Guitars Over Guns’ first-ever album features original music by mentors, students and alumni reflecting the ‘zeitgeist’ of 2020 marked by Covid-19 and racial injustice.
The Rain May Be Pouring , produced by Chad Bernstein, features emerging talent and spans genres from spoken word to pop, hip hop and jazz. The diverse musical styles are representative of the brilliant Miami and Chicago artists that work with students in our cities’ most vulnerable neighborhoods.
The album is generously made possible by Savage Content and Mr. Kent Savage, who was inspired to support Guitars Over Guns in crafting this powerful testament to the importance of music and art in a community’s most trying moments.
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PRODUCED BY CHAD BERNSTEIN
ADDITIONAL PRODUCTION BY DANNY HAYOUN, ADD-2, and FEDERICO VINDVER
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER KENT SAVAGE
MIXED & MASTERED BY SEAN P. JONES
RECORDING ENGINEERS DAVE POLER, ADD-2, and KOA HO
MUSIC DIRECTION CHAD BERNSTEIN, DANNY HAYOUN, and ADD-2
ALBUM ARTWORK JOHANN C. MUÑOZ
ART DESIGN AMIN DE JESUS
CRITERIA RECORDING STUDIOS, MIAMI, FL
HAVEN STUDIO, CHICAGO, IL
ALI’I RECORDS, LLC, BROOKLYN, NY
DWAYNE “SAINT ORBIN” BENNETT (guitar)
DAVE CHIVERTON (drums)
VAUGHN “V KEYZ” HENRY (piano, organ & keyboards)
TADARIUS “T RAY MAC” MCCOMBS (bass)
DANNY HAYOUN (guitars & programming)
CHAD BERNSTEIN (horns)
SPECIAL THANKS to SARAH ARVIZO, LEIGH CASHMAN, TREVOR FLETCHER, VIVEK JAYARAM, MELANIE MASTERSON, AARON ONGURO, and JILL SCHMIDT
This Is Nothing New
Guitarist and singer-songwriter Lee-Yahna Lawson is in her second year with Guitars Over Guns, having recently graduated from our after-school program at North Miami Middle School. Now a freshman at North Miami Senior High, Lee-Yahna excels in her chemistry, geometry and printmaking classes. Her mentors and peers describe her as a self-motivated go-getter who is eager to learn and grow, emerging from shyness and nervousness to become one of the premier student performers in Guitars Over Guns’ program. Lee-Yahna’s musical influences include Lauren Daigle, Jamie Grace, Lecrae, and her biggest influence of all – her mother. As a songwriter, Lee-Yahna continues to compose original music, and is committed to her personal growth as an artist and leader. “Lee-Yahna is simply a beautiful human being,” said her mentor, Danny Hayoun. “She is kind and always at the ready to help others. It’s a privilege to be involved in any facet of her amazing growth and evolution.”
“Justine Garcia is a JAZZ singer. Taking imaginative chances with melody, rhythm, and lyrics. Ms. Garcia had me paying close attention.” –Al Kanovsky, Jazz and Blues Florida
“Funny how an old standard can seem like a brand-new song when sung by the right person” –Tim Fath of Miami Children’s Theatre
“Her rich, velvety voice and unique interpretation of jazz classics will leave you with no doubt that this girl is going places.” –Acme Lounge
Justine Garcia is a Miami-based jazz and pop vocalist. In 2015, Justine received a Downbeat Award for Best High School Jazz Vocal Performance, and another in 2018 for Large Jazz Vocal Ensemble, and was recognized by YoungArts as a Jazz Vocal Finalist in 2016. She has also worked with greats such as Becca Stevens, and has sung backgrounds for Darmon Meader and Ben Folds.
As a graduate of the Frost School of Music studying Jazz Vocal Performance, Justine continues to hone her skills as a musician and educator. She is always seeking opportunities to help the music community thrive, and she can be found at various venues throughout Miami singing jazz, pop, soul, and sharing her love of music.
Born in South Florida to Nigerian immigrant parents, Starve Marve is an exemplar of the first-generation American. Teacher by day, musician by night – consistently torn between American and Afro cultures, Starve finds his only balance in the sounds he creates. Greatly encouraged by the individuality of Outkast, Marve traverses cross-genre territory influenced by road trips with his DJ father’s collection of Bob Marley & Fela Kuti, the Boom Bap 90’s he grew up within, and the 8O8’s that have taken over.
