“You Had Me At Hello: Beyoncé’s ORIGINAL ALL FEMALE BAND 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CONCERT w/ The Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble”

Preparing a show that you will remember for a lifetime, envisioning the stage set up, your outfit, the stage presence you intend to have, the sound and how it will resonate in the house speakers. The execution of songs, hitting every cue with perfection, everyone being in the same mental space behind and on stage, everyone being committed to fulfilling their roles for the result of a successful show. –All of these things being mandatory. All of these things feeding the anticipation of a show that has taken months to create and build. An outcome so important and dear to each person’s heart, its tug of emotion, has you exchanging rehearsals for sleep. All in the end, to give your all and leave it all on the stage for a special one or two hour life changing experience! …It is what the world understands as “ShowBiz”, but to all performers as: “The Good Life”, “The Perfect Real Fantasy Come True”. The real dream every single performing artist and instrumentalist all share, no matter their age, background, residence, or genre. A connection only passion itself can comprehend.

Artists literally have an unshakable pull of expression inside of them and the perfect release for it is hitting that stage, expressing it, doing your best, and hoping you’ve touched some hearts in the process. All of these very thoughts, lifestyles and special moments is what we know artists such as, James Brown to Michael Jackson to currently Beyoncé, to not only posses but literally have in their DNA. This is life for the determined dedicated musicians, and Concert Daily had the wonderful honor to spend time with and witness this very creative magic turn into reality with the Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble and the infamous Original All Female Band members Of Beyoncé herself.

Students from Berklee and Beyoncé’s Original All Female Band members joined forces and sent a musical message that will linger in everyone’s mind who in anyway, encountered this precious moment. The incredible Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble worked their behinds off under the direction of the amazing Tia Fuller (Professor, Ensemble Director, Alto Saxophonist, and Original Member of Beyoncé’s All female Band), and with the dedicated assistance of her show producer: Jonathan Foo (Berklee Student), their was total professionalism and order. So, when the OG’s (as they referred to themselves), arrived in town for the final rehearsals, what was already incredible, reached a level of amazingness that the dictionary has yet to create a word for! My goodness, every vocalist, every instrumentalist, every dancer, and all of Tech (Lighting, Sound, Stage Crews) brought nothing less than fire to the stage. The saying: “They Slayed”, “They Tore the House Down”, “They killed That”, was the most valid in the entire experience from beginning to end. You could really feel the drive, strength, and commitment in every note sang, played and danced too. We lost ourselves in the moment and was totally hypnotized by all the impeccable, flawless, divalicious, graceful and classic representation of a Beyoncé concert we were being served!….and trust, it was one of the best musical meals Concert Daily has received!

 

This packed 10 Year Anniversary Concert and Tribute To Beyoncé, held at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, MA, began with excitement. No build up needed. It started at 100% and ended past 100%. Everything from the skilled String Quartet (2Bird Band) making a statement with their feathered fashionable leather jackets with no shirts, to a beautiful video documentation of the moments leading to this production, filmed and edited by the amazing, sweet and very humble: Yuwei Huang, was simply beautiful and a great way to begin the concert. With no time for “calm”, the first song began: “Déjà vu”, which by the 1st verse, the audience was introduced to the “OG’s as they made their grand entrance, which created a respectful sincere moment of Awe! By the time we all received the full dosage of hits such as: “Naughty Girl”, “Ego”, “Me, Myself & I”, “Hello”, “Ave Maria” amazingly performend by Niya Norwood with 2 dancers joining her with a stunning lyrical dance routine, “Flaws and All” performed by The OG: Brittani Washington and Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble Student Keyboardist: Briana Washington, the high intensity of “Get Me Bodied” and much more, We Were All “CRAZY IN LOVE”!

To add to this greatness, the concert also included Beyoncé’s current dancer extraordinaire, Miss Ebony Williams, easily recognized as the diva in the Single Ladies Music Video, who also attended Boston Conservatory 05’. A school now merged with Berklee to expand artistic opportunity and education. She came and conquered in only two days. Teaching the talented dancers who were eager to deliver each step precisely, as they themselves were current Boston Conservatory Dance Students. Ebony’s love for dance could be seen all over her face and especially when she herself came out on stage to unapologetically slayyyyy the “Single Ladies” Dance routine we all were in our living rooms trying forever to Learn. LOL!

