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Breathe and Say Ommmm: Yoga for the Community with J9

21 Oct

“My journey to becoming a yoga instructor has been as non-traditional as you can get, learning yoga at home, at gyms, at free community classes, and honestly I didn’t like it at first, but, I did like the 20 min relaxation at the end (corpse pose)…the nap, the nap is what got me hooked. My intention for all my students is to learn how to let go of our ego, long enough to reconnect with how awesome we are even when it’s hard for us to believe it. Even if you are not sure yoga is for you, everyone deserves a good 20 min nap!”

MIDDLETOWN, RI – Jessica-Patrice D. Coulter has been practicing yoga for over a decade. She discovered the healing and restorative power of yoga while she was recovering from an injury while she was in the United States Air force. As a disabled 30 year old veteran with PTSD, and a single mother of two young sons, one with whom has autism, Jessica knows that the stillness found within the practice of yoga is the truest way for peace, both internally and externally.

Trained in The Amrit Method of yoga, under Yogi Amrit Desai, Jessica uses specific sequencing in combination with meditation throughout every class to ensure that all participants have the invitation to practice relaxing with what is, however it is showing up in that moment. She is trained and is well adept to reach all people, no matter their ability or their experience level. In addition to her 250 hour training with the Amrit Yoga Institute she holds a certificate in pre-natal yoga from Finding Inner Peace Yoga School.

Aside from her official yoga training, she holds a BA in Liberal Arts form Thomas Edison State College, and has worked in the Social Service field both within the military and with the civilian sector. She is also an accomplished spoken word poetry artist in the New England Area, performing as Jessica9Names or J9, and with the female artist collective, Isis Storm. In poetry she uses her words to open minds, tell her story, and usher in a healing, as with her yoga practice.

Jessica has a passion to bring yoga to all people, and teaches several free of charge community classes on Aquidneck Island, where she currently resides.  More information about those classes is below, or follow Jessica at and on

  • Monday, 9:15-10:30, Oxbow Farms Community Room, Middletown RI
  • Tuesday, 9:15-10:30, Empire Tea and Coffee, Newport RI

Tamara Diaz: Isis Storm Ushers in Our Commitment to The Importance of Women in Visual Arts…

10 Jun

What do I think of when I hear the name Tamara Diaz? An avid supporter, Liscensed social worker, sister, and phenomenal artist.  A true Cancer, Tamara Diaz was born in New York City on July 5, 1973. She lived with her Abuela, Mami, Papi and little bro, Rolando, for five years before moving to Barcelona, Spain, where she began her first portfolio and received her first medal after entering an art competition in the 3rd grade.

During these early years, Tamara was moved by the art of Antonio Gaudi, an artist famous for his beautiful and funky architecture in Barcelona. After traveling with her family to England, France, Switzerland, and Andorra, Tamara moved back to the New York City area at the age of ten. She dabbled in the New York City hip-hop and graffiti scene throughout high school; soon after, she had her first art exhibit featuring a series of marker designs. During this time, Tamara also attended a summer session at NYC’s Parson’s School of Design, and later moved to Rhode Island to attend Roger Williams University, where she became involved with campus groups including the Women’s Center, the Minority Mentor Program, Hillel, the Multi-Cultural Affairs Committee, Dean’s Diversity Council, and LGBTQ.

Tamara focused her academic work on a psychology degree, which led into her five-year employment at a shelter for teenaged girls. Frequently working with a tough crowd, Tamara discovered that art was a universal way to connect with the young women who especially liked having their names designed in graffiti style letters. Outside of work and school, she found time for activities including trips to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and a semester exploring the Latino/a and Native American cultures of New Mexico, an experience that sparked her appreciation for pueblo culture, spirituality, and art.

After graduating in 1995, Tamara soon returned to graduate school at Rhode Island College’s School of Social Work. After graduating with her MSW, and several inspirational trips to San Francisco, she began her intensive work with design markers, which resulted in about 400 art pieces and several exhibits. In 2001, Tamara produced her first painting, and the rest is history.

In more recent times, Tamara has gone on backpacking trips through Costa Rica, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Spain, and also lived in Philadelphia for 3 years while working in North Philly’s Latino community. Tamara currently works as a clinical therapist, doing trauma work and using art and other self-expressive therapies to assist in the healing process of children and families. Extremely passionate about her work with children, Tamara feels blessed and honored for such opportunities. Her dream is to travel to her homeland, Cuba, to meet her family and reconnect with her Cuban roots.