F.A.B.L.E. is a music recording artist and producer raised on the South Side of Chicago, but born in Detroit. His narrative-based delivery spins whimsical imagery on top of soulful instrumentals.
Born and raised in South Florida, Tif Boom has been passionate about art and music for more than two decades. At a young age she fell in love with poetry, and began writing, performing and competing locally. At the age of 16, Tif published her first poem, and later went on to perform at Jazz in the Gardens and featured on Maybach Music Group (MMG) projects. She believes poetry and music are tools of empowerment, and uses her voice to deliver messages of equality, love and injustice.
In 2015, Tif joined forces with Papa Keith and 103.5 The Beat, Miami’s urban radio station, where her affection for underserved communities and upcoming artists flourished. She sits on the Papa Keith 4 People Matter (PK4PM) 501(c)(3) board, where she aids in bringing useful resources to forgotten neighborhoods.
Annually, the PK4PM team organizes a free hip hop concert for Liberty City that includes arts, sports and family fun. Tif books unsigned artist, including high school and middle school students, to perform positive music in front of thousands.
Year round, Tif Boom can be found servicing client’s public relations needs, hosting events and offering artist development tools to rising talent.
Miami native MISH is the type of artist and person who wears it on her sleeve both on and off the stage. For her work across diverse fields, Mish has been featured in local and national media including CBS Miami, The CW South Florida, Miami NewTimes, Miami Herald, NBC South Florida, Telemundo, Lifestyle Magazine, and others.
Mish is a self-taught singer/songwriter/instrumentalist whose voice can be heard on over 30 albums. She has recorded, toured and collaborated with a variety of talented musicians including Premio Nuestro and Grammy-nominated artists. MISH is also a longtime member of Miami’s iconic local band ¡Suénalo!, notorious for their high-energy performances and infectious, multicultural grooves. ¡Suénalo! has contributed to the soundtrack of Miami for over 15 years, crowned the Miami New Times’ Best Latin Rock Band (2005), Best Latin Band (2011), Readers’ Choice Best Band (2014) and one of Miami’s Best Latin Rock Bands of all time. MISH is also the creator of She Said, an eighteen-piece multicultural, multi-instrumental women’s ensemble which galvanized the power of many female artists of our city.
Mish spent many years working in the entertainment industry while exploring multiple paths involving music, advocacy and mentorship. She is a wardrobe stylist with 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, ranging from film, television and theatre to catalog, still photography, editorials, ballet, Broadway and opera. Ultimately, she found a passion in working with early to mid-century clothing while maintaining a Key Costumer position at The Florida Grand Opera. In 2018, MISH decided to part ways with the production world to focus on better serving her community.
Celebrating over a decade of community service with Guitars Over Guns, MISH is responsible for making a lasting positive impact on youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in Miami-Dade. Mish began with Guitars Over Guns as a volunteer for two years, prior to the organization acquiring 501(c)(3) status. She has dedicated her time and talent to serving her community, pouring her heart and soul into empowering youth through music and mentorship. Mish’s ability to empathize and intuitively connect with others enables her to forge everlasting bonds with her students. In 2019, she was honored as a Champion for Children by The Children’s Trust, receiving the prestigious Award for Excellence in Direct Service to Children & Families. As the founder and director of Guitars Over Guns’ Alumni Vocal Ensemble, MISH has empowered a rising generation of talented young artists, guiding them to develop their vocal technique and leadership skills. Additionally, she serves as a Community Coordinator for the organization’s Miami region, helping to implement high-impact programming and leadership coaching for a team of more than sixty professional mentors.
C.A.M. (Creative Artistic Mind) is a lyricist who was born and raised in the Englewood neighborhood, and through hip hop, paints a vivid picture of what life is like growing up on the Southside of Chicago. An artist that spreads truth and love by not being afraid to talk about difficult topics like politics, injustice, and relationships, addressing real life situations, and using his music as a catalyst for positive change. Since C.A.M has stepped on the music scene, he has performed at various venues, Back 2 School Rallies, and festivals throughout city of Chicago, very recently “ Strides For Peace ” to promote his message of positivity and love through hip hop. In addition, he has opened for DJ Quik and placed 2nd for a Coast to Coast hip hop contest. Currently, C.A.M is working on his 2nd EP for the world to hear his message, his newest single “The Wood”, has received positive reviews amongst the underground hip hop community in Chicago.
