Happy 2013

21 days late, but nonetheless, my greetings are from the heart. I had a wonderful holiday back in Vancouver, spending quality time with close family and friends. My friend and talented drummer Andrew Millar hooked me up with a solo gig at Tangent Cafe on Commercial Drive. I had a delicious Kari Ayam (chicken curry) there. The right remedy for a typical rainy Vancouver night. The audience was a reunion of sorts, with high school teachers and high school friends, family members. Here are some photos:Image

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Now it’s back to the grind with lots of projects ahead of me, including my debut album set to be released in late May. Details to be posted, so stay tuned! I recently posted up a video of my gig with Towering Poppies back in August last year. Check it out when you have a moment!

Virtual hugs,

May

Hushed Forest

May Cheung (voice, guitar) and Towering Poppies at Rockwood Music Hall August 2012. Featuring Jasmine Lovell-Smith (sax), Russell Moore (trumpet), Syberen Van Munster (guitar), Patrick Reid (bass) and Greg Ritchie (drums). ‘Hushed Forest’ written by May Cheung, arranged by Jasmine Lovell-Smith.

December Never Looked So Good…

Post Turkey-Day, I’ve been recovering from assault from fat and salt for about a week now. As a result I’ve come down with a bit of a cold, probably from 4 consecutive nights of hanging and partying. I’m not getting any younger, that’s for sure! Some exciting news though, I’ve got three gigs coming up in the first two weeks of December. Definitely an improvement from last year.

Here they are:

Sunday, December 2nd @ Caffe Vivaldi with Keisuke Matsuno (g) and Nathan Ellman-Bell (d) (6pm)

Thursday, December 6th @ Pianos, solo show (8:30pm)

Saturday, December 15th @ Ella Lounge with Pau Figueres (g), Adrian Gonzalez (p), Patrick Reid (b)

In other news, I’ve been in and out of the studio making scratch tracks for my debut album – we so excited. More on that as the weeks progress. I’ll keep you posted!

Bisous,

M

New Trax

Hurricane Sandy has arrived, and it certainly feels nice to stay inside for once and  work on things I have overlooked in the past couple of weeks or even months! I was in the recording studio in Queens a three weeks ago with producer Jai Titus, laying down some vocals on top of some tracks he made. An engineer by the name of Twin conducted the whole process, and I have never worked with such an efficient engineer in my life. As far as the track goes, you won’t be able to hear it for a while since Jai and I are gonna keep things under wrap to prevent any “leaking”. Here are some pics from tha studio:

Queen Aliyah and her presence in the studio. This was, needless to say, a very eye-opening experience as I’m delving into the R&B world, as well as the singer-songwriter realm.

Speaking of such, I got to play in two of my most favorite venues in NYC – Rockwood Music Hall and The Living Room -both in the same night! It’s always so great to play at Rockwood, the sound onstage and offstage is amazing, not to mention the overall ambiance of the venue caters to an intimate discourse between performer and audience. At 7pm, I hit the stage with my main guys, Rob Ritchie (g), Zack Lober (b) and Zach Mangan (d); playing with them was like riding in a Volvo..so smooth you don’t notice how fast you’re going. We’re sounding more and more cohesive as a group, and I can’t wait to get into the studio to do a FULL LENGTH ALBUM with them. More to come with that, so stay tuned! Post show, we headed over to Snack Dragon for some killin’ tacos! Yumz. Then at 9pm, I headed over to The Living Room, THE venue which I have yearned to play at since I arrived in NYC. I met up with Peirson Ross, fellow Canadian and singer-songwriter extraordinaire. Peirson invited me to play piano on his tune Simone and sing backup vocals on one of his new tunes. It was a privilege and an honor. The next day, we visited the Gibson headquarters where Peirson is endorsed from. It was so cool to see remnants of the Beatles and their legacy on the walls, signed Les Paul guitars, showrooms, and the “hospital rooms” where beat-up Gibsons get their “treatment”.

I’ve also got some shows coming up in November, one on the 1st, at Pianos that happens at 7pm, and another at Zirzamin with my new found friends from Barcelona, Pau Figueres (g) and Adrian Gonzalez (p) on November 9th at 9pm.

Stay well and stay tuned…

Autumn leaves

Autumn in New York is one of the most magical experiences one can witness in a lifetime. There’s something in the cool air that brings the juxtaposition of the concrete buildings and the nature (or lack thereof) surrounding it. A stroll through Central Park is a must, with a camera in hand. Autumn brings with it the renewal of life; showing us that the only constant in life is change.

It’s one of my most favourite seasons, and I can’t wait to start baking, reading, knitting, crocheting and taking photos. I love watching the leaves turn color, watching people replace their summer get-up with their fall gear, but I love – most of all- hitting up cafes and watching people go by.

There were a few warm days before September rolled in, so my roommate Jared and I decided that we would take advantage of the warmth and hike up Bear Mountain, which is located on the west side of the Hudson River in Orange and Rockland counties. Here’s a photo I took of the view when we reached the summit:

It was beautiful to see the peaks and valleys of the nearby mountains and the sun peeking through the floating clouds, casting shadows upon the hills.

I’m currently reading ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield, and it’s been giving me some insight towards the insidious writing blocks that most artists go through. I highly recommend it to anyone in any field that is faced with any personal “blocks” in their lives.

Music wise, I have a handful of shows coming up, with the electronic duo Pax Humana, and my own group, so be sure to check out my EVENTS page to see where I’m playing!

Here’s a quote I came across recently that I’d like to share: “The reason we struggle with insecurities is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone’s highlight reel.”

