Divine Connection Church

DESTINY = Spirit in Word and Deed!

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After one month on vacation in Barbados, I must say being home is a delight. I really enjoyed where I lived in Payne’s Bay, St. James, in the Secret Cottage, where I awakened to a fantastic view each morning and watched a magnificent sunset every evening. I slept so well with the breeze coming through the two windows in my room. I cooked fresh fish on many days. I swam in the Caribbean Sea, met many lovely people from the U.K. and the U.S., and took in polo for the first time.

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The most beautiful place I saw in Barbados was Bathsheba on the Atlantic coast.

Absolutely beautiful scenery in Bathsheba!

Dover Beach was lovely too, on the southern coast. I enjoyed swimming and had breakfast at a family restaurant, Bliss, where I spent the entire morning.

31 days later, I’m back in beautiful South Florida, where I always return, no matter where I travel in the world.

jcroomdelray

Guardian Angels

parking angelFirst, there is the parking angel that always makes sure I have a safe, convenient place to park on a daily basis.

traffic angelThen, there is the traffic angel that assures that there is no traffic when I need to make a turn.

Finally, there’s the gas angel that grants me money to buy gas whenever I have somewhere to go.gas angel

Now, I want to acknowledge these angels and let them know that their assistance is recognized and appreciated!

Diva JC

I love you!

have I told you I love you - famous letter - momayah el From GaiaMind Poems

By

Joan Cartwright

Refreshing My Spirit

Sometimes, opportunities lead to extremely debilitating circumstances that call for a complete overhaul of the Spirit.  My one-month performance on a cruise ship turned out to be exactly that situation. Aside from making far less money than I consider myself to be worthy of, the accommodations on Deck 1 of a 17-Deck ship proved to be less than I am ever able to accept for myself in the future. “What’s the lesson?” asked my dear friend Aman.  Well, there were many.

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First, knowing my worth is first and foremost the most important lesson I can ever learn. Entertaining hundreds of people is my forte. Knowing what I should be compensated to do this is of paramount importance. Then, choosing the right musicians to accompany me is next on the list. When you are confined to a band that doesn’t know your repertoire, this can be HELL for a professional vocalist and that was my experience on this gig. Too many musicians call themselves Jazz musicians without knowing the vocal Jazz repertoire.

Here’s mine: www.fyicomminc.com/Jazzquest/divajcrepertoire.htm. Certainly, from over 250 songs, a true Jazz musician would know 50 of these songs. However, on this journey, that was not the case. So, this gig was like pulling a train without an engine. Each of the 24 nights we performed, I resorted to singing the Blues in Bb, just so I knew the musicians would know the song. A few times, I had to stop them from starting the song in the wrong tempo. My question is: “If you don’t know the tempo I want to sing in, why start the song without my count?”

Second, where you are living and how you are living dictates how well you feel when you perform. This is standard for any vocalist. You must be clean, warm, and comfortable. All three of these elements were lacking on this cruise. The crew cabins are not well-kept, so I felt very uncomfortable. Also, the second one they moved me to (to get me off the top bunk, where I cried to climb up into most mornings at 2:00 a.m., as my 26-year-old roommate slept, curtains drawn) had a faulty temperature gauge to the point that I caught a horrible cold, being chilly for four days. I finally called maintenance and an engineer came and closed the vent that was wide open.

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Third, my left foot was swelling, continually, until I got my water pills mailed to me by my daughter to my friend in Fort Lauderdale, where we docked every Sunday. It was so painful and I was the only one standing on stage and in the club. Painful. Uncomfortable. Miserable. Eventually, I figured out that the salt in the foot had a lot to do with my feet swelling.

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I bought two pair of shoes, one Sunday, at Famous Footwear in Hollywood, FL, that never fit. They were Italian-made but didn’t coincide with American sizes. Just pitiful. I returned them, when I got off the ship for good and the cashier wanted to argue with me about not bringing the boxes back, which I had never taken from the store. “We always explain that we will not refund your money, if you don’t return the boxes,” she said snottily.  “Well, WE never told ME that, when I said I didn’t want to take the boxes,” I responded. “Well, the next time you may not get a refund, if you don’t return the box.” Needless to say, there will NOT be a next time for me to shop at that store. Customer service is a thing of the past. I wonder if she knows that I could start a Facebook campaign to shut her out of a job?

Fourth, after one week, the food started tasting the same – tasteless. The fatigue of the crew that works seven days a week, 10 hours a day was in the food. Extremely uncomfortable. Eating in the crew mess hall became more interesting than in the guest buffet, where the young waiters walked around from table to table producing obvious false smiles, apparent to me and the band members, during the third and fourth week.

