American Jazz Museum Salute to Charlie Parker w/ Bobby Watson, George V Johnson & Dennis Winslett


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Charles Christopher Parker





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August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955







Show begins at 8:30pm in the Blue Room


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Watson grew up in Bonner Springs, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas. He attended the University of Miami along with fellow students Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and Bruce Hornsby. After graduating in 1975, he moved to New York City and joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The Jazz Messengers, sometimes referred to as the "University of Blakey," served as the ultimate "postgraduate school" for ambitious young players. He performed with the Jazz Messengers from 1977 to 1981, eventually becoming the musical director for the group.

After completing his tenure as a Jazz Messenger, Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with many notable musicians, including: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George Coleman and Branford Marsalis, multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. In addition to working with a variety of instrumentalists, Watson has served in a supporting role for a number of distinguished and stylistically varied vocalists including: Joe WilliamsDianne ReevesLou RawlsBetty Carter, and Carmen Lundy, and has performed as a sideman with Carlos SantanaGeorge Coleman, Rufus and Chaka KhanBob Belden and John Hicks.

Later, in association with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, Watson started the first edition of Horizon, an acoustic quintet modeled after the Jazz Messengers but with its own slightly more modern twist. The group recorded several titles for the Blue Note and Columbia record labels.....read more


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Lyrics to over 30 Charlie "Bird" Parker's Classic compositions
The Art of Jazz Vocalese
Singing and Writing lyrics to improvised solos

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‎"My Little Suede Shoes" George V Johnson Jr & Lou Donaldson @ Birdland Jazz Club 7-9-11
Introduced to the packed audience by Lou Donaldson as the "Best
BeBop Singer in America" There's not another singer on the scene that can touch him.... he's in a class of his own!
I know because I've been in the business over 60 years and played with the best!!
Give him a gig!!! Blue Note should have signed him 30 years go...

Imagine listening to a seasoned jazz musician rip into a bebop solo so sizzling and smooth it makes your senses tingle. Close your eyes and play along. Try and picture the sweat bouncing off the performer like the notes that leap through the air. See if you can hear the mesmerizing melodies go up and down, bringing you through joy and sadness, taking your emotions on a sensory experience unlike any other. Now picture that musician and his beloved instrument: His voice. That's the art of vocalese, and that's what native D.C. son George V Johnson Jr. has been doing for over 40 years. Working as a performer, a D.C. Metrobus driver and a New Jersey train conductor at different times throughout his life, Johnson's latest work has taken the form of pedagogy. He has become a teacher and mentor to both aspiring and established vocalists from around the area, and most recently he has lent his years of experience and talent to AU, leading the AU jazz vocal ensemble. ~~By Ben Lozovsky - American University "THE EAGLE ONLINE"
* * * * * * * * * * 

Born December 20, 1950, a native Washingtonian, George V. Johnson, Jr is now one of the foremost practitioners of the vocalese style on the Jazz scene today.  He first turned heads on his debut recording in 1981 with “Pharaoh Sanders” on the LP REJOICE and was credited with vocals and lyric on Coltrane’s classic “Moments Notice “, later reissued on CD by Evidence Music   Johnson was mentored and performed regularly with “James Moody & Lou Donaldson”. Two of the greatest saxophonist in the history of Jazz. His close association with Moody led to many Local & National Live Radio and Television Broadcasts.  For 15 years Johnson was also mentored by the late John Malachi, pianist for the famous Billy Eckstine Orchestra, and since then has graced the stage with many jazz greats including: James King, Nasar Abeday, Bob Butta, Richard Johnson,  Dizzy Gillespie, Richie Cole, Pharoah Sanders, Benny Golson, Jimmy & Tootie Heath, Don Sickler, David 'Fathead' Newman, Bobby Watson, Wallace Roney, Antoine Roney, Wes Anderson, Clifford Jordan, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Dr. Art Davis, Keter Betts, Calvin Jones, Zoot Simms, Al Cohn, Herman Foster, Harold Mabern, Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Rueben Brown, Marshall Hawkins, John Hicks, Barry Harris, Kirt Lightsey, Philly Joe Jones, Idris Muhammad, Larry Ridley and the Jazz Legacy Ensemble and many more. Johnson has entertained and performed at clubs, festivals, concert halls worldwide.