-Steve Furtick

May @ Rockwood

Ahhhh, spring has sprung. I love the smell of blossoming flowers and the renewal of life as the seasons switch over, albeit jaggedly. With the fluctuation of temperatures coupled with a few [very] late nights, I’ve managed to catch a cold. But that won’t stop me from playing at one of favourite venues in town – Rockwood Music Hall in the lower east side in Manhattan. I’m very excited to be playing a few new tunes and originals. Sharing the stage with me are Syberen Van Munster on guitar, Zack Lober on bass and Zach Mangan on drums. So save the date: Saturday, April 14th at 6pm – no cover charge!

Rockwood Music Hall is located at 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton.

Hope to see some of you New Yorkers there!

Love,

May

Merry Boxing Day

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I was lucky to have shared this Christmas with friends here in Brooklyn, as hard as it was to be so far from my family. My multi-talented composer-friend Vickie Yang was the chef with the mostest and I was her right-hand woman. I am a foodie after all, and it was so great to work in the kitchen with someone that is just as passionate about food as with music. Prime rib was the star of the show, cooked to medium-rare perfection, as well as quinoa-stuffed eggplant for the veggie-lovers. Both entrées were served with potato pavé and Chinese broccoli tips topped with fried shallots and fleur de sel. The night ended with an impressive array of desserts, thanks to Ms. Yang and the countless hours she spent on preparing them. True altruism, I tell ya.

These days, I’ve been performing I’ve played at the prestigious Rockwood Music Hall a handful of times, as well as Pianos. Tomorrow night, I play at Sidewalk Cafe, with bassist extraordinaire Or Baraket. I’ll be strumming away my original songs, so I hope to see you there if you’re in the city.

There will be more updates to come, so keep posted.

Stay cozy!

Thank you!!

I finally arrived to JFK on Wednesday morning after a five-hour flight with four kids crying…needless to say, I slept soundly when I got back, and my bed welcomed me with open arms.

Thanks to all of you who came out to support my music!! Vancouver was a packed house as well as Calgary! I am so very grateful to have worked with Tilden Webb, Adam Thomas, Jesse Cahill, Jim Head, Mike Lent and Tyler Hornby. I was so overjoyed to see so many familiar faces.

As a young lady, I frequented the Cellar Jazz Club to see many great acts and I had somewhat of an out-of-body experience standing on that stage with stellar musicians behind me. As for the Beatniq, the place was packed, and Rob, the owner, told me that the phone was ringing off the hook as I walked downstairs towards my soundcheck. The Yardbird Suite was such a treat. I felt so honoured to perform in one of Canada’s best jazz venues. The thing that really floored me about the place was not only that they have a chauffeur to drive you from the airport if needed, nor the fact that they hook you up with a hotel room if you’re coming from out of town, but the mere idea that it was run by VOLUNTEERS! That’s a lot of heart, if I must say so myself. Tracy Kolenchuk, the head volunteer, took some great photos, and I’ll post them when I get around to sorting out all the other things I must do.

My EP ‘Thoughts and Verses’ sold quite well, pretty good for the first tour! I was thinking about going up to Montreal and Toronto to tour with the EP as well – hmmm.

So now I’m back in Brooklyn. The Beastie Boys weren’t kidding when they rapped about ‘No Sleep ’til _____’

Gotta love it, gotta live it.

Exciting news!

Wow, it’s been over six months since I’ve last posted! So many things have happened, much of it towards progress and personal development. First things first, there are two more weeks until I fly to Vancouver to start my second west coast tour! The last time I toured was in 2008, which seems light years ago! I’ll be kicking off the tour in Vancouver, at the Cellar Jazz Club, then off to The Beatniq in Calgary, and finally, the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton. If you haven’t made reservations already, do so to get the spots you want 😉  Here are the tour details:

Wednesday, September 14th: The Cellar Jazz Club (www.cellarjazz.com)
8pm and 9:30 sets
Tilden Webb (p), Adam Thomas (b), Jesse Cahill (d)

Friday, September 16th: The Beatniq Jazz & Social Club (www.beatniq.com)
9pm and 10:30 sets
Jim Head (g),  Mike Lent (b), Tyler Hornby (d)

Saturday, September 17th: The Yardbird Suite (www.yardbirdsuite.com)
9pm and 10:30 sets
Jim Head (g), Mike Lent (b), Tyler Hornby (d)

Secondly, I’ve recorded my first EP, called ‘Thoughts and Verses’, which includes original music and arrangements by yours truly. We so excited! Even better was playing with amazing Montreal musicians Jon Day (piano, Hammond B-3 organ) and Fraser Hollins (bass), plus the formidable Greg Ritchie (drums) from New York. I was very fortunate to have Jon Day produce the EP, and have it engineered, mixed and mastered by Tim Gowdy. Take a listen to our work by checking out my *NEW* Facebook Bandpage at: www.listn.to/MayCheung

Thirdly, there are also new photos taken by my wonderful friend Alice Zulkarnain, which can be seen on my Bandpage as well. Go ahead, take a browse.

So if you know of any people in Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton, let them know I’m in town, and that I’ll be there to share music that I’m excited about. I hope to see you there!

Spring is here

… in NY, at least. The snow is melting, the sun seems warmer and the birds are chirping away. I had an eventful February. I sang at Rockwood with Maritime Analog, ordered in for Valentine’s Day, and taught some new students! It’s all coming together slowly – patience is really helping. I’m also planning out my next moves for the months to come. I’ve been working with Milan, a pop originally from Austria, and we’re currently sorting out our parts and doing what musicians do best – play. I’ll be singing this Saturday at Rockwood Music Hall with Milan and I’m really looking forward to it. 8pm, no cover. I’m going to enjoy the beautiful day we have here, and sit back. Cheers.