The upside of this journey is that I managed to WOW my audiences, night after night. At 66, any singer is happy to hear that she or he is appreciated. “OH, Baby,” got me over ever time! That’s a hook I developed at O’Hara’s Pub in Fort Lauderdale, in 1988, that has carried me along for 26 years. “OH, Baby,” exclaimed cruise guests, as they passed me on deck or in the elevator. A memorable line that brings a smile to the faces of those who watch me perform.

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I would love to say getting off the ship in St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Labadee, and Cozumel was interesting but because of the intense tourist shopping scenarios, I did not enjoy those places very much. In Falmouth, a friend picked the four of us band members up and drove us to Montego Bay. That was the most fun I had off ship.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

On ship, I slept most of the mornings on Deck 17 in the lounge, simply because it was sunny and quiet. In my room, you couldn’t tell if it was night or day. Plus, the air conditioning kept my nose stopped up. So, I got up, during the first week as early as 6:30 a.m. and went up to Deck 17. The following three weeks, I rose around 9:00 a.m. and went up to Deck 16 for breakfast, then into the lounge for a nap. There was little else to do because the Internet was too expensive ($30-35 for a 24-hour period) and too slow to be bothered with.

In port, on Sundays, in Fort Lauderdale, we all had to disembark, meaning that as guest crew, we had to go through customs with the other 4,000 – 6,000 guests. Most harrowing experience I can remember. Just like being in a cattle call. So uncomfortable. One Sunday, our drummer had to do this twice because the port manager gave him the wrong ID card, getting back on the first time! Ugh! Painful. Repeat!

Did I mention that the piano player (60) fell asleep at the piano? Now, this was truly a first for me. I was mortified. I just called his name loudly until he was revived. “I could not be playing and asleep,” he insisted. “Yeah, right,” I  maintained. “Yeah, right!” Luckily, he didn’t snore.

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We performed on the Promenade Deck 6 twice a week for one hour.

We performed on the Promenade Deck 6 twice a week for one hour.

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At Jazz on 4, we preformed from 9:30 pm to 12:30 a.m. six nights a week.

At Jazz on 4, we preformed from 9:30 pm to 12:30 a.m. six nights a week.

So, in conclusion, what I learned is that “All that glitters is not gold!” These cruise gigs may seem like a dream to most but, if it were not for the spa, where I enjoyed the steam room and large shower and the audiences that showed great approval of the music I brought them, I would have chalked this month up as the worst ever spent in my career.

I learned that only I know my true worth and that it is my responsibility to demand what I need as far as payment and accommodations BEFORE I sign a contract and hire musicians. And I must be sure that the musicians I hire are up to the job, meaning that they know the music I perform.

Now, after one week of being off the ship, I am in Spirit Overhaul Mode. Sleeping in my own bed is very healing. Eating my own cooking, and being in my own space is rehabilitating. I will think very carefully before I accept any future contracts that take me out of my comfort zone. If the Creator wants me to perform for multitudes, I must insure that I am duly compensated and comfortably accommodated. This is what I learned!

P.S. I did meet some wonderful people and for this I am ever grateful!

Zoila, Lilliana, and Vanessa from Mexico City

Zoila, Lilliana, and Vanessa from Mexico City

Kiki & Jeff from CT

Kiki & Jeff from CT

Vicky and Nancy Chaloff from Florida

Vicky and Nancy Chaloff from Florida

One of the "Oh, Baby" crews in Jamaica.

One of the “Oh, Baby” crews in Jamaica.

Ladies from Indiana in Jamaica

Ladies from Indiana in Jamaica

More audience members in Jamaica

More audience members in Jamaica

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Carl and Victoria Branker, publisher of Treasures of the Heart Magazine from Pembroke Pines, FL. Here, they are at Juici Patties in Falmouth, Jamaica. We became fast friends. “Oh, Baby!”

So, all’s well that ends well. Home safe and comfy, never to leave again without sufficient remuneration and accommodations and that is a promise to myself! My Spirit is, again, on the rise.

This video is about sleep deprivation:

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DEO

Dream – Keep your dream close to your heart and your mind will know the answer. While your soul plays the chords, your imagination can be the dancer! ~ Diva JC

Since 1983, I’ve been building dream boards with destinations I wanted to visit.  I began touring Europe in 1990 and visited most countries on my board except Ireland, Scotland, Egypt and India.

