Toli Nameless
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Toli Nameless

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Paris, Île-de-France, France
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"Musician & Paris Girls Rock Camp Founder Toli Nameless"

“You have played and worked with so many amazing musicians, including Sun Ra Arkestra and Toots and The Maytals; what was it like to play/work with such legendary artists? TN: Some lessons can only be passed through on the job training. I believe that these amazing experiences are what contribute to my ease and comfort level on stage. Once you’ve spent time with a level caliber of musician on stage in front of an audience, everything else seems very easy. There are some many gracious musicians that have opened their stages and imparted their knowledge to me.” - Conversations with Bianca - VICE Blog Network


"Listings"


THE FEMM NAMELESS/WUNMI, Makor, 35 West 67th Street, Manhattan. A double bill of transplanted Nigerian music. The Femm Nameless is a band of women that plays Afrobeat, the burly, horn-driven funk invented by Fela Kuti. Wunmi, a singer and dancer who was born in Nigeria, has brought an African touch to the dance-floor hybrids of Soul II Soul and Masters at Work. - New York TImes


"SoUP Session: à l'International - Toli Nameless à L'international, Fall in Luv"

“Toli Nameless et son "Band de Brooklyn" nous sont annoncés et effectivement, le BdB débarque sur scène. Sauf que, point de Toli à l'horizon, et pour cause, la dame arrive derrière le public et traverse la salle munie de son trombone. Une entrée peu traditionnelle pour une artiste tout aussi peu traditionnelle, Tony Nameless mélange ses deux backgrounds (Jazz et Soul des Etats-Unis où elle vit et musique africaine de ses ancêtres) avec une facilité et surtout une félicité désarmante. Un show presque improvisé dirait-on mais surtout très inspiré, entre sa personnalité hors du commun et sa voix incroyable qui peut aller partout, Toli Nameless est assez géniale dans son genre. Elle est en plus très sympa, nous parle moitié français quand elle peut, moitié anglais, nous fait chanter avec elle et ressort d'un fond de tiroir un tube d'Alanis Morissette, you oughta know, qui repris par Madame Nameless n'aurait presque pas pris une ride! Enfin bref, avec Toli on ne s'enn” - hell yeahhh!!! Blog - ou la culture-confiture


"No category to fit my story...."

This interview was with Toli Almasi (aka Toli Nameless) from Brooklyn , USA . Toli leads an all female band known as Femme Nameless : playing jazz, Afro beat and pop music ; presently on a Paris tour (Dec 2010) - Rotimi Ogunjobi

Toli , I remember saying to you, after watching your performance , that I had never heard better Afro Beat music outside Fela's shrine. how did you come in contact with Afro Beat ? What was your initial musical background ?
Yes I remember, this was very kind of you. I initially came into contact with Afro Beat while studying jazz with Lester Bowie. My musical background came out of the western classical genre, progressed to musical theatre and modern music.

Who and what would you consider the greatest influence to your life and music? :
That would be my both of my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother was a classical pianist, teacher, and church organist. My maternal grandmother made it through each week by singing soprano in the church. The great "what" factor would be, the drive and desire to influence people to help others as they help themselves.

You appear very close to Sandra Izadore . How did you come in contact and what influence has she had on your life and music.
Yes. "Mama Sandi" as I sometimes call her. I first came into contact with her in New York City at a fundraising event produced by Rich Media. Sandra Izadore is a very inspirational person in my life and I feel extremely lucky to have met her. She is one part mentor and one part colleague, and that is the greatest part. She'll speak, but also listens and share ideas.

Your Barbican show included, a then unknown bass player, Esperanza Spalding. Indeed Esperanza s performance at the Barbican show was really marvelous. I can still remember the girl plucking with rapt concentration at a strange instrument which was actually an electronic upright bass. What is she up to now? Does she still do gigs with The Femm Nameless ?
Esperanza has released her third album since the Barbican show but we have not played together for some time now. I am very proud to be able to watch her career flourish and to know that she went on her first trans-Euro tour as a part of the Femm Nameless. This type of success is what I truly envision for the group. It should be a vehicle for change and empowerment. Perhaps with the appropriate opportunity and organization, she will yet again, play with the Femm Nameless.

How separate are you from your art?
Not sure I quite understand the direction of the question, but the short answer would be that music gets me out of bed and face each new day with a smile.