RonDon Keyz is a seasoned South Florida-based producer, musician, and recording artist. His production is affiliated with projects of multiple local artists. He has also performed at several major festivals and has over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry.
Ron‘s musicianship began in early childhood when his father, also a musician, introduced him to piano-playing in the form of classical music. In high-school, Ron studied music production as well as joined the marching, concert, and Jazz bands where he became a proficient drummer. These factors combined birthed his production style of 90’s era of hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, and Funk.
Ron has toured in multiple cities across the US. He has also performed in major festivals such as III Points (2016), Jazz in the Gardens (2017), Okeechobee Fest (2018), and SunFest (2019). In 2019, Ron released his single “Die For This” on all streaming platforms which touches on the harsh truths of police brutality and modern racism. Ron ultimately aims to contribute to the culture by collaborating with other artists and spreading social awareness to both the current and upcoming generations.
Award-winning singer and musician RiOS is a veteran of the Miami music scene. During her 12-year tenure as the lead vocalist of the tropical soul band The Elastic Bond, she has collaborated on dozens of songs, and co-produced three albums, helping to earn the group recognition from Billboard Magazine, NPR, PRI The World, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2018, she shared the honors of a Grammy nomination with Venezuela’s world-renowned Latin alternative band Los Amigos Invisibles when their album El Paradise was nominated in the Best Latin Alternative/Rock album category. RiOS co-wrote and sang on the album’s track “Esperame.”
When she’s not on stage, RiOS is out teaching others what she knows by serving as a private voice and music instructor. It all began as a child in her native Honduras. At family gatherings, her uncle would serenade the relatives by playing guitar and singing nostalgic boleros. RiOS learned to do the same for her young neighbors. When her babysitter wouldn’t let her out to play with other kids, she’d lure them to her front door of her house by singing along on a microphone to her dad’s Spanish and American pop records.
RiOS came South Florida as a teenager in the early 1990s, and in 2004, she obtained a business degree with an emphasis on creative performance at Miami Dade College, where her project was recognized as Music Business of the Year. In addition to her work as a musician and private instructor, she has participated in numerous workshops and volunteer projects aimed at using music to elevate the community’s quality of life. For her work and leadership in music, the City of Miami presented her and her bandmates with a Proclamation Award for elevating Miami’s artistic and cultural life.
Breathe Through The Pain
Corinne Stevie (b. 1987) is a Haitian-American artist who was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Art is a constant driving force in her life. She began drawing at five, which led her to be a visual art magnet student in middle school and a fashion design student at Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) in the city’s Design District.
Studying at DASH, teachers encouraged her curiosity and creativity, and cultivated a technical knowledge of the arts. Class assignments and outside art projects continued to help refine her abilities, and she was supported by a family that helped develop her talent. However, she had doubts about herself at graduation in 2005.
Corinne left Miami to study art at Atlanta College of Art (later Savannah College of Art and Design, or “SCAD”). While in college, Corinne found herself among a whole new world of people who helped change her perspective as an artist and as an individual. Her experiences in Atlanta helped to cultivate a faith in both her artistic abilities and personal purpose.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from SCAD, in 2011 Corinne was selected to showcase one of her paintings at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Georgia. Corinne has had her work showcased in galleries and exhibitions since high school and college. She has also illustrated children’s books, CD artwork and packaging for a band of which she is a member, Miami’s Telekinetic Walrus. Corinne believes in the beauty of self-expression, and is grateful for the gift of creativity.
The Truth Is Trouble
“Never be in a hurry; Do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever even if your whole world seems upset.”
It's Come To This...
Kenzy Lafrance, a musician born and raised in Miami, has set himself on a path to become a one-man band. His youthful spirit and constant drive helps uplift his signature guitar style of percussion, bass, and melody to form a magical, unified sound.
A boundary-pushing storyteller at the intersection of jazz, funk, soul, and theatre, Desiree Jaha is a vocalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and educator from New Jersey. She is the frontwoman of SHENZI, a multi-genre quintet known for their richly narrative songwriting and a bold fusion of jazz, hip hop, soul, and latin influence. Established in 2016, the band has gone on to lead two major East Coast tours, has performed at festivals including GroundUP, Form, and III Points, and debuted their EP, Vol. 1, in 2018. Their second recording project, Vol II, is steady on the way.
