Zipporah has a voice that gets attention. After hearing her exquisite rendition of the National Anthem at a youth basketball tournament, I was convinced she was a national celebrity brought in to grace the event with a touch of excellence. What I’ve since discovered is not only is the songstress building a name for herself throughout South Florida because of what she brings to the musical landscape, but she is also creating a musical legacy because of what she’s giving back.
She sings with the Miami Mass Choir and has a new cover single, Better, originally by Jessica Reedy, now playing on WMBM 1490.
It’s as a vocal instructor at the African Her- itage Cultural Arts Center in Miami’s Liberty City where she can be most generous. There, Zipporah teaches young vocalists how to find their musical voice, but so much more. Admittedly reluctant to take the position two years ago, she now confesses that she’s hooked. “I have a passion for it,” she said.
The event, Entourage, will have local performers Darryn Ferguson Jr,. Liz Lauren, Hoodie and Reese taking the stage, not in their usual roles as the main event; but as opening acts, deferring to the youth as the main acts.The South Florida Times chatted with the soulful diva about her philosophy of life as well as her unique approach to showcasing her AHCAC students.
I have to do everything with purpose. I had to find a purposeful meaning for the show. I had the idea to bring in a couple of friends, a few professional friends to have them to open up for the youth and have the youth to perform as featured artists.
MOTIVATION FOR ENTOURAGE
As an up and coming artist, I found it so difficult to find a concert stage, not an open mic stage. There isn’t a stage that I know of in Miami that will offer you the creative ability to do what you hear in your head, what you come up with a live band. STUDENTS’ MUSIC:
We have a variety of music, gospel, pop, R & B, old school, different genres of music.
PROVIDING ACCESS TO REAL AUDIENCE:
The 14 youth are ready for the stage. I’ve had the opportunity to train vocally and work with during our summer sessions at the AHCAC; and we’re bringing them back whether they’re in college or locally still high school, and have them perform a few numbers and have them prepared for another stage, another audience, as opposed to just parents or friends. This is getting them exposed to a real audience if they decide to do this continuously.
ON DISCOVERING PASSION
I didn’t want to take the positon at first, because when I do something, I do it 100, 200 percent and it would take a lot out of me in addition to pursuing myself as an artist. When I came aboard to teach and see what happens with this new journey, it was amazing to find out that I loved it.
GIVING STUDENTS HER ALL
I’m pouring into these kids what I’ve learned and what I didn’t have at their age. In my classes, Vocal Performance One and Two, I teach them about the industry, I teach them about image, genres, being a singer who sings everything and not limiting yourself to just gospel and R&B or neo soul. I train my kids to sing everything. ON HER MUSICAL BEGINNINGS
All I had was my little Casio keyboard, my little living room and little video camera. Kids were playing outside, I was inside creating music. I didn’t have anybody there to say, say it like this, or when you write a song, copyright it, and the structure of the business, creating an image.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Entourage hosted by Kenard Stevens
WHEN: Saturday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami COST: $25 per person; proceeds benefit the AHCAC
CONTACT: To purchase tickets or for more information, call 305638-6771.