By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com
Last night, I had the pleasure of having front row seats to see singer Rhonda Ross perform at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, located just across the Washington, DC line in Bethesda, MD. I also met Ms. Ross after the show. Rhonda Ross is the daughter of singing legend Diana Ross and Motown-Founder, Berry Gordy, Jr. This Ms. Ross proved that she too can be the BOSS and in a very different kind of way.
Rhonda Ross is a singer, songwriter, actress and writer. One of the things I learned about Rhonda is that she is most proud of being a mother and co-parent with her husband of 15 years Rodney Kendrick.
Make no mistake, Rhonda Ross is NOT trying to be her mother. She is carving out her own path and establishing her own musical identity. Rhonda holds her mother in the highest regard–as a mother, but she is not trying to emulate Diana Ross the singer. I’ve seen Diana Ross perform live and there are some similarities. Rhonda Ross has stage presence like her mother. When Rhonda stood center stage in that long flowing dress with her arms outstretched, she reminded me of Diana Ross. That’s where the comparisons end. Rhonda sings in a slightly lower register and has a stronger voice.
I would describe Rhonda Ross’ as a Neo-Soul and jazz song stylist. In my view, Rhonda Ross’ music is purposeful and inspiring, largely due to the fact that she writes a lot of her music. Last night Rhonda spoke with the audience between songs. It was clear to me that she is a spiritual and religious woman with a lot of inner strength. When she sang the song “Nobody’s Business,” she explained that “your joy comes from the inside and that it’s nobody else’s job to make you happy.”
Ross’ live performance moved her and some in the audience to tears when she sang a song that she wrote that pays tribute to her mother. Other songs were motivating and inspiring. There were probably more women in the audience than men. The Masters of Ceremony (MC) was Dr. Jeff Gardere aka “America’s Psychologist.” Dr. Jeff reminded the men that we should take heed and listen to the lyrics too.
If you get a chance to see Rhonda Ross perform, do it! Treat yourself to some nourishing and fulfilling entertainment. To learn more about Rhonda Ross click here to visit her official website.
I would personally like to thank Miriam Machado-Luces of TVA Media Productions, Ltd and Elva Mason of Mason Management for the royal treatment afforded me. Ladies you are the best!
I have one last and deserving shout out that goes to Rick Brown, the Proprietor of the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. Rick you have done a great job. Everything was great from start to finish including the Coat Check personnel, Wait Staff, Ushers, Bartenders and Chefs. Your establishment is one of the best kept secrets in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I will be returning to your supper club soon.
Gary Johnson and Rhonda Ross after the show.
Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” To learn more about Gary click here.