Community collab w/ NYU Clive Davis Institute students

I love young talent. Any time I can use my platform to build with fresh and bold culture curators, I do. I told my dear friend, Marat Berenstein, that I was really interested in collaborating with some of his students at the Clive Davis Institute to reinvent some new songs I'd written. I wanted their insight, innovation and ideas to bring this music to life. Marat sent over one of his most talented students, Nick Brenock, and from there, the magic began. Nick is a guitarist and MD (music director). We got together in a practice room to jam and feel each other out. Straight magicianship. From there, Nick recruited backing vocalists, an amazing keyboard player and a total #girlboss bass player named Blu (she's still in high school, [!!!!!!]). We started holding rehearsals, and man oh man. These gals and guys SLAYED. New progressions, solos, and soul jammery of the most deluxe kind ensued. "Let's try this new chord change." "Try anticipating more on the beat here." "Let's do a drop and add a break here." "Should we add a 3rd harmony on this part?" The answer was "yes" to all of it. I'm so excited to get together with this group at the top of the New Year to record. I'll say it again: I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Thanks, Whitney. Truer words have never been spoken. 

UAlbany Candle Lighting Ceremony

UA, UKNOW! I was so hyped to return to my alma mater, the University at Albany, to deliver the keynote address for the freshman candle lighting ceremony. At the beginning of each school year, all freshmen are welcomed to the university with activities - and this one in particular solidifies their status as scholars. I was asked to speak about my life's journey, and how I used my time at Albany to grow and develop into the person I am today. I was extremely honored for being extended this privilege to spend time with thousands of eager, young future leaders. 

Music appreciation in Bed Stuy

I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way...

I'm gonna try. In hopeful anticipation of a new music teacher at PS5 next year, we hatched a plan to get the kids hype about music in general. I'm talking  all the great stuff, y'all: show and tell, guest performances, workshops, lectures - it's basically going to be  #allmusiceverything.  In addition to planning the programming, I'll be directing a 4th and 5th grade mixed choir.  The school's never had that before and we are gonna tear it up.  I can't wait to rock out with the little ones in this beautiful, colorful, spirited auditorium for a packed house of our loving Bed-Stuy community this spring. 

Ronald E. McNair School 5 Auditorium. Yessir!

Ronald E. McNair School 5 Auditorium. Yessir!