Negre Con Leche
Pamela Wise began composing music and playing the piano by ear at the age of 5. Her father Robert C. Wise who was a bassist decided to start her on piano lessons when she was nine. After studying the piano basics, Pamela began playing for her church choir which was directed by her father. While in high school, Pamela formed her own R&B group called the Ohio Movement which performed throughout the Midwest and East Coast. After 8 years with the Ohio Movement, Pamela decided to leave the band. 'I always wanted to be a jazz composer and pianist, it was definitely in my blood after growing up listening to it.' When her brother Craig finished college and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, he encouraged Pamela to move with him and she did. While in Cleveland, Pamela attended Cuyahoga Community College and further studied music. 'Shortly after Craig received an employment opportunity from a prominent bank in Detroit, MI and we moved to Detroit. I worked with several R&B groups in the Detroit area, but I still wanted to play jazz.' Pamela bumped into Wendell Harrison in a recording studio while taping some of her compositions. Wendell (who later became her husband) became interested in her music and started featuring her compositions on his recordings as well as featuring her in his ensembles. Pamela was blessed with the opportunity to be performing and composing for artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Leon Thomas and Eddie Harris (to name a few). Pamela started forming her own ensemble with saxophonist James Carter, trumpeter Dwight Adams, bassist Jaribu Shahid, drummer Ali Muhammad and percussionist Andrew Daniels. Then Pamela received two Creative Artist Grant awards from the Arts Foundation of Michigan to write compositions demonstrating the link between Afro Cuban and jazz music. In addition, she was still performing with her ensemble and freelancing with other groups. One of her most favorite freelance project in 1994 was co-writing the title track on violinist Regina Carter's CD I WANNA TALK TO YOU. Regina, Pamela and cellist Akua Dixon Turre took some of the finest music to airwaves at WDET FM public radio on the Kim Heron Show. In 1994, Wendell Harrison introduced Pamela to world renowned percussionist Jerry Gonzalez and produced her first compact disc SONGO FESTIVIDAD. Pamela's new CD 'Negre Con Leche, Black with Cream' is available on Amazon.com. Reviews 'Wise, an assured bop pianist with a Tyneresque (as in McCoy Tyner) touch, composes strong melodies and braces them with the simmering rhythms of the Afro-Cuban tradition.' Dan Ouellette-Downbeat Magazine.