Urban-jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette making a “Thing” about her new single


Urban-jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette making a “Thing” about her new single

She previews her forthcoming “All My Strings” album with an imaginative take on Lauryn Hill’s

“Doo Wop (That Thing),” dropping September 23.

SAN DIEGO (29 August 2019): Strip away Lauryn Hill’s scathing admonition to men and women on her 1998 hit, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” and you are left with an innovative rhythmic track that astutely balances jagged hip hop edginess and a melodic R&B soul. It’s an unlikely composition for a classical harpist, which makes it Mariea Antoinette’s sweet spot. She has made it her mission to tackle unexpected funk, rhythm and blues, and pop songs, creating new possibilities for her instrument by presenting them with harp as the protagonist. Teaming with producer and arranger Allan Phillips, Antoinette’s reimagined “That Thing” goes for playlist adds on September 23.

Antoinette’s elegant stringed siren provides a surprising contrast over the buoyant beats Phillips constructed. Lush harmonic accoutrements are provided by a vibrant live horn section – trumpeter Derek Cannon, tenor saxophonist John Rekevics and trombonist Jordan Morita – and dramatic strings from the APM Allstars Strings along with Evan Marks’ guitar and Phillips’ keyboards. Antoinette debuted “That Thing” with her band on stage last month at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival, garnering an enthusiastic standing ovation.

“I chose the track for its funky, innovative rhythm and the beats are very cool. It’s a perfect song for harp that people are not expecting. Lauryn Hill is a music pioneer and a leading voice for women and for her style, ingenuity and edginess. The stories she tells through her music and lyrics are fresh and unique. ‘That Thing’ schools both women and men on motivations, keeping your eyes open and being wise in relationships. Everyone loved it when we played it live in San Diego,” said Antoinette.

“That Thing” offers an alluring glimpse into Antoinette’s forthcoming album, “All My Strings.” She and Phillips are busy tracking material for her third album that is slated to drop January 31, 2020 on the Infinity Productions/MAH Productions label. Antoinette’s last outing, “Straight from the Harp,” went top five at Billboard when it was released in 2015. The San Diego-based musician has been balancing her solo career with being a member of the all-star female ensemble Jazz in Pink since 2007. In June, she made her Playboy Jazz Festival debut at The Hollywood Bowl playing with Jazz in Pink, with whom she has performed at several prominent festivals this year, including Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Cruise and the upcoming Barbados Jazz Excursion and Cancun Jazz Festival. The award-winning harpist collected three statues last year for Instrumentalist of Year (San Diego Prestige Awards), Best Jazz Single for “Overture” (Black Women in Jazz & The Arts Association), and a BMA Image Award from the Black Music Awards. Her high-profile performances include playing for President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Ne-Yo at the BET Awards, at Vanity Fair’s Grammy party with Jamie Foxx and on American Idol. For more information, please visit https://www.marieaantoinette.com.


When jazz great Norman Brown bestows upon you the title of First Lady of Smooth Jazz, you know you are doing something right. Gail Jhonson has been performing music since she was a young girl in her home town of Philadelphia. She recalls traveling to various venues with her group and being so young that they had to sit off to the side and away from the main crowd. Nevertheless, they continued to woo crowds, and Gail continued to become more immersed in music and fueling her passion. Jhonson’s hard work over the years has paid off and still continues to yield her great things. One of the many highlights in Gail’s career was when she received a Grammy nod for her CD “Pearls” in 2009. I told her that I felt like she was a phenomenal woman for overcoming the loss of a son and still maintaining a heavy presence in the world of jazz. She truly does it all. She’s a recording artist, touring musician, appears on TV shows, and performs at many jazz festivals. To top it all off, Gail is the leader of the all-female jazz ensemble “Jazz In Pink” which is comprised of Karen Briggs, Althea Rene, and Mariea Antionette. The group can often be seen sharing the stage with other women in jazz. Next week, Jazz In Pink will be joining the line-up of awesome artists at the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. I can’t wait to wear my pink.

Listen to what this phenomenal woman has to say about how she does it all:


Gail Jhonson
Gail Jhonson