DANCE FILMS ASSOCIATION is thrilled to announce ‘AN EVENING WITH VINCENT PATERSON’ at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, August 25. Paterson will take to the stage for a presentation of clips and imagery, and a discussion about his career with host Joseph A. Berger. Mr. Paterson will also read excerpts from his new memoir.

As a director and choreographer, Vincent Paterson is a thirty-plus year veteran of music video, film, theater, and television, best known for his co-direction and choreography of many legendary artists. Paterson has worked with an extraordinary list of musicians, including: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Lee Ann Rimes, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, David Lee Roth, Slash, and Whitney Houston.


Paterson has directed and choreographed over 150 commercials. He has directed two benefits for AIDS Project Los Angeles, featuring performers Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Logins, Nathalie Cole, Billy Joel, Elton John, Patty Austin, Sarah Brightman, Wynona Judd, Eddie Van Halen, and Sheila E.

For over 15 years, he worked with Michael Jackson on multiple short films such BEAT IT, SMOOTH CRIMINAL and BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR, the BAD TOUR (1987-89) and live performances from the Grammy’s to the Super Bowl Halftime Show.


A reception will immediately follow in the SVA Theatre lobby.

Tickets on sale now: $20 General Public; $10 Dance Films Members.

Click HERE to purchase.


Sources: Dance Films | All Things Michael

Former MJ One Dancer Lil Buck At Chapel Hill – A Jookin’ Jam Session


JOOKIN’ (jook·in): A street dance style that emerged from Memphis, TN. Identified by its extremely intricate footwork and propensity for improvisation, seen by many as a descendant of hip-hop and jazz, with elements of ballet and modern dance.

Memphis jookin’ phenomenon Lil Buck came to international attention when ballet star turned director Damian Woetzel paired the young dancer with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The performance, captured on video by Spike Jonze, went viral, garnering over 2.9 million views. Named one of Dance magazine’s 25 to Watch, Lil Buck has gone on to perform with New York City Ballet and in Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One, the Spike Jonze film Her, Benjamin Millepied’s NOWNESS videos, and in a series of unique performances created by Damian Woetzel. Here, he collaborates again with Woetzel, joined by tabla player Sandeep Das, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato and sheng player Wu Tong.

This performance is presented in collaboration with The Art of Cool Project.


The April 15 performance is sponsored by Paula Davis Noell and Palmer Page. The April 16 performance is sponsored by Wyndham Robertson.

For tickets and more information, visit: Carolina Performing Arts

Sources: California Performing Arts | All Things Michael

Michael Jackson’s Long Time Guitarist Jennifer Batten Will Be Guest Artist At Music Workshop


Guitar Workshop Plus has announced the 2016 artist line-up for this years’ summer music program. Michael Jackson guitarist, Jennifer Batten will be the guest musician at the Toronto conference, session 2.

Five sessions have been confirmed as follows:

San Diego, CA Session: June 19 – 24, 2016
Nashville, TN Session: July 31 – Aug 5, 2016
Toronto, ON (Session 1): August 7 – 12, 2016
Toronto,ON  (Session 2): August 14 – 19, 2016
Vancouver, BC Session: August 14 – 19, 2016

The seminars courses concentrate on specific topics and will sometimes feature guest instructors. Generally, seminars are designed for the intermediate to advanced player although some may be open to all levels. Students are evaluated to ensure that they are at an appropriate level for the course. Seminar students meet with the instructor all day and, because there is no restriction to class size, do not take part in rhythm section classes. Faculty led ensembles for seminars depend upon class size and format.

In addition, all students may attend clinics. Each day, two or three clinics are offered covering topics such as improvisation, songwriting, vocals, scales and modes, building technique, slide, percussion, hand drumming and more. Students are welcome to sign up for these clinics on campus.

2016 guest artists include: rockers Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson, solo) and Gary Hoey, guitar great Robben Ford (solo, Miles Davis, Yellowjackets), bass icon Victor Wooten (Flecktones, Chick Corea, solo), country legend Albert Lee and Nashville guitar star Brent Mason, modern jazz extraordinaire Oz Noy, acoustic and fingerstyle master, Peppino D’Agostino, metal king Devin Townsend, British blues master Matt Schofield, Canadian rock guitarist turning all the heads these days, Nick Johnston, professor Jon Finn, drummer Mark Kelso (Brecker Brothers, Shania Twain, Jazz Exiles), and more!


Guitarist Jennifer Batten (Toronto – Session 2)

The buzz on Jennifer Batten rose from the guitar underground, and the guitar magazines promptly began chronicling her savvy musicianship and highly original approach to the electric guitar. She was selected from over one hundred guitarists to play in Michael Jackson’s highly skilled band which toured the world for one and a half years playing for over four and a half million people. Jennifer wasted no time after the “Bad” tour’s grand finale, diving into work on her debut album. Upon “Above, Below, and Beyond’s” release in the spring of ’92, she was asked again to join Michael Jackson for his upcoming “Dangerous Tour”. In ’93, she joined Jackson to partake in Superbowl XXVII’s half time entertainment which aired to one and half billion people in 80 nations. It was the largest audience in television history. Her follow up CD “Momentum” was released just before she left for Michael Jackson’s final global tour in support of the HIStory CD in 1997. In ’98, Jeff Beck asked Jennifer to join his band. They joined forces for 3 years on the CD’s “Who Else” and “You Had It Coming” which were both supported by world tours. Jennifer has authored two music books and has released three solo CD’s. Before coming to Guitar Workshop Plus in August, she’ll also join Jeff Beck at the Hollywood Bowl for a special “50 years of Jeff Beck” concert. In Jan 2016 she received the She Rocks “Icon” award and was recently inducted into Guitar Player Magazine’s “Gallery of the Greats”.

