Willow Morning
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Willow Morning

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Every Woman Radio/Internet Interview"

http://www.joanmaute.com/WM.html

Four part audio interview of Willow Morning May 15,2010 Copy and paste listen or download - WVQC.ORG Radio Free Cincinnati,


"Creating from the Heart"

By Gina Moss

Jamie Fóta--"My music is Metaphysical Folk."

"I consider myself a singer-songwriter. When I play I try to do mostly originals. But original songs are more challenging to the listener, So if it's a long set I will throw in some cover songs (well known songs by popular artists) to get the audience involved. Most people would put me under the heading of folk, but that's a big umbrella. My songs are really different. They don't fall into one category like ballads or country. Mine is more 'Metaphysical folk'. It deals with higher powers and personal development. My music has a tendency to reach in and beyond. It's spiritual but not religious. I have been connected with the Quakers in my background. That may have influenced me."

Fóta has played guitar for 30 years now. In the late 1980' s she started writing her own music. "I had been going through some life situations and then began coming into my own, a self-discovery, like being me and not what others expected me to be. When I was honest with myself it freed me to write." She will not write a song to please someone else. "I'm not out to make a popular statement. I write what's on my mind, that might be a love song or a silly song. Some people think I'm a punster."

At the age of six she asked for a guitar and finally got one senior year of high school. "I was the oldest of 10 kids. I didn't have my own money because I was always baby-sitting at home." Having all those responsibilities at home, she could not get an outside job. In high school band she played trombone. Although she was not really interested in the trombone, it did start her reading music. Singing in chorus and taking piano lessons also expanded her musical experience. Playing mostly by ear now, she uses a computer to write down the notes.

She grew up listening to country. Her uncle played guitar and it was "just the greatest thing". He would bring his guitar out at parties and Fóta would "eye it jealously". When her family would visit his house, Fóta would sometimes hide in the closet with the guitar just to strum the strings.

When she finally got a guitar of her own it was an Hawaiian lap guitar with a square neck and a crack in the back. It took her a year and a half to learn all the basics. Her first "real guitar" was a folk type, steel string Conrad. A good friend's brother played classical guitar and began to teach her finger picking techniques. Because her style uses finger picking and strumming mixed together, she never uses a plastic pick. Now she has some beautiful guitars: a Spanish Hernandez, an Ovation, and a solid body Gibson.

For enjoyment she listens to old Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading; influences which surface in Fóta's originals. They cover light rock, folk rock, country, acoustic ballads and even a little funk. She would like music to be her life, but for now she needs to earn a living. For her day job she teaches high school science. "Music will always be a part of my life, even if it's not my job", says Fóta.

Her music is a tool for people to be uplifted and it "helps them through stuff". Getting this kind of feed-back after a concert lets her know she is reaching her audience. "If my music has helped someone to grow then it has served a purpose to be proud of."

I saw Jamie Fóta recently at College Hill Coffee Co. Playing with her was Marcia Gallas on percussion. Her sound was perfect for this small and casual setting. Her sound is enhanced by the use of midi-drums, piano and brass. Her originals tend to be plaintive and very intimate. Her voice is deep and rich and gutsy. If you like Mary Chapin Carpenter you'll want to hear Fóta.

You can catch her live Oct. 10 at College Hill Coffee Co. 8-11 pm, and Nov. 1 at York Street Cafe 9:30pm-12:30am. Her album, "Out of the Silence" can be purchased locally at Borders, Joseph Beth and Crazy Ladies Book Store. "Out of the Silence" can also be ordered in cyberspace at www.ladyslipper.org. - Antenna Arts Magazine


"What It's Like To Be A Female Drummer"

by Marcia Gallas as told to
Cynthia Dunitz

I've been asked what it's like to be a drummer in an all-female band. In order to answer that question, I need to give you some background on myself.

I can't ever remember a time I did NOT want to play drums or percussion. My parents had pictures of me drumming on things before I could walk or talk. My first memory of wanting to play percussion was at age four when I perched myself down beside a stereo speaker and listened to an album my father was playing which featured percussion. I started out with jazz, tap, and ballet lessons, then quickly moved on to piano. All the while, I begged for drum lessons.

