Collaborates with Ben Harper Songwriter on New Album
-For Immediate Release-
Singer Derek Lassiter Works with Long-time Ben Harper
Collaborator, Tom Freund, and Blues Legend, Lady Mem'fis on
His Debut Solo EP, Witness
Lassiter's Witness will be available on March 21, 2006
San Francisco, CA – Derek Lassiter's Witness offers up
a breath of fresh air for fans of soul music. The CD delivers
a sound that is earthy, percussion-driven, spiritual and sensual.
From the edgy opening track "Hunger" to the jazz-driven
"I'll Grow," Lassiter's poetic songs are ultimately
rooted in Africa and Africa-America: the church and the drum.
Featured collaborations include Tom Freund, long-time song writing
partner of Ben Harper and Louisiana Blues legend Lady Mem'fis.
The album will be available March 21st at Amazon.com
and CDBaby.com but is currently
available for media to review.
Witness was produced by San Francisco songwriter, poet and
musician pc muñoz and will be released on Beevine Records.
A product of the faltering, foster-care system, Lassiter's Witness
takes listeners on an emotional autobiographical journey.
"Well, I had an unusual upbringing," Lassiter muses
when asked about his lyrical content. "I was born in the
South Bronx, but after a series of dramatic family events, I
soon found myself bouncing around the foster-home system in
rural and suburban Pennsylvania. Reconciling those hugely influential,
yet vastly differing environments has been the task of a lifetime.
With Witness, I feel I've finally made the soundtrack to my
Witness bristles with an earthy, organic energy. Latin, Asian,
and African percussion abound, along with jazzy guitar, bass,
keyboards, and Lassiter's church-evoking, poetic vocals.
For the past 15 years, Lassiter has been a fixture on the San
Francisco arts scene, acting in an assortment of well-received
plays (including James Baldwin's The Amen Corner, and Erin's
Hope by local playwright Ian Walker), and fronting bands (from
hard rock to soul) at top San Francisco venues like Slim's and
The Great American Music Hall.
In 1998, Derek was featured in Face Forward, Julian Okwu's
expansive book that focused on distinguished Gen-X African-American
men. Just as the buzz about Lassiter began to spread outside
of the Bay Area, Derek mysteriously ceased all performances
and public appearances, quit his job, and went underground,
announcing that he was going to work on a solo album which would
sound nothing like his past musical projects.
He kept his word. Witness, Derek Lassiter's debut solo EP on
Beevine Records, sounds unlike anything he's done before…and
will be sure to have everyone clamoring, "Can I get a Witness?!!"
About Derek Lassiter
Derek Lassiter's path began in a low-income neighborhood of
New York's South Bronx, traversed through foster-homes in Pennsylvania,
and made a stop in Texas before he landed in California in the
early 90's. Once in San Francisco, he was free to tap into his
talents as a singer, author, actor, songwriter, photographer,
producer and poet. Most notably, Lassiter began teaching poetry
to inner-city youth through the legendary Glide Memorial Church,
exhibiting groundbreaking photography at various galleries,
producing solo cabaret shows, conducting readings and lectures
on the Public Library circuit, and writing for a number of local
and national publications…all this, while holding down
a demanding day gig at Keyboard magazine. More information on
Derek Lassiter and Witness can be found at: www.dereklassiter.com
Note to Media: High-resolution images and interviews with Derek
Lassiter available upon request.
Media Contact: Allison Neves for Beevine Records 415-948-1200,