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DeeJazz - On The Move!
~ Fran Briggs

When Dolores "DeeJazz" Jackson sings, it's not surprising to see why her listeners are dynamically captivated. DeeJazz delivers something unique: inspirational, message-rich lyrics, against the background of a beautiful and spiritual, jazz sound. Her voice is as readily remarkable to the human ear as it is definitively, distinctive. Particularly engaging, each one of her songs demonstrate her ability to easily hit a wide range of octaves. Her debut album, titled, "A Musical Messenger," has the potential to inspire and transform lives for the greater.

Born in Michigan, USA, DeeJazz has spent most of her life in Detroit. Currently, she makes her home in North Carolina. As a college student, she was the recipient of thousands of dollars in scholarships. The singer/songwriter earned her B.A. in Advertising from University of Detroit, Mercy, and graduated Magna cum Laude.

DeeJazz's love for learning, creative style, and gift for music, makes her an obvious choice for eMediaCampaigns! OnTheMove! Interview Series. EMC! features a rare, inside look of this amazing artist. The CD, "A Musical Messenger," has a generous, 14 tracks, and can be purchased at: http://www.deejazz.com/

EMC!: Good Morning, DeeJazz. Thank you for meeting with us. And, congratulations on your spectacular accomplishment of masterfully blending jazz, inspirational, and spiritual music.

DeeJazz: Thank you so much Fran. It is a pleasure to be with you.

EMC!: You produced your own album; was that a difficult decision?

DeeJazz: Producing my own album was not at all a difficult decision. It had been a dream of mine for a long time. I have been writing songs and playing them on the piano since I was 13. So, by the time I produced the album, I had quite a few years of writing and recording experience under my belt. But yes; there were times when I doubted by ability to do it by myself. After I completed several songs I presented them to some experienced producers for their opinions. One told me my production wasn't good enough and that I would need their help, I sensed their desire for control and, not to mention, compensation. Another told me my productions were great.

However, by this time confidence in my writing ability had matured to the point where I was feeling pretty secure. Nevertheless, I wanted the opinions of experienced writers/producers. I found out that they are people too.

"I encourage anyone that loves real music to purchase this CD. I am confident that you will be uplifted. Musically, everything is there. Whether you're into up-tempo, ballads, introspection, inspirational, motivational, jazz, vocals, or instrumental, "A Musical Messenger" has it all!"
- Michael L. Jones Producer/Director, Eye-On-U Productions, N. Hollywood, CA

EMC: What are some of the most powerful truths you discovered about yourself after completing your first album?

DeeJazz: One of the most powerful things I discovered about myself after completing this CD was that I could actually fulfill my lifelong dream to be a composer. It was thrilling. Secondly, that I had something worthwhile to offer. For a long time I felt like a failure. After a failed marriage, I was struggling financially as a single parent of two small children and I had no direction for my future. Music was always a dream for me but with little or no encouragement from my family I felt discouraged. Completing this project taught me that I could accomplish what I put my mind to as long as I didn't let anything or anyone stop me.

EMC!: It's our understanding that you are an avid reader. How, and when did you acquire your love for reading? And, what books are you reading now?

DeeJazz: My love for reading started when I was kid when the bookmobile used to come to our neighborhood. I loved it! Growing up in Detroit --where not much was given to you and sometimes things were stolen from you -- I was so impressed that you could borrow books without paying for them. Actually, I'm still impressed by the library! I go every three weeks and sometimes more than that (laugh).

Right now I'm reading Dr. Maya Angelou's four-volume autobiography; also, a book titled, Word Smart. It teaches you how to improve your vocabulary. And, Seth Speaks. It's a new-thought phenomenon written in the early 70's by Jane Roberts, a woman who channeled a non-physical entity with some powerful spiritual information. I also just finished a great, great book called, The Disappearance of the Universe, by Gary R. Renard. It's an enlightening read mostly about the miracle of forgiveness. This book has changed my life.

EMC!: Dr. Maya Angelou -- a phenomenal woman. You actually met her, correct? Would you describe the experience?

