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About queenayaba

Richmond, VA

Ayaba Music expresses what you feel deep down inside that spoken words may not be able to convey. Ayaba becomes one with the songs she sings. She is a striking figure with her floor length locks and guitar, which she plays in a very unusual style. She is an actress of song. Each song is its own story and Ayaba takes you inside of them. It is as though you were enjoying several plays as opposed to several songs. She has sung at coffeehouses on college campuses throughout the country as a duo with her husband, called Charles and Myra Hunter. She was Cultural Ambassador for the Uhuru Sasa School of Brooklyn, NY and traveled to Guyana, Brazil, the Caribbean Islands, and hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States. She has performed in the Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Jazz Festival. She recorded on Nina Simone's album "Emergency Ward" as one of the background singers. Her voice stirs up images of the ancestors from African tribal villages to the Native American Reservations. As a child during the Civil Rights Movement she was deeply influenced by the music of Nina Simone, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, Weldon Irvine, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Eartha Kitt, and the Caravan Gospel Singers. As a young woman she was additionally inspired by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the choreography of the Motown groups. When she moved to New York her musical palate was expanded when she heard Afro Cuban musicians such as Celia Cruz and Tito Puente and others. Then African musicians such as King Sonny Ade, Cheik Lo, Baba Maal and Miriam Makeba expanded her already rich musical influences. Add some Caribbean music and Reggae and you get an idea of the treat in store for your listening ear. Her first public appearance outside of the church was at a jazz club called Market Inn in Richmond, VA. at age 14. Her father was a Blues man and exposed her at a very young age to Bessie Smith, Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee, Hudie Lead Belly, Muddy Water, Junior Walker, Billie Holiday, Bobby Blue Bland, B.B.King, T Bone Walker , John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and countless others. Blues emerged as an accessible form of self-expression in African-American communities of the United States from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The use of blue notes and the prominence of call-and-response patterns in the music and lyrics are indicative of African influence. Improvisation is to jazz what free style is to Hip Hop, both having their roots in the drumming style of West Africa. Blues is passionate and compassionate where Jazz is intellectual. Spirituals are moving and magnetic. Ayaba is all that and more! Her voice is bluesy deep, and melodious high. Her life having been shaped by all of the above and particularly prison songs and work songs sung to her by her Father as a young child and later listening to the songs recorded in the fields of the Deep South. These influences were liberating to the mind and heart, setting one apart from the vicissitudes of struggle and deprivation of your dignity because of those people who did not like your skin color, hair texture, facial features, body type, language or the way you walked or thought. However, you are liberated from that for that moment in time that the music is taking place. Hampton University is where Ayaba Bey received her Bachelors Degree in Speech and Drama, with a minor in Art. She studied voice with the renowned Professor Edward Boatner in New York City and later embarked on a national tour for the Heritage Foundation with Weldon Irvine, long time Musical Director for Nina Simone, educating many on the history of Jazz Music through song, lecture, prose and poetry. Upon completion of independent studies in Religion, World History, and Metaphysics she received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree, a Doctorate of Metaphysics Degree. She received her Certification of Naturopathy in 2006 under the instructions of the great Dr.Llaila Afrika, and her Master’s Degree in Education in June 2007. During her musical career she opened for such greats as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Weldon Irvine, Lenny White, George Cables, Kenny Durham, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Stitt, Hugh Masakela, Betty Carter, Patti Labelle, Lonnie Liston Smith, Pharaoh Saunders, and many more. Her performance is interactive with audience participation. Ayaba sings the types of music, that have influenced her over the years and has evolved a musical style that is uniquely Ayaba. She is a must hear, must see experience. If seeing is believing, then she represents the vibration of God's love through sound! She cradles the hearts and minds of her listeners with her powerful, yet gentle, voice. You come out of her concerts with an inexplicable feeling of renewal and connectedness. You hear a concert, but you experience a revival. You see a great artist, but you experience a supreme presence. You are fed and taste God's love through her voice. A moving and powerful experience to see people embrace and be embraced by their Creator through the voice of Ayaba Bey. She is a world music singer and belongs on the world stage. Her style is infectious, instantaneous, soul stirring and soothing. She is a musical storyteller who accompanies herself with guitar, other hand held percussion instruments, the African drum, and you... the audience. She is available for the following venues: 1. Concerts and Festivals 2. Coffee House and Lounges 3. Colleges and Secondary Schools 4. Churches and other Institutions 5. Artist in Residence 6. Motivational Speaker Contact Information Fax: 317- 536-3177 804-329-8778


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