You once said that your greatest wish would be to perform in Lagos. Do you still feel that way ? What has hindered you so far ?
I would love to perform in Lagos and tour all of Africa regularly. I have yet to find or be presented with a viable plan. In general, it seems quite difficult to break into the African market unless you are producing hip-hop.

How much have you learned from other musicians?:
It has been quite a charmed career, to learn as much as possible from other musicians, especially the older musicians who have had the time to really and truly experience life. For example, a current day musician’s creativity is influenced by the amount of technology they may be exposed to in say 15 years. Older Musicians, some having played for more than half a century, have experienced so many changes in technology. Be it in the studio, on stage, or the internet: At the end of the day, there are basic rules of engagement that they fall back on. That is to say, a whole note is still a whole note, and a half note is still a half note. My career has the elements of unique personal vision and an inspirational education.

What would you consider the biggest mistake you have ever made?:
Sometimes I forget to turn off the oven. Now that has potential to be a real danger. Everything else is a life and or learning experience.

What career mistakes do you think you could have made in the past? What do you think you could have done better?
I am quite satisfied with the career choices that I have made thus far, I've done the very best that I can with what resources I had. If I could change anything, it would have been to create even more music business opportunities. That of course is the beauty of hindsight vision.
- Lagos International Journal


"Paris is burning... Toli is coming!"

Toli Nameless is FIRE! Pure energy, Pure power! And she, Along with the black rock coalition, is coming to Paris! I must say, this New York native, French speaking, Trombone playing, dancing-singer is anything BUT Nameless!

The front woman and brainchild of, "Le Femme Nameless'' which was formed in 2002 as a musicale demonstration to countless talented musician who's work has become woven into everyday popular music and culture, yet the name is often times unknown.
In 1997, Toli began her musical journey after mastering the trombone and studying theater and dance at the world renowned, New School Jazz Conservatory, in New York City.
Since then Ms. Nameless has been composing, recording, touring- Teaching, practicing, and learning! Quite honestly, seeing her perform live says it all! Her rendition of Nina Simone's “See Line woman” is unforgettable!! Anyone who has had the opportunity to see a Toli Nameless performance will understand why I call her FIRE!
It is because she embodies all that is music with a unique freedom and a one of a kind artistic delivery!

I got a chance to see her live and speak with the 'femme' herself- on her last trip to Paris and this is some of what she shared:
S.O: What is the message in your music?
Toli: Unity, Freedom.. Empowerment
S.O: How would you describe your live show?
Toli: New age musicale theater. 150% artistic entertainment
S.O: What is the concept or idea behind Le femme Nameless?
Toli: 'The Nameless' was to signify every female musician and unsung heroine whose name would be other wise forgotten.
S.O: What does it mean to you to be a member of the -Black rock coalition?
Toli: Excitement! (It is) A huge investment and honor.. I feel as an ambassador of Music. Proud.
S.O: Where do you enjoy performing most?
Toli: Everywhere/ anywhere the vibe is right. (I do) Love performing in Paris. The Energy there is always special.

Since 2002 Toli has toured America, France, the UK, and Canada.
In the spring of 2007, Ms. Nameless was awarded an official place in the New City’s Transit Authority, M.U.N.Y. (Music Under New York) Arts Program.
A true honor and so well deserving for it to bestowed upon a meaningful – Female musician.

As one of the original members of the Daughters of Nina Simone project – < part of the Black rock coalition >

Toli along with: Tamar-kali, Amali Premardwhana, Angela Johnson, Imani Uzuri, Jenny Hill, Joi, LaFrae Sci, Lauren Sevian, Lisala Beatty, Mazz Swift, Narjess Saad, Pam Fleming, Surai Balbeisi,Tara Thierry, Kat Dyson, Tarrah Reynolds will be touring France This November in Tribute to black women songwriters.
A show not to be missed!
When asked to describe her 'type' of music Ms. Nameless answered 'Dance, Rainbow. Colors, Imagination!'
Perfectly explained because her musical expression is freedom- No limits. No boundaries.

