Some of you already knew that I sing in a band. But did you know that at age three I was already in the front row in red pants playing the tamborine?
You see, as a little girl I always dreamed of being a singer like Julie Andrews or Joni Mitchell. Of course I will never be like them because I am not a soprano.
The first time I sang in public was in fourth grade doing a “karaoke” (singing along to the album) to Nicolette Larson’s version (or was it Linda Ronstadt?) of Love is a Rose. Here I am heading out to the school talent show.
In 8th grade I went to a very performing arts intensive school in Pennsyvania where I got to be in musicals and perform in an ensemble. Here’s the only surviving picture. We are singing some kind of showtune. Curiously I am in the front row center again. I thought I sucked, though, and I never had any solos. This picture was posed because Mr. Goltz was pretty hardcore about “No flash photography during the show.”
But I only kept my musical dream until about age 14. That’s when I got boy crazy and my self esteem vanished and I forgot all about my musical desires, except ones about sleeping with British rock stars. I never sang in public again until 20 years later, when one of my husband’s bandmates (yeah, Mr. beatgrl is a musician) invited me to sing in the chorus of an afrocuban folkloric drumming band. The lyrics are in Yoruba which is both challenging and fun. After the first rehearsal they asked me to be the lead singer. I guess all that car singing came in handy. I don’t have any pictures of Akimbo but we kinda looked this this, except white:
After a couple years I was asked to join these guys below, Songo. My first band with instruments other than drums! Afrocuban jazz!!
After a couple more years and some personnel changes, we became Yambique, Bellingham’s Afro-Cuban Funk Machine!
I’m still in the front row, I’m still not a soprano and I’m still not singing in English.
Also still playing percussion:
Oh, and I still like to wear red pants:
There are lots more pictures and sound clips at our WEBSITE. After a crazy festival summer, our calendar is pretty empty at the moment, thus the shamless plug. Want to throw an awesome party? We are available for hire and you will not be dissapointed.