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Indigo Girls

Thirty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and countless US and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music business. Selling over 14 million records, they are still going strong. Amy and Emily are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s.

In 2012, Saliers and her Indigo Girls partner Amy Ray embarked on a bold new chapter, collaborating with a pair of orchestrators to prepare larger-than-life arrangements of their songs to perform with symphonies around the country. The duo found an elusive sonic sweet spot with the project, creating a seamless blend of folk, rock, pop, and classical that elevated their songs to new heights without sacrificing any of the emotional intimacy and honesty that have defined their music for decades. Now, after more than 50 performances with symphonies across America, the experience has finally been captured in all its grandeur on the band’s stunning new album, Indigo Girls Live with The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

The power of unity, both in music and in life, has been an Indigo Girls calling card ever since they burst into the spotlight with their 1989 self-titled breakout album. Since then, the band has racked up a slew of Gold and Platinum records, taken home a coveted Grammy Award, and earned the respect of high-profile peers and collaborators, from Michael Stipe to Joan Baez. NPR’s Mountain Stage called the group “one of the finest folk duos of all time,” while Rolling Stone said “they personify what happens when two distinct sensibilities, voices, and world views come together to create something transcendentally its own.”

The duo has balanced their long, successful musical career by supporting numerous social causes—the Indigo Girls don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Both on and off the stage, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have secured their spot as one of the most legendary musical acts of this generation.

Dianne Davidson

ROLLING STONE: "Dianne Davidson actually gave me the chills."

Some singers today need a team of backup singers and a ten-piece band. Dianne Davidson could stand on stage with nothing but her voice and her songs and you’d hear more depth and power. She’s played her rock/blues/R&B songs in everything from Carnegie Hall to prominent Nashville venues. There’s a reason Variety called her a “… (a) chillingly powerful vocalist.”

Audiences love her between-song patter as much as her songs. In addition to solo concerts, she’s opened for Neil Young, the Moody Blues, and many more. She’s sung backing vocals in the studio and on stage with a host of well-known musicians—Linda Ronstadt, the Earl Scruggs Review, Jimmy Buffet, David Allen Coe, and too many others to list.

If you want solid songs presented with an impressive set of pipes in an emotion-packed performance, look no further than Dianne Davidson.

Jess Leary

In the early '80's Jess Leary was a fixture on Boston's folk, rock, and country scenes. The regional winner of the "Wrangler Country Star Search," Leary was flown to Nashville to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. It was there she discovered a new chapter in her life. She decided to move to Nashville in 1985.

After five years of knocking on doors, she signed a deal with Reba McEntire's publishing company, StarStruck Writers Group’ Later, McEntire hired her as back-up vocalist/guitarist for her 1992 tour. Continuing to earn her road legs during the following years, she toured as a backup singer/musician with artists Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and Victoria Shaw, to name a few. She’s performed several times at the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, on The Tonight Show, both with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, and on shows with Pam Tillis, Deana Carter, and Martina McBride, and she has occasionally joined folk singer Melanie and the Indigo Girls on stage.

Jess Leary's songwriting credits include two number 1 songs, Pam Tillis’ smash hit "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)," co-written with Tillis, and Tim McGraw’s multiplatinum-selling "Where the Green Grass Grows." Two of her songs are on Grammy Award–winning albums: McGraw's Everywhere album, and childhood idol Janis Ian's 2013 Grammy Award–winning Society's Child: My Autobiography audiobook and CD, which includes the Ian/Leary cowritten "This Train Still Runs."

Most recently, Leary scored the title cut on Blake Shelton’s record Bringing Back the Sunshine. Featured in Rolling Stone, the album debuted at number 1 on the All-Genre Top 200 Albums chart, and its title song was the featured opening song at the 2015 and 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on NBC Sports.

Ms. Leary has had her songs recorded by many other artists throughout the years. Her expressive and poignant lyrics accompany an unmatched expertise on the guitar. A true triple threat: singer, songwriter, musician.

Kye Fleming

Female songwriters in country music have come a long way in the last 30 years. One of the first women to make her presence known—and one of the most highly awarded for her talent—is Kye Fleming. Rhonda Kye Fleming moved to Nashville in 1977, and within a few months she had begun what would be an amazing 6-year presence at the top of the country charts. That was extraordinary for any songwriter, but for female songwriters in country music, it marked a new era.