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Dennis Winslett

Dennis Winslett began his study of the saxophone at the age of 9 in the historic jazz town of Kansas City. His full intense sound and high energy free swinging style of improvisation quickly earned him a reputation as an exciting young player to watch. Upon moving to Chicago to earn a degree in K-12 music education at, Vandercook College of Music, he was soon discovered by legendary saxophonist and AACM co-founder, Fred Anderson, which then led to his long standing Sunday night engagement at Anderson's Velvet Lounge. Winslett is currently a member of Malachi Thompson's Free-Bop Band swapping duties with sax giants Gary Bartz and Billy Harper. He shows his diversity going from Free-bop to recently recording with Ramsey Lewis's contemporary jazz group,Urban Knights.

On his debut recording for his co-founded new label, Black Folk Music, Winslett steps outside of his traditional be-bop roots and takes us on a Soul Journey to his own musical voice. This project was originally to be title, Ancient Folk Music, but was re-titled after another track on the cd, Soul Journey, after Winslett reflected on the year long process of writing and producing a project of all original music. Then negotiating in and out of two non-promising record deals, to pursue starting his own music label. These nine original compositions display his diverse musical style and simple approach to Jazz music. That is to write melodies that everyone can relate to and feel regardless of how rhythmic or harmonically sophisticated, and let the improvisation of the ensemble enlighten the listener to all the artistic and complex possibilities of the composition.

This young saxophonist is one of the most moving and passionate musicians of today, and to look out for in the future.


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Ceremony at the Cemetery 

Sunday, August 28, 2011




Fans, journalists and family members gathered around Charlie Parker's grave in Lincoln Cemetery Sunday afternoon for a memorial service. 


The highlight of the ceremony was a spirited round of "Now's the Time." Amateur enthusiasts joined some of Kansas City's most notable musicians. 


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Kansas City All Star 

Cemetery Ceremony

Sunday, August 28, 2011







The sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form come alive at the American Jazz Museum. The Museum includes interactive exhibits and educational programs as well as the Blue Room, a working jazz club, and the Gem Theater, a modern 500-seat performing arts center.


Charlie Parker Memorial Memorial Sculpture

by: Robert Graham

Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District in Kansas City, this is the place where jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, and hundreds of others defined the sounds of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. 

Today, scholars, students, musicians, and fans are drawn here to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the best music America has to offer. 

Additional Museum Highlights: Celebrating the artistic, historical, and cultural contributions of jazz, the American Jazz Museum includes: Rare photos, album covers, memorabilia, and personal items telling the stories of jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker



When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great interest in music and a love for the alto saxophone. Soon, Parker was playing with local bands until 1935, when he left school to pursue a music career.



From 1935 to 1939, Parker worked in Kansas City with several local jazz and blues bands from which he developed his art. In 1939, Parker visited New York for the first time, and he stayed for nearly a year working as a professional musician and often participating in jam sessions. The New York atmosphere greatly influenced Parker's musical style.



 In 1938, Parker joined the band of pianist Jay McShann, with whom he toured around Southwest Chicago and New York. A year later, Parker traveled to Chicago and was a regular performer at a club on 55th street. Parker soon moved to New York. He washed dishes at a local food place where he met guitarist Biddy Fleet, the man who taught him about instrumental harmony. Shortly afterwards, Parker returned to Kansas City to attend his father’s funeral. Once there, he joined Harlan Leonard’s Rockets and stayed for five months. In 1939, Yardbird rejoined McShann and was placed in charge of the reed section. Then, in 1940, Parker made his first recording with the McShann orchestra.



During the four years that Parker stayed with McShann's band, he got the opportunity to perform solo in several of their recordings, such as
 Hootie Blues, Sepian Bounce, and the 1941 hit Confessing the Blues. In 1942, while on tour with McShann.



Parker performed in jam sessions at Monroe’s and Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem.


By the end of 1942, he had a regular position with jazz great Earl "Fatha" Hines, and in 1943 he joined Billy Eckstine's popular band. It was during this period, while working with trumpet player and bandmate Dizzy Gillespie and, perhaps not coincidentally, doing no recording because of a musicians union strike, that Parker, Gillespie, and other musicians like pianist Bud Powell and drummer Max Roach began to carve out the signature features of the new jazz style that would come to be known as "bebop".



Though jazz had always been an improvisational style, he and his collaborators, who often met for informal jam sessions at Minton's, an after-hours club in Harlem, took the music's individualistic aspects to new levels, demanding technical excellence of each other that was not typical of even the best swing bands. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of the new style, and the innovation most associated with Charlie Parker, was the expansion of jazz harmony away from basic "triads" to more expanded forms using the upper extensions of chords. Among the best known of his recordings were his own composition "Koko" (the first bebop piece to garner widespread critical attention for its harmonic innovations),

A NIGHT IN TUNISIA[Dizzy Gillespie]

Partition a night in tunisia


the Dizzy Gillespie piece "A Night in Tunisia" (featuring an alto saxophone break that exemplified Parker's amazing technique), as well as the ballads "Embraceable You" (whose melody was rendered beautifully unrecognizable by Parker's improvisations), "Parker's Mood", and "Lover Man". Though his work was generally held in high regard by jazz aficionados and fellow musicians, with the exception of some conservative bandleaders like Cab Calloway and Eddie Condon, his commercial appeal was limited by the complexity of his work which the average listener had a hard time following.








There he caught the attention of up-and-coming jazz artists like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Later that year, Parker broke with McShann and joined





Earl Hines for eight months.



Billy Eckstine was the vocalist in the Earl Father Hines Big Band. Billy had several hits on the charts 'Stormy Monday Blues' and Jelly Jelly. He asked for a raise. Fatha said NO. Eckstine left the band and all the KILLER players followed him because all the ladies loved him and he had a big following. Thus pulling a MUTINY. In 1944, Eckstine formed his own big band and made it a fountainhead for young musicians who would reshape jazz by the end of the decade, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Lucky Thompson, Charlie Parker, John Malachi, Fats Navarro, Gene Ammons, Tadd Dameron, Gil Fuller were among the band's arrangers, and Sarah Vaughn, Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne were the singers.



Billy Eckstine band in Pittsburgh in 1944. Luck Thompson, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine


John Malachi - piano & Tommy Potter - bass


Years later he would give Sarah her name 'SASSY' Sarah Vaughn

and 30 yrs later he would meet a young singer and introduces him on stage as

"Your Majesty" George V Johnson Jr


Malachi says that he and Diz who were roommates on the road. In the middle of the night there would be a knock on the door.





It woudl be 'Bird' wanting to go over some new tunes and arrangements he had just written. They would be up most of the night playing tunes.



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The year 1945 was extremely important for Parker. During that time he led his own group in New York and also worked with Gillespie in several ensembles. In December, Parker and Gillespie took their music to Hollywood on a six-week nightclub tour.



Parker continued to perform in Los Angeles until June 1946, when he suffered a nervous breakdown and was confined at a state hospital.





Relaxing at Camarillo

State Hospital

Also limiting his material success was his growing unreliability precipitated by an increasing dependence on heroin. In 1946, following a crackdown on the narcotics traffic in Los Angeles while he was in residence there, Parker had a psychotic break and was hospitalized in Camarillo State Hospital for six months. Though he would recover from this incident, recording the great piece "Relaxing at Camarillo" to commemorate the period and doing well-regarded work with a classically oriented string section (including a memorable performance of "Just Friends"), impresarios became increasingly reluctant to employ him, and he suffered the dubious distinction of being an unqualified living legend who had difficulty getting work for the bulk of his career and was often reduced to playing on a cheap plastic saxophone, albeit often to great effect. Upon his death in 1955 (which saw a coroner estimate his age at 60 instead of his actual age of 34), his body was interred in Kansas City's segregated Lincoln Cemetery over the objections of Chan Parker who had been living as the saxophonist's wife. His amazing influence over the jazz small groups of the 1940s and 1950s is perhaps best summed up by the title of a piece by Charles Mingus: "If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats".

After his release in January 1947, Parker returned to New York and formed a quintet that performed some of his most famous tunes.


Kim, Bird and Chan




From 1947 to 1951, Parker worked in a number of nightclubs, radio studios, and other venues performing solo or with the accompaniment of other musicians. During this time, he visited Europe where he was cheered by devoted fans and did numerous recordings. March 5, 1955, was Parker’s last public engagement at Birdland, a nightclub in New York that was named in his honor. He died a week later in a friend’s apartment.

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Charles "Yardbird" Parker was an amazing saxophonist who gained wide recognition for his brilliant solos and innovative improvisations. He was, without a doubt, one of the most influential and talented musicians in jazz history.


Pannonica de Koenigswarter


In New York, she became a friend and patron of many prominent jazz musicians, hosting jam sessions in her hotel suite. She is sometimes referred to as the "bebop baroness" or "jazz baroness" because of her patronage of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker among others. Following Parker's death in her Stanhope rooms in 1955, Koenigswarter was asked to leave by the hotel management; she re-located to the Bolivar Hotel at 230 Central Park West, a building commemorated in Thelonious Monk's 1956 tune "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are".



She was introduced to Thelonious Monk by jazz pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams in Paris while attending the "Salon du Jazz 1954", and championed his work in the USA, writing the liner notes for his 1962 Columbia album Criss-Cross, and even took criminal responsibility when she and Monk were charged with marijuana possession by the police.



After Monk ended his public performances he retired to Nica's house in Weehawkien, New Jersey and died there in 1982... read more here Wikipedia







Nica’s notoriety was sealed by the mysterious death of Charles “Bird” Parker in her hotel apartment on March 12th 1955. When the press found out, the story made headlines.

Why was Parker in her apartment? Why wasn’t the death reported immediately? Why was his body mislabeled and Parker’s age given as nearly twice his actual age of 34 years, by Nica’s own physician? Why wasn’t an ambulance called? Is there any truth that he was killed by a blow from Nica’s close friend Art Blakey? Did a thunderclap ring out around New York the second after he died?

Piecing together contemporaries’ accounts, Bird’s death certificate and Nica’s own description, the wild rumours will be finally put to rest and the truth will be established...read more here

In the end Parker was just burnt out.

He had been suffering from stomach ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver, the continous drug and alcohol

intake literally wore his body out. His excessiveness in all things left a body that the attending doctor

at his death, guessed to be in his mid sixties, he was 35.  He was without a doubt, one of the most

influential and talented musicians in music history.


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The only true and original Art Form of America..






Event Date/Time: August 27, 2011 8:30 PM
Event Details:
Show begins at 8:30pm in the Blue Room. Admission is $15
- - - 

Considering himself the musical offspring of the highly entertaining jazz singer Eddie Jefferson, George V. Johnson, Jr.'s common surname has sometimes led to confusion, particulary in the early days of his career when neither the middle initial nor "junior" status were attached to his credits.

