I posted a picture of Reggie Bush wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt on Facebook ……And then ‘Murica showed up.

Earlier today while checking out some football on NFL RedZone, I came across a picture of running back Reggie Bush with a Detroit Lions shirt on in pre-game warmups that read, “I can’t breathe” across it representing the last words spoken repeatedly by Eric Garner as he was brutally choked to death on camera by NYPD officer Daniel Panteleo. Being that Reggie plays for my hometown team, I decided to post the picture in support – First on twitter and then on my Facebook fan page. Surprisingly, only two or three trolls made appearances in the good ole mentions after the picture began making its rounds on Twitter. Meanwhile, over in the wonderful world of Facebook, Folks from my fan page clicked the “like” button numerous times and also shared the picture, but there were no comments made just yet. …Ok, excellent. ……Then I dozed off for an hour and some change.

…And woke up to a “comments” section that looked like Rosewood.

Apparently the post was “shared” with one or two folks who disagreed with the shirt thus opening the floodgates for trolls and cowards worldwide. <95% of the people who showed up in the comments aren’t even a part of my page or music following at all. It seemed as though most of these folks couldn’t wait to log in to Facebook and show off their slow lane talents in the art of trying to out-ignorant one another. It really does this thread no justice for me to sit here and attempt to explain the grade-A level fuckery contained within it. The masks usually come all the way off in situations like this, so it’s always good to be mindful that when reading through a thread like this, these folks could very well be your neighbors, your co-workers ….or hell, a friend of yours. I invite you to click below and check them in all their unfiltered glory.

Welcome to ‘Murica…

+FE Music Is For the Children… Part II

I was sent another video today, this time by Lisa of Dallas, Texas… Allow me to introduce you to 11-year old Morgan who was riding in the car and rockin’ out to “Greatest Weapon Of All Time” (I was told that this is the song of choice for the morning commute to school). I love it!!

Much love to Lisa and my young fan Morgan for this video… it has truly made my weekend.

+FE Music Is For the Children…

Sent to me last night from @missmalumo from South Africa… This is her niece Zawadi Lalah who has decided to pick up her pink microphone, introduce herself, groove to the intro music some and then sing the first 7-8 bars of “We Are On The Move”….

Maybe I need to consider having Zawadi on the next album…. I love it!!

And Another Contribution Added to the “Discography Wall” – ‘+FE Music: The Reworks’


My ‘Reworks’ hard copy double CD arrived in the mail this afternoon. Another proud contribution (“Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (Zo’s Legendary Story Of A Star Remix)) made to a helluva compilation. PLUS this means we are getting closer to the release of ManMade.

Behind The Scenes: ‘ManMade’ Photo Shoot in NC with Creative Silence


Let’s just say I was a bit overdue for a new photo shoot…. SO, I trooped back down to North Carolina to get some pictures taken for the new album ManMade by Creative Silence (Phonte’s Charity Starts At Home and Median’s The Sender). The majority of the shots were done last night……. and the remainder will be shot this afternoon. I’m looking very forward to seeing what this cover art is gonna look like. Y’all stay tuned…

Goal: To play part of a show or two on this in 2013…


So far in my career, I have played full shows on the keys (of course), the bass guitar, and the drums… I’m still just a “studio gangsta” on that guitar. Well, I’ve set a goal for myself that this year, I’ll play some music on the guitar on stage… Y’all stay tuned. I’m practicing… It’ll happen.

Meet Mrs. Jacqueline Johnson – My Piano Teacher

Mrs. Johnson and I after my first piano recital - June 15, 1986

Mrs. Johnson and I after my first piano recital – June 15, 1986

You know, when I really sat and thought about it, I had NO idea why my parents decided to get me started with piano lessons. I couldn’t remember if it was to keep me busy with some after school activities or what the original reason was exactly. So tonight, I sent Momma Zo a text asking her about it. Her response was:

“I guess you showed an early interest in music. I had my piano… You present it, stimulate it, and wait to see what happens. …The lessons gave you a good foundation.”

…She may have had a point..

Me at age 2 banging on the piano at home.

Me at age 2 banging on the piano at home.

It's safe to say that I was excited about the piano at this age...

It’s safe to say that I was excited about the piano at this age…

Originally, I took lessons with someone else, but I can’t recall much about it at all… All I remember is that I think the lady lived in Oak Park and overall, I don’t think I took lessons there for a long period of time. Momma Zo told me recently via text that…

“The first teacher didn’t want you to leave because you were doing so well!”

