Asani – Women Who Sing

ASANI is an Aboriginal women’s trio from Edmonton.  They are Debbie Houle, Sarah Pocklington and Sherryl Sewepagaham.  This circle of First Nations and Metis women have performed across Canada and internationally at such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, The Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. and the Saddledome in Calgary.  Their debut CD ‘Rattle and Drum’ was nominated for 11 music awards including a 2006 Juno nomination for Aboriginal Recording of the Year and received the Canadian Aboriginal Music Award (CAMA) for Best Female Traditional Cultural Roots Album, 2005.  Asani composed the theme song for the CAMA’s in 2005 and the honoring song for the Esquao Awards in 2009.   They have performed for the Dalai Lama, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, BC.
ASANI seek to use the inspiration of their cultural heritage to create music that is accessible to a wide audience, but delivers a powerful message from their hearts.  In October 2009, they released their sophomore CD “Listen,” to growing acclaim. The album establishes a new direction for the group, expending their sonic palette and going even deeper into vocal arrangements with unique depth and impact.


These women sing from their soul.  The amazing projection of sound allows them to sound as if they have omni.  Which is a directional microphone.


Since the release of their follow up cd “Listen”, ASANI has received a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year and a 2010 Indian Summer Music Award for Best Spiritual Song.   In March of 2012, ASANI was acknowledged as a finalist by the Alberta Chamber of Commerce for an Alberta Business of Distinction Award as an Aboriginal Women Entrepreneur.

On March 19, 2012 Asani made their orchestral debut performing with the Lethbridge Symphony  at the Southminster United Church.    We would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their financial support of this project.   Without that support it certainly would not have been possible.

The Godmother of Rock & Roll – Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born Rosetta Nubin on March 20, 1915, in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. Although the identity of her father is unknown, Tharpe’s mother, Katie Bell Nubin, was a singer, mandolin player and evangelist preacher for the Church of God in Christ; the COGIC, founded by a black Baptist bishop named Charles Mason in 1894, encouraged musical expression in worship and allowed women to preach. At the encouragement of her mother, Tharpe began singing and playing the spectrum acoustic guitar from a very young age, and was by all accounts a musical prodigy.rosetta2

She began performing onstage with her mother from the age of four, playing the guitar and singing “Jesus Is on the Main Line.” By age six, she had joined her mother as a regular performer in a traveling evangelical troupe. Billed as a “singing and guitar playing miracle,” Rosetta Tharpe accompanied her mother in hybrid performances—part sermon, part gospel concert—before audiences all across the American South.

In the mid-1920s, Tharpe and her mother settled in Chicago, Illinois, where the duo continued to perform religious concerts at the COGIC church on 40th Street while occasionally traveling to perform at church conventions throughout the country. As a result, Tharpe developed considerable fame as a musical prodigy, standing out in an era when prominent black female guitarists remained very rare; blues legend Memphis Minnie was the only such performer to enjoy national fame at the time.

In 1934, at the age of 19, Rosetta Tharpe married a COGIC preacher named Thomas Thorpe, who had accompanied her and her mother on many of their tours. Although the marriage only lasted a short time, she decided to incorporate a version of her first husband’s surname into her stage name, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, which she would use for the rest of her career.

In 1938, Tharpe moved to New York City, where she signed with Decca Records. On October 31 of that year, she recorded four songs for Decca: “Rock Me,” “That’s All,” “The Man and I” and “The Lonesome Road.” The first gospel songs ever recorded for Decca, all four of these recordings became instant hits, establishing Tharpe as one of the nation’s first commercially successful gospel singer.

Then, on December 23, 1938, Tharpe performed in John Hammond’s famous Spirituals to Swing Concert at Carnegie Hall. Her performance was controversial and revolutionary in several respects. Performing gospel music in front of secular audiences and alongside blues and jazz musicians was highly unusual, and within conservative religious circles the mere fact of a woman performing guitar music was frowned upon. Musically, Tharpe’s unique guitar style blended melody-driven urban blues with traditional folk arrangements and incorporated a pulsating swing sound that is one of the first clear precursors of rock and roll. The performance shocked and awed the Carnegie Hall audience. Later Tharpe gained even more notoriety by performing regularly with jazz legend Cab Calloway at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club.

