"I began singing.. must have been while I was learning to talk, because I don't remember a time when I did not sing. Music and singing is a constant companion to all the memories I have."
- Born in Washington D.C., raised in Southern California, Waberi stood firm on her love for uniquely Black music @ a very early age. Being raised by her grandparents, who were straight-ahead Jazz enthusiasts (her grandmother was a tap dancer with The Nicholas Brothers) - some of the first music she witnessed was the recordings of such deeply-connected musicians as Coltrane, Ellington, Dizzy, Mahalia, Billie, Louis Armstrong, Betty, Sarah, Monk and Miles as well as the contemporary music of her parents' generation like the Divinely-expressive music of Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament, Jimi, The Jones Girls, Phoebe Snow, Natalie Cole, Ohio Players, and more... The musical sensibilities of all these souls are firmly rooted within her musical reference.
Waberi studied music throughout childhood, from school choirs, to community plays, and local church and social groups. She was writing poetry and short stories as well. To remain connected to learning music, she chose music as a major course of study at Langston University in Oklahoma, specifically, Classical Voice.
It turned out to be the best experience any vocalist could have.
"The lessons I learned, both in terms of the language of music, and the mechanics of vocalizing were invaluable, and the disposition of a dedicated musician, the discipline it takes to be fluent with your instrument, is something I live with daily.
After college, Waberi lived in Hawaii on three different islands: Maui, Hawaii, and The Big Island, where her poetry became songs, and she played music in the local Jawaiian (Jamaican/Hawaiian music) scene, with island favorites SAHRA INDIO and Marty Dread. After four years, she returned to Los Angeles and was drawn back to the "Village".
The Leimert Park Village, the infamous community that is home to The World Stage Performance Gallery, founded by Billy Higgins and Kamau Daood...
- in Los Angeles, California, and is home to many prominent Jazz, Blues, Hip Hop, Spoken Word, Painting, Dance, Drum greats from the African diaspora, serves as a backdrop for much of her current musical mentorship. Billy Higgins himself would play drums for her sets at the Stage, "and then have a cup of tea with me after the set and play acoustic guitar... Billy Higgins was a Special Being. It was an honor to know him and to play with him and we ALL still feel him in the Village."Read more