The Abbey Lincoln Project

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One of my main mentors was the late great jazz singer and songwriter Ms. Abbey Lincoln (Amanata Moseka), with whom I lived and studied on and off for over 15 years. She was my second mamma and it was her inspiration that set me on my next musical path. My very first album, when I was in my 20’s, was to be a tribute record of Abbey’s original music. I pulled together the funding, the songs, the musicians and booked the studio. The week before we were to record, Abbey called me on the phone and asked me not to do the recording. She told me she thought tribute albums were only for dead people and proudly proclaimed, “Abbey Lincoln is not dead yet!” At the time I was rendered speechless, devastated really. She went on to say “Jenna, there are so many beautiful songs in the world. Find them and perhaps even write a few of your own.” She made me promise to wait and I did, finding and writing seven albums worth of music in the meantime.

3 years ago while I was performing in New York, I went to the Upper West Side to visit with her. She looked me in the eye and said, “Are you ready to record my songs?” On August, 14, 2010, eight days after her 80th birthday, Ms. Lincoln passed on. And now, I am ready to record her songs. This is a project I have prepared for what seems a lifetime, album number 8: “The Music and the Magic of Ms. Abbey Lincoln.”

I have spent hours listening to all of Abbey’s work. In the process, I have both grieved her loss and felt elated in understanding all she has given to me. Her words and dedication to her craft have always been such a powerful inspiration. Abbey was a true artist: a musician, a singer, a songwriter, a painter, a designer, and a doll maker. A woman who knew what she wanted at all times. She wore the word artist as if it were a golden shawl that she herself created. Proud. One day she said, “Jenna, we have the best job in the world. We are singers. We stand on a stage in front of people and sing songs that change lives.” She changed my life and I know she appreciated my willingness to wait to honor her in this way. I hope you will join me. Those of you who are fans of mine but not familiar with Abbey’s music and those of you who were Abbey’s fans and have no idea who I am...together we can share this journey of love and music and the honoring of Ms. Abbey Lincoln.

This recording is being created as I write this. You will be the first to know when it is released....

Peace. Love & Light.

Summer 2013 release!

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