During the early 1940s, Tharpe continued to bridge the worlds of religious gospel music with more secular sounds, producing music that defied easy classification. Accompanied by Lucky Millinder’s orchestra, she recorded such secular hits as “Shout Sister Shout,” “That’s All” and “I Want a Tall Skinny Papa.” “That’s All” was the first record on which Tharpe played the electric guitar; this song would have an influence on such later players as Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.

All the while, Tharpe kept up a grueling tour schedule, performing her gospel music in churches as well as playing secular clubs. One highlight was a weeklong stint on stage at New York’s famous Café Society before racially mixed crowds. Tharpe’s considerable crossover appeal was demonstrated during World War II when she became one of only two African American gospel artists to be asked to record “V-Discs” (the “V” stood for “victory”) for American troops overseas.

In the mid-1940s, Tharpe scored another musical breakthrough by teaming up with blues pianist Sammy Price to record music featuring an unprecedented combination of piano, guitar, and gospel singing. The duo’s two most famous tracks, recorded in 1944, were “Strange Things Happening Every Day” and “Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread.” However, in the face of intense criticism from the religious community, who viewed her jazzy collaborations with Price as the devil’s music, Tharpe returned to recording more Christian music later in the 1940s. In 1947, she formed a duet with fellow gospel singer Marie Knight to record such overtly spiritual traditional gospel songs as “Oh When I Come to the End of My Journey,” “Stretch Out” and “Up Above My Head” (“I Hear Music in the Air”).

Tharpe married Russell Morrison on July 3, 1951. The elaborate ceremony at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., attended by some 25,000 paying audience members, featured a gospel performance by Tharpe in her wedding dress and finished with a massive fireworks display.

In 1953, Tharpe and Knight deviated from the gospel genre to record a secular blues album. The experiment proved disastrous. Not only was the album a commercial failure, it also earned both artists widespread condemnation from the religious community that had provided their most loyal fan base. Tharpe and Knight parted ways shortly after the album’s release and neither ever recovered her previous popularity. Tharpe spent the remaining two decades of her career touring Europe and the United States, primarily playing gospel music.

Though she had a much lower profile during these years, Tharpe enjoyed several late-career highlights, including an acclaimed 1960 performance with James Cleveland at the Apollo in Harlem and a 1967 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

While on a European blues tour with Muddy Waters in 1970, Tharpe suddenly fell ill and returned to the United States. She suffered a stroke shortly after her return and, due to complications from diabetes, had to have a leg amputated. Despite her health woes, Tharpe continued to perform regularly for several more years. In October 1973, however, she suffered a second stroke and passed away days later, on October 9, 1973, at the age of 58, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

One of the most celebrated musicians of all time, Sister Rosetta Tharpe enjoyed a celebrity in the 1940s rarely attained by gospel musicians before or since. “She could play a guitar like nobody else you’ve ever seen,” her friend Roxie Moore said. “People would flock to see her. Everybody loved her.” Ira Tucker Jr., the son of the legendary gospel singer Ira Tucker of the Dixie Hummingbirds, put it simply: “She was a rock star.”

rosetta3More than just popular, Tharpe was also groundbreaking, profoundly impacting American music history by pioneering the guitar technique that would eventually evolve into the rock and roll style played by Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Eric Clapton. However, despite her great popularity and influence on music history, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was first and foremost a gospel musician who shared her spirituality with all those who listened to her music. Her epitaph reads, “She would sing until you cried and then she would sing until you danced for joy. She helped to keep the church alive and the saints rejoicing.”


Thanks to


Remembering Natalie

American singer-songwriter Natalie Cole, daughter of mid-century crooner Nat King Cole, is best known for her Grammy Award-winning album ‘Inseparable.’

“I never got to make the transition from little girl to young woman … and that really screws you up.”

—Natalie Cole

Natalie Maria Cole was born on February 6, 1950, to vocal legend Nat King Cole and jazz singer Maria Cole in Los Angeles, California. Growing up with talented and renowned parents, Cole was raised in an environment that nurtured her natural musical ability. At the age of 6, she recorded “I’m Good Will, Your Christmas Spirit”

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREwith her father, and by age 11, the young songstress had begun performing in the community.

Natalie Cole’s world suddenly changed when she was 15 years old: In February 1965, her father died of cancer. The tragedy put a strain on Cole’s relationship with her mother. Later that same year, her mother moved the family to Massachusetts, where Natalie attended Northfield Mount Hermon High School.

