Marirose & The Gypsies
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Marirose & The Gypsies

Modesto, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Modesto, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Pop Country




"Michael McDonald Opener is Marirose Powell"

Marirose Powell, a singer-songwriter from Riverbank, will open for Michael McDonald at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Sunday evening.
"My dad got a piano when I was 8 and I started playing on my own, writing music," she said.

Powell plays gigs regularly in Stockton and recently performed at the Queen Bean coffee shop in Modesto.

Her talent is getting recognized more broadly. She has a single and an album nominated for the 2011 Los Angeles Music Awards, and she is nominated for best female vocalist.

Asked if she's a fan of McDonald, Powell said without missing a beat, "Absolutely!"

Some of her favorite McDonald songs are "Yah Mo B There" and "On My Own," a duet with Patti LaBelle.

Powell will take the stage at 7 p.m. for a roughly 20-minute set in the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, and McDonald will follow her.

McDonald's management agency chose Powell from among the top four vote-getters in a contest to find an opening act for the singer with a soulful baritone. McDonald has forged a strong solo career after previous associations with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan.

Powell, a nursing supervisor at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, describes her musical style as "bluesy rock."

Read more:
- Modesto Bee

"Stockton Nurse Nominated for Music Award"

Marirose Powell was shocked and amazed. No wonder. On March 24, Dameron Hospital's nursing supervisor will be singing at the Whisky a Go-Go in West Hollywood. "I was shocked, really shocked," said Powell, 49, also a mother of three with two grandchildren. "You never know. It's kind of like winning the lottery or something. This is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'm amazed." Not surprisingly. Powell and the Gypsies, her five-piece Stockton-based band, will perform during the 21st annual Los Angeles Music Awards at the Whisky, a Los Angeles music landmark.

They're nominated for best Americana, blues and roots single: "Hiding Me." They submitted the song, written eight years ago by Powell and Stockton's Michelle Braskat, through Sonicbids, a website designed to link musicians with opportunities. One of the Los Angeles event's organizers, however, nominated Powell as best female vocalist. "He called and said, 'Look, your voice is so unique,' " Powell marveled. " 'It's instantly recognizable.' I was floored. Really. I was so excited. Can you believe that?" Hardly. Sonicbids received 9,000 entries. During three Los Angeles Music Awards showcase series events, 150 acts will be chosen in 30 categories. There's another nominee night June 23 and a voting party Sept. 22. Winners will be announced Oct. 28 at Paramount Studios. "Hiding Me" began as a poem by Braskat. "I told her, 'I wanna make a song out of this,' " said Powell, who sings, writes tunes and plays keyboards. "It's kind of been sitting around for a long time." She finally recorded it for "Under My Skin," her third CD, which was released in 2008. Its theme of romantic heartache is universal. "If it hasn't happened to you, you'll know someone who's been in a relationship where one person doesn't wanna introduce the other one to their parents or meet their kids," Powell said of the five-minute song, a country-blues ballad with a well-lived-in vocal and some tear-stained slide-guitar riffing by Stockton's Bill Stevens. "It doesn't seem like they're very proud. They wanna keep you away from the rest of their life. It hasn't happened to me, but a lot of people can relate to it." Powell emotes: "Why, my heart is broken/Am I not allowed to cry?" Stevens, a guitar everyman in San Joaquin County for five decades who's almost always got more than one gig going, is the Gypsies' newest member.
"We're very lucky to have gotten him," Powell said. "He started having fun and just abandoned some other stuff."

Stevens joined the band - Ray Tuitavuki (bass), Justin Anderson (drums), Sandra Dolores Swanfeldt (vocals) and Jimmy Moreno (guitar) - a year ago.

The group mixes elements of rock, blues, country and reggae with Powell's storytelling songs and her real-life voice that ranges from bruised to tough and resilient. Powell, a Stockton native, is a Stagg High School and San Joaquin Delta College graduate who was working as a nurse practitioner at Dameron before assuming her current position in 2009. When she was 8, her dad - the late George Xenos, a Stockton teacher and school administrator - purchased a vintage English upright piano with genuine ivory keys. Now 150 years old, the piano is still played by Powell her home in Riverbank. "I just started playing by ear and picking out songs," she said. "When I got to be a teenager, I started writing songs. I just loved that piano." She remembered shedding tears when it was being refurbished at a former University of California, Davis, outlet on Alpine Avenue. "When they came and got it, I just cried," Powell said. "I hadn't ever been without it. I played it every day." She took lessons for six months, but "I can't really read music. It was just faster without that." As a teenager, Powell was "more into Genesis, Yes and stuff like that. A lot of really symphonic-type music." Now, she said, "I have my own style," influenced by piano-based songwriters such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Carole King. Her vintage piano - similar to a baby grand due to the length of its strings - is distinctive. "It certainly has a deeper sound," Powell said. "It's got more bass. It kind of sounds deeper and thicker, you know. I always play that way. Even on my electric keyboard, I stay toward the bottom end. I rarely play way up at the top (of the keyboard)."
She's begun work - "I've got about eight songs" - on a fourth album she and the band will record at Mike Klooster's Stockton home studio, where "Hiding Me" and "Under My Skin" were done. Chronic record industry ageism doesn't bother Powell, whose husband, Andre, is a teacher at Orestimba High School in Newman. She explained: "When I was talking to the guy who's president of the music awards, he said he was 52, and 'I don't understand why the music industry is so geared toward young people. We're the ones with the money. We're the ones who can buy the music.' "It's probably every songwriter's dream to get their music out to everyone and hope they like it. It would be nice to have - Record by staff writer Tony Sauro


Still working on that hot first release.



Marirose is a talented and award wining singer songwriter from California's central valley. On the outside, this soft-spoken friendly personality does not prepare you for her powerfully deep and sultry voice that makes people put down their drinks and pay attention. With her soul-stirring ballads and vivid narrative songwriting style, Marirose takes the world of modern rock in her own direction; using an organic combination of pop, rock, folk, and country with killer harmonies and an old school flavor that is as comforting as an easy chair. On stage, her sincerity and openness are endearing. She makes you feel as though you know her. And while her songs leave a lasting impression on those who experience them, most fans will tell you that it is her voice that attracts them - a voice that listeners recognize immediately.
"When an amazing voice comes from an amazing songwriter, magic happens" -
Dean Scierra, CEO

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