Thursday, March 7, 2019

She Plays: Celebrating Women in Music

When is International Men’s Day? Pretty much every day, so BEING is taking at least this one day to give a shout out to all of the fabulous women of the world! A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

International Women's Day (IWD) is powered by the collective efforts of all. Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes IWD successful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."

International Women's Day has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom's Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women's equality.

Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.​ So, make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women!

Making Hearts Sing

The BEING editorial team has gathered together an array of female artists from this growing community in tribute to International Women’s Day. There is global demand for new music beyond pop, rock and hip hop...contemporary, worldly, instrumental, conscious, new authentic voices expressing real women's lives. For International Women’s Day, let's shine a light on the immense variety of women making music. Their inspiration to create is as diverse as the beautiful new music they make.

Fiona Joy Hawkins, Little Hartley Music
Fiona Joy Hawkins

Australian Pianist and Singer Fiona Joy Hawkins reflects on a busy lifetime career that includes a performance at New York Carnegie (Weill Hall), a live concert on Echoes/NPR and accompanying Deepak Chopra. Having toured China three times now, Fiona Joy is nick-named The Piano Angel, not just for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, but also for her graceful performance style in concert.

A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and stories. It follows that her upbringing was filled with music. Her classical piano training is evident in her thematic and melodic compositions. Ravel’s Bolero emerged as an early influence, she says, adding, “I loved it, I played it over and over and deconstructed every part. George Winston, Prokofiev and Mendelssohn also intrigued me."

One of her upcoming projects is a collaboration with Rebecca Daniel titled Lightness of Dark, which explores loss and mourning. Perhaps her most celebrated collaboration is with the popular New Age group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, and Will Ackerman).

Deborah Martin, Spotted Peccary Music
Deborah Martin

Deborah Martin’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space. With a vivid imagination and a deep love of historic places and peoples of the past, we see her as being blessed; for they are few, those visionaries, who can bring forth into the present, and into our hearts, the spirit of that which has been so utterly lost in antiquity.

“I simply close my eyes and imagine what it would have been like to exist in another time, another place, and then the music comes.”

Deborah has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the North American continent, experiencing firsthand the diversity of cultures and the historic threads that weave together connecting us all. This perspective enables her to recognize and uncover links between present and past, and to interpret the resulting panorama with a compositional style all her own.

Deborah joined Spotted Peccary Music in 1991, with musical contributions on the album Tracks in Time. Deborah states, “I wanted to combine visual elements of places, people and events of long ago with sound.” Her three compositions, “Tracks In Time,” “Watercolors,” and “Forgot In Stone” did just that and much more. Since then she has created many albums of fine music.

Whether collaborating with other artists or working on her own projects in the future, Deborah Martin, one of Spotted Peccary Music’s highly acclaimed top selling artists is sure to inspire listeners with visions of the past and present; and when the time comes for her to reveal the next installment of her musical saga, it is certain that it will be one for the ages. Learn more at

Valerie Romanoff 
Valerie Romanoff, Valrock Music
“Music has the power to heal, transform, evoke emotion, underscore and enhance our lives. By consciously aligning with elements of music, we can affect deep changes in our world” proudly proclaims Valerie Romanoff: she loves to share ideas about music, art, meditation, passionate pursuits, intentionality, the upliftment of our world, and the power of LOVE.

“I love playing the electric guitar and creating music; I am devoted to my family; I live mostly in New York and part-time in Sedona, Arizona; I co-founded Starlight Orchestras in 1998 and have spent many years producing and performing live music for upscale events around the country.”

Participating in the growing global conversation about uplifting our world with peace, love and,music has become her life’s work. In addition to her meditation music, look for her new band, SPIRIT JAMFEST, where Valerie and friends are creating a platform for upliftment, celebration, ecstatic expression and the sharing of a common goal; our world in love and at peace! She performs a live concert on Friday March 8, 2019, International Women's Day, at Sedona's Creative Life Center. Visit

Suzanne Doucet, ONAM
Suzanne Doucet

"I devote my total being to whatever I'm doing," says Suzanne Doucet. This principle is the underlying factor in Doucet's success and has seen her through many transitional phases of her illustrious career. She is a former entertainment Star from Europe, Co-Founder of the New Age Music Circle,, and She became one of the pioneers in the New Age Music industry in West Germany and is now recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the subject worldwide. She has lived in the USA since 1983.

Originally from Germany with an international career first as a teen-pop star, singer and songwriter, then as a TV-host, producer and music publisher Suzanne devoted all her energies since 1969 to help explore the “New Age Music” scene world wide. She is regarded as one of the foremost experts and pioneers of this genre. She opened the World's first "Only New Age Music" store in Hollywood California with her husband James Bell in 1987, on Melrose Avenue, and she founded the International New Age Music Network (1987 - 1992). 

Since 2009, she has produced the successful MP3-compilation series "Sounds from the Circle", which consists of 10 volumes so far, with artists from all over the world, such as Peter Kater, Steven Halpern, Ricky Kej, Fiona Joy, Omar Akram, Bernward Koch, Laura Sullivan and many others. See her full story at

Ann Licater

Ann Licater, Photo by D'Arcy Allison-Teasley
Ann Licater is an award-winning recording artist, world flutist, producer and composer. She created and facilitates “Flute for the Soul” workshops where she plays Native American and world flutes as tools for personal discovery. On her five albums, Following the Call, Doorway to a Dream, Invitation from Within, Beyond the Waves and Quiet Spaces: Flute Meditations for Mindfulness and Relaxation as in her healing concerts, Ann’s unique approach merges her intuition, spiritual perspective and traditional music background. Her love of wood and clay flutes led her to study with master flutist R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo-Ute) complementing her years of classical flute training at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN.  

Licater’s music accolades range from “Top Ten Best New Age Album” by Amazon music editors, to “Best Relaxation Album” by ZMR Music Awards and beyond. Her music is featured on Sirius XM, Soundscapes, a Music Choice cable radio channel, Pandora and Spotify and as in-flight entertainment for Cathay Pacific Airlines, Virgin Airlines and Air Canada under the music category “Well-Being.” Licater has performed at the World Flute Fest at Carnegie Hall, the Awakened World Conference in Rome and Florence, Italy and at “Sound Body, Sound Mind” Specialty Week at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate. Mexico. She holds a B.A. from University of St. Thomas, and an M.L.A. in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University and divides her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. Explore at


In her wildest of dreams, Rigzin never aspired to become a singer or performer. She devoted her main life’s effort, for now over 30 years, to studying and practicing the meditational lineages, of Tibetan (Vajrayana) Buddhism.

Her original background was in fine arts photography, she graduated summa cum laude, with a BFA from the University of New Mexico. She traveled to India with the intention of studying East Indian art, and photographing. Wandering, she was drawn to Bodh Gaya, the place where Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, under the Bodhi Tree. Being introduced to Buddhist philosophy there, she stayed for one year, falling deeply in love with the teachings, and the practices of mediation that develop ones love and compassion, on the path to awakening.

Rigzin, Rigzin Music
All of the albums in her Sacred Trilogy Series (Union, Transition, Protection) are a complete practice, effortlessly guiding the listener from lineage to dedication, subtly developing our wisdom and compassion. Mantra are enlightenment through sound vibration, hearing or reciting them is a direct connection to our inherent enlightened nature. The actual CD disks are imbued with mantras, a spinning “prayer wheel” sending out prayers in all directions.The stunning visual art of the Sacred Trilogy is by one of today’s most prominent visionary artists Android Jones. The beautiful six panel package is a small treasure of art and prayers. All eco friendly recycled materials and ink, free of plastic, made in the USA. One tree is planted for each CD sold, which will continue to grow for years, benefiting subsistence farmers around the world, and offsetting carbon emissions, thus easily making accessible the ancient blessings of the Tibetan Lineages, in modern times, with the intention to bring infinite benefit to all beings without exception. Learn about Rigzin, her music and weekly online meditations at


Anaya is a timeless composer and vocalist devoted to elevating the human spirit through music, to fulfill a collective yearning shared by humanity for harmony, unity and balance. Anaya’s desire to learn the universal language of music emerged when she was 4 years old reared by a rich culture driven by music and the arts. Her musical journey began on guitar and piano, which led to many years of dedication to composing and producing her own albums.

Anaya, AnayaMusic
Music is the heart of Brazil and has been the foundation for Brazilian culture enriching all festivities, religious ceremonies and simple daily life. As an accomplished composer, performer and producer, Anaya passionately expresses her spirituality and the influence of her Brazilian roots through music, art, and poetry. Her style truly captures the soothing, inspiring and energizing essence of Brazilian music, which delivers a stellar synthesis of genres such as new age, electronic and melodic trance. Anaya is a multi-talented professional with a Post Doctorate degree in leadership and a Phd in Information Technologies. She has a very unique international resume, which includes traveling the world as a performer of Brazilian pop music and working for the University of Brazilia and the United Nations as an Information System Specialist. Anaya weaves her expertise in computer science with a deep understanding of universal spirituality to create a union between technology and the senses, which becomes the heart of her work. “Our best instrument is the universal harmony of being.” Visit

Kristen Speller

“This journey of being a musician has saved me. Whenever I am hurt, I can write about it, which is an emotional attachment that has fed my music quite well. I often struggle with being a “tortured musician.” I don’t necessarily feel tortured as a person, but I can develop music to revert back to pain. So the journey has been fulfilling, in that, I can write the best songs from pain. But my vibration is that of light and that’s where “The Rising of The Phoenix,” came into play. I learned to play Dulcimer, became an energy source within the rhythm of it, strung the cords to my heart’s delight. So the journey has been more emotional than anything. It’s complex, it’s subjective, it’s complicated, it’s beautiful, it’s love and it is my life. As Maya Angelou has so eloquently written, “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”
Kristen Speller, artist-entrepreneur
“Part of the inspiration for ‘Addiction’ was the conversations I had with people who had asked about David Ness who passed away in 2014. I thought about the wide range of addictions that all human beings are subject to, and the fact that there’s not a huge conversation surrounding that. I didn’t like the fact that people were judging David, just as I wouldn’t want people judging me for being a food and sugar addict. Instead of addiction being a societal norm, I think prevention should be a societal given. I feel like a lot of people can relate to the song and that it could be a catalyst to start the larger conversation.” Listen and explore Kristen's ever-expanding world of music, organic cosmetics, and wellness at

Jennifer DeFrayne

Jennifer DeFrayne, Palo Isle Music
Jennifer DeFrayne is an international award-winning contemporary new age pianist and composer. Her music has been described as ~ Inspirational ~ Uplifting ~ Calming ~ Relaxing ~ Healing ~ Storytelling... She began writing music at a young age, is self-taught, and finds her emotional voice through the piano… She didn’t’ release her first album until she was 40 years old when she realized how precious life really is… and finally followed her passion for music and healing.

Born amongst the stark (and, in winter, savage) beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, one of the cradles of Finnish heritage and culture in North America, Jennifer (Palosaari- her Finnish given name) came to love playing piano by the age of five. She eschewed the more typical classical lessons, opting instead for crafting her own original melodies, inspired by the surrounding beauty of her physical world as well as her emotional connections to her family. During favorable weather, neighbors would request that the family leave their windows open to allow Jennifer's melodies to reach into their homes. One (of several) musical turning points came when, while playing at a local art gallery as a teenager, the gallery owner compared her music to George Winston's (who was unknown to Jennifer at the time). Needless to say, the discovery that others "out there" embraced her style of music propelled her to explore a more concrete vision of performing and recording, leading her to college studies in music management, where professors, friends, and performers all offered more encouragement. Visit Jennifer at

Kimberly Haynes

Kimberly Haynes, Music Medicine Woman
Despite limited exposure to art and music in the inner city where she was raised, Kimberly Haynes bravely followed a divinely inspired call to song. Naturally immersed in music of all kinds as a young child, Kimberly knew that she wanted to be an artist and a songwriter very early on. She began performing at a young age making her professional debut at age 12 singing with the televised group Young Life Singers. By age 15, she was already recording demos for other songwriters. At 19, Kimberly traveled to Japan and began a decade of performing in various clubs and venues there and in Los Angeles.

You will hear Kimberly’s greatest musical influences – such as Shawn Colvin, Joni Mitchell, and Sarah Mc Lachlan – as she harmoniously weaves inspirational heart-felt lyrics into a rich tapestry of world instruments to create poetic reflections. “Having risen from my own ashes multiple times, it is my mission to carry a positive, uplifting message into the world,” She says. “My life and my music are richer and deeper for the challenges I have overcome, and my songs are a reflection of my personal journey.” She sings en EspaƱol for the first time on "Pinta" (see the video up top); enjoy more  at

Madhavi Devi

Electronic musician, harpist, and meditative sound painter Madhavi Devi (Cheryl Gallagher) produces and performs music with intention towards supernal inner growth and development, composing inspiring sound-spaces reflective of mystical vibrations and light from the center of being. Her critically acclaimed releases feature rich textures and nuanced melodic structures that are evocatively moving and intimate, and yet celestial in scope. Nature sounds, various acoustic percussive elements, and subtly crafted electronic sub-components all add eloquence to her sonic palette and choreography. With several releases over the last couple decades, Madhavi Devi continues to explore her innate sensitivities towards musical conversation, evolving sound as a vital connection to personal discovery.

As a visual artist, Madhavi creates beautiful atmospheric spaces, inspired often by both Western and Asian ancient art, but always by sacred themes, spiritual culture and other natural influences especially intended for meditation, divine development, healing, and support of inner wisdom and truth.

She has specialized training in creative arts education using the Intentional Creativity Methods, established by maestra Shiloh Sophia, offering transformational painting experiences using intuitive methods for revelatory self-discovery, personal development, release of limiting beliefs and healing. Listen and explore the many gifts of Madhavi Devi at

Listen in on International Women’s Day: March 8, 2019, then click the link to get everything you need to run a successful International Women's Day celebration! 

- by Robin B. James