SINGER AND DANCER ALVESTER MARTIN STARS IN MICHAEL JACKSON’S NEW VIDEO – HEAR HIS NEW SINGLE

Sources: Heedmag | All Things Michael

Alvester-4372

Acclaimed A-list dancer and rising solo artist Alvester Martin concludes his illustrious dancing career as the male lead in Michael Jackson’s latest music video titled A Place With No Name, the second single off of the musical icon’s posthumous album Xscape.  The video went viral last night via Michael Jackson’s Twitter, and everyone is talking about it!

Alvester Martin has gained legions of fans, having toured and performed with such icons as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah,  Finally stepping into his own, and already noticed for his good looks by Essence Magazine, Alvester has recently signed with Universal Music Group as a solo recording artist.  His debut album entitled Love Me or Leave Me is slated for release in the Fall/Winter of 2014, and will be exclusively distributed through Emagine/Universal Music Group!

Alvester-4301

Check out Alvester as the lead in Michael Jackson’s latest video “A Place With No Name”

***BONUS*** Here’s his new single “So High.” Check it out.

Read more at Heedmag

Orianthi Remembers Michael As “Very Sweet And Very Encouraging”

Sources: Interaksyon – By Edwin P. Sallan | All Things Michael

orianthi

Although she’s currently in town to promote her own shows, acclaimed rock guitarist Orianthi doesn’t mind talking about the music icons that she has had the privilege of meeting and working with.

Chief among them is of, course, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson who personally handpicked the 29-year-old Adelaide native as his lead guitarist for his much-publicized but ultimately aborted “This Is It” world tour in 2009.

“Working with Michael Jackson was a truly surreal experience for me. I played in front of him during my audition and he asked me to do ‘Dirty Diana’ and ‘Beat It’. I remember him as being very sweet and very encouraging,” Orianthi recalled during her press conference at the Hard Rock Café in Makati shortly after her arrival in the country.

Orianthi added that even if she didn’t get to play with MJ in front of millions of fans for the planned tour, she did get to perform with him during rehearsals for the last three months of his life prior to his untimely demise, footages of which were included in the film, “This Is It”, a documentary about the tour.

“We had a blast working together. I learned a lot from our band. They’re all my friends now,” she further said.

Michael Jackson's "This Is It"

Orianthi also spoke fondly about playing with other artists like Carlos Santana, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi’s Ritchie Sambora whose song, “Every Road Leads To You” she performed with her acoustic guitar before the start of the press conference proper.

“They’re all very cool people. It’s always very cool to meet your idols,” she mused.

Orianthi will headline her own shows on August 22 at the Chef and Brewer on Emerald Ave. in Ortigas Center; August 25 at the 19 East at Km. 19, East Service Road in Sucat, Paranaque; and August 27 at the Hard Rock Café in Makati.

For ticket inquiries, contact Chef and Brewer at 6387023 for her August 22 show; 19 East at 8376903 and 09494984405 for her August 25 performance; and Hard Rock Café at 8934661 to 65 for her August 27 concert.

Read more at Interaksyon

International Guitarist Orianthi Recalls Her Experience Working With Michael Jackson And More

Sources: Yahoo – By Maridol   | All Things Michael

orianthi-et-michael-jackson-lors-d-un-concert-image-329407-article-ajust_930

Many are called, but few are chosen.

Australian musician Orianthi is one of the privileged ones who have worked with Michael Jackson in in rehearsals for his aborted “This is It” concert series (he passed away before the series kicked off).

The King of Pop himself called an incredulous Orianthi and asked her to be his guitarist in his London show, a privilege granted only to the the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Slash and Jennifer Batten.

“Working with Michael was surreal. He was brilliant,” Orianthi said at a presscon in Hard Rock Cafe last Tuesday, August 19.

Human and hilarious 

But the Gloved One was also as human as can be.

“He was inside a giant spider covered with crystals while ‘Thriller’ (one of Michael’s signature songs) was playing. But he couldn’t get out. So he continued to move in circles until he said, ‘Can someone get me out of this?”

Orianthi found this hilarious.

Michael must have seen so much promise in the young guitarist, he advised her: “Project. Do what you wanna do. Don’t hold back. Just entertain people because that’s what we were born to do.”

Playing with legends

Santana is another mentor.The legendary musician is one of the big reasons Orianthi became a guitarist. Her guitarist-father took her to a Santana show when Orianthi was 11 and she was blown away.

Five years after, Orianthi shared the stage with Santana himself in a performance she will never forget. The legendary guitarist heard about Orianthi and invited her to his soundcheck to jam with him.