Presently, my dream is to develop multiple streams of income with rapid flow as I complete my PhD in Business Marketing, build my www.fyitravel.biz and continue to recruit members into www.wijsf.org to promote women musicians, globally.  My goal is to find like minded people, who are interested in fulfilling their dreams and willing to do what it takes to do that.

Education – Now, in my fifth year of doctoral studies at Northcentral University, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My projected completion date is January 2016. The next step is to travel to Fiuggi, Italy, where I will do research at Fondazione Adkins-Chiti: Donne in Musica on the economic status of women musicians.

Opportunity – There are several streams of income I have at my disposal including:

The object is to get ALL of these opportunities flowing rapidly!

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My 2-Year Plan 2014-2016

jcbanner-web14In life, as a Co-Creator with the Universe, I must have vision and a plan. In 1981, I finished my B.A. in Music and Communications and moved from Philly back to my hometown, New York City. There, I worked as a keypunch operator at a computer school on Columbus Circle with Quincy Jones’ first wife, Jerry Jones. I learned Lanier word processing from a wonderful friend Patricia and worked as a temp for Ernst & Whinney at the Citicorp Building on the 53rd floor. This enabled me to increase my earning capacity from $8 to $14 an hour. Eventually, I was making $25 an hour, working 6 hours a night for a very prestigious law firm that sent me home in a limo, every evening after work!

Often, I walked from 53rd and Lexington to 60th and Madison, stopping at travel agencies, collecting travel guides that I would use to create a DREAM BOARD in my home office on 139th Street and 7th Avenue, in Harlem. Eventually, I visited most of the countries on that board. That plan came to fruition in 1990, when I began touring Europe as a jazz vocalist.

Also, I embraced my musical career by performing with Artie Simmons and The Jazz Samaritans that included George Cables on piano and Cindy Blackman on drums. When singing in Central Park and in front of the Plaza Hotel became too much for my vocal chords, I booked my band Joan Cartwright & Jazz Hotline at the Blue Note and at Freddy’s. I had begun attending Barry Harris’ piano and vocal workshops, while I lived in Philly, and continued until I moved to Fort Lauderdale, in July 1984.

My career really took off in South Florida, where I was a big fish in a very little pond on the Jazz Scene. By 1990, I was on my way to Europe – Holland, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, England, Austria, and Italy – where I sang and made a really good living. In April 1994, when I completed my Master’s in Communication at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, FL, I moved to Switzerland, where I lived until September 1996.

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My first European contract was for $6,000 for the month of November at the Janus Club at the gorgeous Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Diana Ross got married. This contract was negotiated by my dear friend Cecile Weltman, a Belgique woman, who spoke five languages. There, I met my life-long friend Isabella Romeo, who took me to Taormina, Sicily, where I’ve been 7 times and look forward to revisiting with a travel group in 2015-16.

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Isabella Romeo was the hostess and Angelo Unia was my accompaniest

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My first trip to Brienz, Switzerland, was magical! In 2015, through my new travel biz, FYI TRAVEL, I plan to take a group to the Seehotel Baren, owned by my dear friend Monique Werro.

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This club was in Hamburg, Germany, owned by an elderly American gentleman, who asked me to take it over, when he passed away. However, it is just tooo cold in Hamburg for me

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This is my Sicilian quartet led by Giovanni Mazzarino, who co-produced my first CD – Feelin’ Good. Here, we are in Lipari, one of the Aeolian Islands, off the northwest shore of Sicily

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Giovanni worked with me at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland for one month. We met at the San Vito lo Capo Jazz Festival and toured together for four years in Italy

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I was a featured artist on a Jazz fest in Reggio Calabria with talented bassist Dario Dieda from Salerno, Italy

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This was my band Jazz Hotline. We recorded my first demo tape in 1990 at Philip Michael Thomas’ Miamiway Studio. The three songs are on my second CD – In Pursuit of a Melody

image269After touring Europe, I moved back to Fort Lauderdale, and semi-retired for one year, until the owners of Ellington’s in Hollywood, FL, hired my band to perform on the weekends. From August 1997 to March 1998, I organized Gaiafest, A Celebration of Mother Earth with Women in Jazz, honoring vocalist Dakota Staton, and featuring fabulous and Amazing Musicwomen.

From 2001 to 2002, I owned Motherland Bridge Gallery, where I featured several local artists and sold batiks and Shona sculpture that I acquired on trips to Johannesburg, Ghana, and The Gambia. That lasted for 18 months, until July 2003, when my daughter packed me up and moved me to Atlanta, where I helped run her business Caustic Entertainment Group, continued my work as a website designer, and wrote my first of 11 books, a memoir In Pursuit of a Melody. While awaiting my copies of the book to be delivered, I was contracted to perform at CJW Club in Shanghai, China, for three months (May-July 2006), thanks to my friend and colleague Sandra Kaye.

