Who is Charenée Wade you ask? Well, she is a distinctive new jazz vocalist you’ve possibly not yet heard about. Cruising through one of my music Facebook friend’s page, I noticed an image of a young woman on a CD cover titled The Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson.
The image was a combination of old-school charm and revolutionary beauty. You have got to realize that culturally, many of us baby boomers came of age to the poetry and music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson. In the lyrics of Scott-Heron, the revolution was not supposed to be televised. Yet, Charenée brings a picture up in our minds and then kicks today’s rampant celebration of I-got-to-get-mine consumerism (don’t shoot me) to the curb. We are encouraged by this music created in the desolation and hope of the ’70s to live consciously. We are encouraged to believe that we can still change the world and we are filled with hope.
Charenée rocks this music out by collapsing time. I recognize the feeling as soon as the music begins. But with her singing, the music sounds brand new. I hear both hope and optimism. And in these times of ‘everything matters,’ Charenée locks into a musical space that celebrates social consciousness and then throws it down with her updated vibe and interpretation.
Charenée is the first artist to twice enter the world’s most prestigious jazz competition: the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, celebrated for discovering the next generation of jazz masters. She offers the wisdom of the elders and the energy of the young in song.
So, if you aren’t sold yet, here are five reasons to check her out:
- This girl has chops. It is not just that she wants to sing. Charenée can sing and you will find yourself so deeply engrossed in the CD that you will hunger for more.
- Charenée’s interpretation of Gil Scott-Heron is a reminder to listeners that we can all decide what kind of artists we want to be and what we want to bring to the world with an optimism that suggests we can make a better world.
- By choosing Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s music, it is safe to say that Charenée will use her music to tell stories that matter to a broad spectrum of society, just like Dylan, Coltrane or Sarah Vaughn.
- The values captured in the lyrics say “I am committed to social consciousness and to action.”
- Charenée sings of hope as a driver of positive change, making it easier for us to start another day.
Gil Scott-Heron’s straight-no-chaser music from 40 years ago reflects a world where the Everyman and Everywoman live. This is why you don’t want to miss the career of Charenée Wade. We all need a shot of this regularly.