It took Ragan Whiteside a week to make a sound on the flute, but she kept pursuing music and eventually made it her career.
The past few years have been exciting for Ragan, having won Flutist of the Year in the Black Women in Jazz & Fine Arts.
Ragan’s passion for music lead her to realize another new love: Songwriting and Arranging. After winning numerous competitions in both performance and music composition she decided to further her music studies and attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree.
After graduating, Ragan returned to New York to begin her career as a professional musician and immersed her composition abilities within the genres of Jazz, Funk, and R&B. After winning the Capital Jazz New Artist Competition, she released her debut album, Class Axe in 2007. Since her debut album, this award winning artist has developed a heightened focus in the writing, producing, and editing process of her 2012 sophomore release, Evolve. Evolve showcases not only her melodious musicianship as a flutist, but her sultry vocals and soulful compositions. Under the direction of her highly acclaimed producers/arrangers, Dennis Johnson and Bob Baldwin,Ragan showcases her high energy and expansive musical abilities. Taking her refreshing and vibrant flute sounds to newer heights, Ragan collaborated with an array of veteran contemporary jazz artists, including Chieli Minucci, Marion Meadows, Bob Baldwin, Porter Carroll Jr. (original member of Atlantic Starr) and Chembo Corniel (Latin Jazz Grammy nominee).
Portions of these show notes are taken from: http://www.raganwhiteside.com/
Nuha grew up in Bagdad, Iraq and started a business in 1999. When the war with Iraq started in 2003, she contracted with Americans to help rebuild the country. Then the insurgency and armed men showed up at the wrong house.
She escaped to Jordan and worked her way to her country of spiritual origin, the US. Now she owns Cleo Coffee Shop right off the Square in Marietta. With all the discussion of immigrants these days, Nuha shares her unique and fascinating story with us. You’ll be glad you listened.
One of her April Forshee’s first memories of creating stuff was getting into trouble creating paper dolls in school. But that did not deter her. At 7, she learned how to sew and she kept doing it. She even went to high school and took sewing.
When it was time for college, she chose Georgia Tech and took accounting to make sure she could find work. (She had a son at age 19.)
The corporate accounting career started out fine.
But then, she gave it all up 6 months before the 2008 financial crisis. She was tired of picking up her small son at 6 pm and siting in traffic for hours each week.
She substitute taught math and science, but never gave up sewing. April made some aprons for her mom’s yard sale and sold nothing. She told her friends and family the the story and they started buying them.
So she started Forshee Designs (and recently Marietta Monogram) and never looked back.