Although a career in music would be an obvious choice for Cole, she set her sights on something different: Following high school, she enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she majored in child psychology. She briefly transferred to the University of Southern California, where she pledged the Upsilon Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Her time at USC was short-lived, however, as she soon transferred back to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1972.

Cole, who had begun performing again over a summer break in Amherst, at a venue called “The Pub,” met the writing and producing team of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy in 1975. The duo helped Cole land a deal with Capitol Records and, later that year, create the album Inseparable. With hit songs such as “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” the album exploded onto the music scene, earning the young starlet her first two Grammy Awards—for best new artist and best female R&B performance. Cole’s career took flight, and throughout the 1970s, she turned out four gold and two platinum records. Her third—and first platinum—album, Unpredictable (1977), donned yet another No. 1 R&B hit: “I’ve Got Love on My Mind.”

In 1976—not long after Inseparable was released—Cole married producer Marvin Yancy. An ordained Baptist minister, Yancy reintroduced religion to Cole, who became a devout Baptist during their union. The couple welcomed their son, Robert Adam Yancy, into the world in 1977, before divorcing in 1980.

In 1979, Cole was awarded her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, both signifying and solidifying her prowess as a performer.

Cole hit a lull in her career in the early 1980s due to her struggle with drug addiction, subsequently parting ways with Capitol Records. She began recording again after a stint in rehab in 1983, and was back on the charts with a megahit by the mid-’80s: “Pink Cadillac.”

In 1991, Cole released the career-defining album for which she is best known, Unforgettable… with Love. Her debut album with Elektra Records, Unforgettable pays tribute to her father, featuring many beautiful renditions of standards previously recorded by Nat King Cole. The album’s breakout single, “Unforgettable,” features a track dubbed over a previous Nat King Cole recording, as to create the sound of a father-daughter duet. The album sold more than 7 million copies and garnered several honors, including the coveted Grammy for album of the year.

Cole remarried in 1989, to record producer Andre Fisher. The couple divorced in 1995. She wed her third husband, Bishop Kenneth Dupree, in 2001. The marriage was short-lived, however, ending in 2005.

The ’90s saw Cole release many other popular albums, including Snowfall on the Sahara and The Magic of Christmas (both released in 1999), an album of holiday standards recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. Cole also launched her acting career before the end of the decade, appearing on television series of the time.


The death of her father greatly affected Natalie Cole, which was obvious through her songwriting and tributes. In her 2000 autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder, Cole exposed her depression and heavy drug use throughout her career. She began using recreational drugs while attending college in Amherst. Cole’s addiction became so prominent in her life that on more than one occasion it nearly killed her. She overcame her addiction after checking into rehab in 1983.

In 2001, Cole starred as herself in Livin’ for Love: The Natalie Cole Story, a TV-movie adaptation of her 2000 autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder. The book has been described as an exposé of the private struggle that accompanied Cole’s rise to fame. Also in 2000, Elektra released Natalie Cole: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, an album highlighting the singer’s career.

Cole’s 2008 release, Still Unforgettable, was well-received, winning the singer yet another Grammy, this time for best traditional pop vocal album.

In 2008, Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C, a disease of the liver.  She received a kidney transplant in 2009 at USC.

Natalie Cole died from congestive heart failure on December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles. She was 65.  She leaves behind a legacy as one of the most celebrated and iconic women in R&B.  She is survived by her son, Robert Adam Yancy.


Submitted by Lucy Yandra, an avid music buff, Natalie Cole fan and employee of yamaha audio.  Lucy is a mom who also plays guitar and sings.


Thank you for your submission. – Women Move the Soul


Impress Your Guests: Six Must-Haves For Your Holiday Party This Year

6 Must-Haves For Your Holiday Party This Year



For many of us, throwing fun parties is the best part of the holiday season. It’s a time when your home is decorated and looking beautiful and your friends and family can come over to gather and enjoy each other’s company. To ensure that you impress your guests, here are six must-haves for your holiday party this season.


Eye-Catching Decorations

Don’t be afraid to go bold with your holiday decorations. No holiday party is complete without a beautiful setting. Work with garlands, string lights and unique table arrangements to create a stunning setting.


Candles and Scents

Holiday parties should smell like peppermint, sugar and spice. Get the scent by lighting scented candles or by strategically placing jars of holiday potpourri throughout your space. Be conscious of anyone that has allergies, however. It’s important to make sure that the scent isn’t too overwhelming.


Delicious Drinks

It’s essential that you give your guests something tasty to sip on. Create unique coffee drinks and hot chocolates made with yummy flavored syrups. Monin has a variety of flavored syrups that you can use to create your own drinks. For an alcoholic option, just add a shot of Kahlua or Irish Cream.


Heavenly Appetizers

Your guests will be hungry, so lay out a delicious spread. You can make simple appetizers like a baked brie served with apricot jam and crackers or a cream cheese and olive dip served with chips. Simple and delicious appetizers look fancier than they are when arranged in a lovely way and served with attractive dishes and silverware.


The Right Music

Make a holiday playlist that reflects the tastes of you and your guests. If it’s a livelier party, mix current pop hits with holiday classics. Music keeps the energy going at any party.


The Perfect Desserts and Sweets

In the days leading up to your holiday bash, you should definitely be baking. From cupcakes to cheesecake squares, desserts are an essential part of a holiday party. If you really want to wow your guests, create little take-home bags of sweets, wrapped in clear foil and tied off with ribbon. Sending guests home with these sweets is a perfect way to end the night.


A holiday party is a great way to relax and enjoy time with those closest to you. If you include these six key ingredients, your party is sure to be a big hit. Don’t let the stress of planning overwhelm you, either. Instead, relax and just enjoy the cooking, decorating and preparations that come with celebrating the holiday season.



Looking Gorgeous! 5 Jaw-Dropping Fashion Ideas for Winter

Looking Gorgeous 5 Jaw-Dropping Fashion Ideas for Winter

If you’re mourning the loss of your sundresses, tank tops, and sandals, that means it’s time for you to spice up your winter wardrobe. Even if you loathe the winter months, you might find yourself liking them a bit more with a fashionable cold weather wardrobe.

Casual for Cool Days

Your winter wardrobe doesn’t have to consist of giant coats and your sagging Ugg boots. Unless you live in the very far north, it’s likely you’ll have plenty of winter days that are cold but not freezing. Start with dark washed jeggings that give you the comfort of leggings with the tailored look of jeans. Top your jeggings with a flowy polyester-blend sweater. Put away your puffy down jacket for the day and finish your look with a tweed jacket or a colorful pea coat. Add a little extra warmth with a cute hat and an infinity scarf.

Winter Lodge Look

Longing for the ski lodge but don’t have the time to head into the mountains? Wear your favorite button-up flannel shirt and top it with a chunky sweater that lets the sleeves and hem of your flannel peak out. Shimmy into your favorite skinny jeans and ankle boots for a look you can wear from the movies to a date on the couch.

Channel Audrey Hepburn

Don’t let anyone tell you wearing all black is out of style. Wearing your favorite black leggings or jeggings, top it with a sweater cape. A cross between a chunky sweater and a boho poncho, a cape keeps you warm without making you look shapeless. Wear some knee high boots or your favorite wedge booties for an ultra-sophisticated look.

Exchange Your Sundresses for a Wool Dress

You can find adorable wool-blend dresses that will keep you warm and let you feel feminine and flirty. Choose an A-line cut that is tailored at the waist but flows from the hips down. Keep your legs warm with cable knit tights and your favorite boots you got using Kohls promo codes, then top the outfit with an oversized scarf and a brightly colored bag.

Feel Sexy

It’s possible to dress a bit sexy this winter! Find a slinky, fitted wool skirt and top it with a blouse and a cropped jacket. Worried about your legs being cold? Wear black tights and thigh-high boots for a look that’s functional and oh-so-sultry.

Updating your cold weather gear will help get you through the dreary, wet days of winter. Whether its sweaters, tights, or a variety of boots that brighten your day, feeling good will make these months go by like lightning.


Why Women Tend to Excel in Humanities Careers

Why Women Tend to Excel in Humanities Careers


Studying human culture shows us some of the most incredible traits of the human race. Small nuances can make or break civilizations, influence countless generations, and result in large and lasting changes.
Looking at statistics, women tend to excel in humanities-driven careers. They have an innate sense for paying attention to those smaller things, recognizing patterns in individuals, and interacting with people on a deeper level. Their unique outlook allows them to overcome circumstances that may otherwise seem impossible. Let’s explore some of the reasons why women tend to shine in humanities careers.