Impressed, Santana asked her to go on stage when he had a concert tour in Australia.

“I thought it was just to have my guitar signed. I would have been happy.”


‘Never fear’

But Santana asked her to stay on stage where she played for 35 minutes and performed solo.

He also advised Orianthi: “Never fear. Just play.”

Michael Jackson and Santana are not the only music icons Orianthi has worked with.  The others are Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora.

After seeing singer-songwriter and Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda’s show, Orianthi wants to add him to her list of co-performers and collaborators.

“He’s such an incredible singer. He has such amazing talent and an incredible range. He’s a great person too.”

The words are music to the ears, not just of the press people, but of Rene Walter, president/CEO of Management (USA) which handles the two artists’ careers.


Chicken adobo fan

The collaboration, Walter added, must happen ASAP.

Orianthi herself wants to feel the Manila music scene. After stepping out of the plane the night before the presscon, the occasional chef can’t wait to look around and taste chicken adobo.

“I’m really excited to be In Manila for the (Every Road) tour. I can’t wait.”

The tour, named after “Every Road Leads Home to You,” the new single by Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora in which Orianthi is featured, will take her to Chef and Brewer (Friday, August 22), GMA 7’s “Sunday All Stars” (August 24), 19 East (Monday, August 25), MYX (Tuesday, August 26) and Hard Rock Café (Wednesday, August 27).

The first-time Manila visitor brings with her decades of experience performing all over the world – Russia, Japan, India, other parts of Europe and her native Australia.

Retaining her femininity

Orianthi’s road tours are with predominantly male musicians she treats like brothers.

How has she managed to retain her femininity in a male-dominated field?

“I may be one of the guys. But I must be myself,” she replies.

It was not easy being herself at first. One of Orianthi’s school teachers asked her to try the harp instead because it’s “more feminine.” Orianthi stuck to her guitar, and the rest, as they say, is history.

To those who want to follow in her footsteps, Orianthi has this to say, “Never give up. Continue what you’re doing.”

By continuing what she’s doing, Orianthi can’t ask for more.  She’s having the time of her life.

FRETLIGHT GUITAR ORIANTHI

Read more at Yahoo

 

Interview With Michael Jackson Bassist Alex Al

Sources: Broadway World | All Things Michael

MJ musicians Johnathan Moffett and Alex Al

MJ musicians Johnathan Moffett and Alex Al

You might not know the name Alex Al but you’ve definitely heard his work. From Michael Jackson‘s bassist to recording with people like Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Sting, Alex is everywhere. He recently talked with Breedlove about his various projects and of course about his Breedlove gear.

Breedlove: You have done so many things in your career…what is the first thing that jumps out as a memorable moment?

Alex Al: First off, I’d like to thank you for asking me to be Breedlove’s featured artist this month.

Probably, the most memorable moment for me would be getting the call for Herbie Hancock‘s Grammy award winning ‘Tribute to Gershwin’ project. I didn’t know it at the time, but the record would go on to help break down the musical barriers between classical and jazz music. The project also featured the legendary genius of Stevie Wonder, with whom I had worked with, and it also connected me with legends, Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter, all in a single day. It was an amazing record to be a part of.

BL: Being on the Michael Jackson “This is It” movie…what was that like:

AA: Working with Michael in the ‘This Is It’ movie, was one of greatest musical experiences of my life. Being there with him everyday taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and being committed to your art 100%, while striving to always be kind to others in the process. To be able to support Michael during this musical venture was truly an epic experience for me. No one knew it at the time, but the King of Pop was making history all over again with ‘This Is It’. It went on to become the most successful music movie documentary of all time. In its first opening weekend it grossed $101 million worldwide, making it the number one film at the box office, and on its theatrical run, the film’s worldwide revenue gross was nearly $300 million. The love for Michael’s music is ever growing and worldwide. To be a part of this was truly a magical journey, a musical and memorable gift that I greatly cherish. We all miss him dearly.

BL: Do you have a favorite Michael track?

AA: Being a long time fan of Michael’s music, and fortunate enough to also record with him in the studio, I would have to say that ‘Human Nature’ is one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard Michael sing. It’s also one of the best songs in the history of pop music in my opinion.

BL: Also being a session musician you’ve had the chance to play on quite a few albums. Do you have a style of music you like best?

