Divine Connection Church

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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.


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.


Isabella Romeo was the hostess and Angelo Unia was my accompaniest



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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.

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







Melodic Memories

On this last day of the year 2011, it is with great joy that I reminisce on the MUSIC we made in the past five years and that which we will make in this most auspicious of years coming up – 2012!

Emerald Lake is where I live. How blessed is that?!!!

First, I remember the beauty of life from my golden pond upon which I live and my comfortable home.

Home, sweet home!

My greatest joy is being able to pick up the phone or take a 40-minute drive to talk with and spend time with my father, Uriah (92). He’s lucid and fully aware of everything happening around the world. This is a blessing!

Me and Dad

My children are doing well and believe me, THAT’S A BLESSING!

Joan, Muki & Mimi

Joan, Michael, Sophia & Maelle

And! My brother Carlton married Letitia on December 3, 2011 @ 9 a.m. in West Palm Beach, Florida. Yeyyyyyyyy! [Photo]

Roach Thompson and Diva JC

When you reunite with old friends, you know you’re on the right track. Roach Thompson is one of the most entertaining guitarists and Bluesmen I have ever experienced. I used to be a groupie for ROACH THOMPSON’S BLUES BAND! They made me jump on the stage and rock it more than once!

WIJSF Compilation CD Volume II

The second compilation CD is ready to drop with 10 fabulous female composers who are all members of Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.  Well, it turns out that  my bass player Anthony Turner referred me to Roach, when I needed to get our second compilation CD mastered.

Kiki Sanchez and Anthony Turner

Kiki and Anthony performed with me on Christmas Eve in Coral Gables. We had a ball and will be together on January 6, 2012, at the Miami Shores Country Club.

Parkway Middle School of the Performing Arts

Parkway Middle School Jazz Band

and the beat goes on!

Diva JC

What I desire, believe, and expect in 2011. . .

  • God will help you overcome any hardship!
  • In music, one must think with her heart and feel with her brain.
  • Willingness opens the door to knowledge, direction and achievement.
  • You will have a party!
  • Try not to stand on your own side in an argument.
  • Take that luxury way, what you spent will get pay back.
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
  • The closest distance between two people is a good laugh.
  • You will be a philanthropist in your later years.
  • Life is the sum of the ingredients you put into it!


It is such a joy to have been born in December, when people are celebrating the end of the year.  2011 had its challenges, I must admit. However, triumph is a reason to celebrate. This year I accomplished the following:

  1. Produced four concerts at senior centers with Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.’s Community Musicwomen through a $4,000  grant from Miami Beach Arts Gala (January 2011)
  2. Produced and released (Jan 3) a compilation CD Volume I with 10 fabulous female composers and Volume II is ready to be released in January 2012
  3. Won a $4,000 SEAS grant from Broward Schools to produce From Bebop to Doo Wop to Hip Hop with the Parkway Middle School Jazz Band and Vocal Ensemble who will perform four of my songs and one of Jus’ Cynthia’s songs arranged by Dr. Malcolm Black, and one song from Art Wilson, and Robin Avery and Paul Banman.
  4. Produced WIJSF’s Jazz For Peace Fundraiser at ArtServe on May 14, attended by over 100 supporters who enjoyed the music of Rick DellaRatta. We raised $3,000 ($1,100, after expenses).
  5. Increased WIJSF membership to 154
  6. Performed for and was a guest author of  Sisters in Harmony in Coconut Grove on July 26 with Jamila Sahar and Jus’ Cynthia and was co-host for their blogtalkradio show with guest authors.
  7. Published online monthly newsletters for WIJSF with 70 musicians
  8. Won three awards from Women’s Power Caucus (May 14), Women on Wings (Sept 24) and American Business Women’s Association of South Broward (Nov 9)
  9. Began (May 16) and completed two of 18 courses toward my PhD in Business Administration and Computer Technology and began work on my third course at Northcentral University (online).
  10. Began the work with a committee on Nov 29 to produce the South Atlantic Art & Food Festival in December 2012
  11. Acquired a Resolution from the City of Lauderhill for Fiuggi, Italy to become a Sister City and enabled Mayor Richard Kaplan and his wife to visit that city in June, where they met with Mayor Fabrizio Martini. This was a result of WIJSF’s association with Donne in Musica.
  12. Served as a Board Member of Lauderhill Sister Cities, created the blog and donated several books to the Haitian Book Drive
  13. Taught two students, Jackie Rodriguez and Joshua Kassar how to publish their books on http://www.lulu.com
  14. Started The Arts Reporter on Blogtalkradio and restarted Musicwoman online radio programs, partnering with my daughter Mimi Johnson for The Diva & Daughter Experience.
  15. Performed for Blacks Over 40 on an 8-day cruise on Carnival Freedom to St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola and Nassau with Jamila Sahar, September 11-18. Had a ball!
  16. Performed with Jazz Hotline at Ciao Pasta & Grill for one month of Saturdays; for the third time for Grapes For Grades (Sept 23); and at MOCA (Oct 29)
  17. Performed for the Boys & Girls Fundraiser on Nov 19, thanks to Marika Guyton
  18. Sold $600 of my books to Phyl’s Academy
  19. Witnessed my brother Carlton’s marriage to Letitia Lewis on December 3
  20. Celebrated my father’s 92nd birthday (May 14) and my birthday (Dec 7) with friends on Dec 6 @ The Big Easy
  21. Contracted a New Year’s Eve gig at the Inverrary Hotel with my band and Robin Avery
  22. Submitted my paper Conscious Inclusion of Women Musicians to the Women in Music Symposium and Journal held Dec 4-5 in Serbia and writing treatments for a TV Reality Show with my daughter, Mimi Johnson.
  23. Paid my monthly bills on time!
  24. Created this blog for Divine Connection Church

Golden City of Light

Golden City of Light
By Diva Joan Cartwright

Let LOVE bring us back to Heaven
Back to the Music of the Spheres
Return to Perfection that forever swings
In the Cosmic Melody of Eternal Song

Life swings forever through Creation
To higher harmonies, transcendent spheres
To realms of conscious activity
Of Cosmic Joy, Love, Freedom and Perfection

Love ever expanding, Love ever blessing
Love ever active, Love in all Life
Joy ever being, Joy ever knowing
Joy ever living, Joy in our hearts

Ending woe, ending pain, ending misery, peaceful gain
We arise, facing the glorious Light in our God
Knowing well that the day of Eternity has arrived
When we all enter the Golden City of Light

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