A Great Night at BAM Café with Onaje Allan Gumbs


Jerome and Candice in first lift Overjoyed New Vintage with Onaje Allan Gumbs

Candice and Jerome BackstageJazz Ain’t Dead principle dancers, Candice Michelle Franklin and Jerome Melsaun Warren, performed a fantastic duet at BAM Café last Saturday night, April 6 for Onaje Allan Gumbs Presents New Vintage.  It was a star-studded evening filled with fabulous musicians well-heeled in the Jazz scene as well as a wonderful array of singers and poets featured on the program.  The venue was crazy packed, over capacity.  People could not get in unless someone left; it was just that crowded. 

Candice and Onaje posing together at BAM Cafe April 6, 2013Accompanying Candice and Jerome was the talented vocal artist Angela Johnson singing lead vocals and Gregoire Maret on harmonica as well as Gary Fritz on congas, Enoch Jamal Strickland on drums, Roger Byam on sax, and Gregory M. Jones on bass.  Other talented artists performing throughout the evening included Jean Caze, Mem Nahadr (Vocalist and Friend of JAD), Abiodun Oyewole, Toni Blackman, Alano, LuQuan Graham, Darien Dean, Jordan Young, Autumn Ashante, and Tai Allen.

Flyer of New Vintage


Jazz Ain’t Dead Performs “Overjoyed” at Roulette



Jazz Ain’t Dead® performs Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.”

Music by Stevie Wonder
Music Track Arrangement by Chris Rob for Jazz Ain’t Dead®
Vocalist:  Billy Davis, Jazz Dance Artists:  Shakirah Stewart & Gierre Godley
Choreography by Candice Michelle Franklin

On Saturday, December 15, Jazz Ain’t Dead® guests at the “Art is Like Me” benefit concert produced by Clarke Clark at Roulette in Brooklyn.  Jazz Ain’t Dead performs a Latin version of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” inspired by the music stylings of Esperanza Spalding.  Although we would have love to have played it live as we have been doing all summer, our music arranger, Chris Rob, was awesome enough to play and record a great rendition for us to use for small guest spots such as this. 

For this performance, our dance artists for Jazz Ain’t Dead are the beautiful and talented Shakirah Stewart and the handsome and extraordinary, Gierre Godley.  Our vocalist from Jazz Ain’t Dead is the fantastic and ever awe inspiring, Billy Davis.  Recently, this past summer, Billy survived a terrible motorcycle accident, so bad that the doctors had to amputate his leg. 

In October we performed the same song for Mo Beasley’s UrbanErotika Dance Edition with Rajdulari Barnes and Billy performing in a duet.  We were very excited because it was the first performance Billy had since the accident.  At that time, Billy just received his new leg prosthesis and we were hoping he will be able to stroll across the stage with new blocking for him to be in the dance.  Well, that idea was a little too soon, for we found he had yet to master use of the new leg.  Thus alas, he had to perform the song sitting on a stool.  But miraculously with hard work and determination (and with the help of great physical therapy), this past weekend (nearly two months later), Billy strode out and was able to perform the song standing!  Woot Woot!  We’re so proud of you Billy!

Billy still has a long road ahead of him in physical therapy, paying off his expensive new prosthetic leg, and other medical concerns/surgeries due to the accident.  We are still raising money to help him with the bills to relieve him of this added stress upon this very unexpected major injury.   Will you please help?  Click here to help.  In the meantime, enjoy the video of this very lovely piece.

Til next time…..

JAD Singer in Motorcycle Accident, Recent Amputee and Needs Your Help


Hey, Jazz Ain’t Dead Friends, Fans, and Family,
Our Singer, Billy Davis, and Super Friend lost his left leg in a horrible motorcycle accident and is now an amputee. If you know him well, he is not only an awesome professional singer, he’s a runner/(star athlete in College on the KU Track team), and a personal trainer! If you can, please give to this fundraiser so that Billy can pay for a leg prosthesis, I’m sure that he will greatly appreciate it. If you can’t give, please please spread message so that Billy can get his Prosthesis. I’m sure the medical bills are crazee! Thanks, everybody! Candice Michelle Franklin.

