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The best kept secret in music


"Daya aka Glenda B"

Outside of Belly Dancers at Raja on Haight Street there is nothing quite as alluring as Glenda Benevides on stage. With a voice that "oozes sensuality and passion" delivering "raw power" through her incredible vocal range, Benevides will be absorbed into your body like a strong muscle relaxant, caressing every inch of your troubled and muscially-starved parts. A performer since the beginning stages of embryonic development, Benevides exudes an unusual sense of familiarity and confort with the stage. She has a presence that will seduce you, a vocal range that will amaze you, and a style of music that will greet you like the onset of a climax, sending tingles up your spine with heavy R&B rhythms and mystical Middle Eastern chord progressions. | Christopher Contini - Good Times - Santa Cruz

"Sulha Peace Project returns on Saturday"

November 11, 2004

Sulha Peace Project returns on Saturday

Sentinel correspondent
SANTA CRUZ — Building on the success of its September event, the Sulha Peace Project will hold a fund-raising concert and film screening Saturday.

"Sulha" describes an ancient Arab practice for reconciliation between feuding tribes. The project’s goal is to reconcile Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of other religions by coming together and learning about each other’s lives.

"When people don’t know each other, they are ignorant to each other’s background and culture," said Nissim Malul, co-organizer of the event. "People cannot make peace because they don’t know each other."

Malul and Lisabeth Kaplan organized the nation’s first Sulha event in in Santa Cruz on Sept. 6. A crowd of 450 Jews, Muslims and others, including religious leaders, shared customs, food, dance and prayers, Malul said.

The Sulha Peace Project originated in Israel in 2001 during the Muslim month of Ramadan and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. As part of the event, Jews prepared a meal for Muslims to break their Ramadan fast, and Muslims lit Hanukkah candles.

The Sulha gathering has become an annual event in Israel. The 2004 gathering drew 4,000 participants, organizers estimated.

Three groups will perform at Saturday’s concert: Ya Elah, an ensemble of instrumentalists and female vocalists who perform music based in the Jewish tradition; Raquy and the Cavemen from New York City, featuring Middle Eastern music with an emphasis on Arabic drumming; and Glenda Benevides and the World Tribe. Benevides, a rhythm and blues and world music singer of Santa Cruz, will perform with Tunisian-born vocalist MC Rai, and Malul, an Israeli percussionist.

Ya Elah will celebrate the release of its CD, "Each of Us," as part of the event.

A documentary made about the September Sulha gathering will be shown.

"People were so inspired, and the event was so powerful that we want to continue this initiative and we want to spread it around," Malul said of the film.

"The documentary is designed as a resignation/cynicism shifter," he said. "When the issue of Israel and Palestine comes up, that’s what comes up also: resignation and cynicism." Malul sees the film as shifting the focus to a more hopeful message.

Contact Jessica Marshall at

If You Go
WHAT: Sulha Peace Project Benefit Concert and Movie Showing.

WHEN: 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: First Congregational Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz.

COST: Tickets are $25, $10 with student I.D. Donations of $50 or more are tax deductible.

DETAILS: For more information, call 601-9073 or 475-5438, or log onto

can find this story online at:
Copyright © Santa Cruz Sentinel. All rights reserved.

- Santa Cruz Sentinal

"On Glenda's good lyrics and a know-it-all chicken"

Publication=The_Californian; Date=06/20/2002; Section=411; Page=3;
On Glenda's good lyrics and a know-it-all chicken

met Glenda Benavides while on assignment covering - of all things - a flirting
safari at the Monterey Hilton.

Yep, this is the sort of thing that unmarried reporters are subjected to, all
under the guise of "you're single, you fit the demographic."

So, off I went to Monterey with my perfectly gelled hair, car-length coat of
Italian design and notebook to get the scoop, crank out the Pulitzer and be home
in time for "Law & Order: SVU."

What I found there was a dark room full of mostly 40-and-50-something ladies
chatting up 40-and-50-something men and working their way to the dance floor.

Which is fine. I was only there for the news, and my dance card appears to have
one name repeated in all of the spaces.

It was in the midst of all of this gyrating in tight-fitting outfits, to Billy
Ocean's "Carribean Queen" ... no, thank goodness, before all of this, that
flirting safari host Susan Bradley asked her good friend, Glenda, to sing a
little number to get the crowd loosened up.

I guess the no-host bar wasn't working.

I heard Glenda's voice before I saw her move through the crowd, pausing to flirt
with a few select gents, as the words "Loverman, oh where can you beeeee" exited
her mouth like the cry of the mythical siren.

No men fell to their demise, at least while I was working the beat. But Glenda
was gracious enough to give me a copy of her latest CD "Completion," a
compilation of songs she has recorded with other artists over the years. I said
I'd give it a listen.

The CD is recorded on Glenda's In the L.I.T.E. Productions. She started the
venture in March 1999 when she produced a concert to benefit the Rainforest
Action Network.