Some discographers thus see a double image in which a man named George Johnson was involved in modern jazz singing projects, including credits for vocal arrangements in 1979. Then along comes George V. Johnson, Jr. a few years later, hanging in for the long haul and finally enjoying the benefit of releases under his own name with the ironically titled Next in Line in 2000. Not to be confused with scat singing, which consists of nonsense syllables and sounds, this vocalist belongs to a singing tradition in which lyrics are concocted to fit the ebb and flow of a jazz soloist's performance, often including the original improvised horn solo.

While Johnson, Jr.'s excellent efforts included a version of John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" for one of Pharoah Sanders' highly-praised Evidence recording dates in the early '80s, the singer's efforts were reduced to part-time status for a good portion of the ensuing decades due to having to hold a day job. Nonetheless, he performed regularly as part of the James Moody group, a fitting setting since after all it was where Jefferson himself had been featured quite regularly. After the release of not one but two discs under his own name in 2000 Johnson, Jr. apparently decided to notch up his efforts and try to make it as a fulltime performer.

By Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide

- - - - -



George V. Johnson, Jr.

CharlieParker | PBS

Bobby Watson and Dennis Winslett are two well-known Kansas City based jazz artists who have come together to perform a tribute to Charlie Parker. Featured with Watson and Winslett is vocalist, George V. Johnson, whose repertoire is built around creative renditions of Parker's music.


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Kush Abadey is an accomplished drummer & bandleader .  He currently attends Berklee College of Music and for the past few years the young Abadey performed and toured with Wallace Roney.  As a leader has also performed with his band Gyroscope at the Kennedy Center, East Coast and Duke Ellington Jazz Festivals and the Smithsonian Museum among others.






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George, thank you and thank GOD for blessing you with insight to create WDCJN!   The Network has been my connection to the greatest Jazz Legends alive today and Emerging Jazz Icons.  Many of whom I've met and collaborated with over the last 3 yrs after our introduction.  Its a Wonderful thing when Creativity collides with History, Experience and Cosmic Energy and that's exactly the vortex you've created with the WDCJN.  Keep letting your light Shine Brother,......... Keep letting it SHINE~~~Lou

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Alfred Nobel and the invention of the microphone. 

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I strongly believe that technology is here to help the art form, not to overwhelm it, but tragically, with a very few, each day more and more scarce exceptions, the invention of the microphone, that is credited to the German Emile Berliner in 1876

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Put it this way: Jazz is a good barometer of freedom… In its beginnings, the United States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.~~~Duke Ellington



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The Howard University Jazz Ensemble will present it's Fall Concert @ Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.

The guest soloist will be saxophonist Javon Jackson. Mr. Jackson is a veteran of the bands of Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones and Les McCann. There will also be a performance by AFRO BLUE, the award winning vocal jazz ensemble.
Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did~~~Duke Ellington


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W.D.C.J.N. is one of the first American Jazz Networks to embrace the remaining truly great Jazz legends of our times and upcoming Jazz great through today’s social media.
The W.D.C.J.N. is now internationally reaching Jazz musician, enthusiasts and aficionados, promoters, festivals of Jazz around the world. A real eye opener for people researching the history and present day development an evolution of America’s only original art form and historical legacy.

I fully endorse this institution and encourage anyone that is fond of Jazz to visit the Washington D.C. Jazz Network; today and become a member or make a donation to a worthy cause.


Maxwell Price


Carmelo Munet
Michelle Rosewoman
Greetings DC Family, I'll be appearing at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival with a host of other great musicians in February
See you there...
Keep Jazz Alive! 




Clubs, Festivals, Artist CD's, Events, Real Estate, Museums, Performing Arts, Workshops, Cruises, Fashions and more..
Join the Phenomenal Legacy Empowerment CARIBBEAN CRUISE on the new Carnival Breeze Cruise Ship MAY 19 - May 25, 2013

A different type of church
Straight Ahead Live Jazz
Every Friday 6-9pm


"It's the best deal in town"

Bring the family * Spread the word * Let's celebrate!

