DMV Artist Spotlight: Jazz/R&B Musician Johnny Graham

On a nice fall day there is nothing I love better than sipping on some coffee, writing in my journal, and listening to the smooth sounds of jazz infused with R&B. Lately I’ve found myself getting lost in the creative sounds of Art of Noise, Marcus Anderson, JazzTronik,Acoustic Alchemy, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Water Beasley, and so many other great musicians. I’ve always been a huge fan of smooth jazz artists, and I can recall so many days my mom driving me to school teaching me about different jazz musicians.

I grew up listening to a wide array of music, and thanks to the Internet I can know easily discover new music. It’s so easy to get lost on Youtube in search of great music, but my latest great find didn’t come from YouTube; I found this amazing artist watching NBC’s NonStop Scene:DC. I was watching the show about a week ago and they did a spotlight on this artist named Johnny Graham. His name alone sounds like the perfect name for a jazz musician, but when you hear him play the trumpet you realize he knows more about jazz then just having a suave name. This smooth guy has the knack for creating beautiful jazz that is infused with hints of R&B and hip-hop.

Johnny Graham is a talented Baltimore, Maryland native that is exceptionally skilled on the trumpet, piano, flugelhorn, and he has a gift for poetry. I first heard his music while watching NonStop Scene:DC and immediately had to find out who this amazing young man was. I meet so many young men that often tell me they are a musician, and I ask them which instrument they play, then they simply respond with “Oh, I’m a rapper.” Nothing wrong with being a rap artist or a singer, but since I played flute for seven years in band, I do enjoy the pure musicianship and skill that comes with cultivating an instrument and utilizing it to craft beautiful music.

Pure musicianship is a skill that takes a lot of time and effort, but Johnny seems to be so versatile in his musical approach. Even though he is currently working on a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Maryland as a Dean’s Scholar, this bright young man, at the age of 23, has a great future ahead of him in the arena of jazz and R&B. I don’t personally know Johnny, but I can tell from his music, his YouTube videos, and his very professional website that he is very dedicated to making his music a reality.

He’s already performed at countless numbers of venues up and down the East Coast, and his first solo project Coming of Age came out in summer 2010 and received great reviews from publications in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan region(known to us locals as the DMV.) Johnny is already making a name for himself as a serious musician, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he eventually in the years to come became a popular figure in the jazz community.

Johnny Graham is a young brotha that showcases a level of class and style that exudes each time he plays the trumpet. His music is the perfect soundtrack for those breezy fall days; when you’re in search of some smooth comfort grab a book, a warm beverage, and chill out to the sounds of great jazz musicians, including the up and coming Johnny Graham. His music is truly a timeless escape that is filled with love, passion, courage, determination, and it’s the story of a young man from Baltimore trying to reach the world one note at a time…

Be sure to check out Johnny Graham’s website. I’ve contacted him on Twitter and from what I’ve heard, he’s got some new music on the way. So stay tuned for more from this talented musician!

Find Your Love-Johnny Graham(Live Cover)

Hold My Love-Johnny Graham f. Seph Ade (Original Song)

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25.

Just for the Gamers: The Online Gamer: MW3 – Part 1

Aaron is back, and this time he is freaking out over Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. I’ve been watching The Online Gamer off and on for the past few months, but I’m glad to finally see some new material that is just in time for the upcoming release of MW3. I personally will always be a huge fan of first-person-shooters, especially the Call of Duty franchise. It’s one of those things you either love or hate; some people are anti-COD and that’s okay. It’s not for everyone.

As usual Aaron is such a major douche-bag, but it’s kind of how some male gamers can be. I swear there are certain Gamestops I won’t go to because some of the men that work there are such assholes; which is probably why I crack up watching Online Gamer, because I’ve met some gamers like him. Of course, The Online Gamer is a super exaggerated depiction of an obsessive gamer, but some people really do take it so serious. It’s one of the reasons why I only play using my headset if I’m amongst friends. I’m not one for talking to random strangers on COD and hearing their reaction to the fact I’m a female; it’s gets old after awhile.Sexism in gaming does exist, and if you watch The Online Gamer, then you know how much Aaron can’t stand female gamers. Lol a hot mess, but hey us females gamers are still badass. We just prefer to dish out major pwnage and still be sexy the definition of a woman. Well, at least that how I like to roll; always looking my best and still kicking ass!

MW3 hasn’t even come out yet, but the crew over at Reckless Tortuga has already decided to put out the first installment in the The Online Gamer:MW3 series. The first part contains the usual foul language, sexist attitude, and the usual discussions of ultimate pwnage. In this episode Aaron takes pre-orders for MW3 and decides to line everyone up by their leader board ranking. It’s just a hot gaming mess, so check it out!

The Online Gamer: MW3 – Part 1

Just for the gamers, here is an amazing fan-made short film for COD Mw3

CoD: Modern Warfare 3 – Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25.

The Return of Boyz II Men

Why didn’t someone tell me that one of the best R&B groups in history was returning to the music scene? I mean I know I haven’t been following a lot of the hip-hop out, but I’ve been reading blogs everyday and making sure I’m on top of it with the best in dance music, soul, house, R&B, and even rock. But somehow this delicate information regarding the return of Boyz II Men has slipped my keen music radar.

Ladies and gentlemen, apparently Boy II Men is returning back to the scene with their new album Twenty. It’s not like the group has disappeared or anything; they have been on tours for years now wooing the crowd with their timeless voices. But it is hard to believe that they have been on the music scene for 20 years now, which is why their new album is called Twenty.

The group will always be known for exuding such a sexy class that defines R&B. When I think of great R&B, I think of classic groups like Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, Ruff Endz, Jodeci, Silk, and H-Town. Groups like Pretty Ricky surely don’t ever cross my mind when it comes to talk about that grown and sexy R&B. It’s one thing to just have a bunch of lyrics about sex and how you’re going to tear that ass up, but a true R&B musician knows how to make topics such as sex, love, and dating a melodic experience that can truly touch the heart and make the body shiver.

Boyz II Men are one of those male groups that know how to create songs that can change your life; some of there songs such as “I’ll Make Love To You” are even the song of choices at most African-American weddings (trust me, I’ve seen it used as a wedding song.) I love a lot of songs by Boyz II Men, but my two favorite songs are “I’ll Make Love To You” and “End of the Road.” The guys have such an eloquent way of expressing emotions that many people can relate to. When you think of Boyz II Men, you immediately think of grown men that know how to be classy but still fueled by raw passion.

I hope to see that same passion and class on their new album Twenty, which will be released next week on the 25th. The album is sort of a celebration for debuting their first album Cooleyhighharmony twenty years ago. In anticipation of their new album, the guys of Boyz II Men have released a new video for their latest single “One Up For Love.” The title is pretty self explanatory and the visuals are sort of an homage to love. The guys still look good for their age and their voices are still the same as ever. You just can’t go wrong with Boyz II Men when it comes to classy R&B for the grown and sexy.

Boyz II Men New Video: One Up For Love

End of the Road

I’ll Make Love To You

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25.