By age 11 I had my first professional set of drums, lessons, and played in an all-female rock group called, :''The Electrified Prune." I HATED that name.

My first bout with discrimination came in junior high when the band director informed us that "no girls were allowed to be in the drum section." It was the first time I had to stand up for myself. I told him that I was probably the only student there taking professional drum lessons and who owned a drum kit. I stayed. He used to put a $20 bill on the music stand and go down the line, offering it to any student who could play a particular passage. When it came my turn, he put the bill back in his wallet.

In senior high I had to deal with "boys" who didn't want their domain invaded. There was a lot of verbal abuse to put up with, but I stayed tough and was congratulated for being the first girl to ever make it through a whole year and come back for more!

In college, I found my niche playing tympani in the band and orchestra and just about everything in the percussion ensemble. Later, I was proud to audition for and be accepted to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a percussion performance major. Since that time I have performed in virtually all genres, from opera orchestras to jazz. From the Broadway-type show pit orchestras to rockabilly!

Performing women's music is something I never really thought about doing. I get more satisfaction from playing now than ever before. I play for the love of playing and love playing for other women. I must admit it has been surprising to hear comments from other women such as "you don't look like a drummer! "What does a drummer look like and will I always have to be proving myself to others?

Sigh! Ah, the life of a percussionist. Always the first to ariive and the last to leave. It isn't all glamorous, believe me. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. A world tour perhaps!

(Marcia Gallas is the drummer and percussionist for Jamie Fóta). - Association for Women's Music and Culture


Discography

Willow Morning (CD Released April, 2011) Available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/willowmorning

Jamie Fóta cd
"Out Of The Silence"
"Dare To Dream"

Ty Chanson
"By Request"
Tom Wilkinson "Fiddlin' Around" with Ty Chanson on Guitar

Marcia Gallas
"Out Of The Silence", (with Jamie Fóta)
"Growing Into Our Roots", "Sing To The Universe Who We Are", "We Who Make Our Meaning Clear" with MUSE Cincinnati Women's Choir
"From Women's Faces Plus" with Therese Edell
"From The Soul" with Lee Hoffman
"Adopted Strangers" with Ginny Frazier

Photos

Bio

Jamie Fóta describes her songs as "sort of a melting-pot fusion of everyone she's ever liked." Jamie has been creating and performing a body of original work, telling the truth of her experiences as a woman through music. Her music is a unique expression of affirmation, spirituality, romance, politics and playfulness, ranging in style from New Folk to Light Rock. She has been recognized widely in the genre of Women’s Music, in which she has pockets of fervent fans throughout the United States and in several other countries. Fóta has a diverse and energetic sound; the variety of styles ensures that the music touches all of her listeners.

Even as a pre-teenager, Ty Chanson's vocal and (self-taught) 12 string guitar talents, shone through. People stopped and took notice of her rich mezzo-soprano voice in her high school vocal arts ensemble. Ty went on to perform in night clubs, on college campuses and military bases in the 1980s. She has also been a "video jockey" on live country music television. Ty's songs will never tell the same story twice because she's never lived the same story twice! From customer service representative to music director, from school bus driver to horse groomer; from lighting and sound technician to animal health technician; Her lyrics are as varied as her life.

Marcia Gallas was a natural-born drummer, according to her parents. Her earliest percussion influence was classical (Bizet). From playing pop-rock in grade school to embracing big-band jazz drumming at age 13, Marcia went on to study as many genres as she could sink her teeth into. Gallas has played at numerous music festivals, for lyric opera companies, choirs, bands and orchestras. She has managed an orchestra, played in the orchestra pits for musical theatre and loves when the opportunity comes along to play timpani! She has been lauded for her versatility as well as her sensitivity as a drummer and a percussionist.

These three women have joined together to create a unique and compelling sound that will make you stop, listen and want to join in!