Dick Smith

Executive Producer

A Member of the Washington DC Jazz Network


Site created


Blog Posts

Who Is Your Favorite Musician Of All Time?

Posted by Jessi winkler on August 27, 2019 at 10:06pm 0 Comments

So we all have been hearing about this …

Joe Chambers & M’Boom Re-Percussion w/ The Moving Pictures Orchestra @ Kennedy Center Jazz Series Concert Friday, October 4th 2019

Posted by WASHINGTON DC JAZZ NETWORK on August 16, 2019 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Advocate for Preserving America's Classical Music "JAZZ"

It's African American Heritage, Legacy and…


Jazz Avenues July 2019

Posted by Steve M. on July 12, 2019 at 1:52pm 0 Comments

"..the return of the authentic american bluesman."

Posted by billy jones bluez on May 15, 2019 at 6:17pm 0 Comments


The Billy Jones Story:

..the times and travels of an authentic american bluesman.…


Latest Exhibitions

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on April 23, 2019 at 1:20am 0 Comments

SeeMe Exhibition, "Her Story" at the Affordable Art Fair, Metropolitan Pavilion, Chelsea, NY .(March 28-31, 2019)…



Digital Series-Sample ¨Future ( 2019)

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on April 14, 2019 at 9:20pm 0 Comments

Half full cup ( Difference Zoom Óleo I C.polares.DestelloI Desenfoque Circle)

Half full…


Unique Artwork Designs for your CD/DVD Project

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on April 12, 2019 at 2:50pm 0 Comments

Unique Artwork Designs for your CD/DVD Project

Marta G Bressi's digital works to those who might be searching for an original image to feature on the cover of their latest CD/DVD project.…


¨Her Story ¨

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on March 22, 2019 at 7:15pm 0 Comments

I've been invited to celebrete¨her Story¨alonside 399 other Artists at the Metropolitan Pavillon in Chelsea ;N.Y:. ( march 28-31, 2019 )…


mini Bio: Billy invades Great Britain! - Ridge Radio UK

Posted by billy jones bluez on February 22, 2019 at 9:00pm 0 Comments

Mini Bio: Billy invades Great Britain! - Ridge Radio UK
..international airplay & commentary by British radio personality Keith Robinson on Ridge Radio UK…

FACE THE NATION: ..State of the Union Address:

Posted by billy jones bluez on February 10, 2019 at 10:39pm 0 Comments

FACE THE NATION: ..State of the Union Address:

My Hometown - The Billy Jones Band



The Billy Jones Story: ...the times and travels of an authentic american bluesman.

Posted by billy jones bluez on February 10, 2019 at 10:30pm 0 Comments

..genuine road-hardened delta blues outlaws. ..southern soul meets blues funk


...the times and travels of an authentic american blues band.…


Feliz Navidad....Merry Christmas...

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on December 9, 2018 at 6:30pm 0 Comments


Amigos, All Friends,

Digital Series-Sample ¨-Hope (2018)-New ways

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on October 22, 2018 at 9:59pm 0 Comments


New ways( Cubismo I Coordenadas P.II Destello I Espejismo I Difference Hard Light )

New ways ( Coordenadas P. Cubismo…


Digital Series-Sample ¨-Hope (2018)-A Few Steps away fro The of The wait -

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on October 19, 2018 at 2:33pm 0 Comments

A Few Steps away fro The of The wait ( Difference II Esferizar I Cubismo,Coordnadas P.I Espejismo Destello)

A Few Steps away fron The End of The Wait ( Diference II Cubismo C.Polares…


Digital Series-Sample ¨Hope¨¨(2018-),Hope for life and Freedom and Hope

Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on October 12, 2018 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Hope for life (Hard light Cascada Marble Zoom Diference Cubismo Destello)

Freedom and Hope( Cubismo Destello Coordenadas P-II )…



Posted by Marta Graciela Bressi on October 11, 2018 at 7:22pm 0 Comments




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