Here’s a link to give:  https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/4KwR6?srid=831c66b7ea144e06903a3bd07008f7fd

Here’s a link to give: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/4KwR6?srid=831c66b7ea144e06903a3bd07008f7fd
Here’s the host’s note:

Billy D. Fitness Prosthesis by William Prochazka

My Friend Billy from high school is about the most fit and positive person I’ve ever known. Talented, funny, energetic, a personal trainer, amazing smile, you name it. But after a recent motorcycle accident, he was left with an amputated left leg. I want to raise whatever money I can towards the prostheses he’ll need to continue his lifelong fitness training, and reach the goals I already know he is setting for himself! Please donate $10, or even more towards this cause!

After 7 weeks, he is finally out of the hospital. I’d love to reach the goal and have us all present him with a donation towards the kinds of prostheses an athlete like him would need for reaching maximum recovery and potential!

We LOVE our singer, Billy Davis.
Check out this Jazz Ain’t Dead favorite of Billy Davis in Performance!

Jazz Ain’t Dead Dancers perform with Mo Beasley’s LoveStorm at BAM Cafe


On Saturday, February 11, Candice Michelle Franklin and the dancers from Jazz Ain’t Dead will perform as special guests in a live music concert for Mo Beasley’s LoveStorm, a ten year running UrbanErotika event newly hosted at BAM Cafe.  Live music will be provided by Maritri Garrett and the Soul Funk Experience.  This event is FREE!  Hope to see you there…

BAMcafe’ LIVE!

Mo Beasley’s LoveStorm

Join us for an evening of live spoken word, music, and dance in a way that only Mo Beasley can orchestrate it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012
9:00 pm

Spoken Word by Mo Beasley
Music by Maritri and The SoulFolk Experience
Dance by Candice Michelle Franklin and “Jazz Ain’t Dead”

BAMcafé is located in the Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Directions at http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=245

Jazz Ain’t Dead Scheduled to Perform at Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival


Jazz Ain’t Dead is scheduled to perform a “straight ahead” jazz concert at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. Featured music will include new compositions from JAD drummer, Kenneth Salters, and JAD’s music director, Lafayette Harris, Jr. along with straight ahead classics danced by the JAD Dancers. Also on hand is tap dance artist, Bakari Wilder, and MC and spoken word actor, Mo Beasley. All choreography is by Candice Michelle Franklin. Show is February 18, 2012 in Rockville, Maryland. More details of times and venue to be announced. Hope to see you there.

Jazz Ain’t Dead is on WBAI


Jazz Ain’t Dead is on the RADIO!

Click here to hear an interview by host, Esther Armah with Jazz Ain’t Dead choreographer, Candice Franklin for “Wake Up Call” on WBAI RADIO. 

WBAI Host – Esther Armah talks with Choreographer, Candice Michelle Franklin, about the process of choosing material for Jazz Ain’t Dead, Dancers as jazz musicians, Gershwin’s music in Porgy and Bess, Summertime Burlesque, and Billie Jean.

JAD Band Guests at New York Jazz Choreography Project

Jazz Ain’t Dead® principal dance artists Jerome Melaun Warren and Candice Michelle Franklin perform together again as guests for the New York Jazz Choreography Project which runs April 27 – 28 at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in midtown. 

For the first night, dance artists Jerome Melsaun Warren and the young and beautiful, Maria Rodriguez (plucked from Miss Franklin’s advanced trainee Jazz dance classes at the renowned Joffrey Ballet School) will be performing a duet accompanied by Jazz Ain’t Dead vocalist, Rajdulari Barnes.  On the second day of the show run, Jazz Ain’t Dead® choreographer, Candice Michelle Franklin, will join Warren, her long standing partner (about ten years we think if you don’t count when Franklin was Warren’s teacher), in performing the same duet with Jazz Ain’t Dead’s live band.  Principal music arranger for Jazz Ain’t Dead®, Chris Rob, will be accompanying the dancing pair with his new samba arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” both singing and playing the piano in a vocal duet of the famous song with JAD’s Rajdulari Barnes.  Also sitting in is Wallace Roney’s fabulous bass player, Rashaan Carter, and the great salsero, Geraldo Flores.  We welcome these great musicians to the Jazz Ain’t Dead family!

