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The Vociferous Bell Of New Orleans Meschiya Lake

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Photo: Meschiya Lake ( Click To Enlarge Photo )

Meschiya began her singing career at the age of nine, earning a regular gig and winning $500 upon winning an adults only singing contest in a South Dakota Steakhouse. In 2000 as a young woman, she met and began traveling with the Know Nothing Family Zirkus Zideshow and End of the World Circus - a troupe blending traditional circus arts with modern sideshow varieties where Meschiya honed her performance skills with such thrilling acts as glass and insect eating and fire dancing (dangerously twirling around on stage with flame-doused nunchucks). It was while touring with this troupe that she fell in love with and felt immediately embraced by the culturally rich and one of a kind city of New Orleans, her home base for the last decade and counting.

In the Spring of 2007, Meschiya began singing with the traditional jazz outfit the Loose Marbles on the French Quarters Royal Street. Joined by jazz dancers Chance Bushman and Amy Johnson, a new revival of traditional jazz and dance consequently blossomed:


Photo: Meschiya Lake ( Click To Enlarge Photo )

Bringing the joy and vitality of New Orleans spirit, wowing audiences both young and old alike, they toured the United States and Europe, playing on streets, in clubs, and leaving a trail of write-ups in publications along the way. Dan Baum of the New Yorker writes "Meschiya Lake rocks back on her heels, lifts her chest, and opens her throat like an air raid siren to croon in a thrilling pre-microphone style that...can make you feel by turns as though you were shivering around a campfire in a railroad (yard) or drinking in a budapest nightclub in 1938."

Upon the tours return in the Fall of 2007, her acquisition for musical knowledge insatiable, Meschiya took up the guitar and banjo and, with singer Erika Lewis, formed The Magnolia Beacon, creating original, dark, melodic, minor keyed compositions focusing on vocal harmony. Taking their hit duo on the road, the two songstresses grew and solidified fan bases in New York and Berlin, on the streets and clubs of France and Latvia, and every spot along the way and in between, the success of their songs even finding their way into the German movie by writer Kerstin Hoekel "Peirogi".

Once back home in New Orleans, she delighted in participating in and watching the jazz revival unfold around her, with jazz and jazz dance fever bringing more and more musicians and dancers to town. Meschiya formed The Little Big Horns Jazz Band in the Spring of 2009 and, saving pennies from the street, she produced the first Little Big Horns album Lucky Devil to National Acclaim. On the 5th anniversary of Katrina, DJ David Kunian of WWOZ cited Lucky Devil as one of his four favorite releases of 2010 on NPRs All Things Considered.

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