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From Michelle: We’ve got some “really big shows!” (quoting Ed Sullivan)

Geez, I am showing my age if I’m quoting Ed Sullivan!  HA!  Wanted to make you all aware of our upcoming performances.  This is the first time we’ve invited some pretty cool guests to join us for the night.  Our first gig of this year is called “An Evening With Musique Noire and Guests”:

May 12, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m. at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, located at 52 East Forest Avenue in the “Sugar Hill” Historic District of Midtown Detroit.  Opening the show will be soul singer YAW from Chicago, IL.  Melinda Johnson, Detroit poet and makeup artist extraordinaire, will M.C. the evening.  During our set, we’ll be joined by Rydell Smith on guitar, Keith Beber on percussion and James Simonson on bass.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  There will be a cash bar and the art galleries will be open for viewing.  Tickets can be purchased at this link:

The following weekend, we’ll be making a return trip to the East Lansing Art Festival.  This is a spring festival that always attracts a large, enthusiastic crowd. We played the festival a couple of years ago and are honored to be asked back!  Our show takes place on Saturday, May 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.  The festival is free.  For more info, click here:

We’ll be working on playing mostly new music for these shows, although we will still put a few favorites in the mix (“Undiscovered D’s” is a crowd favorite).

But the big question is—will we see YOU at one of these shows?


New Music- JoVia

  Well, Musique Noire has about a month to prepare for a couple of big shows that we have in May.  I’m planning to finish two songs by then.  On top of that, I need to practice big time because we have new music to play.  I started doing yoga in December.  That’s really helped my playing.  I’m a bit looser than before and feel really connected: body, mind and spirit when I play.  I’m gonna continue doing yoga because I haven’t felt this good on stage in years.  I also want to introduce a few new percussion instruments into the Musique Noire sound.  I’ve been playing around with my mbira and have been toying around with melodic ideas and grooves to use with it.  I like to keep things fresh.  Well, off to creating!  See ya next time.



Strings working on string arrangement for Nina Simone’s “Four Women”


Recording guitar and bass


This is a video from last night’s practice session. I got started a little early while I was checking my mic. More to come!


Single Stroke Four.


Musique Noire percussionist JoVia Armstrong takes the stage at CreateFest 2011.  With Myles Tate on keys and Scott Hesse on guitar.