Friday, October 26, 2012

Wanda's Picks Radio Show: The Fountain Project

Lloyd Gregory
Lena Sunday
A Benefit for The Fountain Project: Cure the Blues III with Lloyd Gregory and Lena Sunday is Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 7 PM at Yoshi's in Oakland. This morning we speak to Ms. Sunday and Mr. Gregory as well as Dr. Erlene Chiang who is one of the founders of The Fountain Project, an organization that offers free medical clinic from both homeopathic and Chinese medicine and the best of western or allopathic modalities ten times a year. The next session is in El Cerrito on Nov. 17. Phone registration is Nov. 16 (510) 524-1057. Visit  For tickets: or (510) 524-1057.
Chris Chen
Desdemona Chiang
We close with an interview with playwright, Christopher Chen and director, Desdemona Chiang re: Chen's Crowded Fire Theater and Playwrights Foundation's  The Hundred Flowers Project which is in previews tonight (pay what you can), opening Saturday and continuing Wed.-Sat. at 8 PM Nov. 1-17, 2012 at The Thick House, 1695 18th Street, in San Francisco. Visit or call (415) 746-9238.  Music: Lloyd Gregory's A Moment in Time; Gentle Warrior and a smidgeon of Haiti (smile).

Michelle Banks & Rick Graham

I signed off accidentally, so I will host a special broadcast tomorrow morning before I head off for OneLife Institute's Spirit Silence Retreat. Visit

The broadcast will feature actress and producer, Michelle Banks and her partner, Richard Graham. They are producing an event which is bringing together deaf and hearing artists in Washington, D.C. for the first time called In-Sight and Sound: Live De(a)f Poetry,  Nov. 11, from 8 PM to 10 Pm at Busboy and Poets in Hyattsville, MD.

They have a kickstarter campaign we want to help them raise $3000.00 by Nov. 1 which means we don't have time to think, we just need to give. No amount is too small, because if they do not raise the minimum, which is $3000, they get nothing and this show next month sounds off the chart. 


The $3,000 will help cover production costs and artists' fees. 

For tickets: for tickets which are $15 dollars in advance, $20 at door, and half price for Veterans. The show is on Veterans Day.

This makes two weeks in a row where I had two one hour interviews rather than four half an hour interviews. Hum. I also planned to play an archived interview with Henry Grimes and Roscoe Mitchell from October 15, 2010, when Mr. Grimes was out here from New York, but time got away from me twice in one morning (smile). 

Mr. Mitchell is performing Sunday evening at Yoshi's in Oakland. They closed the show that Friday. Visit

Artist Bios:
Lloyd Gregory
Lloyd Gregory is a well-established classic jazz guitarist whose style is smooth, soulful, melodic, flowing and immediately likeable. What makes his approach distinctive is that it evokes unique hints of his extensive R&B roots. He is a master of both acoustic and electric guitar which is evident on Gentle Warrior,  Lloyd Gregory’s first album for Stanley Clarke’s label, Roxboro Entertainment Group. “As we grow in time, age, experience, knowledge and wisdom, there comes a time when it’s time to put it all to music and share it with the world,” Gregory states. “For this album, it’s time to make music for my friends.”
Although Gregory has released five critically acclaimed albums of his own, he has also recorded with Martha Reeves, MC Smooth and Freddie Stewart (Sly & The Family Stone); and has performed onstage with Rodney Franklin, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Gerald Albright, Lenny Williams (Tower of Power), Freda Payne, The Dells, and Lowell Fulsom. He spent years touring extensively while serving as the musical director for The Ballads, Natural Four and Jesse James, and performed on their albums. As a studio musician in Los Angeles, Gregory worked with producer Richard Perry and played sessions with top musicians such as Klaus Voorman (The Beatles), Arthur Adams (B.B. King, Quincy Jones), Harvey Mason (Herbie Hancock, George Benson) and Joe Sample (The Crusaders).
Raised in Cleveland a part of a musical family, Gregory is now primarily based in San Francisco and has been a popular entertainer on the Bay Area music scene for several decades. Minor 7th: Acoustic Music Review says, “Lloyd expertly fuses soul, pop and jazz, forging a hybrid that is both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.” Visit

Lena Sunday
Lena Sunday born in San Francisco Bay Area. As a child played clarinet, flute while growing up in a large household with 4 siblings. To escape the noise, she'd climb up a tree to write poems created her own way of writing music and melodies. This was her beginning as a writer.  She'd sneak into a room, put a towel under the door to sing to records, usually interrupted by someone yelling, "Mama, Lena is in the room singing again with towel under the door." This was her beginning, as a singer.