Available at the MMAC box office or
purchase online.
$21 ($18 children 12 and under)

Jazz Choreography Enterprises presents The New York Jazz Choreography Project

The New York Jazz Choreography Project is a celebration of jazz dance featuring originals works by emerging and established choreographers. Audiences of all ages will be treated to dances in a variety of jazz styles—from swing to contemporary—and the chance to see jazz dance as the rich art form it is, with its glorious variety of styles and cultural influences. Following the performance on Sunday, April 28th, the audience is invited to stay for a talk back with the choreographers.

Saturday, April 27th, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 28th, at 3 p.m. – A talk back with the choreographers follows this performance.

manhattan movement & arts center

manhattan movement & arts center
248 W. 60th Street
New York, New York 10023

Available at the MMAC box office or
purchase online.
$21 ($18 children 12 and under)

The performances will be approximately 70 minutes long with no intermission. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of management. The box office will close 30 minutes after the performance starts. No refunds or exchanges.

Out and About: Calvin has a Pre-Birthday Shin Dig

Carolyn Hardin, Candice, Calvin, and CarmenJazz Ain’t Dead artists Carmen Carriker and Candice Michelle Franklin were out and about at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar on the upper west side for the Tony Seawright’s Artist Showcase helping fellow Jazz Ain’t Dead artist, Calvin Booker, celebrate his birthday.  It was a great time for all jamming to songs like Chaka Khan’s Tell Me Something Good, Tyrese’s Lately and El Debarge’s I Like with the house band. 

Conveniently dropping his “wood” (tap board), Calvin performed a freestyle tap jam as a special birthday feature and threw it down!  At his request, he invited the beautiful and talented Jazz and House singer, Carolyn Harding, to bless us all with her presence.   Her beauty and radiance was felt all throughout the room as she sang like a bird standards like My Funny Valentine and That’s All with unparalleled vocal interpretation, timing, and confident delivery.  A favorite moment was when she sang a bluesy God Bless the Child  then continued on the vamp to free-style a full-out commentary, in gospel rhythm and song, laying out ALL of Calvin’s business about how she watched him grow.   Oooooh!  It was priceless. 

All in all, Ms. Harding was such a joy to watch…  a beautiful voice, a beautiful face, a beautiful talent…  What more can you ask for?  Happy Birthday, Calvin!

Android Snapshot:  Candice Michelle Franklin (JAD Choreographer/Jazz Dance Artist),
Calvin Booker (JAD Tap Dance Artist), Carolyn Harding, and
Carmen Carriker (JAD Jazz Dance Artist)

Jazz Ain’t Dead Guests with Onaje Allan Gumbs II

419510_3307965972150_2102794202_n_thumb[3]Jazz Ain’t Dead principle dancers Candice Michelle Franklin and Jerome Melsaun Warren will perform, Saturday, April 6 with Onaje Allan Gumbs and New Vintage at BAM Café, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.  There a ton of brilliant musicians sitting-in and exciting guests also on the program.  Please come and check it out!

Onaje Allan Gumbs Show at BAM Cafe[1]
For more information directly from BAM, click here for a direct link.
Photography by Julie Atwell

TV Watch: JAD Bass Player Steve Styles on DWTS

We have great musicians, singers, and dancers among us performing all over the world.  We are so proud of their accomplishments.  One of our own that we’ll like to give a big shout out to who still has time to play for us when he’s in town, is our fabulous bassist, Steve Styles Rodriguez!

Jazz Ain’t Dead bass player, Steve Styles Rodriguez, is also the musical director on tour with super star pop singer, Demi Lovato.  He just got back from Asia and, on his return, will be performing next live, April 2, with Lovato on Dancing With the Stars!  Woo hoo!

Make sure you set your DVR to watch!

Steve Styles Demi Lovato

Steve, Demi e Mike!

Candice Spotted in Two Commercials!


In the Heights photo

Jazz Ain’t Dead’s very own choreographer and dancer, Candice Michelle Franklin, has been spotted in two commercials for Westchester Broadway Theatre’s production of “In The Heights!”  Candice lent her dancing skills to help promote the show which opens February 7 through March 17, 2013.  See if you can spot how many times you see her in the promo!


And here’s version number two of the promo for this exciting show of music and dance.


Tickets are only $59 and you get free parking and a three course dinner!  For more information or buy tickets for this production, visit the special Westchester Broadway Theatre website at http://www.intheheightswestchester.com/.