Victoria Rowell

*“The opportunity to work with Harvest Productions…two women inspired by true stories that happened in their family,” said Emmy nominated Victoria Rowell about why she took the role as Janay in the Warner Home Video DVD presentation, ‘Of Boys and Men,” as the sister of Holden – played by Robert Townsend.

Victoria continued on with her list of motivators for taking the role, “the opportunity to work with Robert Townsend (also producer), with the director (Carl Seaton)…to be able to work with Angela Bassett and more, to work with virgin African-American actors. Angela and I collaborate off sound stage also…humanitarian work.”

Bassett plays the wife who was tragically killed and Rowell’s character is the dutiful sister of her husband who stopped her life to be counsel and house-keeper for her brother and as comforter to his kids. The film also stars Faizon Love, Dante Boens, Bobbe’ J. Thompson, Scott Baity, Vince Green, Cynthia McWilliams, Yahaira Tarr, Brian Smith and Sharde Cole. The Stephen James Taylor music score is outstanding and it carries the film seamlessly through to a powerful, tear-jerking end.

“The story…is a testament of faith and the power of family,” Victoria said frankly.

What a powerful testimony it was too, certainly worthy of some honors. For more information on ‘Of Boys and Men,” the urban family drama, log onto www.WarnerVideo.com.

Japanese born pianist Keiko Matsui releases ‘The Road…’ on Shanachie Entertainment

*With an unbelievable 21 albums already under her belt, Japanese born pianist Keiko Matsui recently released yet another on Shanachie Entertainment titled “The Road…” Residing in America now, this mother of two is also a composer and producer. Her style is masterfully Japanese influenced, but yet infused with American genres such as Jazz, Pop and Funk.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Keiko said about legendary saxophonist Kirk Whalum – who is featured on several selections. “We’ve seen each other at festivals and concerts. I knew he was a wonderful artist and a very spiritual person”

Whalum is featured on “Awakening” and “Affirmation,” along with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Saxophonist Jackiem Joyner is featured on the title track “The Road…”

“I love music,” Matsui said when questioned about her outstanding 22 album history. “Music is my first love, that’s why I’m doing it!”

Keiko Matsui is doing it pretty well too. My favorite cuts on “The Road…” CD include the Kirk Whalum featured “Affirmation” which starts off slow and smooth then progresses into a funky Jazz number; ‘Secret Pond” a powerful masterpiece – no other name describes it; the title track “The Road…” is so sweet you can almost taste it, and “Nguea Wonja,”  which made me actually get up and do the Cha-Cha.

For more information on this breath-taking talented pianist, Keiko Matsui, logo onto her website at www.KeikoMatsui.com.