JOI CARDWELL at Club Bonafide

How long have we been waiting for the return of Joi Cardwell? Well the "Dancehall Diva" is back with a vengeance, with a new album titled Cambia (Change). Last Tuesday at Club Bonafide on East 52nd Street, in what she called "a one - rehearsal gig”, Joi treated us to new songs as well as old hits with her band, including James Preston on keyboards, Yance Drew Lambert on drums, Enrique Mancia on bass, and assisted by soprano Charlotte Small, percussionist Jimmy Lopez, and violinist Ali Bello. What a night! What a party!!

Vegan Shoes by Melissa
Always socially conscious and enlightening, from telling us "You've got to pray!", down to the fabulous vegan shoes by Melissa, Joi rocked the house moving us to jump out of our seats and dance in the aisles. We all certainly remember her club hit "Jump for Joi." A veteran of the music biz, we have heard Joi Cardwell's voice as background singer for Melba Moore, Jermaine Jackson, LL Cool J, and The Pointer Sisters. After graduating from New York University with degrees in English and Music, she wrote and published songs for major R&B acts such as Kashif, LA Posse, and Malika Thomas. Her close affiliation with Kashif led to an album deal with Arista Records in 1988 for her pop R&B girl-group, "The Promise." Years later she answered an ad in the Village Voice that read, "Epic recording artist looking for a background singer for a live tour." The recording artist turned out to be house-music innovator Lil Louis of "Lil Louis and The World," whose 1992 hits "Club Lonely" and "Saved My Life" from the album Journey with the Lonely featured Cardwell on vocals.

Later she toured Japan as a background singer for Japanese soul singer Toshinobu Kubota. She released the single "Trouble" in 1994 on Eight Ball Records, which included remixes from Junior Vasquez, Sotoshi Tomiie, and Deep Dish.

Photo Credit: Nina Kennedy
Cardwell released an album titled The World is Full of Trouble in 1995, followed by Joi Cardwell in 1997, which combined three of her most successful singles, "You Got to Pray," "Soul to Bare," and "Run to You," with nine original tracks. In 2005, she released her fourth album, Plain Jane Project, and In 2007, she released her fifth album A Beautiful Life. Her sixth album Wanderlust (The Soundtrack) was released in 2009, followed by Must Be the Music in 2011, and The Art of Being in 2014.

And now we have Cambia, a must-have for all you Joi Cardwell fans out there!


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