*Times may vary according to course selection, facilities, etc. The first and last day of the session follow a different schedule to accommodate registration and check-out.

Find out more here.

Jennifer Batten On Playing For Michael Jackson

Kim Sledge Of Sister Sledge Says Michael Jackson Is One Of The Most “Dynamic Entertainers” That Ever Lived

Sources: Sunday World | Elke Hassell | All Things Michael


The ‘We Are Family’ singer and her siblings – Debbie Sledge, Joni Sledge and past member Kathy Sledge – toured and performed with the late King of Pop on numerous occasions during his final years in The Jacksons in the 1970s.


Kim got to know Michael and as well as being one of the “nicest people” in the music business she thinks his talent as a musician is only rivalled by a few artists.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: “My memory of Michael was he was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he is one of the most dynamic entertainments I have ever seen in my life. I put him in the category with James Brown, who is one of my all time favourites. There are some people who are born in the small glory on that stage. I think entertainers, the ones that last, have passion. It’s like it’s what they were created to do, for some reason it is in you, it is just a part of what you do, you have to work at it, it may come natural to you, but you are willing to work it because it’s your passion, and that passion shows in someone like Michael’s performances. He was quite a performer.”

Kim can recall Michael and his brothers – Jackie,

Tito, Jermaine and Marlon – used to go to great lengths to try and disguise themselves so they wouldn’t be noticed by their fans.

However, their attempts at subterfuge would backfire as their antics brought more attention to them.

She added: “I can remember when we were touring with The Jacksons. When we were travelling we would get out and stop at regular truck stops and motels. We would just pull up in those truck stops and just jump out of our cubbyholes on the bus, and go into the diner to get something to eat. But The Jacksons would come out fully hooded down, faces covered by hoodies. I mean, they were trying to eat incognito, but they just drew so much attention to themselves.”

Meanwhile, Sister Sledge are getting into the festive spirit and are giving away a song for free this Christmas to their fans on their newly launched blog from December 15.

The trio are giving away the track ‘Mary Did You Know’ from the album ‘The Sacred Story’. The song is essentially a Christmas carol in a neo-urban presentation that retains the values of love and togetherness.

Sister Sledge have launched their Nothing Is Greater Than Love blog with the aim to empower people through the values of love, peace and compassion and is inspired by their music and Christian faith.


Read more here

Musician Dana Williams Talks About Touring With Her Father David Williams And Michael Jackson

Sources:  All Things Michael | Interview – By Emily McDermott


Twenty-four-year old, singer/songwriter Dana Williams grew up splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York, where she attended middle school, high school, and college. At times, she would also go on tour with her father David Williams, who was one of Michael Jackson‘s guitarists. David was paired to work with Michael on his Off The Wall and Thriller albums by Quincy Jones.

Although probably nobody outside the music industry knew his name, practically everybody on the planet heard his work thanks to his in-the-pocket playing on Michael Jackson’s smash hit Billie Jean. Williams contributed the clean, funky strummed solo that was integral to the sound of the song.


David’s tour credits include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations among countless others. David died in March 2009.

His daughter Dana is following in his footsteps to pursue her dreams in music field. She maintains a large following on YouTube for her covers of timeless tracks and was previously a contestant on ABC’s Rising Star.

Last year she released her debut EP The Lonely One, appeared on the soundtrack of Whiplash, and became the star of Apple’s Christmas commercial with “The Song.” Today marks the one year anniversary of her EP’s release.


My dad was a musician and songwriter. When I was little I would go to the studio with him and he would make a little pop track. He would say, “Write two verses, a chorus, and a bridge.” Then I’d go home and write a little love song, dreaming about having a boyfriend one day. I did it for fun with my dad. I didn’t really start writing my own music until I was a teen. I finally was proficient enough on guitar to play in a band and write my own music on guitar, so it was probably 14 or 15 when I started writing my own music.


I did get to meet him, but when you’re around something so much when you’re younger, you’re not really aware of the gravity of the situation or that you’re being a part of something so legendary. We did go on tour with my dad. You know, when they do “Earth Song,” they need a kid, or kids, on stage, walking around the earth, so I was even able to perform with Michael Jackson when I was really little. You’re five years old, standing in front of thousands and thousands of people. It’s a really crazy experience. But he was a really nice guy, and he and my dad had a great relationship. Honestly, that’s what inspired me a great deal to become a musician: to see how music can effect and touch people. Going to a concert to see my dad and people are crying, fainting, dancing, smiling, and laughing—it’s magical… I remember asking, “Why is she crying,” or “Why,” in general, but it was so normalized to me. It was just my dad’s work. Friends’ dads went to the office and he went to rehearsal or to play a show.

Read the full story at Interview

For more on Dana Williams, visit her WEBSITE.

Photo credit of Ms. Williams by Bellus Magazine

‘Michael And Me’ By Morris ‘Mo’ Pleasure

Sources: Camden Review – By Roisin Gadelrab | All Things Michael


On Friday we saw Mo give a This Is It masterclass at Wardour Street’s Yamaha Music, with full band. Switching between instruments, talking about Jackson – “a prankster”, he confides – and introducing vocalists, including one he discovered at a workshop, Mo demonstrated the music pulsing through his veins. While working on a million projects, he spends considerable time helping budding musicians and those from difficult backgrounds. It was his work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation that led him to Chalk Farm Road’s Camden Guitars, leading to a friendship with owner Deicola Neves.

rock and popMorris  Mo Pleasure IMG_4693 (1)

Musicians wishing to benefit from this maestro’s knowledge – Mo has worked with everyone from Earth Wind and Fire to Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera to Janet Jackson – should follow this page. He will soon be holding masterclasses at Camden Guitars, helping musicians as the shop’s in-house producer in its new music studio and to find jobs and gigs. His album Mo – Elements of Pleasure and Michael JacksonTribute album are out next year.

“Since Michael died I dedicated myself to recreating his songs in different styles,” said Mo. “Just Another Part Of Me was a major funky tune. I’ve got it as a straight jazz version, like Miles Davis’ So What.” He feels the depth of Jackson’s music production and vocal percussion techniques were not given the recognition they deserved.

“He knew everything about everything – the lighting cues, the CGI, the magic, he was part of every bit of it,” Mo said. “From what I understand, he did the show for his children. They knew he was a superstar but they’d never seen him in concert. It is horribly sad.”

Mo thanks his wife for leading him to Jackson after she learned of his tour from friends. “Us musicians, our wives talk to each other,” he said. Michael’s music director happened to contact Mo and mentioned he was working with Jackson but said they already had a keyboard player.

“Stay tuned,” he added. The keyboard player was locked into an American Idol contract so Mo was brought in three weeks behind in rehearsals.

“I started in March, Michael died on 25th June,” said Mo. “We were days away from coming to the O2. We would have started in August.”

Unsurprisingly, Jackson was very much the perfectionist and required flexibility from his musicians.

“He was adamant about sounding like the record,” said Mo. “We had to learn all songs in three or four keys. When you’re singing, the voice changes and sometimes you can’t sing as high. Michael wanted to be able to choose, so at any given day he could change the key.”


Read the full story here

Judith Hill Reveals What Michael Jackson Was Really Like – EXCLUSIVE

Source: Yahoo Celebrity – By Stephanie Soteriou | All Things Michael


Judith Hill probably isn’t a name that many of you know, but you probably should considering she has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, and John Legend and featured in Oscar-winning documentary, ‘20 Feet From Stardom’, before the release of her debut solo album, ‘Back In Time’.

We mean, that is definitely no small feat.

The amazing singer also participated in the US TV series of ‘The Voice’, sparking complaints and backlash against the show when she was eliminated from the competition, which must have made her departure a little easier for her to swallow.

With such an amazing back-catalogue of musical legends listed as her collaborators, when we caught up with Judith we just had to get all the goss on what it is like working with literal superstars – oh, as well as find out first-hand what the iconic Michael Jackson was really like as a person.

The 31-year-old was selected as MJ’s duet partner for his ‘This Is It’ concert tour, practicing closely with him in the months leading up to his sudden death on June 25th 2009, and Judith attracted global attention when she performed at the star’s memorial at the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles on July 7th of the same year, leading on his song ‘Heal The World’, and impressing fans across the globe.


Discussing what it was like working with Michael, Judith admitted that he was a little intimidating but mostly just pretty bloomin’ inspiring, telling us: “He’s an incredible icon. You just pinch yourself when you’re on stage and have the opportunity to really see greatness and experience greatness.

“Michael is everything in that way and I think for me at the time, coming out of seniot college, I was very green – I hadn’t really done a huge tour. Working with Michael Jackson was an experience, it blew my mind because everything about him really caught on.


“His spirit made me jam in what he believed in, it really inspired me and showed me that there’s so much that can be done as an artists, not just as a great singer; how much power you have, and seeing it first-hand from Michael, was life-changing.”

We can only imagine.

And with Judith being the one to work with Michael the most in the months before he passed away she knew him incredibly well on a personal level, adding: “He’s very sweet, a very, very kind person. Just very gracious and warm-hearted.

“He was very much a perfectionist, he was an expert and he inspired us to be experts. It was very much a great challenge of how to become greater and he’s very intimidating in that way because you’re sharing a stage with Michael Jackson, but he really encouraged me.

“He directed me in a lot of things and I was very excited to see him as a singer.”

Read the full article here