I am not a huge music fan. I don’t have libraries of music or walk around with earphones attached to my head, but I do enjoy live music. It’s a little like sports. I couldn’t care too much if I watch a game on television, but I really enjoy going to a game. The energy that you feel when you are at a concert or a sporting event is simply not recreated in your living room.
The other night I headed over to see my friend Michael play a little jazz gig. They were playing at the Imani Temple on Capitol Hill. Attendance was sparse but that didn’t affect the show. They performed as if there was standing room only. They had a special guest that evening, Denyse Pearson.
Denyse sang about seven or eight songs. She has a beautiful melodic voice and I was really surprised to learn that she hadn’t been performing in years. After the show I approached her and asked if she would accept my $10. She agreed and even took some time to talk with me.
Denyse started singing when she was five years old. “My earliest recollection of me singing is sitting on my grandmother’s steps baby scatting,” she said breaking a smile and drifting off to her childhood. “I used to sing as I slid down those steps.” Her father was also a strong influence on her. A Nat King Cole fan, he was also a gifted singer but “he never went as far as he could have,” she said.
She followed her passion and her father’s footsteps and developed a singing career until she stepped aside in the 1990s. “It just got little dangerous,” she explained, “going in and out of clubs late at night.” She is hoping to get back into performing more now. In fact, she said she was putting my $10 toward future recording costs.
I will ask Denyse to update this post with upcoming concerts that she has scheduled so that those of you in the area can check her out for yourself. In the mean time, you can take a listen to one of the tunes she did when I saw her. By the way, that’s my friend Michael on piano…he’s also terrific.
And if you live far away and want to hear more of Denyse, why not order her CD? I bought one and if you would like to get one, drop me a note and I’ll get you in touch with her.