Stories From Da Dirt - Music is Spirit
Our Performers:
Shirley  Cody, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., is an accomplished musician Pianist/Vocalist), educator, actress and has served in these capacities for 51 years. Currently, she resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she has been an alternate performer with the Princely Players for 12 years as well as being frequently contracted for other freelance projects and adventures. She readily applies the meaning of the  term “exousia” as to how she lives her life and imparts to others: “the emptying of oneself so that HIS spirit may fill and shine forth in you.”
Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, is the artistic director and playwright for Music is Spirit.  She has been a professor of African American Studies at Southern Illinios University, Austin Peay State University and Western Kentucky University.  She brings more than 20 years of experience to the company.  She co-author the Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia which was just released on Greenwood Press. Dr. Dawson's first version of Stories From Da Dirt has been included in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Yoruba, a Louisville native, began pursuing her career as a R&B/Jazz songstress, in April, 1998 upon releasing her  CD titled Yoruba. In 1998, she was selected from 100 contestants to perform at the BET Soundstage Restaurant. The upcoming years brought about travel and bliss to Yoruba with opportunities to tour with Ron Whitehead and the Viking Hillbillies and Apocalypse Jamm Review. In 2001, Yoruba received a formal invitation and a grant to perform in London. In 2002, Yoruba joined Mr. Wonderful Production Showcase Band, performing at many venues becoming an opening act for Cameo and the Gap Band.
Addie NiRuma, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, but has lived and perfomred throughout the United States  for the last 50 years.  She is an accomplished jazz singer, dramatist and dancer.  She has worked with jazz musicians such as Jimmy McConnel, Donald Bird, Nick-Brickolla, Ruben Mitchell Trio and percussionist, Bobby Keys.  In addition, she has written and produced musicals and was a  co-hostess for WMHI-TV, Dateline Magazine in Schenectady, New York.
Marjorie A. Marshall,a native of Louisville,career in both the theatre and music worlds spans 35 years.  Having performed throughout the Louisville area, Marshall started her theatre career with the Jim Oliver Little Theatre Workshop and has premiered in classic theatrical production such as Black Nativity.  Marshall started singing gospel music in 1969 with Lamont Butler, the son of Cliff Butler.  She has recorded on several CDs.  Recently, she was featured on blues singer Butch Williams latest CD Introducing Butch Williams. Marshall is  assistant director of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Choir and she is the secretary of  ACHE  (Academy Historical and Cultural Excellence)  Marshall along with Leslie Graham  released a documentary about  Mary Ann Fisher in 2007.  Fisher was the first female lead singer for Ray Charles.  In 2003, Marshall was a background singer for Fisher during the induction of Rick Skaggs into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. 
Schelese  Lewis Ogburn,  a native of Clarksville, Tennessee,  is the daughter of the late Rev. Roy Lee Lewis Sr. and the late Mrs. Delores Graham Lewis.  She is employed by University of Tennessee Extension.  A devoted member of Woodlawn Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church; Ogburn is committed to working with young people. She enjoys poetry and writing plays. She published a book of poetry called Poetry of Life in 1996.  Ogburn  currently serves  an understudy to Music is Spirit.
Dr. Nancy J, Dawson is a 2013  WINNER of the Charlotte Street Foundation, ROCKET GRANT, Kansas City.  
 See the group featured in the August 2013 issue of
Kansas City Magazine!
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