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Press Release R&B Singer Collaborates with Ben Harper Songwriter on New Album

R&B Singer 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 and 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 life."

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:

Note to Media: High-resolution images and interviews with Derek Lassiter available upon request.

Media Contact: Allison Neves for Beevine Records 415-948-1200,

Derek Lassiter


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