Desiree has performed alongside Grammy-winning artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Cyrille Aime, Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens, Goodie Mob, and PJ Morton. Her career has taken her from the Adrienne Arsht Center stage to performing at Art Basel, #OurBasel, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Desiree holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where she was a member of the Downbeat Award–winning Jazz Vocal 1 Ensemble.
A passionate educator for over nine years, Desiree believes music plays a crucial role in strengthening and healing communities. In 2019, Desiree completed a Master’s degree in Arts Presenting & Live Entertainment Management at the Frost School of Music, kicking off her career in the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as Program Manager at Guitars Over Guns, a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) that empowers youth from vulnerable communities through no-cost music instruction and mentorship, where she works on-the-ground to ensure high-quality, high-impact programming. As an arts administrator and community organizer, she has worked with Jazz House Kids, Smoke Signals, and Blck Family to develop collaborative projects and performances that position the arts in meaningful dialogue with community-centered spaces and grassroots voices.
When she’s not singing, organizing, or keeping the world spinning, Desiree can be found fantasizing about interior design or watching The Great British Baking Show.
Inez Barlatier is a 1st generation Ayisyen-American multidisciplinary artist. At the age of 12 years old, as a member of her father’s band, Jan Sebon & Kazak International, Inez developed to become the frontwoman of her band, Kazoots. Inez has been featured on CBS 4 News Miami, National Public Radio, WLRN, WDNA, Complex TV, Island TV, The Miami New Times, The Miami Herald & The Ringling Museum. She received a Knight Arts Champion & L.E.A.P. grant resulting in her debut EP entitled MOUN|MOON & an interactive children’s show written and directed by Inez named “Ayiti, the Pearl of the Antilles”. Inez strives to impact the lives of women and girls using the arts as a tool for self-empowerment. She volunteers at Miami Girls Rock Camp offering free music and songwriting mentorship for women and girls. Inez is a teaching artist with the Miami Theater Center, The Motivational Edge and Guitars Over Guns. Her theatrical portfolio includes a Cuba & Central American Tour of Writing in Sand, a 3-women play written and directed by Carlos Caballero of FundArte and upcoming contemporary works written and directed by award winning playwright, Teo Castellanos. More of Inez’s work can be found at www.InezBarlatier.com.
St. James Valsin was born in the neighborhood of Little Haiti in Miami, Florida. After graduating high school, he traveled the world, first to Barcelona where he managed a company and then to Amsterdam where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Engineering. Upon returning to the States, he worked with Greenpeace in LA to fight against deforestation and offshore drilling. Back home in South Florida, James got involved with both the Occupy Movement and Black Lives Matter, with a focus on ending the school-to-prison pipeline. James has always been both an artist and an activist who believes in utilizing the power of music and love to overcome social hardships and uplift his community. He now works with Guitars Over Guns as a mentor at North Miami Middle and Senior High School where he teaches guitar and spoken word poetry.
Production & Music Direction
Dr. Chad Bernstein is a husband and father of four amazing kids, the co-founder of Guitars Over Guns, and a professional musician who has been instrumental in the evolution of the “Latin Funk” sound of Miami. Through the universal language of music, Chad galvanized the artist community to use music as a bridge to reach and empower Miami and Chicago’s most vulnerable youth.
Chad received a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami in 2012, turning the focus of his academic studies to Guitars Over Guns in his dissertation, “The Effectiveness of Music Mentoring for At-Risk Youth Through the GOGO Program,” published in 2012. This paved the way for Guitars Over Guns’ research-based methodology and set the stage for Chad and his father, Bob, a Chicago investment professional, to collaborate on the organization’s creation in 2008. Chad took on Guitars Over Guns as a full-time career upon graduating (while continuing a rigorous performance schedule) and was named CEO in 2012. Today, Guitars Over Guns has a $2,000,000 budget with 80 musicians serving more than 1,000 students a year at 30+ sites between Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
In April of 2015, Chad was honored as a CNN Hero for his work and has since been featured on the Steve Harvey Show and in People Magazine. In 2019, Chad received the Ruth Shack Leadership Award, an honor held in Miami’s highest regard; and in 2020 was named an inaugural recipient of the Elevate Prize, selected from among 1,300 applicants worldwide by a prestigious judging panel that included Chef José Andres, María Elena Salinas, and Yo-Yo Ma.