Adding even more icing on the cake, one of “The Mamas” of Beyoncé’s Current Background Vocalists, Miss Diva Crissy Collins shined bright as she played a significant role in the production. She not only did her thannggg as the host throughout the concert, she also enticed us by sannggin the heck out of “If I were a Boy” and then incorporating “Dangerously In Love”, “Freakum Dress”, “Irreplaceable”, and “Halo”, together into a Chaka Khan type of jazzy groove, that was a major hit with the audience. Combining all of that kind of talent, on that stage, was a very special treat for us all.

Overwhelmed by the poise and grace of each incredible woman, the atmosphere was completely enriched in golden royalty. You could feel the presence of a divine unity so powerful, you would believe you could actually see a halo brightly glowing from above. As everyone poured their hearts and souls into the many majestic moments these two days would prove to be, beauty, honor and the passion behind the music would be revealed and oozed creatively over this fairytale induced blessing. Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble students, the OG’s themselves, Us here at Concert Daily and a filled audience had the unique privilege and honor to witness a reunion, an anniversary, a loving bond and a whole lot of real mind blowing talent.

It all started in the mid 2000’s when Beyoncé had the genius idea of creating her own all female band. The world and the OG’s themselves would finally be introduced to beautiful women who could seriously destroy anything and anyone musically, standing in their way. With talent light years ahead of where we are today, Rie Tsuji 02’ (Pianist & Assistant Music Director), Brittani Washington (Keyboardist), Bibi McGill (Guitarist & Music Director), Divinity Roxx (Bassist), Nikki Glaspie 05’ (Drummer), Marcie Chapa (Percussionist), Katty Rodriguez (Tenor Saxophonist), Crystal Torres (Trumpet), and Tia FullerBerklee Faculty Member (Alto Saxophonist), stunned the world! The magnitude of this process alone, would hugely blossom into a lifetime of praised musicianship, tours, woman empowerment, motivation for many, self confidence, determination, dedication, drive, commitment, and most importantly, friendship topped with an everlasting sisterhood.

This unbreakable bond and solid foundation quickly became a wide awakening to a male dominated music industry, and the road to flipping stereotypes on their heads would now and forever be in motion, fueled by this powerful engine that’s route-less. Whether everyone liked it or loved it. It would come to be very apparent that, those would be your only choices, because one thing for sure, you had no choice but to respect everything about it. Now every little girl, teenage young lady and adult woman could close their eyes and immediately envision these beautiful, bold, confident and talented women, who seriously rock, and say to themselves, “I can be great and amazing just like them!” —Please Understand the intensity in this powerful manifestation of women seizing the opportunity and being in the forefront!

Tour after tour, these ladies performed beyond imagination. Expectation of stage presence, wardrobe, musical technicality, and the desire to romance the ear of every music lover, went up in value tremendously. The overall quality of sound was just always mesmerizing. The individual musical contributions of skill and agility from these women, immaculate!

Today, these women are still wowing us all. They are individually doing their due diligence musically with their impressive solo careers. Brittani Washington, Katty Roddriguez, and Crystal Torres are all amazing singers, songwriters, arrangers and composers with music and projects out to go check out such as: Katty Rodriguez Album, Music & Videos: “Mockery & “Phenomenal Woman”, Brittani Washington A.K.A. Jack Pearl Project’s song: “Star Of The Story”, and Crystal J. Torres A.K.A. RØVEL’s song: “One Love”.

Known for her amazing Bass playing, Divinity Roxx is also a stand out Emcee, songwriter and arranger combining her ability to play the bass and rap. She actually gave the audience a great taste of this amazing combination during the concert quoting the catchy line “Cause I’m A Rebel Baby”. She has a new music album out entitled: “IMpossible” and a music video for one of the singles off of that album entitled: “We Are”.

Tia Fuller already accomplishing so much and living a well-rounded American dream, this diva is another force of amazingness with her 4 studio albums in the bag. Her latest being the 13 tracked album entitled: “Angelic Warrior”, with a track on it called: “Royston Rumble”, which is about two of her band member’s marriage to each other, who so happens to be her sister and brother-in-law.

Marcie Chapa and Nikki Glaspie jumped right into amazing bands: “The Marcie Chapa Project” which is based in her hometown of Houston, TX. and the band Nikki is in called: The NTH Power, where she is the drummer and also sings a bit in. Marcie has also been volunteering at both the Diaz Music Institute and the Houston Independent School District. She is also the director of MacAuthor’s High School Drum Line in Houston. Nikki is traveling from state to state with her band’s “Thank You Tour”, promoting their new Live music album: “To Be Free”.

Rie Tsuji, filled with so much incredible skill as a master on the piano, now adding writing and producing to her skills, has a beautiful recording studio in New York with her wonderful husband called: “Riro Muzik Studio”, where they offer many services for artists to fulfill their musical and visual needs.

Lastly but not least, Bibi McGill, an extremely breathtaking guitarist who has consistently been a stellar player with memorable moments on stages everywhere, is now seriously committed to wellness, heath foods and yoga instruction. She has fallen in love with yoga and has taken an entrepreneurial role, traveling to teach her “Ascension Yoga W/Bibi McGill” classes and endorse her kale chips: “Bibi Kale Chips”

They have all played for a plethora of other A-list artists and clearly have so much more to offer to the masses. Plus, they seem to have all gotten bit with the teaching bug, and in various ways are teaching music and mentoring to aspiring youth. We promise you, It would truly be in your best interest to visit each website (Just Click On Their Names), follow them all on social media and legally support their music and add their music to your playlists.

So, with all of that in mind, every public attendee, every student, alumni and faculty of Berklee College Of Music, who supported this 10 year anniversary concert and events leading up to this historic moment, were highly favored. It is a fact that we all received a lifetime of advice, and motivation from some of the greatest musicians to ever do it and make it in this industry we all in some form, are involved in. Major congratulations to each member of the Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble, who decided that they would take on, not only the music, but seriously put some major respect on the process of the whole Beyoncé Experience. You all definitely exceeded your own expectations of greatness. Student Music Director and Drummer Josh Foster, your musical direction structured everything so smoothly and every transition was just right. Much success to every Berklee Beyoncé Ensemble member, you all are amazing!

Music Director and Drums: Josh Foster, Fortworth, Texas

Vocal Director: Niya Norwood, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Lead Vocalists: *Alexis Newman, Yonkers, New York

*Amber Kiner, Memphis, Tennessee

*Pamela Robles, Waterbury, Connecticut

*Shania Wilcox, Glen Cove, New York

Rapper: Reggie Lett, Orlando, Florida

Bass: Sintija Grigorjeva, Riga, Latvia

Guitar: Michele Beneforti, Tuscany, Italy

Keyboard: Briana Washington, Oakland, California

Percussion: Alexis Soto, Caracus, Venezuela

Steel Pan: Marcus Prince, Trinidad and Tobago

Alto Saxophone: Brett White, Decatur, Illinois

Trumpet: *John Michael Bradford, New Orleans, Louisiana

*Orlando Latorre, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2Birds Band’s String Section:

Violin 1: Gabriel Majou, Paris, France

Violin 2: Antoine Beux, Paris, France

Viola: Gerson Eguiguren, Quito, Ecuador

Cello: George Crotty, Toronto, Canada

Bass: Ferderico Tassoni, Modena, Italy

 

To Tia Fuller & Jonathan Foo:

Round of Applause for all of your determination, extreme hard work and follow through. The show was amazing because of you. You both were on point and even made sure Concert Daily was taken care of.  Special Thank you to each of you and to Victoria Donahue (Publicist at @BerkleeNews) who really was so kind, understanding, compassionate and helpful. Very Appreciative!

 

To Every Boston Conservatory Dancer:

 

You all really were amazing and executed each dance routine on a very professional level. Your movement really sealed the deal and made the show spectacular.

 

To Everyone Involved:

 

Wishing you many wonderful opportunities as you each pursue your dreams.

 

 

 

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Story By: @MarquitaCheron

About The Author: Marquita Cheron is a Jazzy-Soul/R&B Singer/Songwriter, Correspondent, Writer and overall Music Enthusiast; who has a love for every positive angle of the Music & Entertainment industry. Simply on a quest to reveal the greatness of amazing artists and their music to the masses, while also being a contributor of it herself.

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