We now welcome Tamara to her new home and family with Isis Storm and we are so pleased! Below you will see one of her phenomenal paintings called Magic Mama’s (I found it fitting). Let her paintings help you let go of baggage, explore the depths of your soul, celebrate your duality, and just BE. Please be sure to support our sister who understands the power of visual art to HEAL A COMMUNITY. For more on Tamara go to:

The Breathtaking Authenticity of Michaelle Saintil . . .

20 Mar

“If I were to describe Michaelle ,” says Isis Storm co-Founder Kaly Champlain (aka 5th Elament) “It would probably be breathtakingly authentic . . .and damn sexy.”

The unique lyrics of Michaelle (pronounced Mick-eye-L) Saintil’s poetry are the signature of her style. Michaelle is a free verse poet. Her voice is rich with emotion and as thrilling and seductive as the person delivering the message… Each poem tells a story of the past and desires for the future.  Michaelle has performed many times at her graduate school, Johnson & Wales University. She has often been the opening act for rock artists in Boston and has also performed the works of Amiri Baraka during a performance he attended at The Providence Black Repertory Company in Providence, RI.

She has captivated many audiences during open-mike performances and has participated in “Poetry Slam” events in the Providence and New York area.  She is currently working on a playpoem (A poem that is a play), as well as her collection of works to be published in the near future.

She enjoys performing her words, as it is one of the few opportunities that poets have to share their work with others. Her work is from her soul allowing you to go with her along her journeys of life, love, fuck its and healing. As she baths unabashedly in her own authenticity, she draws from you the will to do the same. Perhaps that is why her signature reads “Live and Let Live.”

Michaelle can be contacted at

My Private Collection

It’s on rewind,

The feeling.

It’s actually scratched and CD keeps playing the same part over and over again.

I’m caught in the rapture of your sound.

Such music to my ears,

Don’t stop playing and I won’t stop listening.

Disposable men exist and you are not one of them.

You are bling and I want you in my possession so bad I ache.

All the time.

I ache.

Softly and with intent.

Blood diamond bleeds my heart into a pool of salvageable liquid that I use to paint a picture of you.

A pretty picture in all red.

Blood diamond that I am not allowed to wear in public.

You are only for my private collection.

The Words and Pauses of Monsurat Ottun

22 Feb

I’ve been writing poetry ever since I can first remember.  It’s the one constant in my life.  In college, I accepted requests to read pieces at different events, even once performing at an open mic show for Def Poetry Jam artists.  However, I took a break from public displays but kept writing vigorously on my own.

My style has changed but the heart is still the same.

When Filmmaker Desi Foxe encouraged me to perform at Lizard Lounge in Boston, it was instructive and inspirational, especially being there with the acclaimed Jeff Robinson Trio playing in the background.

But Isis Storm has really put me out there.

Performing with the other artists, and as a feature, has brought me out of my shell and pushed me to continue to develop my performance skills and share more poetry with those interested in hearing it.  As I contemplate putting together a book of poetry, which I’ve been gently pushed to do for years, I will keep attending more and more events like Isis Storm that will help me develop my artistic self.

The Delectable and Delicious Sounds of Singer Michelle Cruz

22 Feb

Michelle Cruz is a singer/songwriter who blends jazz, folk and rock in her music. Michelle was asked to perform for her music hero, the late Jeff Buckley, at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Fan Gathering and Tribute concert in Cleveland which proved to be a life changing experience.

Named “Sultry” by the Jeff Buckley International Newsletter, Michelle has opened for the likes of folk legend Judy Collins, appeared on WXPN’s World Cafe Live,The Black Women’s Art Festival Philly and venues such as the Stadium Theatre and the legendary Bitter End in NYC.

Michelle is currently recording her debut album, which will include the single “Not Saying Never”.

The refreshing Honesty of Nataly “SistaTellit” Garcia

31 Jan

Nataly Garcia is an up and coming spoken word artist based out of Providence, RI . She has been writing poetry for over two years and has recently been branching out into slam poetry. With her work she hopes to be a voice of strength for young women, to inspire them to use their talents and be unafraid to blossom. Her love for the arts, very much like her afro is too big to fit in a box… or this picture.

When you hear the words of SistaTellit, you will know why Isis Storm affectionately gave her this nickname.  Her honesty and fearlessness allow you to reflect and become an even better YOU after the show is all said and done. It is an honor to have her as a Storm Sister. Nataly Garcia is the official Hostess on Tuesday Night poetry at GotPoetry! Live located at Blue State Coffee

The Unapologetic Audacity of Jessica “9Names” Coulter (aka J9)

31 Jan

Born and raised in Newport and Middletown.  J9 has been writing poetry for “as long as I could remember, even when I was in 7th grade my mother was called for a “suggestive” poem that I had written about sex, even though I knew nothing about sex…a good imagination goes a long way… right to the counselors office!”