**To find the music of Toli Nameless go to Itunes

For more information on the Black Rock Coalition's tour- dates, and cities please visit: [LINK=http://www.blackrockcoalition.org/]www.blackrockcoalition.org/[/LINK] or [LINK=http://www.myspace.com/blackrockcoalition]www.myspace.com/blackrockcoalition[/LINK]

To find out more about Toli Nameless: [LINK=http://www.tolinameless.com/]www.tolinameless.com[/LINK] or
[LINK=http://www.myspace.com/tolinameless]www.myspace.com/tolinameless[/LINK] - Uzuri Magazine


"HookShop Music Catalog: ROCK-POP, WORLD, HIP-HOP, R-N-B"

Multi-platinum selling songwriter and CEO, Mikey Bassie, unleashes his stable of high-octane LIVE talent. The Hook Shop Review Tour, named after indie record label and production house, supports the recent releases: Hook Shop Music Catalog: ROCK-POP, WORLD, HIP-HOP, R-N-B. The review tour will feature several Hook Shop artists in their home cities of Paris, Berlin, London, and Leeds. Artist on the billing include: MIKEY BASSIE (BRITNEY SPEARS/GLORIA ESTEBAN) MICHAEL "GRAMMY” ROSE* (BLACK UHURU); ANDRU DONALDS (CAPITOL/EMI); GRAMMY AWARD WINNING: SLY & ROBBIE*; FRENCH SONGSTRESS: AiNA QUACH; HIP HOP ARTIST: OB NAPS -8 BITSTER; INTERNATIONAL AFROBEAT STAR: TOLI NAMELESS; AND NEW COMERS… SOUL REBEL, and THE DOLLY MIXTURES. - HookShop Records


"Toli Nameless à L'international, Fall in Live prend ses précautions"

Dimanche, après une journée mouvementée et surtout très, très fraîche à Disney, je rejoins Heights pour une petite soirée à l'International.
J'ai les pieds et le dos en compote et les neurones ne sont pas en meilleur état mais au sous-sol de l'International on est au chaud, c'est déjà bien. Et cette fois, nous ne passerons pas par la case toilettes, on ne sait jamais, vu la fatigue, j'aurais pu collapser sous le choc.

Ce que nous ne savions pas c'est que nous assistions à une soirée bien spéciale: une SoUP Session (comprenez Sound of Undergroud People), qui, si j'ai tout bien compris a lieu, tous les derniers dimanches du mois à l'International. Il y avait donc ce soir là, des habitués comme des gens de passage, et quoiqu'il en soit, un public moins nombreux (on est dimanche soir quand même!) et surtout moins idiot que lors de notre dernier passage en ce lieu.

Toli Nameless et son "Band de Brooklyn" nous sont annoncés et effectivement, le BdB débarque sur scène. Sauf que, point de Toli à l'horizon, et pour cause, la dame arrive derrière le public et traverse la salle munie de son trombone.
Une entrée peu traditionnelle pour une artiste tout aussi peu traditionnelle, Tony Nameless mélange ses deux backgrounds (Jazz et Soul des Etats-Unis où elle vit et musique africaine de ses ancêtres) avec une facilité et surtout une félicité désarmante.

Un show presque improvisé dirait-on mais surtout très inspiré, entre sa personnalité hors du commun et sa voix incroyable qui peut aller partout, Toli Nameless est assez géniale dans son genre.
Elle est en plus très sympa, nous parle moitié français quand elle peut, moitié anglais, nous fait chanter avec elle et ressort d'un fond de tiroir un tube d'Alanis Morissette, you oughta know, qui repris par Madame Nameless n'aurait presque pas pris une ride!
Enfin bref, avec Toli on ne s'ennuie pas!

Par contre, avec Viking Moses, on s'ennuie grandement et malheureusement après le live punchy auquel on vient d'assister, ça tombe à plat. Et comme avec Heights on préférera toujours rester sur une bonne fin (vous savez c'est comme quand vous mangez deux chocolats et que le deuxième est dégueulasse) on est parties.
Histoire de garder dans la tête la voix surpuissante et le groove implacable de Toli. - Hell Yeahhhh!!!


"The Femm Nameless / Club Balattou, Montreal."

July 18th 2004, Festival International Nuits D'Afrique.
By: Ariel

All the way from New York City to Club Balattou in Montreal, The Femm Nameless brought their soulful mix to the stage. Brimming with women power from a multicultural perspective, this group comes across with good intention and a deep message of unity.