Chad remains one of South Florida’s premier Latin, jazz, and funk artists. While trombone remains his primary instrument, he also plays conch shells, sousaphone, and keyboards with multiple bands. He performs most prominently with the Latin Grammy-nominated Spam Allstars, with whom he has toured throughout Europe and the U.S., and the highly popular Miami-based Latin-funk band, ¡Suénalo!, the inspiration for Guitars Over Guns. He has also worked with Pitbull, Shakira, will.i.am, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Chaka Kahn, John Legend, Phil Ramone, and many more.
Chad is currently serving his second term as a Governor on the board of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs), where he co-chairs their Education Committee. In addition to his work with The Spam Allstars and ¡Suénalo!, two groups that have pioneered Miami’s signature Latin-Funk sound, Chad also works with James Brown’s long-time musical director, Pee Wee Ellis, and Latin pop star Jencarlos Canela.
Chad released his first full-length CD, Suite for 2nd Lieutenant, in 2012, an original body of work he wrote in dedication to his brother, Max Bernstein, upon his first deployment to Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine Corps combat platoon leader. He released that CD after his brother completed his very distinguished service as a Captain and Company Commander in 2014.
Additional Production & Music Direction
Danny Hayoun is one of the most versatile guitarists in South Florida. From his musical leanings to his love of all things artistic and creative, variety and diversity are his two most prominent criteria. Growing up in Israel and eventually moving to Miami, Danny took up the guitar at age 14. He then began his foray into a multitude of other styles while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Danny has worked with such diverse artists as Lionel Richie, UB40, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Exodus, Malevolent Creation, The Allman Brothers and many more. He teaches privately and performs extensively. Danny also plays the bass and produces in his home studio. Apart from his musical abilities, Danny is also a visual artist. A versatile and multi-talented individual, he prides himself on being original and fun, traits that can definitely be found in his work.
Additional Production & Music Direction
Since the release of his mixtape Tale of Two’s City Vol.2 in 2008, Add-2 has been captivating listeners’ and tastemakers’ ears and imaginations with his unique blend of hip hop, jazz and soul. Through his acrobatic wordplay, his detailed storytelling and his no holds barred social commentary, Add-2 has emerged as a respected voice of clarity in a chaotic world.
After years of perfecting his craft, Add-2 has earned a list of accomplishments many emcees dream of. Having appeared on MTV 2, MTV U, FUSE, HOT97, and Shade 45, he is currently sponsored by major clothing company LRG, has performed alongside legendary hip hop band The Roots and is one of Common’s favorite new emcees. Common had this to say:
“Add-2 […] is somebody who seems like he really cares about the culture and cares about uplifting people, and that’s inspirational to see; I get inspired by people that do that. No matter what age you are or where you’re from, when you’re really trying to do something good, I see that and I’m like, ‘man…’ It’s a good reminder of what I should be doing.”
Add-2 grew up on Chicago’s notorious South Side surrounded by an environment that exposed him to many harsh realities at an early age, from gang violence to drug use and poverty. Born the second of three kids, Add-2 found refuge in his writing, determined not to suffer the mistakes of his friends and peers. Through song, Add-2 began telling his story – a story that he felt wasn’t told often but was desperately needed. A story about survival.
After releasing several critically acclaimed projects such as Save.Our.Souls, More Missed Calls and Between Heaven And Hell, Add-2 gained the attention of Grammy Award-winning hip hop producer 9th Wonder. In October 2013, Add-2 officially signed to 9th Wonder’s music label, JAMLA Records.
Mixing & Mastering
Sean P. Jones is a Los Angeles-based Mixing Engineer & Producer working for many of the industries top musicians & artists. He has mixed for Julia Michaels, St. Vincent, Miguel, Wyclef Jean, Nick Merico, Taio Cruz, Gary Clark Jr., Alx Veliz, Bridget Mindler, Eagles of Death Metal, Johnny Orlando, Zella Day and many more…
“Sean has a friendly and collaborative demeanor, an excellent musical ear, and an always up-to-date technological expertise. He exceptionally understands and shares the pursued vision. All of these elements combine in consistently amazing mixes.” —Dan Kanter (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes)