Sweet ballads, spicy mambos and swinging classics describes Paula Jeanine's jazz repertoire. Often singing over her own propulsive conga beat, she brings a unique combination to the jazz tradition.
Paula Jeanine Sings Jazz in Brooklyn
Paula singing and swinging on the Brooklyn waterfront, September 2014. Selections on video:
Swing: "I Told Ya I Love Ya Now Get Out" (Lou Carter/Herb Ellis/Johnny Frigo)
Bluesy Ballad: "Baby Baby All The Time" (Bobby Troup)
Funky: "I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues" (Duke Ellington/Don George)
Mambo: "Torso Language" (Richard & Paula Jeanine Bennett)
A Village of One - Java
"A Village Of One" is a song cycle with lyrics, melody and stage realization byPaula Jeanine Bennett. It has been created to be easily adapted for a variety of locations and cultures. The first performance of "A Village Of One" was in Java, Indonesia, where the piece is known by the Bahasa Indonesian name "Sendiri Di Desa" . The infectious and elemental songs were inspired by the slendro scale of the Javanese gamelan.
"The aim of this artistic collaboration shifted, being not only about the composition or even the composer, but about giving a contribution to a community and a process to learn about humanity and life." - Gita Hastarika, journalist
A woman stands apart from the crowd and revels in her isolation. Feeling more at ease in the world of nature than that of humans, she feels akin to water, earth and clay. In her home and in her heart she has created a village of one. Deep in the night her house is discovered by a demon from the forest and a fight ensues. In the tumult of battle, the demon runs off, knocking a woman and infant to the ground. The moment of truth arrives. Does the main character help or turn away? She goes to assist, holds the infant, however tentatively, realizing change starts with one small step. A crowd gathers around her and a girl puts a garland of jasmine around her neck, and she is welcomed into the community. They dance.
A Village of One - Brooklyn
"A Village Of One", Paula Jeanine Bennett's song cycle about identity and community, has been expanded since its inception in Java, Indonesia. Paula has assembled a strong chorus of New York City-based women bringing their own flavor to the themes and songs. Recent performances have included the Brooklyn Waterfront Arts Coalition and the Stoops Bed-Stuy Festival, where the work was performed on the steps and in the front yard of a historic building in the heart of Brooklyn.
A VILLAGE OF ONE: WOMEN'S MEDLEY (THE WORLD INSIDE, HIS OPEN HAND, A VILLAGE OF ONE
Three songs from my song cycle, "A Village Of One" with a focus on women's issues.
A VILLAGE OF ONE: ONE SMALL STEP & LIKE JASMINE
The last two songs from my song cycle, " A Village Of One".
Born on the Brooklyn waterfront, the darkened studios of Secaucus and the rooftops of Mumbai, the songs of Melody Sky reflect the pulse of modern American life infused with North Indian modes and embellishments.
The duo's first recording, "Melody Sky: Songs for the Global Soul", has been released by India's Mystica Music label.
In February 2015, Paula Jeanine Bennett traveled to the small market town of Sefrou, Morocco in the Middle Atlas mountains and participated in an residency coordinated by Culture Vultures, an arts hosting organization. Her folk opera, “A Village Of One” became “Village Dial Waheda” in the local language, darija. An ensemble of 12 rehearsed and subsequently performed in Sefrou (Town Hall/Baladiya), Fez (Arabic Language Institute Riad) and Meknes (Theater El-Mnouni). The work underwent a profound transformation with new songs, sections and cross-cultural adaptation. A choir of 7 women, a traditional Moroccan storyteller (Hakawati), a musical ensemble of oud, Andalous guitar and bendir drum and a regional monster (Boujloud) brought "Village" to life in a breathtaking way.
"The silent solitude that women always felt and lived has finally found a voice, a sweet melodic echo that can now be sung and heard by many women that met "A Village Of One" and became a part of it. Proud to be one of them." - Fatima Ouaryachi, ensemble member