Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

What can I say! I’m still bowled over by the attitude, work ethic and camaraderie of the five women who opened my Not Just Jazz 5 show two weeks ago. Carlene (Djembe), Hillary (Alto Sax), Janice (Alto Sax), Pat (Tenor Sax) and Sheryl (Alto Sax) are five women from my women in music project Cafemnee that I’m writing about.

There are many Cafemnee women who are making great strides in their music but I did not have capacity to Showcase everyone this time; also in the past the opening acts for Not Just Jazz Shows are mainly singers but this year I wanted more of an instrumental feel to the Show, featuring my favorite instrument 🙂

These Ladies formed a Saxophone Quartet with Djembe drum and performed an uptempo-groovey soul version of Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’; Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ – both with backing tracks. An acoustic version of Tasha Cobbs ‘For Your Glory’ with Saxes, keyboards and Djembe and finally the Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ number with my Band. Wow! they bought the house down!

I met up with the Ladies after the Show. All are still on a high and have interesting plans for their music going forward. Sisters are doing it for themselves! It was during this conversation that Carlene mentioned that she had bought her Djembe a few year back and it stayed in its case for 5 years. It was through coming to Cafemnee that she found the motivation and confidence to locate a drumming class. This year she attended an international class. Things are looking up!

Special thanks to Sheryl for the musical arrangement of the songs and Hillary for the group admin. Thank you all! Pleasure working with you Carlene (Djembe), Hillary (Alto Sax), Janice (Alto Sax), Pat (Tenor Sax) and Sheryl (Alto Sax). Five sisters doing it for themselves

Photographs by Keri Hunt

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