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In 2002, I joined a press tour to Brazil for nine days and had the time of my life! That was in May, and in June, I traveled from Milan to Palermo, Sicily, and back with my best friend Bess Covington, in an Alfa Romeo, as Divas on Wheels!

Nothing was more fun that touring Italy with Bess! We celebrated 33 years of friendship with 33 days in Italia!

Nothing was more fun that touring Italy with Bess! We celebrated 33 years of friendship with 33 days in Italia!

From July 2003 to May 2006, I lived in Atlanta, where I renovated Caustic Studio, where we recorded my song Talkin’ That Jazz.

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Now, in 2014, I am realizing my 2-year Plan: To complete my PhD in Business Marketing – www.drdivajc.com and become a Director at YTB TRAVEL and travel everywhere on my bucket list. Visit my Travel Club blog and join my team at www.fyitravelclub.wordpress.com

dream board 2014

JOIN MY TRAVEL CLUB

JOIN MY TRAVEL TEAM

 

This Is Love

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Love is giving up your space, time, and person for another. ~ Diva JC

I AM Blessed

Chalet viewThank you

This is a blessed day

I am blessed

I receive my blessings and grow to a new level of appreciation

The more I appreciate the broader my vista for appreciation opens

~ Diva JC

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Home, Again!

It’s been 7 years, since I lived in Georgia. Now, on my daughter’s birthday, I am celebrating LIFE with my family in our family estate. I am wishing all of my family members and friends a peaceful end to 2013.

ATLXMAS

XMASLIGHT

Keep your dream close to your heart and your mind will know the answer.

While your soul plays the chords, your imagination can be the dancer.

~ Diva JC

jc-etna-erupts

 

I walked and wept

I walked and wept

By Joan Cartwright

20131025_123220Today, I walked and wept

I asked the trees why am I unhappy

I asked the angels to surround me

Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Ariel

Aniel, Zadkiel, and all my guardians

I asked them to protect me

I asked the sky, the clouds

Why the tears are flooding my eyes

I asked the ground on which I walked

Why my heart felt so despised

I wondered why I felt despair

Since blessings I saw everywhere

20130913_083603There, across the lake, I live

A pleasant place with peace to give

But, still I felt as if I knew

With all I have some more was due

Oh, why, I asked am I so blue?

And why should I stop crying, Who

Could see me cry and pass on by

As if my tears meant nothing, Why

Could no one see that I was sad

That I was feeling really bad?

20131112_112819Bikers passed and waved as if

They didn’t care. I wondered if

I was a fool to be so blue

I wondered if my mood was true

I asked the birds, the butterfly

If my poor heart is open why

All I felt was the need to cry

And then, as I stood by the shore

Gazing on a sycamore

20131112_114039The answer came as teardrops poured

Down from my eyes, I saw, I saw

That I was feeling all the pain from

Knowing folks who gave their all

And, even though they stood so tall

Their withered lives most don’t recall

I cried for Billie who died a junky

I cried for Bird whom drugs had killed

I wept for Ella whose eyes were dim

When I was blessed to be in her midst

I wept for Betty whose “manager”

Stole her savings to buy a jet

That crashed, alas, all was misspent

I cried for Freddie whose lip did swell

From smoking crack as he did tell

Me of the horror he saw in Russia

Or was it just a doped up dream?

I wept for Miles who on his break

Outside the Vanguard (not the Gate)

Was beaten by an ig’nant cop

Who had no clue about Bebop

I cried for Clark whose back was sick

From flying cross the pond too much

glorialynne3I cried for Gloria Lynne, the Voice

Whose body made another choice

I wept for Etta, obese, until the day

She slimmed down to become Beyoncé

And both of them, who turned to blonde

To forsake all the Black they’d known

I cried for Whitney, who had it all

Who was a star that slipped to fall

Down from her thrown, as Michael did

I cried for them and God forbid

I kept on counting all the lives

That brought us music and then died

Where’s Donna Summer? Where’s Jimi?

Where’s Judy Garland and Janice Joplin?

Where’s Bessie Smith and Ray Charles?

Where’s Dinah? Where is Phoebe Snow?

Where are they, now?

20131103_081321Why have they flown?

I cried for those

Whose songs I’ve known

Whose lives had blessed the multitudes

I wept for them in my solitude.

On my solitary walk, today,

I cried for saints who went away.

©2013 Joan Cartwright

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