Last Saturday, my project Time For My Music had an online evening performance, which was livestreamed through my YouTube channel. Among all the talented women who were in the show, we should have had the bright smile and powerful djembe of Carlene McKenzie, but unfortunately, she passed away at the beginning of the year. We organised a tribute for her that we presented during the concert, and I’d like to add some words to it here.
I met Carlene five years ago, when she was invited to join Cafemnee (the project that later morphed into Time For My Music) by another member called Patricia. Carlene commented that she had a djembe collecting dust in her house, as she had done nothing with it for a long while. With the support of the group, she picked it back up. She quickly got ideas and the tools and knowledge to execute them, which made her career explode. She played in two bands, joined drumming groups, and got invited to perform and record with other artists.
Carlene’s enthusiasm was contagious. She became a great driver in Cafemnee and later in Time For My Music. She prompted other women to continue their journey and she brought smiles to every meeting. She also had very generous words for the group, like this little testimonial:
What this community group does, and gives me, is the time and space to explore, experiment, sharpen, and fuse musical ideas with likewise women. I have grown tremendously in my musical journey and applaud and commend Millicent on her leadership and vision on our behalf.Carlene
She was always so positive and motivational that we were all at loss when we learned about her passing. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand and accept that someone with great potential and many wonderful things left to do has to suddenly leave the world.
I am going to greatly miss her and I’ll cherish all the memories we made together. Here I leave a direct link to the section of the concert dedicated to her:
Thank you for everything, Carlene!