A pow­er­ful mu­si­cal cock­tail

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Madi­son Wil­liams

“BLACK, My Story”, show­ing at the Clink Theatre this Fri­day and Satur­day night, is a cock­tail of mu­si­cal gen­res - rock and roll, blues, jazz, RnB and gospel.

“It’s a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing, that’s me,” Al­teouise DeVaughn said.

And she’s right. With a her­itage of Amer­i­can, In­dian and Ir­ish her cul­ture is as eclec­tic as her mu­si­cal.

The show is all about her life and con­cen­trates on the mu­sic that re­lates to her fam­ily. It aims to il­lu­mi­nate the string ties around her mu­si­cal iden­tity that lead back to the var­i­ous cul­tural in­flu­ences she’s had in her life.

“I’ll an­swer ques­tions about my her­itage,” Ms DeVaughn said. “Peo­ple ask me where I’m from and I say Cal­i­for­nia.

“And then they say ‘Where are your par­ents from?’ and I say, well, my dad was born in Alabama. My an­ces­tors are all Amer­i­can.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble to trace my her­itage. There’s Amer­i­can, In­dian, Ir­ish. There’s seven in my fam­ily and we’re all such a mix. We have our own cul­ture. I can have my own story and I’m shar­ing my her­itage.”

“My story is mu­sic, I am mu­sic,” she said.

The show is in hon­our of Black His­tory month and goes all the way back to Ms DeVaughn’s an­ces­tors.

It jumps through her up­bring­ing, the count­less days spent at her father’s bap­tist church and her mother’s mu­si­cal in­flu­ence that shaped her into a clas­si­cal singer. It fol­lows her in­tro­duc­tion to rock and roll af­ter she met her hus­band, Idris, and the love she has de­vel­oped for the blues.

Ms DeVaughn will per­form with the Voices of the North Com­mu­nity, who she has been train­ing for more than two years.

“I tell the choir all the time when I work with them, ‘You can’t sound like a white choir’,” she said. “My mu­sic comes from be­ing in the church, and be­ing around mu­sic my whole life. You need to lis­ten to the sto­ries and there need to be feel­ings to make the mu­sic full.

“It doesn’t come from the colour of your skin, it comes from within.”

The show will be­come an an­nual event, with each year de­liv­er­ing a dif­fer­ent theme.

“Next year will be “Black, 60 Years in the Mak­ing”, be­cause I turn 60 and I know many of my tal­ented friends will be in town and I’ve just got to share them with Port Dou­glas.” Ms DeVaughn said.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

Al­teouise DeVaughn and the choir in Black, My Story, a pow­er­ful blend of mu­si­cal gen­res.

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