A Word With Emerald Jade
A New Diva, A New Classic
A Moment with Emerald Jade
by Raymond Redmond
We here at JazzUSA think that Emerald Jade’s recent CD A New Classic should be considered for vocal jazz album of the year. This lady’s got the feel and the flow that makes the music go! We recently caught up with Emerald for a quick moment of Q & A…
JazzUSA: Who are some of your idols, vocally speaking?
E.J.: Some of the artists I really admire are Chaka, Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson…oh yeah Phyllis Hyman…if you can sang and you got a vibe….I love it!!
JazzUSA: Did you listen to a lot of jazz growing up?
E.J.: I really didn’t listen to a lot of jazz growing up, I listened to a lot of R & B.
JazzUSA: I hear you were in a few groups growing up. What were they? What kind of music did you perform? Any big shows?
E.J.: As a teenager, I was in a R & B group called the “Duprees”. As a young adult I had an all female Acapella group called “SHEER JOY”, my best friend Althea Hawkins was the best alto singer in Gary, at that time….. we sang in all the Talent Shows that had cash money…and won….that was fun! By the time my group broke up, I was already into managing two of my children “Little Jesse and Catrina”, when Tamara and Jacob were added to the group I just called them “SHEER JOY”.
JazzUSA: Any thoughts about having your offspring perform on any of your future CD projects?
E.J.: My children will definitely be all over my next CD. The only reason they are not on this one is because someone was always out of town or in the studio.
JazzUSA: You took a LONG hiatus to work on the kids careers, are you still involved in that?
E.J.: No, I am not involved in their careers, but I do perform with them from time to time………..The hiatus I took was to become a business woman, because I like being behind the scenes……. by nature I am a shy person.
JazzUSA: You and the producer fell in love and got married during the production of the CD, but how did you get together to be working on the project in the first place?
E.J.: Okay, this is a long story, but I will just tell you a little bit…….My friend Salenha, who I met through a friend; had a soap business, and she was giving soap parties; I had a boutique called Euphoric Imports in Sherman Oaks, CA, I let her use my boutique to give her soap party and she invited Craig Monroe, because he was her friend…..that is where we met. She introduced us and it was Love at first sight……but I had to play hard to get (Laughs Out Loud.)
JazzUSA: Will you guys have to fight, divorce and fall in love all over again to capture the emotion and feeling that’s so prevalent on this CD?
E.J.: Oh, you got jokes……….We never fight, because Craig’s friends told him to always say YES BABY to me…….and he has been sayin’ that for two years. (our anniversary is August 17th.) We are very down to earth, and we both have the same sense of humor, and we just tried to capture our realness and put it on CD, and want to stay true to the realness of who we are.
JazzUSA: What’s next?
E.J.: We have already started on four projects soon to be released……..I won’t say at this time what the concept is, because I don’t see anyone else doing going in that direction.
JazzUSA: Thanks Emerald, and we’ll be waiting to see what’s next.