Alice’s Muscial Debut (Lit Noire Publishing)
by DuEwa Frazier – Brooklyn, New York, United States
Tell us about your book.
Seven-year-old Alice McLeod of Detroit has a special ear, an ear
Alice’s Musical Debut reimagines the childhood life of the late jazz pianist, harpist, composer, and organist Alice Coltrane, wife of the legendary jazz saxophonist and composer, John Coltrane. Set in the 1940s, Alice’s Musical Debut reveals the magical connection young Alice McLeod has with nature sounds and musical rhythms.
Alice’s Musical Debut is a story filled with poetic language and imagery that speaks to the hearts of all children. Grades 2 and up.
Playing outside becomes a sensory adventure for seven-year-old Alice of Detroit. The bees in the flowers, the swish of the trees moving in the breeze, the sound of an ice cream truck, and the laughter of children combine to form music in Alice’s world. One night, a thunderstorm keeps Alice awake. As she listens to the storm from her bedroom window. The sounds of an owl and the rain seem to call her name.
What inspired you to write this book?
My belief in music, imagination, poetry, and rich imagery that encourages children to dream is what inspired me to write Alice’s Musical Debut. I am also a huge fan of jazz and the work of the late Alice Coltrane. If you listen to her music (and that of her husband John Coltrane) you will find other worldly sounds of jazz, musical notes that uplift you and urge you to create something new! I am a lover of music and can’t imagine any writer creating without it! It is my hope that young readers who read Alice’s Musical Debut will enjoy the book and make their own personal connections to the story’s meaning.
Is there anything socially/economically significant about the overall message of your book?
Having a Black girl protagonist in a children’s story helps convey greater diversity in the storytelling market. Few books have been written about women in jazz or Black girls who dream of a musical world they can create for themselves. My picture book, Alice’s Musical Debut features an African American female protagonist in a story about music and imagination. This book pays homage to little Black girls and anyone who is inspired by nature, the rhythm in everyday life, and the imagination we’re all born with!
Love to the Griot Woman for Shirley LeFlore on 3/15/16
Can you be jazz griot woman?
Making melodies with the sound of your voice
Syncing your words with the music of the late greats like Bird, and Coltrane,
Monk, and Davis
Can you be the sound of the drum?
Sitting inside the Djembe and Conga
Speaking to hearts, telling your stories
Cloaking us in your truth with divine intentions
Can you be ocean griot woman?
Cleansing us of a pain filled past, showing us how to love
The language, art and culture of a people who
Walked this earth for thousands of years
Can you be light griot woman?
Lighting our path with your colors and aura
What you speak, we become
Your vision is our vision
So be it