010.

 
 
The new debuted of MIKA's new single “Popular Song” on iTunes, offers a fresh twist on "Popular" from the Broadway hit "Wicked", composed by Stephen Schwartz. In an historic move, Schwartz was so moved by this interpretation that he authorized the usage of his music for the first time ever.

"Popular Song" remains an inspiring and invigorating pop anthem that encourages the bullied and unpopular to rise above. MIKA tapped the charismatic and charming actress/singer Ariana Grande for the song, which showcases a powerful interplay between the two singers. Grande’s successful co-starring role on the hit show, Victorious, recently led to her own spin-off for NickelodeonSam & CatGrande’s presence extends far beyond her television notoriety. She’s also a highly talented and accredited singer, who’s debut album—due out 2013 via Republic Records—has her poised to become a major player in popular music.

The single arrives hot on the heels of Mika's recent sold-out U.S. tour in support of his new album, The Origin of Love, which followed up the multi-platinum worldwide smash, The Boy Who Knew Too Much.

Completely self-created and self-imagined, The Origin of Love has been a two-year DIY labour of love for Mika who has put together everything on the record himself, flying around the world under his own steam personally assembling an incredible roll call of collaborators – In addition to Nick Littlemore and Pharrell Williams, Mika has also worked with William Orbit, Benny Benassi, FrYars, Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Adele), and Klas Ahlund (Robyn’s Body Talk) as well as working with some brand new unsigned musicians he found himself online.

Mika has now sold over 8 million records and Gold or Platinum awards in 32 countries worldwide across his previous two albums ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’ and ‘The Boy Who Knew Too Much’, winning Brit and MTV Awards in the process. For more information visit www.mikasounds.com.
 
 
“Stuart Price made the new seven-inch mix of ‘Memory of the future’ for us and then extended it into this fantastic futuristic dance mix. We've always liked Ulrich Schnauss's visionary albums and are thrilled that he has created a beautiful mix which sounds both like him and us.” – singer Neil Tennant on the new mixes of “Memory of the future”.

UK electro-pop legends Pet Shop Boys have just launched two new digital EPs in the US for their new single ‘Memory of the future’. The song, taken from their latest album ‘Elysium’, was released on New Year’s Day, and features brand new mixes by revered producer Stuart Price (Kylie Minogue, The Killers, Madonna). In keeping with previous single releases, there are also three brand new songs, and remixes from German ambient-techno maestro Ulrich Schnauss, as well as new interpretations from DJ Waldo Squash and Digital Dog.

Pet Shop Boys performed ‘Memory of the future’ live on German TV from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on New Year’s Eve. The band has already announced European tour dates in the Spring/Summer and hope to announce North American dates very soon. To find out more visit www.petshopboys.co.uk
 
 
PERFORMING ON QVC DECEMBER 5TH SONGS FROM THEIR EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE  #1 BILLBOARD WORLD MUSIC CHART DEBUT ENTITLED HOME FOR CHRISTMAS   ALL-FEMALE IRISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE ANNOUNCE 2013 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

Global sensation Celtic Woman kick off their Christmas Celebration Symphony Tour, with tour ensemble Chloë AgnewLisa LambeSusan McFadden, and Celtic Violinist Máiréad Nesbitt, on December 1st in Foxwoods, CT, making stops across the US and finishing in Huntsville, AL on December 22nd.  The ladies are touring this December in support of their holiday album, Home For Christmas, via Manhattan Records, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Charts. This marked Celtic Woman’s eighth consecutive #1 World Music debut!  Celtic Woman will be performing songs from Home For Christmas on QVC December 5th at 12pm EST to promote an exclusive bundle of their holiday album with a special 6-track bonus CD, A Christmas Celebration sampler (album and sampler tracklistings below). The bundle is now available for pre-order on QVC, click here.  Celtic Woman will continue to tour North America in 2013 with a 67 date tour from coast to coast! Please see below for full tour dates.

Home For Christmas features the celestial voices of Chloë AgnewLisa Lambe, and Méav Ní Mhaolchatha along with dynamic inventiveness from Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. This is the all-female Irish music ensemble’s second Christmas album and features such holiday favorites as “Winter Wonderland”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and the Christmas classic “Silent Night”. Its first, the platinum-selling A Christmas Celebration, featured songs from Celtic Woman’s PBS special and is a perennial holiday favorite and stocking-stuffer. Home For Christmas is sure to become a must-have gift item.

Earlier this month, Celtic Woman appeared as themselves on the CBS daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, performing two songs, “The Parting Glass” and “Danny Boy.”

Since Celtic Woman’s inception in 2004, the unique ensemble has emerged as a spectacular commercial success and a genuine cultural phenomenon thanks to their evocative, uplifting music. The group’s albums and DVDs have gone multi-platinum, sold +7 million units worldwide (including their 2012 project BELIEVE), notched two Top 10 album debuts on theBillboard Top 200 Album chart and four Top 5 releases on the Top DVD Music Video chartand sold more than 2.2 million concert tickets. All eight Celtic Woman album releases have debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart.

For more information visit www.celticwoman.com

Source: Press release