AA: I’ve been asked that many times. I don’t really have a favorite style of music. I mostly enjoy combining different styles of music together. I feel when done authentically, it brings a diverse group of people together, which I think is always a good thing. I come from a very diverse musical family. Each family member had a definitive style of music they cherished from Gospel, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Soul music. I think I embraced it all and the love they had for it, and I try to bring this musical focus into the studio when recording bass on Pop songs. Growing up in such a diverse musical place as Detroit, Michigan, the sounds of Motown and every other style of music was on the radio. As a result, it has always been my goal as a bassist to combine the Motown bass sound of the legendary James Jamerson with the Minneapolis bass sound of Prince.

BL: Who is the best player you’ve recorded with?

AA: On genius musical level, I would have to say Stevie Wonder. He is a true musical genius several times over.

BL: You just recently came off the Arsenio Hall Show. We were lucky enough to come watch and it was full of energy. What’s the big difference with playing for a live TV audience and play on stage for an arena?

AA: Anytime I work with late night icon, Arsenio Hall, a good time is always had by all. Everyday Arsenio brought this creative positive energy into the TV studio, so as his bassist I wanted to make sure I did the same. Being on his stage with a great group of musicians, the Posse 2.0, you realize that it’s like being in the recording studio and playing live at the same time. You know every note will be heard for a lifetime, yet you have to take creative chances to keep things exciting.

In an arena, you have that tidal wave of energy coming towards you being in front of 50,000 people. You rise to the occasion and you have to deliver that energy and more back to the audience. It’s really what sharing your gift is all about on many levels.

BL: Let’s talk gear…you play a Breedlove Studio Bass and a Premier 12 string. What do you like about those instruments?

AA: I really love the Premier 12 string guitar. It’s a beautiful instrument, and every time I pick it up ideas flow through my hands like never before. The tone is full and rich, yet very clear. The Studio acoustic electric bass has a great tone with great response. It’s able to really cover any style of music, which works well for me. These two instruments work well together, because I can track both guitar and bass on any given song, and the combination is massive in sound!

BL: What’s next for you?

AA: With a demanding session schedule, which I am truly grateful for, I am working on my solo record in between projects, and I am writing for other artists as well. I feel that it’s an exciting time for a songwriter and musician, with so many things going on in the world that need to be brought to global awareness through music. This is one of the reasons I believe God gave us music.

Read more at Broadway World

Breedlove’s spotlight on Alex

Choreographer Jaime King’s Boy Band IM5 To Headline Anti-Bullying Tour

Sources: JSOnline – By Piet Levy | All Things Michael

im5-boy-band-group-photo-hires

Jamie King, a native of Verona, Wis., directed Bruno Mars’ Super Bowl halftime concert, as well as the blockbuster Cirque du Soleil production “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.” He’s also Madonna’s creative director. And one of his latest projects, the boy band IM5, is coming to Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Co-founded by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, IM5 is headlining the anti-bullying Allstar Nation Tour, featuring artists ages 12 to 20. Tristan Blaine, The House on Cliff, Jessie Chris, My Only Escape and Danielle Prou are also on the bill.

The Allstar Nation Tour makes a stop at the Miramar Theatre, 2844 N. Oakland Ave., at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Tickets are $15 to $100 at the box office and klikevents.net.

 

Read more at JSOnline

 

Michael Jackson Was My Dance Student – Jeffrey Daniel

Sources: Sunday Newswatch | All Things Michael

Jeffrey

Shalamar, we were doing a series of concerts at Disneyland and then my Road Manager Stanley, Dillard, said, “Jeffrey, your student is coming to see you.” I said ‘who?

He said “Michael Jackson is coming to see you at Disneyland”’ and I said, ‘really?’ So Michael brought little Janet Jackson with him and they stood on the side of the stage and watched because I was already doing the backslide on stage and body popping and people were going bananas. So, Michael wanted to know this dance so he came down to watch us and the next thing I knew, I got a phone call and that is when I started teaching him in 1980.

But he didn’t do it the moon walk until 1983. I did it on Soul Train in 1979 and in 1982 on Top of the Pops on British television but Michael would do it a year later in the Motown 25th with Billy Jean.

We worked together from 1980 to almost 2000. The last job I had with him was in the late 90s’ and then I moved to Japan in 2000 and I’ve been in Japan since until now that I’m in Nigeria.

The MJ experience

First, it was unbelievable. Michael had a reputation for being very illusive and introverted. Suddenly, you’re just one on one with him, and you’re like, all right. Okay, I have to admit, at first, I was star struck, of course I was. It didn’t take Thriller and Billy Jean for him to become a star, he was a superstar for the black community from the day one. So for me, just being one on one with him was amazing. Our relationship was great.

We really had a lot of fun together and we talked about everything. He was very inquisitive, so he asked about everything.

