Inspiration for Your Ears: From Heartfelt Gospel to Mindfulness and Activism

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Source: Pixaby

This week flew with dizzying speed so I listened to more music than podcasts, but still managed to catch inspiration from a plethora of sources.

My hairstylist Dominique turned me on to a heartfelt gospel song “Worth” by Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy.  Its such a beautiful reminder that God’s love for us is boundless and liberating.

Shannon, my bestie and LIC blog contributing writer, spent this week rocking out to Vixen Noir, an eclectic music artist who’s song “Dangerous,” celebrates independence and strength.

Andra Day, with her lovely vintage look and soulful sensibilities is officially one of my favorite new artists. Her song “Rise Up” eloquently captures the relentless spirit of determination. “I’ll rise up unafraid,” she sings boldly.

I just discovered Lizz Wright has a new album, Freedom and Surrender. The behind-the-scenes video is about this latest offering is fascinating; its always great to hear the artist discuss their work.

Affirming the lives of all black folks matters is essential for America’s healing. I love Koli Tengella’s take on this issue. His commentary is regularly featured on The Marc Steiner show, my favorite daily radio broadcast airing WEAA 88.9 FM.

Inspired Music: Mandisa’s Overcomer

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Cover art, Mandisa single, "Overcomer"
Cover art, Mandisa single, “Overcomer”
… got so much on your mind, nothing’s really going right, looking for a ray hope. Whatever it is you may be going through, I know he’s not going to let it get the best of you. You’re an overcomer. Stay in the fight til’ the final round…”

As I look in the rear view mirror our daughter Naima’s little head bobs back and forth as Christian artist Mandisa‘s voice reassures us God is in control, not our circumstances. Her innocent joy is contagious, I smile, but not long after my tears begin to flow. Raising my arms, in this moment, it’s as if the weight of these last few years – the disappointments and heartaches – are gradually lifting.

“Overcomer” is the kind of song which illuminates those dark places we all confront. Little by little, I am beginning to understand God’s love for us is rooted in pragmatic everyday lessons – the set backs, some monumental others seemingly small and innocuous – each designed to shape us into overcomers.

We often learn through discomfort, vulnerability, and dare I say those periods of loneliness and stark quiet when it’s just us and God. These last few months have taught me that, perhaps more than any other season in my life. Sometimes we must rest in solitude.

None of this happens quickly, you and I take daily steps towards healing as the video illustrates quite beautifully. We watch each person’s path and gradual healing, including the celebrated Robin of the Today Show’s bout with cancer and former congresswoman Gifford’s return after being nearly killed by a lone shooter.

The longer I live, the more I understand overcoming is both process and journey, a continuum.  Those of us who are “prisoners of hope,” as the book of Zachari says, are stubbornly courageous; we are ever rising above the obstacles in the natural world and connecting to spirit. Every day, our tiny steps, often the ones no one witnesses, lead us along a path which refutes despair or practicality and instead offers the uncertainty of a less stable, but far more fulfilling blind faith. I’ll embrace that road any day, friends.

Rhonda Robinson, Rocket-Scientist-Turned- Jazz-Musician

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Rhonda Robinson  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson
Rhonda Robinson
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson

Listen  here to our February blog chat with accomplished jazz musician Rhonda Robinson. Read more about her fascinating background below (from rocket scientist to jazz vocalist and flutist). Don’t miss her upcoming event at An Die Musik, Hot Winter Nights Part 6: Rio in Baltimore on Friday, February 28, beginning at 8pm. If you miss the 8pm performance, don’t despair, there is another one at 9:30pm.

The Rhonda Robinson Quartet L-R: pianist Todd Simon, bassist Steve Synk, vocalist Rhonda Robinson, drummer Robert Shahid  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson
The Rhonda Robinson Quartet
L-R: pianist Todd Simon; bassist Steve Synk; vocalist Rhonda Robinson; drummer Robert Shahid
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson

 

It’s that time of the month again! If you are a regular, you know we feature inspirational folks in a variety of fields from the arts to business for our blog chat series.Yesterday I spoke with local jazz vocalist and flutist Rhonda Robinson about following your passion, creative inspiration and more.

This former rocket scientist, educated at Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, left behind an engineering career to pursue her first love, music.  She now leads the Rhonda Robinson quartet and regularly performs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, appearing at An Die Musik, Creative Alliance at The Patterson, and at a host of other venues.

Some of the group’s notable appearances include opening for prominent poet and activist Amiri Baraka and Blue Ark Ensemble at University of Baltimore and performing for “A Night at Ethel’s Place,” a fundraiser for city concert artists, which also honored legendary jazz vocalist and Baltimorean, Ethel Ennis.

This coming Friday, February 28, beginning 8pm, don your party attire and catch her performing live at An Die Musik for Hot Winter Nights Part 6: Rio in Baltimore featuring world-renowned Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez, accompanied by bassist Max Murray, and drummer Jesse “Jay” Moody.

Live In Color! – Emelda