DeeJazz: Yes. I met Dr. Angelou in August of this year. After hearing my CD she invited me to New York to sing for an "open mic" night at Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar. I saw her when she began down the aisle way. She appeared majestic in her red evening dress with escorts in front, and back of her. When she got close, she smiled and touched me on the shoulder. I felt like I had been touched by an angel. She was then taken to a private area where she would watch the show by monitor.

A little while later her assistant came to Hattie and I and guided us to her table. She shook our hands and was incredibly gracious and warm. She treated us like we were royalty. Amazing ... Hattie recited one of Dr. Angelou's quotes that had made an impression on her life and Dr. Angelou expounded on it eloquently adding even more insight. We felt blessed and honored to be in her presence. Afterward, I was told she commented on my performance saying it was, "Delightfully impressive."

EMC!: What was it like collaborating with your sister, Hattie Mae Jackson-Pembrook, as she completed the companion text for your album?

DeeJazz: Collaborating with my sister as she wrote the companion text Messages to Awaken yourSelf, was a most exciting and rewarding time. When she was challenged around her abilities I would encourage and prod her along the way. I knew that she could do it and I reminded her how she had been my inspiration. When I was a teen, Hattie was a motivational speaker. I loved attending her speeches and I heard her say many times that she wanted to write a book. Well, the messages in my songs all came from books/classes and workshops she had exposed me to, so I knew this was the perfect opportunity for her to write her first book. After she completed a chapter, I would edit it to our mutual approval. We had minor clashes about which pictures to use, and occasionally she lamented: "Another rewrite?" But, we settled them quickly without much dissension.

EMC!: In the forward of Hattie's Book, Messages to Awaken yourSelf, you mention that you experienced mental telepathy with a dog. Was it deliberate?

DeeJazz: Yes, it was deliberate. I don't know exactly how I discovered it, but I noticed the dog could hear me when I would "think" a command to him. It was a Great Dane. I told him to get up and come to me, and he did. Then I told him to go lay down, and he did. After doing this several times I was very surprised and decided I would show my little 9-year-old neighbor. I said, "Watch this, I'll tell him to get up in my mind and he will." So, I did, and the dog responded. Then, I gave the mental command to lay down and he followed again. Needless to say, my little friend was highly impressed. However, mental telepathy as well as other so called extra-sensory perceptions, are common place when we remove the erroneous belief of ourselves as mere, human beings. At that time I had been faithfully practicing for three months a powerful technique of awakening called The Pathway's, by Ken Keyes, Jr. His book is titled, Handbook to Higher Consciousness.

EMC!: Your album continues to receive raving reviews from the music industry. What kind of reception have you had from listeners?

DeeJazz: Frequently, people come to me after performances proclaiming they were deeply moved or helped in some way. I have been referred to as "anointed" and people have expressed gratitude that I have followed my divine calling. I've heard people say they have been helped through relationship problems, recovery from drug and alcohol addiction as well as money and health issues by my songs. Recently a woman in church told me that she was dealing with a situation that she had expected to benefit her life tremendously when suddenly it came to a disappointing close. She felt bad but then quickly decided to look for the good in the situation. Instantly, one of my songs, Darkest B4 the Dawn, began playing in her head and she started singing it. She said she knew it was a message from God. I've been told my songs are therapeutic, uplifting, timeless, and one never gets tired of listening. I am deeply honored by their comments and give credit where it is due, to the Most High.

EMC!: How long have you been writing, arranging and producing your own music? Is it as challenging as it is fun?

DeeJazz: I started writing poems when I was around 10 years old and I began putting music to them at 13. I would play the music on the family piano as I sang the songs. Sometimes I would make up instrumental songs and play them with intense passion. I didn't know at the time but it was a way for me to release tension.

Writing music has been challenging, but mostly it's been fun. I had two music classes in my life. But I found the literal writing and reading of musical notes tedious and too technical to contain my interest. I play and write by ear. I hear the songs in my head and then play what I hear. I feel the most important thing to learn about songwriting is structure. For example; verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, ... etc. There are several structures but most songs follow the same basic structure. Once I learned song structure it became easier because I knew where to put what. What I love most about song writing is hearing it grow from what I heard in my head, to what I hear outside of it.

