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Stevie's World

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Hello, I'm Clif and I'm a Harlem-born, California-based singer. Yes, that's me with Freda Payne singing our 2018 #1 hit duet - "No Pain, No Gain" at Herb Albert's Club Vibrato in LA. I've featured her on both of my Grammy-honored solo albums.

Indiana University, Bloomington, March 25, 2023: I took this selfie just a few hours after I received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana School of Music's Singing Hoosiers. It's an incredible experience to be among the league of artists who have been honored by this influential music school. Among those include bassist John Clayton (Diana Krall), drummers Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp) and Peter Erskine (Weather Report), violinists Joshua Bell & Pinchas Zukerman and songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.

For several years now, it has been my dream to record an album honoring the muse and music of the great Stevie Wonder. I would love to have your help in turning my dream project - Stevie's World - into a reality. The inspiration for this project came from the success of the Herbie Hancock album honoring George Gershwin's music entitled Gershwin's World.

It is difficult to find a music lover who has not been touched by the great songs of Stevie Wonder. His music connects from generation to generation and transcends musical genres. No doubt, there have been many tribute albums honoring his musical genius. Two things that make my album project different:
1) We will also honor the music that influenced Stevie, especially during his formative years as "Little Stevie Wonder.
2) We won’t just be doing ‘covers’ of Stevie’s amazing songs; our arrangements will be inspired by re-imaginings scored specially for our ensemble. What makes my album project different is that we will also honor the music that influenced Stevie, especially during his formative years as "Little Stevie Wonder."

My producer and music director for this project will be Laurence Hobgood; contemporary virtuoso pianist, collaborator, composer, arranger, producer, educator, Yamaha Artist, multiple Grammy® nominee and 2010 Grammy® winner and former music director for vocalist Kurt Elling. Recognized for his dazzling piano technique and his signature style of composing and arranging, he has deep experience in the recording studio from initial tracking through all post-production elements.

The funds will help pay for:
• Paying my producer/music director and musicians for rehearsal and recording in the New York & Los Angeles areas (Laurence lives in NYC and thus has access to both musicians and studios there.)
• Rehearsal rental space
• Recording studio time and mastering
• Scoring/orchestration of arrangements, including parts (sheet music)
• Studio rental & production costs
• Music licensing, album artwork & distribution
• Album promotion via digital media, print & radio
• Travel, lodging & parking

I'll be updating this page as this campaign continues. The creation of a record album involves many steps and I've already adjusted my financial need to insure that every step of the way in the process is given maximum support. I thank you for your willingness to be involved in the overall process of making this project a success.

Thank you so much for reading all of this! Whether you're able to donate much or whatever you can afford, every little bit helps. I will certainly appreciate whatever you
donate. A gift of any amount will receive name public recognition and updates on the GoFundMe site, my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter sites along with a personal "Thank You" email from me. If you can't donate, I hope you'll help us spread the word about this grand album project fundraiser.

Love To You All,
Learn more about my music and career here
and my producer Laurence Hobgood here & here


Clif Payne
San Francisco, CA

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