He and I are both Virgos. I was born August 24th, he was born August 29th and we did not know that we were so much alike in a sense that I’m the kind of person who would wait for someone to propose to me. I had that problem with girls.

Girls are waiting for me to make the first move while I am waiting for them, so a lot of times nothing happens. They think I’m not interested because I’m not jumping on them, but I just don’t jump on things like that. Our musical tastes were also very similar.

…And the beat goes on

Because I was Michael’s choreographer, everybody wanted me. I worked with the actress singer, Vanessa Williams, I did her debut video. I did Johnny Hughes debut video, I worked with Arnold Schwarzzeneger and Danny DeVito on the movie Twins, Baby Face, LL Cool J, Will Smith for the Grammy’s, Japanese artistes that you wouldn’t know, UK artistes a group called Incognito, LaToya Jackson, Randy Jackson, Marlon Jackson, I didn’t work with Janet because I was Michael’s choreographer and she had her own.

 

Read the full interview here

WEB EXCLUSIVE: KG Smooth Talks To MJ’s Percussionist Bashiri Johnson

Featured Image -- 46434

Originally posted on Majic 102.1:

bashiri-johnson-percussion

KG Smooth had the chance to talk to Bashiri Johnson who was MJ’s percussionist.

Bashiri Johnson has added his highly sought after style of percussion to a myriad of hit records, commercials, films, TV, games and live performances across all musical genres. He has an incredible sense of flow and groove, as well as his own innate desire for excellence and is one of the most visible and recorded percussionists on the planet.

He has recorded and/or performed with some of the industry’s top artists including Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Donald Fagen, Madonna, Steve Winwood, Rolling Stones, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Barbara Streisand, Spice Girls, Miles Davis, Mary J Blige, Ray Charles, Jay Z, Eric Clapton, Sade, Kenny G, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Queen, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, and many more.

Bashiri previously worked with Michael Jackson on “This Is It” and is also apart of…

View original 28 more words

Britain’s Got Talent Shaheen Jafargholi Talks About Dreams of A Career, New Album And Performance At MJ’s Memorial Service

Sources: Wales Online – By Robin Turner | All Things Michael

SJP_MAI_260614google8690_01JPG

His extraordinary voice propelled him to international fame and a performance at Michael Jackson’s funeral after he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.

Now, five years after he sang at the pop star’s globally televised funeral, Swansea teenager Shaheen Jafargholi has revealed he is still hoping to build a singing career.

Shaheen, now 17, says he plans to move to London from Swansea next year and aims to release a new album after taking a break for two years to concentrate on his GCSEs at Swansea’s Dylan Thomas School.

He said: “I eventually got seventeen and a half GCSEs. I think the half is something to do with computer technology.

“Ever since I’ve been concentrating on writing and recording songs and travel to London every week. I can be in a recording studio, a booth or a warehouse but as long as I’m putting down songs I don’t care where it is being done.

Beyonce wowed by 12-year-old singing star Shaheen

“I’ve written over 40 songs and I plan to market a finished album next year when I’m 18 when I move to London, the heart of the music business. This time I want my music to reflect me, my experiences over the past five years or so and not want people want me to be. It’s going to be more Shaheen.”

The young singer won over the nation’s hearts on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 with his audition song, a cover of the Amy Winehouse version of The Zutons song, Valerie, initially being stopped after two lines by Simon Cowell who remarked: “You got this really wrong.”

SJP_MAI_260614google8633_01JPG

Unusually, Cowell requested Jafargholi sing another tune, as he felt the first song did not suit him and after only a moment’s hesitation he belted out Michael Jackson’s Who’s Lovin’ You, the performance being highly rated by the audience and the judges, earning a standing ovation.

Although he only reached seventh place in the show he was invited to sing at a public memorial service for Michael Jackson on July 7, 2009 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

SJP_MAI_260614google8692_01JPG

Rehearsal for memorial service

The service was watched the world over and included stars such as Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Janet Jackson and Jermaine Jackson. Soon after, Shaheen flew to Chicago to tape an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show performing “Who’s Lovin’ You”, which aired on 14 October.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He later produced an album made up mainly of covers and a double A-side single and also took part in a reality documentary about his life and appeared in shows and had parts in TV progammes including Casualty, Torchwood and Grandpa in My Pocket.

He said: “Now I’ve got my school work out of the way I want to continue creating original songs. Looking back at the memorial concert it was so wonderful to be even with those big stars let alone singing on stage with them.

“Five years on Michael Jackson still has a big influence as an artist. He 100% inspired me to sing and his volume of work still inspires me today.”

 

Read more at Wales Online