Delores Fisher Center For World Music Resident Artist/Teacher
and Africana Studies Lecturer San Diego State University
Lamont West and I have been friends for many years. I first met him at East Village Community Church in the mid 2000s when he was the Director of Music.http://www.evchurch.org/ At present, he is a staff musician at various churches as well as a performer/composer/producer. Back then, his hair was a short version of the hightop fad. Today, his hair flows below his shoulders in a cascade of dreds. (If I can get a recent pic or a snap with us both, I'll re-post.)
Back East, he performed in a group whose funky-edged stylings were distinctive. He retains much of that edge today. Like many twenty first century musicians(and many of our elders) he works a regular job while continuing to create. He composes and arranges for lyricists, vocalists, and spoken word artists. He continues to do instrumentals at local and statewide social functions.
Lamont West and I played together for several years at East Village Community Church, Lamont on organ and keyboards and directing the choir, me on piano or me on keyboards and Lamont on piano. It was Lamont who helped me find my way back to choir directing as well as accompanying.
A supportive pillar in my career, Lamont is one of a long list of teachers and mentors that I don't mind giving thanks to which includes Dr. Conrad Bruderer, Jean Wesson, Norma Johnson, Dr. David-Ward Steinman, Dan Lee Mitchell, Cynthia Darby, Kenneth Feltges, Dr. Mitzi Kolar, Dr. Lewis Peterman, Richard Thompson, Merle Hogg, and those who are now deceased Devonne Morris, Charles Ray, Eleanor Kreiger, Jeanette Rogers and last but indeed not least---my mother, my first piano voice and teacher. like many of you CarpeNoctum/Notesong readers, I owe much to those patient people who saw something in me that I did not see in myself.
When I ran into Lamont at a Starbucks in East Village last week, we briefly wished each other a Happy New Year and gave quick updates on our lives since our afternoon stroll that took us to the touring equestrian show "Cavalia." We have a standing project tentatively titled "Sonicity Soundings"--a spoken word CD with Lamont as producer and contributing composer/musician. I am looking forward to its completion.
Here is Lamont's new inspirational Youtube video release. It speaks to despair and seeking the Way in soul's Dark night. Songwriters Michael and Trevor, cut at DJ KLEEN Studios, MEAR Productions. Take a listen.
A song of Hope,