Who’s heard of Million Women Rise ?

If not – get connected! This is THE grassroots female revolution of our times and it’s happening NOW here in London.

The Million Women Rise march/rally and party of Sat 9th March 2013 was a huge day in terms of everything – the vibe, the unity, solidarity, hope and creativity, passion and determination – an estimated 10,000 women and girls marched from Selfridges to Nelson’s Column. But particularly amazing … THE MUSIC. Women’s voices, chants, raps, languages, rhymes and rhythms really carried the energy of the day, in diversity and harmony. Gentle humour, joyful holler, or megaphonic rage – what a powerful tool sound is, a shamanic river of transformation. I got to sing (it was freezing…but worth it!) and share the stage and social space with some supremely talented musicians, who I hope will be friends and allies for as long as it takes for us to make a new world – at least till the next event in March 8th 2014 .I have a feeling that we’ll all be forming some sort of united music front for next year…

Thanks and respect to inspirational, rich voiced, singer/rapper Jaheda, below from AJAH (Photo by Frederique Rapier.). She helped to front the march, leading the crowd in spirited chants and slogans, spoke and rapped at the rally and later performed  a capella, tunes from the latest AJAH CD. Go and visit and check out tunes and multi-lingual rap/rock lyrical flow from their latest album ‘Money Ain’t Your Friend, ‘which I warn you is so infectiously hooky, you’ll be walking down the street singing it in your head  –  and doing the dance steps too.

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Faye Patton. 

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(Above photo by Benjamin Tilley.)

I felt honoured to to sing. Below, myself, onstage at Trafalgar Square….Feeling Good. And singing it. Why did I choose that song? I wanted something that everyone knew. I don’t feel that the traditional protest tune is my strength, maybe angry songs don’t give me the lift I need to sail above the worldly mayhem. The sentiment of ‘Feeling Good ‘is bitter, yet sweet, yet…bitter. Everyone knows this classic Bricusse/Newley tune and the association with Nina Simone, a warrior of her generation, who may have left us, but lingers in spirit.  I pre-recorded piano backing and  the technical sound and stage crew did us proud. It was an experience, to sing to such an international mix of women, in the heart of London’s historical centre – where the worst and best of everything seems to congregate. I bloody well sang it to the rooftops, whilst sending up prayers and spirit winds to women friends, (and a specific friend in India, recently moved back to her country and not having a great time as a woman.) Check it out, feel free to listen and share : bit.ly/VKRbu1

(Later, at the 52 Club, I enjoyed playing a set of  original songs and standards on the grand piano there, in between the raffle and other performances – and managed to sell some CDs for the cause…)

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Feeling Good

(Above photo by Frederique Rapier.)

Khadijatou Doyneh

Singer, story-teller, poet, dancer, contemporary griot, eclectic celebrant of African heritage, combining jazz, funk, Afro beat, soul, urban rhythm and rhyme. We met each other in the crowd, with a cosmic sense that we had to link up, and luckily we did, at the after party. We had some unexpected and random fun improvising (another) Nina Simone standard, as part of my set, with Khadijatou on Djembe. Go and visit her website for info on tour dates, video links, new album, and stunning photography.

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Sarah Bennett

The anthemic, soaring voice of Sarah Bennett  opened the rally, braving sub-zero, finger-freezing temperatures to play guitar. Sarah is an academic and speaker as well as singer of socially conscious songs and her music credentials include, impressively, Will Young, Jools Holland and Eric Clapton. She took the stage later on at the after party as well.

 

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Thanks also to some of the unsung musical heroes of the day, including the tireless samba band. If anyone knows what they are called and where they dwell, please tell me. Also some great comediennes and skilled teenage party DJ. Finally, even though we had a tremendous day of celebration and revolution, new friendships and feelings of hope, this is the reality: the daily shit that women are subjected to globally, is unbearable, and daily torture for vast numbers, with very little personal rights and freedoms and less worth than animals. Civilisation now enters an epoch long foretold by spiritual prophets and guardians of indigenous earth wisdom – when we can and must turn this around. Locally, globally,  galactically, cosmically, The Feminine can and must and will, Rise and Return.What’s also notable is that most people in the UK do not know about Million Women Rise – which is and always has been, a grassroots effort by ordinary people, no sponsors, no vested interests, no charities, NGOs, celebrities or politicians involved – just women doing it themselves. The momentum is there, the will and the courage. And the joy. Many  thanks to all, particularly Sabrina Qureshi and all the organisers/stewards/fundraisers who work all year round, taking care of both the small details and the grand vision. Please consider visiting the donations page, below. Please visit and direct others to the site – it’s the best place for information and education.

Million Women Rise !

 

Here’s the new donation site, (please share) :

 

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