Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Tips for new people who want to sing”)

Recently I have talked to several singers who did not had much experience singing. In fact, the singers expressed to me that they were nervous trying to entertain in front of others. I rendered what I thought was good advice. First, I told them that as a singer you actually have to generate enough confidence in yourself to sing out. In other words, never give a “half effort.” Project out with what you have, because if you are unsure of a note that you want to hit then singing it without confidence could make that note weak and off key. Second, “have fun” when you sing. If you look distressed onstage people will think that you are struggling up there. If you are enjoying yourself then chances are your audience will enjoy themselves with you. Third, don’t just rely on your singing voice. Be theatrical when possible. Enlist proper hand movements, head shaking or even a little dancing when performing. Give a show. Also, learn your voice. Everyone’s voice is not the same, and some people have to breathe differently and project differently when singing certain notes. If you know your voice’s limitations then that should help you get around most obstacles. If you are doing a cover song, you don’t have to sing it the “exact same way” as the original artist. It is okay to vary your notes from time to time. As long as the song is still “recognizable” then you should be okay. Practice (preferably in front of a full length mirror). It is important to “look comfortable” up there. If you look awkward in the mirror then chances are your audience will view you that way as well. Finally, learn the EQ settings that work best with your voice. In other words, some people  don’t like a “bottom heavy” sound when they sing. Others do. Also some reverb on your voice could make a difference as well. Once you learn the things that make your voice work make sure to incorporate those settings in your show. Everyone wants to have their “comfort zone” when performing. If there are any new upcoming singers out there contemplating doing a show, I hope this helps you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Skype: Brettjolly1

Lalah Hathaway and Kim Burrell onstage with Brett Jolly

Lalah Hathaway and Kim Burell

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My experience with the late great saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.”)

Yesterday here in Philadelphia there was a special honor tribute to Grover Washington Jr., a great saxophonist who had several hit records. Grover died in 1999 and his band members all reunited yesterday to pay tribute to him. Najee, Gerald Albright and Jean Carn headlined in the tribute and I heard it was a great show (I could not get to see it because I had my own gig to do yesterday). However it did reignite my own personal memories of Grover. On a couple of occasions he got me free tickets to Philadelphia 76ers basketball games. I also got to play with him on several other different occasions including one at the Valley Forge music Center (with a revolving stage). My fondest memory of him was on a very low scale. My regular band then (with my brother Bill Jolly in charge) had a small jazz gig at a place called the Blue Moon here in Philadelphia. Grover, who loved to play, knew that we would be there, but because of his record label contract he couldn’t play at different functions under the name of Grover Washington without his label knowing about it. Grover decided to don a big hat and some shades and came into our gig pretending to be some stranger off the street. It was hilarious because even with the disguise the crowd could tell who he was. We knew he was coming so we acted like we were surprised to see him. He asked us if he could sit in with us, and for the rest of the night we played all kinds of songs (but no Grover Washington tunes so that he would not be in violation of his contract). We had a ball and the crowd loved it. When someone asked if he knew Mister Magic Grover simply said “Never heard it before.” It was funny, but the greatest laughter came when we asked him his name. His response? “Buckshot Lefunk.” It was my brightest memory of Grover and one that I will cherish forever. I hope that his legacy will continue to live on even throughout the newer generations. I thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Skype: Brettjolly1

Grover Washington Jr., brother Bill Jolly and Brett Jolly


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“What I believe will increase the reading levels of kids in lower income areas”)

I had a little debate yesterday with someone over how to get young kids in lower income areas to read more. Considering the fact that I was “once one of those young kids” I believe my experience to be beneficial. When growing up all I really wanted to do was play basketball. I would often wake up at 5 or 6 am just to head out to the courts. As with most of the kids around my age from my area we were not interested in reading books. However, there was something that caught my interest and basically helped me to teach myself how to read, and that was “comic books.” The man I talked to yesterday believed that comics were “not of great substance” for children to read, and to that I begged to differ. I produced a comic book that had a plethora of “big intellectual word content” and showed that “certain ones” would not only increase a kid’s ability to spell, but also grammar and usage of the English language. I said that you can try to “force” a child to read a book, but most kids that I know of rebel at the mere thought of that. Comic books are fun, they are informative and the pictures associated with them will often help a child to deduce the meaning of words on his or her own. The most important thing about this is that comic books will “increase a child’s DESIRE to read,” and that desire is critical. Any child is a product of his or her own environment. My parents invested in pool tables, ping pong tables, baseball equipment, basketballs, musical equipment, art supplies and even pogo sticks. My brother and I were able to master them all. When a child has no activity then that is when a child will usually generate his or her own activity (and that may or may not be a good thing). I used to read a lot of Marvel comic books. There were a lot of big words and great stories in them. Now with the new Marvel movies coming out the promotion should motivate kids to “want” to read the comic books associated with the stories they see on the big screens. Education is value, and if you truly want to increase the IQ’s of some poverty area kids then you need to make learning fun for them. I’m sure someone will disagree with me, but I truly believe that if the schools gave out comic books to kids they would actually witness their reading abilities increase significantly. I started reading comics in the second grade, and my reading skills became exceptional. A child needs a lot more than just 4 walls to pay attention to. If you want that child to excel in life then give him or her “something to do.” This may not work for everyone, but if it increases a child’s desire to read then that is the best anyone can hope for. I don’t think the school system has anything to lose by “trying it.” Maybe one day that will happen. In the meantime please fill your child’s life up with activity. A busy child is a happy one, and you will have less worries about what your child is doing. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to bring.


Skype: Brettjolly1

Blue Magic (“Sideshow and Spell”) with Brett Jolly

Blue Magic and Brett


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass guitar photo shoot with Margo”)

Margo is a first time promoter. She is promoting a show on July 14 here in Philadelphia featuring Norman Connors (His hit song was “You are my Starship”) and he will be paying tribute to one of his artists that he produced, the late songstress Phyllis Hyman. This event will be held at the Clef Club of Jazz (738 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146). If you would like to purchase tickets to this event you can call (267) 431-0874. There may still be some tickets left for this show. Margo also agreed to do a photo shoot with the infamous red bass guitar, and even though this was a very quick session we think you will be pleased with the results. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.margo-3amargo-4amargo-16amargo-28amargo-13amargo-37amargo-23a


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A neat pairing… Seawind with Al Jarreau”)

I happened to discover this online. This is one of my favorite jazz tunes. This particular version features Al Jarreau with them and I wanted to share it with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Brett Jolly singing a popular classic”)

Here is another clip of my group performing a popular classic tune by the Temptations. This was done recently in Atlantic City at Kelsey’s restaurant. My group is entitled the Brett Jolly Experience and I am singing the lead part on this song. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.