EMC!: Who are the individuals that you recognize as your mentors?

DeeJazz: Just recently, Maya Angelou has become one of my mentors. After hearing my CD she took an interest in me -- and I in her. I am learning so much from reading her autobiography. She is an extraordinary woman. She overcame many obstacles, one after another and still, she rose. I am learning from her example.

I have always liked reading biographies of other songwriters/artists and using them as inspiration. I've read about Barry White, Patti Labelle, Barry Gordy, Queen Latifa, Dolly Parton and others.

EMC!: The lyrics in your song titled, This Gift of Mine, include:
Every day is blessing
A gift to us with love
But we must heed
The call to succeed,
That's our gift to God

EMC!: What would you say to the individual who is struggling with hearing -- or seeing -- their "call to succeed?"

DeeJazz: I feel we all have a "calling," so to speak, for our lives. There is something that you were born to do. Hattie states in her book that Michael Jordan says he was "born to play basketball." That might sound frivolous to some, but as anyone can attest to, Michael Jordan's astounding athletic skill is nothing short of miraculous and would most likely be considered a divine gift. If a person is struggling with discovering their "call to succeed," it is probably because it's the thing they've always dreamed of, but are most afraid to do.

EMC!: In her book and on her website, Hattie shares a touching story on her website about her longing for not only a sister -- but a companion. Could you summarize it for us?

DeeJazz: I guess it was supernatural but some part of her was waiting for me. She was graduating from high school when I was born and she truly loved me unconditionally. Growing up I cannot recall one time that she raised her voice to me or made me feel bad about anything. We have always been mentally and spiritually close, sharing our love of ideas, self-help information and spirituality. Now, this CD/Book project is becoming more successful than we initially anticipated. We are in the process of preparing ourselves for whatever it brings.

EMC!: Tell us about your current and forthcoming projects.

DeeJazz: Hattie and I are in the planning stages of a nationwide tour. We'll be doing a full stage production/concert. I will sing with a live band/orchestra including background singers. And, at times, it will be accompanied by interpretive dancers/actors. Hattie will expound with spiritual insights during extended instrumental sections of the songs. Also, we will do workshops consisting of her speaking and my singing. The participants get lots of hands-on awakening experiences using tools and methods we have used and that have worked in our own lives. We're also planning another CD/book combo.

EMC!: That sounds like a magnificent production... In reference to your use of "awakening experiences," would you say that in our natural state we are simply unaware of, or do we intentionally suppress the Greatness within us?

DeeJazz: In our truly natural state, we are awake. Awake within our Spiritual Oneness with everything and everyONE. However, in our unnatural state, which is nearly everyone's daily experience, we most definitely suppress the Greatness within us. How many of us suppress acceptance, understanding and forgiveness in everyday situations? Most of us, most of the time.

"Awakening" requires a decision. A decision that says the way we have been living, is not working. A decision that if "we," meaning, "If I don't accept the responsibility to change it, who will?" In our workshops we seek to inspire an awakening experience in the participants so they can have a personal encounter or a remembrance of what it feels like to be "awake."

EMC!: Is there anything you would like to add before we go?

DeeJazz: Lately, I've been experiencing intense gratitude. The information that I am being guided to is literally changing my life experience. The powerful ideas and methods that I learn and practice are what I convey in my songs in an effort to help people wake up to their innate divinity. We are spiritual beings and until we wake up to this fact, we will remain asleep and will not experience our true reality, which is love.

EMC!: Thank you, DeeJazz for taking the time to share. I certainly enjoyed my time with you.

DeeJazz: Thank you, Fran for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to share.

eMediaCampaigns! Interviewed Dolores "DeeJazz" Jackson in October, 2005. She can be contacted at:
e-mail: deejazz111@yahoo.com
website: http://www.deejazz.com/ 

Hattie Mae Jackson-Pembrook may be contacted at:
e-mail: hmpembrook@yahoo.com
website: http://www.hattiemae.com/ 
 


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