Some would agree to disagree that the melody makes the music sound great.  On the other hand, it\’s the lyrics which compliment the melody make the music sound great. While other\’s would agree Hip Hop derived from up-top, New York, and call-and-response, a great form of independent expression came from New Orleans.  Well, when you fuse Jazz and Wu-Tang influenced Hip Hop, it sparks the soothing soul sounds of SHAOLIN Jazz.  Those keys and the arrangement of the melody on the 37th Chamber \’Mighty Meth\’ certainly keeps it moving, and The PANEL DISCUSSION which took place at Busboys and Poets keep the conversation moving with SHAOLIN Jazz sharing their recent visit to Addis Ababa, Ethopia.


Music is most definitely a universal language infused with culture, along with a wide range of dialects which speaks to the soul evoking the raw sound delivering rhymes and improvisation. Grammy-nominated Ethiopian American vocalist Wayna says this of the ability to freestyle \”it sort of a spiritual and biological connection.\”  Her education came as an artist since she lived in the suburbs away from the environment to foster that creativity.  Given the right tools and environment it can come out, she says that of the ability to create a song with freestyle in particular.  With the influence of Eric Roberson, she gained the knowledge and understanding to make up a song about the people in the audience at a show, or what\’s going on in the news.

The PANEL DISCUSSION also included the creators of SHAOLIN Jazz, Gerald Watson who grew up with the sounds of Jazz, and DJ 2-Tone Jones whose deep connection to drums and percussion can surely be heard in the 37th Chamber.  Professor and award-winning filmmaker Tewodross Melchishua shared his Jazz influences and knowledge he teaches his students at Bowie University.  The PANEL DISCUSSION was moderated by Keanna Faircloth host of \’Evening Jazz\’ on WPFW 89.3fm. A great discussion and shared experience infused with Jazz and HipHop which creates the sound of SHAOLIN Jazz.

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