Rebecca Jade, the first niece

A Shade of Jade

Since Rebecca Jade, the first niece, is having a significant natal day tomorrow, I figured it was time to write about her again.

She and her parents lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC, for her first two years. I first visited her when she was a month old. For sure, I was at her first and second birthday parties. Then, her family moved to Puerto Rico.

Still, I’d see her on occasion. The picture above is after my Grandma Williams’ funeral at Trinity AME Zion Church in Binghamton, NY. It’s my favorite picture of us together, although the one of me walking with little Becky, when she’s wearing a red jumper, is cool too.

She, her mother, and I would converge on Charlotte, NC, for my parents’ anniversaries divisible by 5. We often had family photos taken. On one occasion, Rebecca had remnants of chicken pox on her face, which shows a bit in the photo.

I attended her high school graduation in El Cajon, CA. She played basketball for Berkeley, and I saw her play once at a road game in the NYC area; I also made it to her college graduation.  

She was at both of my parents’ funerals in 2000 and 2011. My mom’s was the latter when she first met my daughter. But my daughter had seen Rebecca on television in a competition called Wipeout on ABC-TV in 2010. My niece placed second.

Rebecca attended my last wedding in 1999, and I attended hers to Rico in 2005. My family, Rebecca and Rico, spent Thanksgiving 2013 together at our cousin Anne’s house in New Rochelle, NY.

Cold Fact

The first musical recording of the first niece was a three-song demo when she was a teenager. However, one of her earliest albums was 2011’s The Jade Element, which one can find here.

There are two Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact albums, the 2015 eponymous one and 2019’s Running Out Of Time. You can get the former here or here. The latter can be found here or here ,or on vinyl – vinyl! – here or here.

In 2018, I caught Rebecca and the Cold Fact’s gig in a San Diego club. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen her perform professionally, but it was the initial time I saw her with her band. They won a humungous $5,000 check!

Peter Sprague

I’ve seen her sing with jazz guitarist Peter Sprague and his band several times during his Liveish sessions online. Even during the height of COVID, they performed by being in separate rooms or even outside. Check out It’s For You (2021), Are You Going With Me (2021), In My Life (2022), and Guinnevere (2023).

Peter and Rebecca recorded the excellent Planet Cole Porter in 2017, which you can get here. Check out the title song, the only one not written by Porter, live.

Being a bit of an RJ completist, I also have  Sparks and Seeds by Peter Sprague and Randy Phillips (2018). Rebecca sings four songs, with additional tunes by Emily Elbert, Leonard Patton, Lisa Hightower, and Allison Adams Tucker

At home


During COVID, Rebecca did about a dozen Home Made shows. Some are on Facebook. Episodes 10 and 11 11 on YouTube.

She’s put together a great new album, A Shade of Jade, which one can get at her website, along with seeing more videos, checking out her upcoming shows, and the like.

In 2023, I got to see Rebecca thrice. On July 4, she was supposed to sing backup for Sheila E. as she had in NYC in 2017 and at the New York State Fair in 2019. A thunderstorm canceled the show, but my extended family and I got to talk with her at the hotel where the band stayed.

In August, she sang in a Syracuse park. My wife, my daughter, and I saw her before the performance. Afterward, we got to hang out with her, a couple of the musicians, and promoters. Then, in late September, I saw her, for 10 seconds, in the Charlotte airport as she rushed to her connecting flight.

I would have gone to see her on the Dave Koz Christmas tour this year, as I did in 2021, when I went down to Long Island, but in 2023, they are not getting closer than Cleveland and near Pittsburgh.

Happy birthday, first niece! I love you, but you knew that, didn’t you?

Rebecca Jade: Cold Fact, Jade Element, et al.

Rebecca Jade will be celebrating a birthday that’s divisible by five tomorrow.

Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact
Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

My eldest niece (my sister Leslie’s daughter) Rebecca Jade has been quite successful in the San Diego area the past few years with various duos, trios and groups, so many I can’t keep track. I know she has an album with Peter Sprague, doing Cole Porter songs.

She was on a pair of seven-day cruises with Dave Koz and his musicians, going from Copenhagen, Denmark to Stockholm, Sweden; then to Tallin, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; and finally to Helsinki, Finland before heading back to Copenhagen. And on the second leg of the trip, her mom joined her. At one point, mother and daughter jammed while Larry Graham thumped his bass!

In the past several months, she’s been singing backup with Sheila E. at various gigs all over the country including in August 2017, when my family saw her in NYC. Sheila E. and Morris Day & the Time performed in 7 degree F weather in Minnesota as a tribute to Minnesota native, and their mentor, Prince as part of Super Bowl Opening Night.

Rebecca Jade.Lynn Mabry.Sheila E
Rebecca Jade.Lynn Mabry.Sheila E

When she’s in town, she participates at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas. Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact will be having a CD Release this fall; I saw them in July in San Diego. She’ll be involved in a two-day New Year’s Eve event through the SD Smooth Jazz Festival.

She and husband moved this spring after living in their place for over four years, and about 12 years in the same city. But perhaps her greatest challenge was coordinating the helpers after Leslie’s June 4 bicycle accident. She missed one or two gigs, but much of that early period she ended up sleeping in the hospital after a performance. She’s a great daughter and a fine niece.

Rebecca will be celebrating a birthday that’s divisible by five tomorrow. Visit her Facebook page or her website.

Love you, niece!

Rebecca Jade.Leslie Green
Rebecca Jade, Leslie Green, 2018

F is for fine, fun, fantastic Friday evening

I had never seen Rebecca Jade sing professionally except last August, when she was singing backup for Sheila E.

When I was staying with my sister Leslie in San Diego in early July, I may have started going a little stir crazy, I think. Keeping track of doctors’ appointments, nurses’ visits, specialists’ phone calls, paperwork for her employer was a tad overwhelming at times.

My sister and/or my niece suggested that I go see the niece go sing with her band, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact on lucky Friday the 13th. I had never seen her sing professionally except last August, when she was singing backup for Sheila E.

Rebecca and her husband Rico picked me up. We went to a club called the Tin Roof in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Almost immediately, I started talking with this woman, mentioning that I am an uncle of Rebecca Jade; she was quite excited by that. “I always wanted to be a singer!”

One of the waitresses started bringing free ginger ales when she realized that I was part of the RJ entourage. I must admit that I appreciated the reflected glory.

Rebecca thought she and the band would do their set and then we’d leave, but no. The gig was a battle of the bands, sponsored by AARP . “The first-ever AARPROCKS Local Music Showcase! Four local bands will compete in a contest in which the winner receives $5,000! They rock – you pick – one lucky band wins!”

The participating bands:
Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact
Casey Hensley Band
The Midnight Pine

They all were pretty good. Rebecca and Casey were friendly competitors who gave each other hugs; heck, Casey gave ME a hug. Most of the Cold Fact chatted with me about their new album coming out in October, on VINYL as well as other formats.

Finally, about 20 minutes after the last band played, the winner was announced: Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact! They even had one of those oversized checks made out to them. It was a great night!

Listen to Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

Gonna Be Alright

Cuts Like a Winter

For ABC Wednesday

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