Kye has won more than 42 BMI awards, including three BMI Songwriter of the Year honors, a BMI Song of the Year award, and ten Million-Air Awards. Her work has earned her a host of awards and nominations from Nashville Songwriters Association International, Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, Dove, and The Recording Academy (presenter of the Grammy Awards). Some of Kye’s more recent career highlights include her induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and having the song she cowrote for Ronnie Milsap, “Smoky Mountain Rain,” designated the new Tennessee State Song in 2012.

“Kye Fleming is a rarity, a bridge between traditional and modern country music and a creative force who helped expand Nashville's reach," stated Del Bryant, BMI President and CEO. “Her songs helped redefine and revitalize a genre. A two-time BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year and three-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year with 38 BMI Awards across multiple genres, 15 of her songs have generated more than 1 million performances each. As a modern-day pioneer, she shattered glass ceilings for women and for all songwriters who refused to be stuffed into a category, and we at BMI couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments.”

Every decade has its musical pioneers, those who have helped shape the sounds and trends of the time. Fleming can be credited with helping define the pop-country sound of the 1980s with her hits, including "Smoky Mountain Rain," "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World," "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "Nobody," "Kansas City Lights," "Give Me Wings,” and “ Roll on Mississippi,” as well as other singles sung by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride, Wynonna Judd, Crystal Gayle, Suzy Boguss, and Michael Johnson.

Pam Rose

Few voices have the power to cut to the bone like Pam Rose’s. Layer that over her profound songwriting gift and her consummate musicianship on an assortment of instruments, and you begin to get a glimpse of a real artist.

Rose has been nominated for two Grammy Awards with longtime writing partner Mary Ann Kennedy, with whom she formed the acclaimed duo Kennedy Rose. The twosome recorded on rock star Sting’s private label Pangaea Records, founded for “uncategorizable music,” and opened for one of his world tours. Kennedy Rose also performed twice for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton and at a Nobel Peace Prize presentation, as special guests of Emmylou Harris.

Pam has enjoyed a vibrant life of touring, having toured multiple times as an acoustic trio with Kennedy and Harris, treating the crowds to their impressive three-part blend, and as a solo artist, appearing with Australian acoustic guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel.

As a solo artist, Pam has recorded the CDs Morpheus, Fly, and, most recently, The Temple Sessions. She recently enjoyed hit record status in Sweden; her song “Never You” (cowritten with Swedish icon Marit Bergman) soared in the Scandinavian charts and was a favorite on the soundtrack CD for Sweden’s most successful TV series, Jill’s Veranda.

As a guest artist, she has sung harmony with the likes of Art Garfunkel and Neil Young and appeared on a host of hit records, most notably in “How Do I Live?,” recorded by LeAnn Rhimes, and “Independence Day,” recorded by Martina McBride. Pam’s appeared with Emmanuel on his PBS show, on which she performed one of her Grammy-nominated songs, “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” and “Haba Na Haba,” a composition cowritten with Emmanuel that appears on his CD Little by Little. Inspired by the Swahili proverb “Haba Na Haba”—which translates to “little by little, we fill the cup”—it is a story of hope and taking long, sometimes arduous journeys one step at a time.

Born in Chattanooga, Pam moved with her family to Atlanta and then to Florida’s east coast, where she spent her formative years. After majoring in music at Florida State University, she lived in Atlanta and was mentored by jazz musician Paul Mitchell.

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Roxanna Ward

Cabaret-comic extraordinaire Roxanna Ward hails from Laguna Beach, California. Her engaging blend of piano bar and comedy caused one reviewer to observe, “It’s as if Bette Midler and Steve Allen had a love child.” A pianist, musical arranger, producer, conductor (Milwaukee Symphony), and teacher, Ward has worked with legends Dolly Parton, Laura Nyro, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Bea Arthur. As a songwriter, she penned the R&B single “Remember Who You Are,” which reached number 16 on Billboard’s jazz chart when recorded by the Phyllis Hyman, and more recently was recorded by Suede. Roxanna is a beloved member of the Olivia family; her Olivia debut was on an Alaska cruise in 1992. Since then, she's joined us several times a year, and her brilliant comedy, writing, musicianship, and singing endears her to audiences everywhere. Whether you are seeing Roxanna for the first time or the tenth, she always makes you laugh and warms your heart. 

Cocomama

Cocomama is a virtual United Nations of women, playing their own mosaic of world Latin music, powerfully virtuosic yet elegantly musical, creating a sound that is all at once fierce and beautiful! Their debut album Quiero, included in the 2016 Grammy pre-nominations for Best Tropical Latin album, celebrates the coming together of a wide range of musical experiences in three different languages.

Each member of Cocomama has her own artistic vision and talent, giving the group a completely original sound, one that blends musical styles and influences from around the globe: Afro-Cuban, Classical, Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Latin American, Soul, R&B, and beyond. Cocomama has enchanted audiences with their irresistible groove at New York City’s most popular jazz and Latin clubs, throughout the United States at renowned jazz and world music festivals, and in Latin America.

Christelle Durandy

Christelle Durandy’s artistry is a mosaic: a cross-cultural jazz combination that draws upon a vast spectrum of soul, Caribbean, and Latin inspirations. The melodic threads of her musicianship transcend borders and weave an international music fabric rooted in her loyal love for percussion, polyrhythm, and for words and languages’ rhythmic concepts.

Preserving her stylings, Durandy has brought her musical colors to diverse projects all around the globe. She has been featured with Paul Carlon Octet, Edward Perez Festejation, Toshi Reagon and Allison Miller’s “Celebrate the Great Women of Blues and Jazz,” John Benitez, Luis Enrique, La India, Max Pollak RumbaTap, Ricky Ford and Ze Big Band, Ran Blake, and Climbing Poetree, just to name a few. In Cocomama, Durandy exhibits her talents as a writer, arranger, and performer. She also heads her ensemble Cinq Têtes and has recently joined, as a lead singer, the Grammy award-winning big band Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Nicki Denner

Pianist/composer Nicki Denner has worked with a diverse group of artists, including Sheila E., Savion Glover, Michele Lee, and Doc Severinsen, as well other jazz and Latin artists in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Denner has released three critically acclaimed albums and she serves as music director for both Cocomama and the New Jersey Tap Ensemble.

She has performed throughout the United States and Latin America and has been a musical ambassador for the State Department in Latin America. A devoted educator as well, Denner has served on the faculty of the Stanford University Summer Jazz Workshop, Jazzhous Kids, the New York City Tap Festival, the New Jersey Tap Festival, and Campamento Internacional de Jazz in Guatemala. She has also contributed to Keyboard Magazine.

Mayra Casales

Mayra Casales is considered one of the most versatile percussionists of her generation. Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, she studied with Carlos “Patato” Valdez. Before long, she was performing with some of the biggest names in Latin music, such as Celia Cruz, Machito, Joe Cuba, Miguelito Valdez, and Tito Puente. Casales moved to New York City, where she continued her musical journey, working with such legendary artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Ray Barretto, Angela Bofil, Walter Bishop, Jr., Jon Lucien, Phyllis Hyman, Carmen Lundy, Tania Maria, David Amram, Regina Carter, and Grady Tate.

She has contributed to recordings by Regina Bell, Kiara, Miki Howard, and Lita Gallaway. She has also toured with Sophie B. Hawkins, Regina Carter, Carmen Lundy, Women of the Calabash, Mauricio Smith, Tania Maria, and The Ojays. Casales founded Cocomama in 2008 and released her first solo CD, Woman on Fire/Mujer Ardiente (which made it to number 19 on the World Charts), on the Afrasia label.

Marcelle Davies-Lashley

Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Brooklyn native born to West African parents from Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively, is a singer extraordinaire. Davies-Lashley began singing lead in the church choir at the age of 5 and never stopped. The soothing sacred sound of the warm musical instrument that is her voice will melt your heart and feed your soul.

Davies-Lashley has travelled to five of seven continents, moving hearts to tears of joy with a stage presence and sincerity that is second to none. Davies-Lashley debuted her one woman show Liberian Girl in Brooklyn as a 2019 Suite Space artist at Mabou Mines. She was the featured soloist for the 2017 Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Delacorte Theater, the score of which was nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk Award. Davies-Lashley played the Queen of Sheba in the international tour of Robert Wilson’s opera The Temptation of St. Anthony, with a libretto written by Dr. Bernice Johnson-Reagon.

Davies-Lashley and her band have set the stage on fire at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Café, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem Stage, Lenox Lounge, The Brooklyn Museum, Joe’s Pub in New York City, The Ivy Room, and Freight and Salvage in California. She is a featured vocalist and percussionist, sharing her hypnotizing tambourine skills, on Carl Hancock Rux's Cornbread, Cognac and Collard Green Revolution.