Founding member Toli Almasi (lead vocals, trombone, piano, percussion) often performs with Toots & The Mayals, Original Parliment, Skatelites and several other groups. Dawn McGrath (drums) rounds out the rhythm section of this musically diverse band. Each member of The "Femms" play several instruments and also perform in other bands. Their mix of afro-world beat rhythms and jazz pack a double punch unlike any other band.

Funky guitar licks, cool rhythms, boppy beats and voices of experience come together to create a sound of sisterhood. For a group that has been together for only three years, these women groove together in such blissful harmonies that one would think they all met at grade school. More power to them, and we hope they have enjoyed their first show in Canada as much as we enjoyed The Femm Nameless. Hope you'll be back soon.

Opening the show at Club Balattou was none other than our local Annie Ebene with a variety of neighborhood talents. This group had the crowd up and dancing with their jumping rhythms and upbeat vocals. It's great to have an international festival showcase some of the awesome music coming out from its hometown.

Nuits DAfrique continues through till next Sunday and there is still a lot of great entertainment to be had. So put on you dancing shoes and come out to catch the beat. See you there.
- Plus+ Orca Sound


"All About Jazz: Nina Simone Tribute"

Hats off to...the unruly horns and percussion of Toli Nameless! - David Alder


"Afro Pop.org"

...Nameless makes funky irrepressible music that speaks directly to our own place and time. - US Arts University Settlement


"Time Out London"

"Punk Funk meets Afro Beat" Voted 'Recommended Night' in Time Out London.
(see picture in gallery) - Recomended Night


"Getting Wet In Bloody England"


Many major music centers currently
blossom in the north of England including Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and my home,
Leeds. While Leeds is the smallest city of the aforementioned four, the city is home to more students per capita than any other city in Europe, and subsequently, one hell of an eclectic live music and DJ culture. With two major universities and half a dozen colleges within a population of half a million, Leeds simply kicks ass. There is too much to do all the time, making it difficult to plan to be in three places at once. Still, I have witness some fantastic
shows in the city far, and here are a few that are worth mentioning.

On September 30th,
Montreal’s Afrodizz and Brooklyn’s Femm Nameless visited The Hifi Club, arguably Leeds’
best spot for experiencing the eclecticism of live music. Both bands showcased their love of
Afrobeat to a sold out crowd, leaving everyone smiling throughout the entire show. Femm
Nameless, an all-female sextet that blends politicized lyricism with heavy funk and African
melodies won myself and the audience over from the onset, applying more of a feminist
approach to analyzing social commentary over a heavy blend of funk, hip-hop, soul and
world music. - Shain Shapiro


"DJ Brendon Rule a.k.a 'DJ Andujar'"

The Rough Guide to Afro Beat Revival available on www.worldmusicnet.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rough-Guide-Afrobeat-Revival/dp/B001V6ZUDY and http://mp3.mondomix.com/rough-guide-to-afrobeat-revival “Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Toli Almasi Reid (a.k.a. Toli Nameless) founded the Femm Nameless, an all female group that is a welcome tonic to the most frustrating thing about the afro beat movement: a male-centric view of the world. While some of Fela’s twenty-seven wives ensured women’s involvement in Afro Beat through background vocals and dancing, his belief in tradition roles for women, penchant for dictatorial punishments, and constant macho posturing served to undermine aspects of his message. ‘Ibajekbe’ (featuring in it’s short version) asks ‘What is’ the order was turned upside down, what is we had the courage to unite and ask the tough questions, see each other’s reflection in one another’s eye? We could challenge the status quo, question authority, fight injustice, eradicate inequality. Fela’s lyrics certainly comment on power dynamics but Toli’s fearless questions makes new statements about that subject in a feminine voice that carries a universal message.” Liner Notes written by Brendon Rule a.k.a “DJ Andujar” listen to his radio program ‘Candestino’ on www.wmua.org - The Rough Guide To Afro Beat - Liner Notes


"Toli Nameless Les Info Daughters of Nina Simone Tribute Orchestra"

