Annie Music Bio
Forgive me. This is long!! Lots of years lived. Might as well put this all down. The photos that accompany this story can be found on other pages; New York, Berlin, Moscow
At the age of 11, I wrote my first song, inspired by a crush I had on our paperboy. It was called “Paper Boy” and was in the style of the Ronettes. Later, I performed in Summer Stock, in the Chorus of different musicals, and as the Girl (Luisa) in the Fantastiks, at the Oval in the Grove. I also played gut bucket bass and sang harmony in a folk band.
I went to college as a Theater major and, after moving to New York City, studied acting at Berghof Studios in NYC.
At this time, I was swimming in R&B and live jazz. I started working at a jazz club called “Slugs in the Far East”, where I heard incredible music, six nights a week. Sometimes I went home with 4 dollars, but I was paid in the best music. This was my real Masters in Music.
I started really working on myself and my life, and the songs started to pour out of me.
My first recording was for Akashik records in Woodstock, NY. Two originals on the album called Surrender and Tender Child (which was written in collaboration with Martien Janssen. )
I had moved to Europe and began collaborating with a music partner in Germany named Bertold Schramm. I was at the time living in Berlin, Germany. We were a duo, performing all my original songs. We made a CD, which I am in the process of bringing over, of all original songs of mine. Bertold created some amazing harmonic arrangements, as well. That CD is called Songs of Body and Soul. Stay tuned.
In 1989, in Berlin, Bertold told me to come and meet a woman named Olga Rozhnova, a big star in Moscow, who performed in her band Voyage. They wanted to partner with me; USA/USSR. A song was written in collaboration with her husband, Sasha Rogozhkin, in which I wrote the lyrics. The song was called Face to Face (USA/USSR)and it became a huge hit in Russia, playing three times a day for over a year during Perestroika. I got no rubles, unfortunately!
They said it had been played at the Gorbachev/Bush meeting. We recorded it in Berlin in the summer of 1989 and in December, I was invited to go to Moscow to film the Video. So, off I went, and we filmed the video and performed on a Russian Army base. There were Russian soldiers pumping a smoke machine for atmosphere and the Generals were in the front row! It was fun singing my song “Top Secret Sex” for them. This hard rock, metal band, also learned original songs of mine, and we performed a mixture, as East and West met.
I worked with this band, Voyage, for three years; the next year, 1990, I returned to Moscow to film 3 more videos for Moscow. In 1991, the band came to me in Germany. We toured in Frankfurt for the American Soldiers, in Dresden, and in Berlin. We were interviewed on AFN.
Note: As a child, my family had food in the basement because we were all so afraid of the Russians. Needless to say, it was an enormous experience.
I also had a jazz band, called the Annie Addington Ensemble, with Lenjes Robinson on Drums, ,Jeffrey Lee Mills on piano, Ben ‘King’ Perkoff on sax and Adam Lenox on bass. We performed jazz and some originals of mine.
Out of homesickness for the Catskill mountains in Upstate New York, I formed another band in Berlin and called it Catskill. I partnered with Hans Boos, who played guitar and other folks. This music was the music of Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Gram Parsons, any good harmony songs. Also, some originals.
Deutsche Welle Television asked me to perform some original material with Bertold Schramm, and the next year, the jazz band performed there. I also worked in a band called Jazzhouse, we were sponsored by the Senate. I did duo performances with Bob Lenox, in Berlin.
I was invited to NY to record for Irwin Levine, award winning songwriter, known for his “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”. Irwin was going to work with me and my songs, but, unfortunately, he succumbed to a heart condition.
In 1997, I returned to the US, with a 12-year old boy, my son Chris.
I returned to school and was teaching music. I finished my BA in Music and did 4 years of Graduate School at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. I received a 2 year Masters in Jazz Performance (with Jon Faddis) and a 2 year Masters in Composition.(with Joel Thome). During that time, I taught Music and Drama at Oakwood Friends School, so my son could attend that amazing school.
I loved working with kids and ended up teaching Music in the New York City School System. I also taught Jazz History and World Music for Empire State College for 10 years and as a teaching artist for Arts Horizons.
In New York I performed at different venues, including the Cornelia St. Café in NYC.
I moved to Sarasota, FL in 2015. Here I was singing at the professional jazz jam every Monday night on St. Armand’s Circle, at Burns Court Café and other venues.
In 2019, I met Jamil Ghattas, a Brazilian keyboardist and guitarist. We have formed a musical partnership and we call ourselves, Just the Two of Us. We are working all the time and enriching 0ur repertoire which consists of jazz, including songs from my CD, R&B and Brazilian bossa nova and MPB. I sing in English and Portuguese.
Brazilian music captured my heart long ago, and I still am studying it.
Now, Jamil and I are involved in a project with my friend/mentor/collaborator, Joel Thome, for Artists for Peace and Wellbeing, and we are looking for artistic contributions with the theme of Peace and Wellbeing at the forefront, especially, but not limited to, collaborations. Our Mission Statement is:
Artists4Peace )(artists4peace.org) is a Bridge to global peace that promotes collaborations between artists of all nations. It is open to all artistic genres. The collective encourages works centering on global peace and sustainable living.
Art forms include, but not limited to: Collaboration, Multi-disciplinary works, Dance, Music, Film and Video, Words (Prose, Poetry & Essays), Science, and Visual Art.
Artists4Peace is open to submissions for our editions which will be bi-monthly releases. Artists, writers, and contributors of all mediums should fill out the following form with attachments or links to a specific work.
Please use form below -
The project I am submitting is this:
The Search for Peace Project
With McCoy Tyner’s Search for Peace as an inspiration, our idea is to have an interactive piece of music, reaching out to other musicians over the world, to participate with the ability to use the individual tracks as a basis for their recording, so they can create their own version of Search for Peace. For our first presentation, Jamil Ghattas has prepared the intro, the piano, the bass and the sax. David Picton has provided the drum track.
I have written lyrics and sing them in place of the sax of the original track. There are two solo sections. One of them is with François de Lima on trombone!
We will call this one Search for Peace #1. Jonathan Godfrey (guitar) and I collaborated on #2. Soon, we will have #3, and on and on.
Now, we are calling on other artists who are searching for peace! What can YOU do with these tracks? What do YOU play? Sing? Can’t wait to hear your ideas!
So, now, with Covid’s arrows shooting wildly, the healing lies in our centers of creativity. It’s the only way! So many people are creating amazing things! When this pandemic comes to an end, the world will be filled with art and music!
(and all the other good things). Let us Play!