Davies-Lashley has also rendered her musical gift to the background vocals of BeBe and CeCe Winans Greatest Hits, Lizz Wright, and Carl Hancock-Rux, to name a few. Davies-Lashley has her first solo EP, titled Easy to Love, available on CD Baby and iTunes. Stay tuned for her soon-to-be-released single, a cover of Ferron’s “Testimony.” The universe is better for the likes of the music from the depth and gospel-jazz-soul fusion of Marcelle Davies-Lashley.

Col. Grethe Cammermeyer

Retired Col. Margarethe (Grethe) Cammermeyer, RN, PhD, was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1942, when Norway was under Nazi occupation. She immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of nine. After earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland, she joined the Army at 19 and went on active duty as an Army nurse, serving in Germany and Vietnam.

While stationed in Europe she married a fellow military officer. In 1968, after seven years on active duty, she was forced to leave the military when she was pregnant with her first child. She returned to the military, joining the Army Reserves, in 1972, when women could serve with dependents. Divorced after 15 years, she continued her education, earning a master’s and PhD from University of Washington. She held concurrent careers in the Army Reserves and National Guard and in the VA Medical Health Care system, where she worked as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, and researcher in neuroscience nursing.

In 1989, having served in the military for 25 years, Col. Cammermeyer disclosed that she was a lesbian during a top-secret security investigation. She was ultimately discharged in 1991. With Lambda Legal on her legal team, she challenged her discharge in federal court, won, and was reinstated. Her story was memorialized by producers Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close (as Col. Cammermeyer) in an NBC made-for-television movie, Serving in Silence, based on her autobiography of the same name, which depicts her life and struggles and was updated in 2016.

Dr. Cammermeyer is currently a hospital commissioner with WhidbeyHealth. She lives on Whidbey Island, in Washington state, with her spouse Diane Divelbess and their two dogs.

Karen Williams

COMIC, EMCEE, HOST, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, HUMOR EDUCATOR & DIVERSITY TRAINER

Karen Williams is the founder and CEO of the International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts, affectionately known as HaHA Institute.

The mission of HaHA Institute is to encourage the fullest and highest activation of human potential for compassion, wisdom, and life force through the daily use of humor and healing arts, which includes stress management, nutrition, exercise, massage and healing touch, and spiritual practices.

Karen Williams has the unique distinction of being the nation's first openly lesbian black comic to include specifically lesbian material in her act. Her solo comedy special I Need a Snack, filmed live in Hollywood and produced by Andrea Meyerson of AllOut Films, is a LOGO TV favorite and available on DVD. 

The feature-length, award-winning comedy-documentary Laughing Matters showcases Karen's star quality and includes interview clips that highlight her social activism. Other credits include the film We’re Funny That Way, which aired on HBO, and comedy writer and host for the TV show In the Life out of New York City.

Karen Williams is a featured comic performer with Olivia Travel, and has been since 1990. She’s been a ghostwriter at Columbia Pictures, and her humor writings appear in numerous anthologies, including Joke Stew (Andrews McMeel Publishing), Revolutionary Laughter (Crossing Press), Out in All Directions (Warner Brothers), and Out, Loud & Laughing (Random House).

Most recently, Karen was an artist in residence at Winona State University in Minnesota, coaching classes as diverse as political science, health management, theatre and dance, and communications. Karen also earned kudos as a highly-praised diversity trainer for Kent State University's Institute of Excellence staff and alumni at KSU, Ohio.

SPEAK UP! SPEAK OUT! LAUGH OFTEN!

Suzanne Westenhoefer

No one ever accused Suzanne of being subtle, not the shuttle driver who took her to the airport, the woman she was in line with at the grocery store yesterday, and certainly not her audiences. Subtle, she is not.

After more than 25 years of groundbreaking, stereotype-shattering, and brutally honest comedy, she’s not about to start pulling punches now.

The kid from Amish Country who began her comedy career on a dare is celebrating a quarter century of out, open, no-holds-barred comedy.

Suzanne tells the truth. The truth is life is funny, especially when it’s fermented in Suzanne’s mind. That’s why she could never be in the closet, making her a trailblazer when she started doing stand-up in the 1990s. She was the first openly lesbian comedian with an HBO special and the first openly lesbian comedian on Late Night with David Letterman.

Heck, she was on Sally Jesse Raphael in 1991 on a show called “Breaking the Lesbian Stereotype… Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.” From “OMG, a lesbian has long hair and wears make up” to “I went to Helen and Jane’s wedding last weekend,” that’s how far we’ve come in the 25 years Suzanne has been telling her truth to audiences all over the world. Some of that is certainly thanks to her candor, courage, and charisma.