Collectif d'artistes tout droit venu des Etats-Unis, la Black Rock Coalition nous présente une formation exclusivement féminine qui fait revivre, dans une création très électrique, la mémoire de Nina Simone.
Elles sont seize et uniquement des femmes. Avec leurs robes panthères, collants roses et autres tenues très kitsch, elles déménagent !
Le poing levé, elles rendent un brillant hommage à l'incroyable diva de la musique noire. Connue pour sa voix au timbre riche et d'une rare puissance expressive, Nina Simone luttait aussi pour la défense des droits civiques et contre le racisme.
La Black Rock Coalition, collectif d'artistes aux multiples initiatives, fait écho à cet engagement.
Depuis 1985, il milite pour la liberté de création des musiciens afro-américains. Riches d'un héritage rock farouchement revendiqué, les Daughters of Nina rendent à merveille toute la force et la furie qui ont animé Nina Simone.
Menées par Tamar-Kali, l'égérie de la nouvelle scène afro-punck américaine, les reprises gagnent en électricité, sans perdre pour autant en puissance émotionnelle. - http://www.theatre-des-salins.fr/data/article.php3?id_article=2307


"Toli Nameless avec Narjess SADD, et Nathalie AHADJI"

"Toli Nameless (www.myspace.com/tolinameless - www.tolinameless.com), artiste New-Yorkaise reconnue, membre actif du Black Rock Coalition Orchestra et co-fondatrice de la tournée "Daughter Of Nina" (hommage à Nina Simone), pose ses valises à Paris le temps de quelques nuits...
Musique improvisée et jam-session made in New-York sont au programme. Décollage immédiat vers les racines de la soul-music."

Toli Nameless sera accompagnée de Nathalie Ahadji, Narjess Saad, Thomas Seignobeaux et Eric Suchaire.

Soirée présentée par Maison Autre et La Couleur du Son. - La Couleur du Son


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Genre: Electro World Pop
Origin: Brooklyn, NY
Official Band Website: www.ToliNameless.com
Toli 's Facebook: ToliNameless
Twitter @ToliNameless

CONTACT:
Management Info: publicitenow@gmail.com
phone: +1 347 441 4046 - new york
phone: +33 (0)6 40 34 08 13 - paris
skype: Toli.Nameless

'It is bigger than music, and limited only by your own imagination.' - Toli Nameless

' Recommended Night: Punk Funk meets Afro Beat!' - Time Out London.

She has received critical acclaim through out the EU, UK, Canada, Australia, Africa and the US.

THE MUSIC:
Toli & The Femm Nameless - is her all female electro-world pop brainchild. Made of today's top female players, Toli conducts some hard hitting grooves and her lyric driven music push the energy of this live show. Past players & guests musicians of this all female power at a high-octane band include: Imani Uzuri, K. J. Denhart, Me'Shell Ndegéocello, Esperanza Spalding.

Toli Nameless has played as a solo act, band and with top DJs with the hottest repertoire of tracks. Past collaborations and projects include DJs: Rekha, Rich Medina (ninja tune), DJ Center (giant step/ninja tune), KIVA, Sly & Robbie, Mike LADD and the Mad Professor.

HERStory:
She is a song producer, vocalist, trombone player, and percussionist. The Discography of Toli Nameless includes over 25 releases that have sold world wide. She cut her teeth studying with the finest including: Chico Hamilton, Lester Bowie, Clark Gayton, Fontella Bass, Josh Roseman, Dick Griffen, Sharon Jones, Marshal Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Original Recordings and Live Performances include: The Mad Professor, Spiritual South, Antibalas, Tu-Mystic, Tamar Kali, Tony Allen, Sandra Izadore, members of Egypt 80, Toots and The Maytals, Dj Center, Dj Kiva, Daughters of Nina Simone Tribute Orchestra, The Black Rock Coalition, Larry MacDonald, Steve Turre, Kokolo AfroBeat, Rebirth Brass Band, Brown Girls Burlesque Troupe, Mikey Bassie, Sly and Robbie.

Supported acts like : Huun Huur Tu, The Roots

Venues played like : l'Olympia (Paris), L'Aeronuf (Lille), Barbican Museum (London), Balatuu (Montreal), Blue Note (New York), Carnegie Hall

Festivals played like : Fête du Panier (Marseille), Sons d'Hiver (Paris), Fela Festival (London), LaD.I.Y. Fest (Berlin), CMJ (New York)

Toli Nameless is also a official performer in the New York City Transit Authority's Music Under New York( M.U.N.Y.) Arts Program.