Image

2:34 PM / Saturday May 18, 2024

27 Apr 2018

All about… PROJECT SONGBIRD!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 27, 2018 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Project Songbird members Romona Riscoe Benson, Sharon Powell and Mellanie Lassiter

 

Project Songbird features the vocal talents of Romona Riscoe Benson, Sharon Powell and Mellanie Lassiter. It is the musical fusing of busy women who are, much like the Sankofa symbol, reclaiming their love of music by performing songs of meaning and connectivity. Songbirds is an initiative that highlights sister-friends, known and regarded in the Philadelphia region. Under the direction of Henri McMillian, they enjoy a desire for good melodies, along with their commitment to community engagement.

Lassiter was raised in church. Gospel is the genre closest to her heart, having performed with the Grammy-nominated Wilmington Chester Mass Choir for several years.

She loves the power of words and uses her vocal abilities to inspire others. Lassiter also seeks to empower and uplift by encouraging people to be the best version of them. She continues to explore new vocal capabilities and is drawn to classic R&B and contemporary jazz.

Henri McMillian

Powell enjoys all genres of music, especially vintage jazz standards and “doo-wop” oldies. She attributes her soprano voice to her late father Ernest Powell, a local “doo-wop” recording artist in the late 1950s. She’s performed with local bands at many nightclubs throughout the region including the legendary Jewels Nightclub on North Broad St. Sharon previously used her songwriting skills to produce jingles for radio stations and local organizations.

Riscoe Benson began her musical journey listening to her mother’s collection of leading jazz artists of the time. She began her jazz journey under the direction of Nathan Davis, singing with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble. She has played with acclaimed musicians including Geri Allen and the legendary Kenny Clarke.

Her performances have been in venues in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, including the beloved Zanzibar Blue and, now, South Jazz Cafe. She values her passion for singing as a vehicle to tell stories for her audiences.

McMillian has recorded and performed as a contractor or musician with such musical legends as Boyz II Men, Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, The Temptations, James Brown, The O’Jays, Stylistics and many others. He was also the musical director for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes for several years.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sports

On The Brink of Elimination:

April 30, 2024

Tweet Email The Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of yet another early playoff exit. ABOVE PHOTO:...

Philly NAACP

May 12, 2024

April 28, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia Judicial Primary Candidates At A Glance Guide Philadelphia Judicial Candidates...

Health

Four trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

May 11, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURES People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with...

Election 2024

Pennsylvania sees fewer mail ballots rejected for technicalities, a priority for election officials

May 18, 2024

Tweet Email ABOVE PHOTO: Allegheny County Election Division Deputy Manager Chet Harhut explains the process of sorting...

Color Of Money

Annual empowerment event champions mentoring for women of color as interests rise

May 11, 2024

Tweet Email By Shara Talia Taylor Photos: Shara Talia Taylor ABOVE PHOTO: sUPosium event producer Sophia Chang...

Seniors

Finding your strength while living with Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

April 22, 2024

Tweet Email BPT LaQuilla Harris, a devoted mother, grandmother and retired property manager, led a healthy and...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff