I can’t believe I met my biggest musical influence. Stevie Wonder. Lord knows this man changed my life and the lives of many of the musicians who influenced me, and the fact that I am a musician born and raised in Detroit, who knows a lot of the musicians who know him on such a personal level enough to call him friend or brother; I felt like I was meeting a family member. It was scary – but I never felt more peaceful. I know Nate Watts, his bassist for over 40 years, Keith John (son of Little Willie John) who has worked with stevie since WAY back – (remember ‘I Can Only Be Me’ in the Spike Lee movie ‘School Daze?’ yeah – that guy) – All the members in Soulchestra play with him live whenever he is here. Dwight Adams – stevie’s trumpeter – a good friend of mine and husband of soulchestra member Leslie DeShazor. DJ Spinna who is a colleague in the DJ game probably the biggest Stevie fan I know besides myself; knows stevie; Paul Riser – My mentor – taught me a plethora of info on String Arranging, and is one of my go-to OG’s for plain old life advice, knows Stevie better than all of them since he was there from the beginning. I know Stevie’s people – never met the guy… I’ve heard stories.. never met the brother – so I meet THE man… and he’s like a down to earth Dali Lama, from the hood. Total mellow dude – he was tired, and overwhelmed and still said ‘It’s good to meet you, family’ – man, look…. This guy….OMG – i have no more words. A lot didn’t know that Milwaukee Street was a street he grew up on after moving to Detroit from Saginaw – Neither did I (and I know a heck of a lot about Detroit’s musical history, especially my own); Now Milwaukee has been renamed STEVIE WONDER AVENUE. The ceremony was amazing; the best part was when ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” was playing in the background and he sang along saying ‘Forever you will be my home’ at the end of the chorus….. A winter tent full of Teardrops, and none of them lonely. (Yeah, I just went all Detroit-Motown pride on you. #micdrop).
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