The RET Tour, consisting of world renowned Jazz, Soul, and Funk legends Ronnie Laws, Eloise Laws, and Tom Browne, made history as it brought the Funk party to the newly refurbished Miracle Theater on Market Street in downtown Inglewood on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Ronnie Laws, Eloise Laws, and Tom Browne, all seasoned and consummate professionals with years of musical excellence amongst them, are all well- known, and lauded and applauded for their spectacular, individual contributions, and performances throughout the years. But, teamed together as the RET Tour they are an experience like none other! News is traveling fast and fans are traveling far and wide to see the fabulous RET Tour as it stakes its claim city by city!
Roland Bynum, KJLH on-air personality, and no stranger to the city of Inglewood, served as Host and Emcee for the evening. “I’m excited about tonight’s show,” he said. “These are great, world renowned entertainers!”
As guests filed in and took their seats, the iconic voice of our very recently departed music legend Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin filled the room. Ms. Franklin had succumbed to her battle with pancreatic cancer just two days prior. The music tracks were provided by Inglewood’s own DJ Chris the Glove. Bynum asked for a moment of silence at the beginning of the show as a sign of respect to the late, great legend.
Each RET Tour show brings something new and fresh. No two shows are ever exactly alike. This past Saturday’s lineup included special performances by Saxophonist Jaman Laws, son of Ronnie Laws, and internationally acclaimed Soul-Jazz Songbird, Sharon Marie Cline. This dynamic duo teamed up to perform a sexy, new arrangement of “Rio De Janiero Blues” which the audience loved!
Both artists are happy with the arrangement. Laws feels that Cline’s rich, beautiful voice matches up well with the tenor saxophone. Her smoky vocals have been scorching up the Southland lately. You might hear a little bit of Ella Fitzgerald, might be reminded a bit of Sarah Vaughan, and you might think a little bit about Phyllis Hyman, but she is one hundred percent Sharon Marie Cline. She is celebrating the recent launch of her “Close to You” video and recent CD single release of the same name.
Jaman Laws, a member of the renowned musical Laws family, is an extraordinary saxophonist. He also plays the flute, plays the piano a bit, and, is an accomplished producer, songwriter, and actor. He reads music and plays by ear as well. His music is a fusion of hip-hop, funk, jazz, and soul.
Laws can determine just by listening to a song whether an alto sax or tenor sax or a flute would best enhance the song.
He has just finished his first solo record entitled “Imagery”, produced by Craig T. Cooper and Ronnie Laws. Jaman hopes to release an album in 2019.
Jaman Laws and Sharon Marie Cline were very excited to be teamed together on their sizzling rendition of “Rio De Janiero Blues.” They’re working on more collaborations! Keep your eye on these two, hot, hot Carezma Entertainment artists, because they are going to soar both individually and collectively!
Carezma Entertainment Management is a boutique, innovative entertainment management agency that takes pride in presenting excellent productions. Robin Parker, a near twenty year veteran in Entertainment Management, encourages and nurtures her talent, motivates her team, and pushes herself to go that extra mile to make excellence happen.
The RET Tour at the Miracle Theater in Inglewood, produced by Carezma Entertainment Management and presented by Chuck Dennis Productions and the Miracle Theater, will probably play a major role in helping to put the Miracle Theater squarely in the race for places to go and things to do in Inglewood as the city goes through its redevelopment.
The theater, formerly called The Ritz, stood vacant for several years. During the 1960s, this theater was one of several along Market Street in Inglewood that hosted Hollywood Film Premiers. Emcee Bynum reminded the audience how important it is to support the Miracle Theater in Inglewood and to keep it alive.
Percussionist and Singer Yakira, with her signature Afro adding to the old school house party vibe, shook things up a bit as she provided additional vocals and lively percussions to the excitement of the evening. Wayne Linsey, Producer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, and all around accomplished musician served as Music Director. Linsey performed his new single, “Side Kickin” that featured him dancing and playing drums as well. The other talented musicians rounding out the RET Tour band for the evening were Eric Seats on drums, David Parks Jr. on bass, and Dale Williams on guitar.
Legendary Saxophonist Ronnie Laws, excited to be performing at the Miracle Theater right here in the hood, has something else to be excited about as well. Legendary Jazz Saxophonist, Flautist, Singer, and Composer Ronnie Laws has been selected to be honored and recognized in 2018 as a Black Music Living Legend. In a few weeks he will formally and officially be inducted to the Black Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions and accomplishments in music. When asked if he thought it was about time that he receive this honor after fifty years of musical excellence, he simply said “Well, I just do what I do and let the body of work speak for itself.” “But,” he added, ‘it’s very humbling and I’m very honored.”
Laws’ latest CD single release, “Settle Down” received a 2017 Grammy nomination for both Best R&B Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance.
Fans often chant, “Ronnie! Ronnie!
Ronnie!”, when Ronnie Laws comes onstage. As Ronnie began his set at the Miracle Theater, watching him performing fan favorites like ” People Make the World Go Round”, seeing his obvious pride in his family heritage as he sang “Every Generation”, listening to the fans sing “ Friends and Strangers” along with him, watching some fans dancing in the aisles, being amazed at him playing two saxes at once on “Mis’ Mary’s Place,” it seems fairly obvious that, yes, it is time for this wonderful and well-loved entertainer to receive this honor. In fact, it is way past time!
Jazz and R&B Singer, Songwriter, Broadway Actress, and Author, the Incomparable Eloise Laws, was happy to be making history performing at the Miracle Theater, and to be part of the Inglewood revitalization. She referred to the Miracle Theater as ‘this little gem in Inglewood” that she didn’t even know existed.
Known worldwide for her powerful, harmonious Jazz, interpretative inflections, and signature, unique vocals, Eloise Laws has been awarded numerous awards around the world, including the prestigious Cherry Blossom Award at the Tokyo Music Festival. Ms. Laws’ fans have been known to shout out requests for some of their treasured favorites.
Laws is still aglow from the success of her recent “Love Factory” UK tour. She loves performing onstage. It’s evident every time she performs, and in each song that she performs. Her songs are personal to her, and, as her nephew Jaman recently pointed out, “she is very polished.” Resplendent in red, Laws opened her set with “Don’t Move, Don’t Blink”, one of her most recent and popular CD releases with nephew Jaman accompanying on sax.
Taking her audience on a stroll down memory lane, Laws said she hoped we remembered this song. Some of her loyal fans yelled out “yes, we remember!” as the music to “You’re Incredible” began playing. She sang another classic fan favorite “Love Comes Easy”. She brought her set to a close with “Love Factory”, an upbeat hit written by Lamont Dozier that remains wildly popular, even as far away as the United Kingdom. Eloise Laws is loved over there, but, not as much as she is loved here in the states.
As an extra treat, she had some “Love Factory” tee shirts with a sexy picture of her on it for her fans to purchase.
As Emcee Roland Bynum helped to move the evening’s events along, he reminisced some more about the late, great Aretha Franklin. During intermission, Bynum spotlighted Representative Maxine Waters in the audience and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to her which she graciously acknowledged. Waters is currently serving her fourteenth term in the House of Representatives.
And, then, after intermission…it was time! Time for Tom Browne, the “T” part of the RET Tour! Talented, Terrific, and Tenacious Trumpet playing Tom Browne! Known for bringing the flair with the funk, Tom began his party in the audience as he made his way to the stage with the sweet sound of his trumpet playing “Sweetest Taboo”. Somehow he makes the song an even sweeter taboo. When he got through with that funky groove he invoked the help of his audience to sing “Mandela”, a tribute to the late South African President Nelson Mandela, someone whom Browne greatly respected. His audience was happy to participate.
As he launched into “Thighs High”, a crowd favorite, his audience needed little encouragement or invitation, to join in on the more risqué parts of the song “I want to grip your hips and move.” Of course we were happy to oblige! And. Then. There was that sharp, shrill blast of his trumpet that told everybody to get ready because it was time for “Funkin’ for Jamaica”!
This song always kicks the party that is going on to another level! Yakira provided some sassy vocals and percussions to the performance.
Browne co-produced this funk classic when he was signed under the GRP Records label.
A singer, songwriter, and Jazz trumpeter, Browne is also a multi gold album artist and Billboard “Best Of” awards recipient. His recent Neo-Soul/Jazz song entitled “Legacy,” released in 2016, has been up for Grammy nomination consideration.
Browne stays busy and can be found on tour regularly, both as a solo artist and as a member of the RET Tour.
Tom’s final song for his set at the Miracle Theater was Groove Line, another crowd favorite. Amidst thunderous applause, he called everyone back to the stage for their grand finale, a loving tribute to Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, called, “Aretha, Always There. “ Needless to say, the applause was wild and thunderous! This was truly an outstanding show!
For information on the RET Tour, call Carezma Entertainment 310-895-5729 or visit www.Carezma.com
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.