So technically, Mrs. Johnson wasn’t my FIRST piano teacher… But it was her teachings that sustained the greatest amount of impact, by far. She was recommended by the mother one of my 1st or 2nd grade classmates – she taught both my classmate and her older brother. Mrs. Johnson’s house was literally right down the street from us – just a block away. If I remember correctly, we used to go every Monday at 4pm. To my parents, this connection was a multiple win for them because her daughter also ended up becoming the babysitter for my younger sister and I.

I’ll admit it… I wasn’t the easiest student to teach simply because I was a kid who found more pleasure in running around the neighborhood with my friends playing sports, freeze tag, and chasing down the ice cream truck whenever it rolled around. Whenever Moms stepped outside that front door to call me inside to practice on the piano, she was usually met with resistance. It always seemed like she had the world’s most impeccable timing because she used to pick the game’s most intense point to yell out… “LORENZOOOO!!!!”

*throws hands up*

“AWWWWWWW MAAAAAAN!!!! Can we get ONE more game in?!!?!!!?”…….

I would go inside the house angry. All of my friends were still outside having a ball, while I’m having to go inside and practice on this ole dumb ass piano. I wasn’t a fan at all. I would head to the basement, sit down in front of the piano and sloppily go through scales, arpeggios, and the songs I needed to learn and memorize for the week. Now, of course, my 6 or 7-year old logic had me thinking I could get away with practicing for what usually turned out to be 10 minutes, walk back upstairs and Moms would just be okay with that. That same young logic also didn’t explain the fact that through the floor and vents in the house she could hear every single thing I was playing and half-assing on……… Needless to say, she wasn’t buying it at all when I would walk back upstairs, walk up to her and say, “I’m finished!” The moment of truth would always come during the weekly lessons at Mrs. Johnson’s house. I can only imagine how embarrassed my mother was when I would sit down at the piano ill-prepared during lesson time. I get it now… I had not a clue back then. Mrs. Johnson had to have been one patient woman with me because I had more of a hate than love relationship with the piano… I mean, shit…. Some of those songs were DIFFICULT. Plus, at the time, my hands weren’t big enough to reach and play octaves as some of the songs and drills called for. So looking back on it… this era served as a ‘boot camp’ for me on the instrument. Mrs. Johnson challenged me and remained patient through all of my episodes of resistance. She would look at me like…’Alright, cry it on out… But when you finish, we’ve got a song to wrap up.” Thank GOD for her persistence and musical education as well as for my parents’ encouragement to continue because…. well…. now, this is how I make a living.

How crazy is that?

Momma Zo could have let me get my way and allowed me to play outside until that street light came on everyday… Mrs. Johnson could have been someone who simply just gave in to my being hard-headed, but instead she pushed me harder. Maybe they knew something even back then, I don’t know… But whatever it was, today I am GRATEFUL. Not only did it impact my musicianship, but I even utilized some of her “I’m not really feeling any of your excuses” practices when I taught music in the classroom and today while teaching private lessons. While we have since lost touch over the years, but it would be dope if somehow she caught wind of this piece just so she could see how successful she was at influencing her sometimes difficult young piano student.

Someone find Mrs. Jacqueline Johnson for me please as I would LOVE to play for her …I think that’s the least I can do.

The original program from my very first piano recital.

A copy of the original program from my very first piano recital.

2012 in Pictures

"...Give is up for Lorenzo Ferguson a/k/a Zo!, ya'll!!" © Phonte in LA • Photo by Kris Perry (Oct. 2012)

“…Give it up for Lorenzo Ferguson a/k/a Zo!, y’all!!” © Phonte in LA • Photo by Kris Perry (Oct. 2012)

2012 has been another helluva year. I got to do some traveling and play shows in LA, NYC, DC, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis, Bethesda, MD, Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Columbia MD, Boston, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, Vienna, VA, Memphis, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Phoenix …..and Durham, NC for this coming New Year’s Eve. I completed my first year as a full-time musician after the school I taught music at closed last year – I was then able to continue teaching by conducting individual piano lessons and workshop to groups of young ones. I began endorsing Moog Music, received another standing ovation during a performance back home in Detroit, and got the bulk of the recording finished for my newest album ManMade. Sy Smith and I did some touring this year playing big solo shows at DC’s Blues Alley and NYC’s Blue Note and received big performance props from Sheila E while I was back on the road with The Foreign Exchange who wrapped up performances for an album we have been touring for two years, Authenticity. I hit my ten-year anniversary of releasing music as well. Outside of all that, it was a fairly quiet twelve months……….

…Looking forward to 2013. Enjoy the photos!!