top of page
In Los Angeles at LAX I met James Brown. The airport was packed, people wall too wall, but I could pick James Brown out of any line up. At that time I was selling vegetarian cook books. As I approached him with cook book in hand, I asked as if I didn't know who he was: "Hi sir, are you flying in or flying out?" He replied "I'm flying out!" So then I said: "you get one too" as I put the book in his hands. And then I continued, "We're asking everyone, are you a good cook or a better eater?" He looked at me, and then at the cook book, then back at me and said a line the only "The God Father of Soul" would say: "I'm a better lover!"
In Los Angeles, CA. at the Wilshire Theatre, I performed as a backup singer for Boy George. Before the show, he greeted us back stage. His demeanour was as beautiful and soft as his singing. It was quite electrifying to be on stage with him. The song that we performed was BOW DOWN MISTER. To the delight of Boy George and the band, the audience knew every word to the song!
After being invited to the NAACP Black Image Awards, and walking on the famous RED CARPET while cameras were flashing, my mother and I went to an afterparty. We danced and mingled with some of Hollywoods elites. We were then invited for dinner at the famous Marla's Memory Lane. This place was also a Jazz club of which well known artist would play. As my Mom and I were waiting for our dinner, I gazed towards the entrance door. And to my amazement walks in Steve Wonder with his brother guiding him to their table. In my mind and heart I knew that I would not miss this opportunity to talk with one of the greatest songwriters that ever put pin to paper! So I walk to their table, introduced myself, and asked his brother if I could speak to Mr. Wonder? His brother leans over to ask Steve Wonder if I could talk with him, and he said yes. Steve's brother stood up and gestured for me to take his place. As I sat across from Steve Wonder, realising that this is the man who wrote the song Superstition, trying not to show how much in awe I was of his talent, this is what happened: "Mr. Wonder, my name is Reggie Saunders and I am an aspirinig singer/songwriter. Would you please give me some advice on how to reach my highest potential?" He asked me to give him my hands. As he held my hands this is what he said: " If your singing is as strong as your personality, you will be a great success in the music business"!
Once on the last night of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland during a Jam session, there were many artists / musicians in attendance. We were all taking turns to perform on stage. All of a sudden walks in this person and everybody made room for his entrance. It was none other than Claude Nobs, the founder of the MJF. As he walked on the stage playing his harmonica, the singers vacated the stage like a dark cloud on a sunny day. As I was sitting on the side watching everything unfold, I took the opportunity to go on the stage, grab a mic and sing as Claude Nobs was playing. What and incredible experience!
THE FAMOUS MONTREUX JAZZ
The Montreux Jazz Festival is famous world wide for hosting the most innovative next level artists that has ever graced a stage! Ever since I knew of its existence, whether I was officially performing there or not, I have made it a point to be there. Allow me to share with you some of my experiences. On any given night at the Montreux Jazz jam session, famous artists will come and perform. I have had the privilege to play with Tom Coster (keyboardist of Santana), the rhythm section of Chaka Khan, the rhythm section of Prince, Mattieu Chedid (better known as M), and Thomas Dutronc, just to name a few.
If Montreux Jazz Festival is the Mecca of music, then Quincy Jones is the soundtrack. Once at the famous Harry's Bar which is located inside of the Le Montreux Palace, I was singing "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye to a packed crowd. People were swaying to the groove. All of a sudden the people parted like the Red Sea and there stood Q with his arms folded and a smile on his face, looking at me. Before he left, he gave me a nod of approval.
Please allow me to attempt to describe the multi talented, multi instrumentalist, critically acclaimed, and all around nice guy, Jacob Collier. We met at the Montreux Jazz Festival. As we were talking, I could tell that his musicality was "off the charts"! Not only did he understand theory, but he knew how to apply it in a soulful way, and if you know anything about me and my approach to music, whatever and whenever I make it," "it's got to be soulful"!
bottom of page