The Language of Light

Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

gina Breedlove

At January 13’s Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Oakland, I was completely taken by one of the singers. Alongside The Dynamic Ms. Faye Carol, Linda Tillery, Melanie DeMore, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir with Terrance Kelly, and the Oakland Children’s Community Choir was an artist I was unfamiliar with named gina Breedlove. The all-female backup band was Tammy Hall on piano, Kofy Brown on bass, and Ruthie Price on drums—and they were through the roof!

Above it all, with the stirring images and words of Rev. King on the screen, gina Breedlove touched my heart and stirred my soul. There was a presence to her singing, with original songs that went all the way in, like a vocal priestess. Turns out gina has been in the Bay Area less than a decade, with rave reviews from Yoshi’s and Freight & Salvage gigs, after being a NYC singer-songwriter and originating the role of Sarabi in The Lion King on Broadway. Her latest recording is called The Language of Light. With contributions by a stellar group including producer Julie Wolf, Kofy Brown, Shelley Doty, Vicki Randle, Michelle Goerlitz, Barbara Higbie, and others, every song delivers a journey of discovery, of intimacy and the grace of gratitude.

The sound is pop/soul/folk (try that on!) yet not overly glossy, and the CD opens with possibly my favorite song, “Breathe,” with the lines “We are learning to breathe underwater / on this path as a child of the moon / though the mind wants to stay in some yesterday / your heart and your soul dance in time and in tune with everything.”

Hers is a true talent, and you’ll love these songs as well as gina’s earlier Open Heart release, which also falls in the realm of India. Arie. For all their sophistication and jazzy undertones, the songs share an intimacy of the heart, as gina understands completely what it is to heal oneself. She has a thriving practice as a Sound Healer and Medicine Woman, which leaves me hoping she’ll carve out enough time and space for writing and performing the beautiful songs that arise from her depths of earthy artistry. Her voice transcends soul reverie, with songs that open hearts and minds upon first listen.


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