"Completion" takes its cue from the present melange of musical styles that can
be found in the music biz these days and mixes jazz, R&B and world music.

At the risk of sounding like I write ads for Starbucks, the result is a smooth
blend that uplifts the spirit and calms the nerves.

Even on a release with a different sound, the song "Sacred" departs from the
rest of her jazz- and R&B-influenced work and dives headstrong into the world
music genre.

The collaboration with world music artist Sukawat Ali Kahn, who provides guest
vocals on the track, creates a funky, other worldly mix that is reminiscent of
some of the more daring tracks on Sting's 2000 release, "Brand New Day."

I met with Glenda during a recent working dinner at Chocolate, a restaurant next
to Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is the kind of town where you can order a free-range chicken with
mole sauce, served with spinach salad and sesame seeds and no one bats an
eyelash. They want you to order this.

Free-range chickens live a whole lot better than their siblings at commercial
chicken farms, but in the end it really doesn't matter, does it?

Maybe I should go to the state fair and ask that brainiac of a chicken behind
glass that plays checkers or chess or whatever it plays for its opinion on the

So anyway, Glenda and I started talking about her work, but we ended up talking
about how people don't talk to each other any more. Everything is compressed
into a streaming flow of soundbites, or as Glenda expresses in her song "We've
Lost Our Way":

"Cost of living is way too high/Pain and Crime will sell the next
headlines/Profit making prophecy/All I have is clear-cut poverty."

It's always difficult to get a sense of what an artist is trying to say with a
few lines of a lyric. So much is in the sound, the emotive quality of the music,
that you should probably visit her Web site and check it out for yourself.

And find out what the chicken has to say.

J. MICHAEL RIVERA is a reporter at The Californian. Cluck, cluk, bk-AAAACK!
Write to him in care of Groove Lines, J. Michael Rivera, The Californian, P.O.
Box 81091, Salinas 93912; fax to 754-4293; or e-mail to riveraj@salinas.gannettx

J. Michael Rivera
The Californian
(831) 754-4230

- The Daily Californian

"The Circular February 2005"

On January 17, Caminos was pleased with the results of its quickly planned benefit concert at Brava Theatre Center, which raised nearly $3,000! Sister Petra tells us that performer Glenda Benevides sang to over 140 people who had come out to support Caminos' work with low-income Latina women and that local radio stations generously publicized the event. Photos from the concert are available online . - Full Circle Fund



Feeling a bit camera shy


Daya’s musical talent ranges from songwriter, producer to vocalist and entertainer. She loves combining musical styles from around the world, whether it be the Qawwali music of Pakistan, North African Rai, sultry Latin rhythms, or pure Oakland, CA style of R&B roots, her music conveys a story of passion that takes you from one end of the globe to the other.

Her lyrics speak the words that are unspoken. She is best known for her lyrical arrangements that speak about the day after. Truly spellbinding in both her lyrical approach to songwriting and her mesmerizing vocal ability, she charms her audience with her sultry raw sound towards an angelic heavenly cadence. Her four octave vocal range is only part of her voice’s versatility. Like the classic Jazz divas of old, Daya captures a powerful mystique that enraptures her audience.

Daya has sung with house-hold superstars such as Toto and Teddy Pendergrass. She has also collaborated with many top Producers and Songwriters including two-time Grammy winner Tony Saunders who has helped shape the musical careers of many stars including Eric Clapton, Patti Labelle and Stevie Wonder; Simon Britton and the Red Rhythm writing and production team who produced super stars such as Ashanti, Eminem and Sting; Gospel great Howard McCrary who has worked with Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan, to name a few; and James McKinney who musically helped brand Freddie Jackson, Melba Moore and Chaka Khan.
Releasing her first album in 2000, “Completion” fused both R & B and jazz. J. Michael Rivera of The Daily California stated, “(Completion) is a smooth blend that uplifts the spirit and calms the nerves.” Daya collaborated with songwriters James McKinney, Howard McCrary, John Sanders, and Michael Allen Harrison for her self-produced album, "Feed Your Soul" (2004). The album is an eclectic mix of R&B, Soul, World, and Latin sounds. From the political anthem "Liberate Me", inspired by the treatment of the women in Afghanistan, to the sultry "Black Raven" about an unrequited love affair, Daya’s heartfelt lyrics touch upon the unspoken.
With soulful vocals and danceable beats, her words capture the essence of what she truly believes is her purpose for inspiring audiences. Her intention is to give her audience something that rests their soul and helps heal some part inside of them.

Whether it’s about love or politics, Daya’s haunting and uplifting lyrics define humanity and offer a new vision for a better world. A tireless advocate for many causes including cancer research and peace activism, Daya is constantly supporting organizations through benefit concerts, including the Sulha Peace Project and the Rainforest Action Network, to name a few.

She performs all around the world including such venues as the Cannes Film Festival, The Brava Theater in San Francisco, The Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz.