Created during the pandemic to showcase local artists, Lowcountry Listens featured virtual performances streamed to Facebook and YouTube. Each performance provided patrons with a unique opportunity to experience the Gaillard Center as never before.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 1
Contemporary Violinist Daniel D., Featuring DJ Calculations Of and Keyboardist Beatman Fresh (Shelton Desaussure)
DANIEL D: A three-time 1st Place Apollo Theater Winner, Daniel D. graduated from Charleston County School of the Arts and studied at NYC’s Julliard School of Music. Read more…
He has become one of the most popular new age social media superstars and influencers with an international fanbase of several million. A seasoned performer at age 31, with nine studio albums to his credit. Daniel D. has opened for Kim Waters, Boney James, Jamye Fox, Kanye West, Najee, K’Jon, Lelah Hathaway, and performed for Oprah Winfrey, the late Michael Jackson as well as President Barack Obama. He has been the lead act for many Jazz festivals and performs all around the country.
Contemporary Jazz Violinist Daniel Davis (a.k.a. Daniel D.) has an international online fan base of over ONE MILLION (Facebook), over 8,000,000 views and 61,000 Subscribers (YouTube) and 31,300 (Instagram).
DJ Calculations Of
Calculations Of is a DJ/Producer from Charleston, SC. Calculations Of energizes dance floors with an arsenal of remixes ranging from Motown classics to current billboard charters. Unlike other DJ’s, Calculations Of regularly performs with various artists ranging from singers, violinists, and with full bands.
Calculations Of has taught music clinics at several colleges throughout the east coast along side Contemporary violinist Daniel D. & The Urban Instrumentalists. The North American International Auto Show, The Spoleto Arts Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, and the Miami International Boat Show are just a few major events he has performed at. He’s also played events sponsored by Porsche, Gatorade, Sea Ray.
Calculations Of has had music on FM, satellite, and online stations and production/Engineering credits ranging from violinists, singers, and full bands. Calculations Of is based in Charleston, SC and continues to perform nationally.
Keyboardist Shelton “Mr. Fresh” Desaussure Musician. Producer. Songwriter.
“Music has always been a high standard in my bloodline…”Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Shelton Desaussure finds music to a part of his genetic makeup and sees it as his first love. He is the descendant of musical masterminds: a great-grandfather who played organ, grandfather who played the upright bass; a father who was a recording artist and served as the music director for various churches in the Charleston area; and a mother who sang with gospel’s greats such as John P. Kee, various church choirs and a community choir known as the Christians United For Christ gospel choir.Over the years, he has followed in his family’s musical footsteps as a self-taught musician. He has 22 years of experience playing the piano, organ, drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar and keytar. In 2006, he founded 3rdBorn music and entertainment label, which is dedicated to promoting all genres.He is deeply rooted in the community, serving as the director of music for local churches and production companies. In addition to being a producer and songwriter for local artists, he has also contributed to the sound of national and international artists as well. He stands committed to growing the label, in hopes that it will allow he and future artists to move closer to their purposes. Facebook: Sdesaussure1
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 2
Brendan James is an American singer-songwriter in the pop/folk genre, akin to Jason Mraz, David Gray, and Elton John. Read more…
Signed to Capitol Records at age 25, Universal Records at 28, James has reached the #1 spot on iTunes multiple times, accrued more than one million fans in 65 countries on Spotify, and has been played on multiple formats of American and European radio. He has collaborated or toured with the likes of John Mayer, John Legend, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Keb’ Mo’, and Andy Grammar. And his songs have been placed in over 15 major television shows and films worldwide.
Truly summing Brendan James up is a difficult task though. You’d have to meet him, talk with him, and hear him sing his songs to understand his shocking talent and unique purpose in today’s over saturated music scene. As he puts it: “What I hope to do is calm, strengthen, and transport my listeners to a better self, and in turn maybe I get there too.” And he means it. Penning songs on the topics of love, optimism, political enlightenment, simplifying, self empowerment, marriage equality, wanderlust, raising a family, aging, and adventuring aimlessly through the natural world, James has left no stone unturned in his six studio albums to date; and in his words, “I’ve only just begun.”
Just home from a 6 month journey around the globe with his wife and two toddlers, James has a plethora of new material and is set to release 3 singles this year, with a full-length album in the Spring of 2020. His first single, “Through Our Hands” is an autobiographical telling of his family’s trip to 10 countries, watching his children grow ever too quickly along the way.
Find him on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, and wherever else music is streamed or sold. Book him for a private show if you get the chance—a trend in performing that he has helped pioneer, and sees as the future of a better artist-audience connection. Or catch him in one of the many public venues he plays regularly in the US and abroad. Either way, bring a friend and take the ride. It’s the only one like it in today’s music biz.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 3
She Returns From War
Charleston’s Hunter Park is She Returns From War. Read more…
With two full-length albums under her belt and another one coming together in the studio, it’s easy to say she has established herself as one of the strongest songwriters coming out of the modern south.
Dazzling imagery and word play keep her listeners on their toes waiting for what turn her tune will take.
She has shared the stage with bands like St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Shovels and Rope, and recently completed a west coast tour as the opening act for Band of Horses. She was asked to open for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as a part of his rally in Charleston.
There is no arguing with the fact that Park works hard in this ever changing industry, and with an underlying message of hope, we can see her magic hard at work as well.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 4
Where Grace Joyner’s EP Young Fools served as an introduction to songwriting and a chance to explore her musical muse while treading her own artistic path, her debut LP, Maybe Sometimes in C, revealed what she has found along the way. Read more…
Joyner weaves a beautiful and delicate balance between reflecting on the trials of young love and showing a remarkable commitment to self-development.
Teaming up for the third time with producer and engineer Wolfgang Zimmerman (Band of Horses, SUSTO), Grace Joyner looks to further her musical journey with her sophomore album Settle In.
Reflecting on the development of the album, Joyner says: “I took my time with Settle In. This record covers a lot of ground for me. I took bigger risks in my songwriting process and pushed personal boundaries by exploring content around my romantic struggles, my family, and my relationship with the pursuit of music itself. In a lot of ways my love for music feels like a relationship—at times it feels like unrequited love and at times I have found it breaking my heart. But, ultimately, you can’t choose what or who you love, and if you don’t give it a fair shot you might never know what could have been.”
Since the project’s inception, Grace Joyner has toured across the country with appearances at SXSW and Savannah Stopover, sessions at Daytrotter and Breakthru Radio, and the sync of her single Dreams on The CW’s hit show Riverdale.
Spotify Profile: https://spoti.fi/2TBPnqm
Spotify, 1st Single “Fake Girlfriend”: https://spoti.fi/2W10v1n
Soundcloud, 1st Single “Fake Girlfriend”: https://soundcloud.com/gracejoyner/fake-girlfriend
Spotify, 2nd Single “Hung the Moon”: https://spoti.fi/2UVV8jl
Soundcloud, 2nd Single “Hung the Moon”: https://soundcloud.com/gracejoyner/hung-the-moon
Soundcloud Private Album Stream: https://soundcloud.com/gracejoyner/sets/settle-in-1/s-QPpoQ
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 5
With a voice that recalls a timeless blend of Ray Charles, Van Morrison, and Jeff Buckley, William Blackburn joins such artists as Frank Ocean in crafting modern soul songs that are alternately lush and intimately earthy. Read more…
The singer songwriter was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.
Captivated by vocalists such as Ray Charles, William went on to become the front man and lead singer of national touring act Stop Light Observations. Growing up on black gospel and soul, he has taken his profoundly expressive voice and moved fans with stand-out performances at festivals such as Bonnaroo and Firefly.
William is setting out to record and release his first ever solo project this Winter.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 6
Inspired by the prior-life of their old wooden radio, Admiral Radio creates a unique sound that people can gather ’round to – one that is deeply rooted in traditional folk style but also has the ability to touch the heartstrings of modern-day listeners. Read more…
Becca and Coty met in 2014 and are both graduates of the College of Charleston where they studied world languages. The couple recently got married in early 2020. Becca released her debut solo album ‘I-26’ in 2018 for which she was voted Singer-Songwriter of the year by the Charleston City Paper. The duo is taking their new folk project seriously, having played 200+ shows within the last year at venues all along the east coast. Their debut album ‘Sounds Like You’ which they co-produced with Todd Mathis will be released on Friday, August 7.
They will be accompanied by Steven Sandifer, local music veteran and accomplished touring musician with many acts, including Dangermuffin, The Biscuit Boys, and the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 7
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, there was always a passion for music growing within. Read more…
From starting a band in 5th grade and learning the saxophone, to teaching the piano to himself throughout middle school, music seemed to be the common denominator in life. Noah is a proud alumnus of the Charleston County School of the Arts. There he was a member of the award-winning SOA Jazz ensemble. It was there that piano became the instrument that he knew was for him. He now is currently working on his Bachelor’s degree at the College of Charleston in Music performance. As of now, Noah plays with the indie R&B soul outfit Little Bird. Noah continues to work with, play, and write with many of Charleston’s artists, in hopes to one day have a studio of his very own to offer an out to youth who wouldn’t normally be able to have access to the art of recording one’s own music.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 8
Swhitey + Emily Curtis
Emily Curtis, is a born and raised local to Charleston, described as a “soulful pop artist with a southern flair”. Read more…
She began making waves with her guitar and soulful vocals in the Charleston, SC music scene in 2015. She has since released an EP, a steady stream of singles, and was voted runner-up for Charleston’s Best Female Vocalist 2020.
Some of her more prestigious show credits include opening for Parmalee, Drivin N Cryin, Ken and Drew of Sister Hazel, and hometown favorites Hootie & The Blowfish. In November 2018, she attended the Neverland singer-songwriter retreat in Costa Rica, founded by producers Adam McInnis and Sam Heights, with whom she is now working on music for TV and Film.
At the same time, she began collaborating with producer/guitar player, Micah Nichols (NEEDTOBREATHE, Johnnyswim) to create her most recent singles “Ghost Stories” and “Stained Glass Windows” co-written with local singer/songwriter Matt Mackelcan.
As she continues growing and learning about the music industry, Emily Curtis is first and foremost on a mission to inspire hope and share her heart with her audience in a way that is both authentic and hopeful.
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Sarah White, known as “Swhitey”, received her BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston in May of 2016. From that, she has continued to master her painting and drawing skills. Swhitey’s work has been displayed in a variety of galleries, venues, and markets all over South Carolina as well as New York City.
As an independent artist, Swhitey uses such expertise with oils, acrylics, and ink pens to create. She is inspired by surfaces of light reflection, gemstones, costume jewelry, slimy objects, wet subjects, bizarre shapes, and busy lines. Her artistic process differs in rendering from still life, photographs, and imaginative ideas.
The artist’s compositions are busy, chaotic, and unique. Each shape and line play a part, in turn fulfilling some sort of purpose within the frame. This is a representation of the individuality of every human being. She explains, saying, “All of us exist within the bounds of earth with not one person nor purpose being the exact same. From this, I want to remind my audience of their worth, and how their version of self is a gift to be expressed and celebrated”.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 9
Marcus Amaker and Quentin E. Baxter
Marcus Amaker was named Charleston, SC’s first Poet Laureate in 2016. Read more…
He’s also the award-winning graphic designer, an accomplished electronic musician, the creator of a poetry festival, and a mentor to hundreds of students. His poetry has been featured by PBS Newshour, SC Public Radio, Huffington Post, A&E Network, Charleston Magazine, and more. In 2019, he won a Governor’s Arts award. His poetry has been studied in classrooms across the country and has been interpreted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera and theater. Marcus has recorded three albums with Grammy Award winning drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter. His latest book is The Birth of All Things (Free Verse Press).
Quentin E. Baxter is a GRAMMY Award winning musician and producer, educator, and composer. Educated in the public schools of Charleston County and graduate of the College of Charleston (Bachelor of Arts – Music Theory & Composition), Baxter cultivated his musical talents under the wings of regional legends/mentors Robert Ephraim, Oscar Rivers, Jr, Lonnie Hamilton III, George Kenny, David Maves, Teddy Adams, and Delbert Felix.
Currently touring worldwide with GRAMMY Award winning RANKY TANKY and multi GRAMMY-Nominated vocalist and composer René Marie, Baxter regularly performs many prestigious venues and festivals. He’s performed at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York & Shanghai), Joy of Jazz Festival (South Africa), Toulouse Jazz Festival (France), Umbria Jazz Festival and Spoleto Festival die Due Mondi (Italy), Spoleto Festival USA and MOJA Arts Festival (Charleston, SC).
Baxter has performed with other great artists including Freddy Cole, Monty Alexander, Ernest Ranglin, Houston Person, Wycliffe Gordon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Fred Wesley, Marcus Roberts, Bobby Watson, Donald Byrd, Charlie Byrd, and Gregory Hines to name a few. Though this list can go on for quite a while, Baxter’s passion for worldwide performances is equalled by his dedication to educate, promote, produce, and present world-class artists in his hometown, Charleston, SC.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 10
Chaquis Maliq The EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band
EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band, Chaquis Maliq (Sha-Kees Mah-Leek), delivers the sound of Eccentric Tasteful Grooves and Honey Soul to her listeners. Read more…
Chaquis Maliq transformed as an artist in 2011 when she decided to pick up the guitar. Maliq’s journey took a surprising turn in 2014, when The EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band was created, displaying authentic vocals with original music, strumming the guitar, with pocket rhythmic expression delivered by the cajon and foot instruments; simultaneously, defining the EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band. Although, Maliq is a solo artist, festival stages are no stranger to her. In 2018, the EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band made her international debut at Festival of Friends, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Following her 1 Woman Band debut and successful tour from 2014 – 2016, Chaquis is hand picked by NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert 2017, as the opener for Tank and the Bangas. By receiving media attention for the Columbus Arts Festival’s main stage, on Fox28’s Good Day Columbus (Ohio). This provided the EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band with additional television performances on ABC4’s Low Country Live, CBS7’s Your Carolina, Scene on 7 , Bounce TV; and now international on CHCH’s Morning Live – Ontario, Canada. 2019 Maliq gained the attention of Grammy Nominated producer-songwriting Duo, Louis York and their lady trio,The Shindellas as an opener for their 2019 “The Love Take Over Tour.” Chaquis Maliq’s EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band compliments her cozy expansive sound by giving the audience a full band experience you’ll never forget.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 11
Born and raised in Annapolis, MD, Indie R&B/Soul outfit, Little Bird, now hails from Charleston, SC. Read more…
They are currently touring their 2018 release, Familiar, which reflects the sonic alchemy of a broad range of musical influences, such as legendary artists, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu, along with revered modern acts, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fat Freddy’s Drop, and Nick Hakim.
With the release of Familiar, Little Bird has received acclaim in their new hometown, being voted the 2018 Charleston City Paper “RnB/Soul Band of the Year.” New members Ben Mossman (Bass), Oleg Terentiev (Drums), Noah Jones (Piano) have joined originators Jay Hurtt (Guitar/Vocals) and James Rubush (Guitar) to create the sound heard on Familiar, and continue to develop their sound with material set to be released in 2020.
“Mega Hot Super Babe” is set to be released in April 2020 as the first single off of the upcoming self-produced, space themed record, entitled “Proxima.”
“It’s extremely likely you’ll fall headfirst for Little Bird, mere moments after hearing the band’s 2018 release Familiar. The heady mix of ambient soul, R&B, and trippy jazz puts them in the kindred spirit category to everyone from D’Angelo and Erykah Badu to Australian jam band Hiatus Kaiyote. And their unique sound is showcased by musicianship of the highest order.” – Randy Shulman,
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 12
The High Divers
“All around the South, Tear Em Down!”, Luke Mitchell, lead singer of The High Divers belts into a microphone at Nashville recording studio, Battletapes. Read more…
Almost a year later, in the middle of a global pandemic and a movement demanding justice and equality for Black Americans, the Confederate monuments referenced in the newest release from the band are finally starting to come down. “It’s an incredible feeling seeing the Calhoun statue torn down after walking by it almost every day while living in Charleston (SC),” Mitchell says.
The High Divers’ touring has ground to a painful halt as the resurgence of COVID-19 threatens the health and peace of mind of concert-goers. “We have no idea when we’ll be able to tour again, ” says keyboardist and vocalist, Mary Alice Mitchell, “And this was going to be a great year for us.” This October marks six years as a touring band, and the group has the songs, stories, and scars to prove it.
Formed in 2014, The High Divers hit the ground running playing shows regionally around South Carolina, recording their debut album, “Riverlust”, and building a fan base that quickly fell in love with their raucous live shows. The follow-up album, Chicora, was released to much critical acclaim and found itself seated on many “Best Of” lists. Perhaps the band’s most well-known work was 2019’s “Ride With You” EP produced by Jason Isbell guitarist, Sadler Vaden, who is credited with “Getting the band out of its comfort zone, and into some close to the vest songwriting”, according to bassist and singer, Kevin Early.
It’s not just the sound that shifted with Vaden’s guidance. He also helped make the song selections for this EP, and opted for the ones that Luke and Mary Alice were a little more uncomfortable with sharing. That’s how they knew they were the right picks. The lyrics stray from carefree, frolicking 2015 hit “Summertime” and 2017′s shimmery, butterfly-inducing “Fall In Love So Fast” into some somber subject matter. The disc touches on suicide, bullying, abuse, depression, and PTSD. “If you don’t do something that really scares you, you’re not going to grow,” says Mary Alice, who sings “Our Love is a Fire,” which is about an abusive relationship she was in for four years as a young teenager.
While it’s unclear what the future of touring looks like, and how the music business as a whole will weather the storm that is Coronavirus, one thing remains certain; The High Divers have a lot more to say, and are hell-bent on adapting to whatever the post-Covid world throws at them.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 13
Nathan and Eva
Local sibling duo Nathan & Eva got their start performing covers online to their thriving YouTube fanbase before jumping into live performing in the Charleston area in 2016. Read more…
Since then, they’ve released their self-titled EP in 2018 and are currently finishing up their first full-length album. When not performing, Eva is an Arts Management student at the College of Charleston, and Nathan is a local videographer. They are excited to bring their unique folk-pop sound to the Gaillard stage.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 14
Sideshow Americans is a four-piece Americana Rock ’n Roll band from Johns Island, SC. Read more…
Years ago, Sideshow was four musicians trying to make a living playing music in Charleston, SC running into each other at late-night parties and playing music together until morning. The sound and spirit of the group remains squarely where it began – in the raucous, late-night joy of picking up the closest instrument to you and singing songs with your friends.
Eventually, a band was formed. After performing together live throughout 2015, Sideshow Americans recorded and released a house-show video for the song “Brokenhearted.” Later that year, the band released their debut EP Streetlights. With the title track composed by bassist Whitt Algar, the album was the band’s brief but honest five-song introduction. Additionally comprised of songs written by guitarist Ryan Bonner, Streetlights is steeped in Southeastern string band tradition, delivered in four-part harmony with multi-instrumentalist Cory Jarrett and more recent addition, guitarist Malin Wagnon.
Lowcountry Listens: Episode 15
Charlton Singleton and Contemporary Flow
A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. Read more…
He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and trumpet throughout elementary, middle, and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. In 2008 he co-founded and became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18 piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. Mr. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston, SC. In November of 2016, he was named the inaugural Artist in Residence at the recently renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. He remained in this position until July 2019; at that point, he was named Artist in Residence Emeritus. In this position, he continues to lead the Summer Youth Jazz Orchestra Camp as well as lead the “Jazz Through the Ages” assembly, which attracts a capacity crowd of students at the Gaillard Center.
As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He is a founding member of a new ensemble called Ranky Tanky. The group is a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast Coast of the United States. In 2017 Ranky Tanky reached the top of the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Contemporary Jazz charts with their self-titled debut recording. In 2019 they accomplished the same feat with the release of their sophomore effort, “Good Time”, which recently won the 2020 Grammy Award for “Best Regional Roots Music Album”.
In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few. Outside of music and entertainment, he and his wife, MaryJo, are the proud parents of Shalamar and D’Marcus, as well as their pets…Sassy, Jango, Mojo, Kota Bear, Pumpkin, and Ginger.