Being Personable
Humanities careers can vary widely in what they do, but all tend to have one common factor: they deal with the interaction of people. Women excel at communication because they tend to understand their own emotions and behaviors better than their male counterparts. They understand the importance of a greeting, of being on time, listening, and ensuring that personal issues outside a business transaction remain separate.

Whether you are a teacher or sales agent, both require a high level of empathy to do be done well. Professionals need to understand the people they work with, which means they must account for differences in age, ethnicity, and other factors to be successful.
The reason women tend to be more successful with empathy, related to their careers, revolves around the way they think. Most women better understand that each person wants to be special, and have certain requirements that contribute towards morals and ethics. Honing these skills with a degree in sociology or psychology can give them an edge in how they are able to interact with more people.

Analyzing others and the patterns they stick to is very necessary for many humanities careers like genealogists, historians, and diplomats. Women who are more familiar with their own faults and strengths find recognizing those things in others to simple.
To become even better at analyzing other people, some women find studying psychology, sociology, and anthropology to be helpful. This can help form a complete picture of what people tend to be thinking at a given moment. Getting certifications and degrees in these fields will help to further a humanities career and there are many different ways to become certified.

What is a board certified behavior analyst? What does it take to become licensed as a social worker? Talking to others in the field and educators will help women determine what paths they can take as a humanities graduate.

Understanding Challenges
The most prominent strength women tend to possess is their understanding for the underrepresented. Most are familiar with working in a world where male counterparts tend to be paid more, to acquire raises more easily, and are praised for doing less work.
In careers where social work or the law is involved, women excel because they understand the problems of the people whom they work with. They understand just how hard it can be to be different, or to be seen as “lesser”, despite doing the same as anyone else. This gives them the unique ability to fight more fiercely for people who cannot fight for themselves.

The unique situations women encounter, their ability to notice important minor details, their ability to emphasize, and their analytical abilities make them excellent fits for many humanities careers. This gives many advantages in offering superior work in careers seemingly dominated by men.


Fair Wage: Which Careers are Still the Worst Paid for Women?

Fair Wage Which Careers are Still the Worst Paid for Women

The topic of fair wages for the sexes has been a hot button issue since the women’s movement in the early 70’s. Activists continue to raise awareness, which has been able to make a small impact, and though women have earned these nominal gains, the fight is ongoing. A New Jersey Harassment Attorney says wage and workplace discrimination cases are still quite common. The crux of the debate has been equal pay for equal work for those with the same credentials. Unfortunately, in the last 40 years these four jobs still lag far behind in closing the earnings gap.

Financial Sector
This industry has a dismal record when it comes to fair wages. The top three jobs in the field include financial manager, advisor, and services agent. Statistics show the structure of compensation packages tends to be the culprit. This means commissions, bonuses, and merit lead the way to unfair earning differences between genders. However, bias is also cited as a cause, as well as discrimination.

Medical Field
Specialties have been the leading factor for potential wages doctors earn. While this is still the case, women in specialties such as cardiology and neurology still encounter a large income gap. The rationale of male-dominated no longer fits, because pediatrics has more female physicians who are still earning less. This turns the discussion to amount of time at work. Opponents point to the prevalence of male doctors working more hours per week, while their female counterpart work less due to motherhood and pregnancy.

Business Sector
Top male executives with the same education and experience are consistently paid more than their female colleagues. Female executives hired for a position with more education and experience still deal with compensation package inequity. The responsibilities for a CEO have the same expectations no matter who is in the role, however the earnings consistently do not reflect this. Females can outperform the business critical bottom line, but still earn a lesser amount.

Logistics Industry
Long and short distance truck driver jobs are included in the income gap conversation. Critics point to long hours and time away from home, as well as fewer women on the job, though this reasoning does not address the pay inequity for those that match their male counterparts in all areas. Regardless of the number of female truck drivers on the roads, the pay per mile remains lower.

It does not matter what career or industry, each example of the unfair wage gap reviewed demonstrates a 30 to 40 percent deficit. While ingrained discrimination is a catalyst, advocates believe societal norms regarding gender roles have skewed the issue more. One thing is certain, something has to give in order to give women a more equal chance in their careers.