(courtesy of Highlife Music)
YOU UNDERSTAND THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU HEAR HER VOICE. Soft, yet Intense. At times pretty and melodic; at times raw and urging. Her vocal tone instantly captivates you, like a person you just met and five minutes into the conversation you realize you're kindred spirits. Her musings hearken to a rich tradition while fulfilling the promise of an innovative future. This God-given voice belongs to a gifted, energetic, woman from the village of Harlem. June April.
"I remember when I was 8 years old and there was a Jazz festival on 125th Street. It started early in the morning and I made sure I got there early get up front. I was lost in the music. The harmony, melodies, improvisation and chemistry between the musicians transported me to another world. In fact, my family had gone home, without realizing I was still there. They came back and found me still absorbed in the experience."
Her immersion into her craft led to Classical and Jazz music studies at Syracuse University, The Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where she received her Masters degree. Her journey continued, leading to opportunities to study or work with such Jazz luminaries as Lionel Hampton, Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Stefon Harris and Vanessa Rubin. She has performed at famous venues throughout the United States, Central America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The seeds of her musical apprenticeship blossom richly on her full-length debut, "What Am I?" "I want to have a conversation about the complexities of life, and what truly satisfies the human soul." Indeed, "What Am I?" presents brilliantly arranged hymns and vibrant, original material. While rooted in traditional Jazz, the project also draws influences from June April's Costa Rican roots, Bluegrass, R&B and Gospel music.
"Tick, Tock" features an infectious Neo-Soul groove. "I used to teach in the NYC pubic schools and I thought about all the talent those kids have. I want them to use their time wisely so they can reach their potential." The title track, "What Am I?" redefines the term "power ballad". It is a soaring, deeply affecting examination of life; it's true purpose and meaning. You will hear the question you've asked yourself time and time again. "Faith vs. Fear" is a joyous, musical feast filled with incredible, nourishing performances from some of the best young Jazz musicians in NYC.
"Hey, I'm not perfect and I don't take myself so seriously. I laugh at myself sometimes when I make a mistake. It's okay, God still loves us." June April's faith, passion and optimism are evident throughout this project. The artist-turned-business executive will be working the concert stage, radio airwaves and the Internet in support of her fledgling label. An avid vegetarian, she encourages her audience to explore the healthier slice of life on her website.
Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Producer, Activist. Her name is June April.
[Publisher's Note: Sadly, June April died in 2013 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. We miss her.]