Suzanne never does the same show twice. She can’t. She doesn’t write anything down. She charges boldly onto the stage and what happens is always a mystery and a delight. Enjoy a wild night of comedy in a city—or on a cruise ship—near you.

Dr. Bonnie Morris

Bonnie J. Morris is a women’s history professor and the author of 17 books. She has devoted over 34 years to documenting the women’s music movement, first publishing Eden Built by Eves (2000), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and then The Disappearing L (2016). Her 2018 volume, The Feminist Revolution, was selected by Oprah’s Book Club and the American Library Association as a top pick for women’s history.

Dr Bon organized the first-ever exhibit on the women’s music movement at the Library of Congress (seen by over half a million visitors) and arranged for some of Olivia’s albums to be housed in the Smithsonian. She received the Ruth Rowan Believer award from the National Women’s Music Festival in 2017, shortly before moving to California to teach at the University of California, Berkeley. In her extra time, she writes prize-winning lesbian time travel novels and keeps an eye on the Olivia archives.

DJ Citizen Jane

Citizen Jane is not only one of the top in-demand DJs, but she also has gone back to her singing roots, releasing “Rescue Me,” her first single and a collaboration with Brazilian DJ Tommy Love, from her forthcoming EP. “Rescue Me” is climbing the dance charts and currently trending in the top most streamed dance songs on Spotify. As a celebrity DJ, Citizen Jane has also dropped her beats in private events for Kim Kardashian, Stella McCartney, Patricia Velasquez, Gwen Stefani, and Kat VonD, to name a few, and has shared stage billing with AfroJack, Bebe Rexha, Christina Perry, Crystal Waters, Deborah Cox, Cece Peniston, Becky G, J Balvin, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez.

If there is just one thing in this world to bring people together, it’s the power of music. Not many singer/songwriter/DJs/producers can say they’ve got what it takes to break through the subtle music barriers between several diverse groups, but then again none of them DJs are DJ Citizen Jane. The Cuban American, Miami-born Pied Piper of the decks has been whistling her own unique tune and now is one of the most in-demand DJs in the country. Her resume reads like a circuit party passport that keeps growing every year.

Her ability to read and keep a crowd going has allowed her to obtain resident DJ and headliner DJ billing at the hottest clubs, venues and musical festivals in the US, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and beyond including headliner for LIVE NATION events and has had the honor of performing at the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden.  Citizen Jane was named by Bump and Logo TV as the “Hottest DJ” in Miami. Citizen Jane is known to rock the crowds in the circuit and festival scene and was tapped as the headliner DJ at the most iconic music festival in Australia, Sydney Mardi Gras, where she made her debut to over 35,000.

Her love of music extends beyond her high-energy DJ beats, leading her to become one of the most in-demand international singers/songwriters/DJs/producers on the DJ scene of today. Citizen Jane is the 2014, 2015, and 2017 Pink Flamingo Awards winner for “Favorite DJ,” an honor voted on solely by the public. In 2015 Citizen Jane was the lone woman on the ballot, beating out Grammy Award winning DJs for the coveted award for the three years. Citizen Jane was the only woman on the billing for the 2016 Folsom Fair, an event women are rarely invited to spin, and turned it out with a widely huge successful set at their crowning event, “Magnitude Alongside Superstars Chus + Ceballos.”

Even the godfather of promoters, Jeffrey Sanker, has booked Citizen Jane to set the dance floor on fire. Her followers keep adding up more and more, day by day, as she continues to conquer the music world with her beats. 

DJ Rockaway

Born and raised in Queens, DJ Rockaway has been bringing her passion and love for music to US and international dance floors for nearly two decades. Although she is true New Yorker (just listen to her talk!), she is a regular on both the East and West coasts. You’ll find her spinning at nightclubs, weddings and other private events, and galas for national nonprofits, such as NCLR, HRC, and Equality California, to name a few—and she is also a regular DJ on Olivia cruise and resort vacations.

The executive producer of the San Francisco Women’s Stage and the founder of PLAY San Francisco and PLAY San Jose, monthly events for women who love to dance, DJ Rockaway has created a unique mix of music styles—dance, hip-hop, R&B, house, club, retro—that allows her to play for all who love to dance and feel the music. In her spare time, you can find her behind a camera lens, playing with her drone, or filming and editing music videos. For DJ Rockaway, music is more than a blend of sounds, music is an experience… she wants you to feel it, live it, escape into it.

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