While in college she joined the nationally and internationally award winning "Traveling Voices", a Gospel-Jazz Troupe.  In concert, their music spanned the history of America's musical roots, Spirituals to Gospel, branching out to blues and jazz.

As a Mezzo Soprano, she sang both soprano and alto, which contributed in developing her incredible range. Little did she know at that time, that her solo numbers she sang from the "Great American Music Book", would become such a part of who she is as an artist today. While singing with the "Voices" she also performed and wrote songs with a community of fellow singers, musicians and artists.

Her voice got the attention of well known CBS/Sony Jazz Artist and producer, George Duke, who offered her a job as a session singer on his albums, as well as, those he produced, guaranteeing her enough work to make her move to LA. She worked with many legendary and renown artists, such as Stevie Wonder. Her multilevel vocal range came in handy in her getting work as a singer for hire in commercial jingles, voice overs, video games, movie; TV Themes. As a writer she wrote for artists such as jazz legend, Nancy Wilson while touring with legendary artist such as Lou Rawls as a featured singer for four years traveling throughout the country and internationally, playing with symphonies and in jazz festivals.
Lena stepped away from the stage or studio to have a "normal life" saying she'd come back one day.

After surviving cancer she realized the day had come, with music still in her blood, she has returned with a bang! Performing to sold out packed houses, such as, San Francisco Bay Area's premier jazz houses, Yoshi's Oakland, Yoshi's San Francisco, The Rrazz Room, and Berkeley's Jazz School, where she brought audiences to their feet, after taking them on an emotionally charged journey.

Stellar Jazz Artist Ed Reed, 83 years young, who was voted "Male Vocalist Rising Star" in the annual Downbeat Critics Poll (2008, 2009, 2011) and in the annual Downbeat Readers Poll (2011) said,"When I first heard Lena sing I went home and told my wife, that girl reminds me of Billie Holliday. . . she is going places!" 

Lena is working on her debut CD, produced by Ray Obiedo, Jazz and Latin Jazz Artist, Composer and Guitarist, who worked with greats, such as, Herbie Hancock, Julian Priester,George Duke, Lou Rawls, Grover Washington, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Tower of Power and Andy Narell.

Sunday's CD collaboration with Obiedo is much anticipated especially with both coming from such ecclectic musical backgrounds, which could only deliver something very special. From

The 100 Flowers Project World Premiere this weekend!

Christopher Chen (Playwright) Chen’s plays include Into the Numbers, The Window Age and Aulis: An Act of Nihilism in One Long Act. His work has been produced and developed at Central Works, Beijing Fringe Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Silk Road Theatre Project, Lark Play Development Center, hotINK Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Theatre Mu, Fluid Motion, Bay One Acts/Instrumental Theatre, Cutting Ball Theater, Just Theatre, Asian American Theater Company, and Crowded Fire Theater, co-commissioner and producer of The Hundred Flowers Project   with Playwrights Foundation. Honors include 2nd Place in the Belarus Free Theater International Competition of Modern Dramaturgy, a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant, finalist status for the Jerome Fellowship, and the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award (for The Hundred Flowers Project  ). He is a resident playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from S.F. State.

Desdemona Chiang (Director) Chiang is a stage director based in San Francisco and Seattle. She is Associate Artistic Director of Impact Theatre in Berkeley and Co-Founder/Associate Artist of Azeotrope, a Seattle-based artist consortium. She has directed at Crowded Fire Theater, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Balagan Theatre, SIS Productions, and Cornish College of the Arts. Assistant Directing/Dramaturgy: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playmakers Rep, ACT Seattle, Arizona Theatre Company. Ms. Chiang is a former Drama League Directing Fellow and a TCG Young Leader of Color. She is an Associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and Directors Lab West. BA, Integrative Biology and Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies: University of California at  Berkeley. MFA Directing: University of Washington School of Drama.


Post a Comment

<< Home