The Wiz Live

Shout out to the cast and crew of The Wiz Live which I am planning on being in the number to watch this Thursday. The Wiz will always have a special place in my heart because in my high school days we did a production and I was in the pit orchestra playing the book from the Broadway Musical. I learned a lot from that experience about myself as a musician, about how great this music is (seeing a tune penned by Luther Vandross at that time was a definite mind-blown experience) and what it means to really rehearse and perform. My point today(and how it relates to our series) for going on this stroll down memory lane is simply this: I believe that we have reached a point where the masses are ready for a return to the real, in fact many have been ready but the tipping point can only happen with a critical mass, I believe that has arrived.

Exhibit A The “realness” was definitely on display at last night’s Soul Train Awards on BET. Checkout this behind the scenes from “The Soul Cypher” courtesy of Chrisette Michele.

Nice right?

Here’s a quick clip of a Badu, Baduing what needs to be said(before the clip comes down)

On the negative side and yes, you must understand that there’s always a negative (it helps to balance us out) there was a “performance” by Jeremih. Well, something like that. Somehow I can’t find any footage of said “performance” but here’s a pic below if you’re not familiar.

The reason I bring up the the “negative” side of an otherwise pretty great night of music is because for the folks like Jeremih and whomever his team is please know that we are truly not in Oz anymore. Translation: You can’t fool us because we won’t be fooled anymore. From the faux piano playing, to the (ahem) faux singing, in that performance last night I don’t know if you all got the memo but that’s pretty much done. Don’t blame the kids, because the kids aren’t even going for it anymore. So here’s what I’m going to need for all involved with that travesty last night or anyone considering embarking on a “career” that even remotely resembles that mess… I’m going to need you to “Ease on down” to a practice room and find a teacher that can get you familiar with what this art of music is all about. Until then, you probably should only perform at the place that you should have never left in the beginning but fortunately for us you can get back to in three clicks: home.

But on the real… great show Miss Badu and crew!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.