Let Me Take You There
Singer-songwriter-pianist and flutist Cheryl Keyes began her musical journey in the rich musical heritage of Louisiana. Exposed to blues, gospel, jazz, zydeco, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and classical music, and a healthy sonic dose of Mahalia Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, and Sarah Vaughan, Keyes started to study piano at 7, flute at 11. Influenced by Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin and Quincy Jones, she took an interest in arranging and composing. Accordingly, she wrote her first band arrangement at the age of 13. Upon graduating from high school, she entered Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans on a music scholarship. Performing occasionally on the local scene with jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste, and appearing on flute and piano with Clark Terry and his All-Girls All-Star Band at the Wichita (Kansas) Jazz Festival, Keyes culminated her New Orleans years with two LPs under her belt--The Other Side of Eddie Bo in which she was featured on flute, piano, and as a composer-arranger alongside the legendary New Orleans rhythm and blues singer-piano player Eddie Bo, and as keyboardist on Alvin Batiste's LP Musique d'Afrique Nouvelle Orleans. Following her graduation, Keyes wanted to explore other of her passions. As such, she attended graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington where she studied music education and pursued a doctorate in ethnomusicology. Within the last decade, Cheryl Keyes returned to the music scene with a refreshed perspective and musical vision. In the summer of 2005, she made her Los Angeles debut where she performed as vocalist, pianist, flutist and featured as a composer-arranger with the Instrumental Women® Project's Lady Jazz concert series held at the Ford Amphitheatre. Don Heckman, jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times, sums up Keyes's "inventive flute soloing and dark-toned vocals on 'Sleeping With the Enemy' [as] superb...." The following year, she performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the historic Hollywood Bowl, and was invited to serve as musical-artistic director for the Lady Jazz: Blues in the Summertime concert at the Ford Amphitheatre, which was a sell-out performance. In the fall of 2008, Cheryl Keyes released her debut CD, Let Me Take You There, which, in the following year, garnered an NAACP Image Award in the category of 'Outstanding World Music Album.' Unlike so many singers today, Keyes is distinguished by her versatility at songwriting, composing, and arranging in various styles from contemporary jazz, rhythm and blues, soul to world music, and by her unique voice. Without a doubt, she is truly a phenomenal talent! -- Dr. Charles E. Moore, Producer.