When she was 17 she enlisted in the Air Force, and has been stationed in several states, and visited several countries throughout her time in the military. While in the Air Force, and Stationed at Scott Air Force Base in IL, She collaborated with New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church Drama ministry and created and facilitated Words of Worship, a Spoken word Ministry, performing at venues throughout St. Louis. She has also participated in organizing many open -mics while on various military installations. Her  unusual and unique life experiences have enabled me to truly walk in others shoes, sandals, stilettos, boots, etc.

Her  poetry is purely confessional. In her own words “What can I say, therapy is expensive! I laugh hard so I don’t cry, and like many women, I am always caring for others. For better or worse, my words are my essence, which I openly share through my work. I truly hope that through my experiences and I can bring us together as women, after all we go through this human existence together.”
After 12 years,  she is  back in Rhode Island thank goodness for the Storm!), and she am excited and look forward to meeting wonderful artists, who believe in the vision of self empowerment, knowing ones’ true self, and seeking out the divine in everyday places. Currently J9 is running a monthly poetry event called The Return of the Spoken Word in partnership with Isis Storm to help Grow Rhode Islands art scene and promote poetry in Southern Rhode Island.  J9 can be reached at

The Girl With the Golden Voice: Kim Trusty

23 Oct

It’s not often that someone comes along and, with one note, grabs your heart and soul. The time has arrived for singer/songwriter Kim Trusty to become the next woman whose name is synonymous with starpower.

Trusty hails from Media, Pennsylvania as one of eight adopted children. Her foray into songwriting began at a young age and eventually brought her to Berklee College of Music in the early 80s, where she was known as “the girl with the golden voice,” Kim has spent the last three decades refining her remarkable skill as a singer songwriter and crafting her own brand of jazz, R&B and gospel with bluesy, smoky soul. Over the last twenty years as an elementary school music educator and performer, her reputation has moved well beyond the Ocean State as a consummate technician, lyricist and songstress.

There are the inevitable comparisons to women who have set the standard for this genre, from Ella Fitzgerald to Anita Baker and Joan Armadtrading. But to say that Trusty is more than the sum of these parts is a vast understatement. Her talent, presence and warmth combine to invariably bring an audience to its feet time and again and develop community whether in the classroom or on the stage.

Trusty’s depth of talent transcends customary expectations, whether performing with a guitar, piano or a full band. Her voice wraps up the listener in sultry surround sound from the first note and instantly makes it clear that there’s nothing better than full immersion in the Kim Trusty vibe.

In September 2005, Trusty released her debut album, Sweet Novena, which Providence Journal reporter Rick Massimo called ‘long in the making,’ and ‘a stone cold winner.’ Trusty’s second album is set to be released in late fall 2009. For more information about Trusty, or to hear samples of her music, visit

The Multiplicity of Candida Rose: Jazz/Gospel/Cape Verdean/R&B Vocalist/Composer/Arranger

23 Oct

Born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, vocal artist “Candida Rose” captivates her audiences with the golden aura of her radiant presence and stirs them with a uniquely compelling voice that combines the overtones and undertones of jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel with just the right touch of international spice.

Candida Rose’s 10-song debut CD entitled “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”, combines her Cape Verdean musical roots with her American influences to bring a fresh new take on world/jazz music which she calls “KabuJazz”. This CD brings together world (Cape Verdean) and jazz musicians on jazz standards such as “Afro Blue” and “That’s All” and Cape Verdean standards such as “Sodade” and “Amor di Mai”. This CD also shows off some of her songwriting, composing, arranging and production talents and skills on songs such as “Kabu Verdi, Un Dia”, “Karta Pa Nha Pai” and “Too Late to Turn Back Now”. These performances combine the musicianship of noted Cape Verdean talents, Carlos “Kalu” Monteiro and Djim Job, with jazz notables, saxophonist Javon Jackson and bassist/guitarist Santi Debriano, among others. Interationally known poet Everett Hoagland contributes with the spoken word/song, title track “Sum of Me (Un Poku di Tude/A Little of All)”. A recent review in “Global Rhythm Magazine” will attest to the beauty and depth of both the CD’s production and Candida Rose’s vocal abilities.

Whether at a gospel revival, jazz night, Cape Verdean festival, R&B Revue, anniversary/wedding/birthday celebration, or whatever event you can think of, Candida Rose continues to amaze audiences with her diverse vocal performances. But more importantly, she reaches out with her heart and soul and touches everyone in her presence. Wherever you happen to catch her performance, be prepared to catch your breath!!

Nisha: Weaving and bearing Witness for the People

23 Oct

Nisha Purushotham was born in New Delhi and raised in New England. Over the past 20 years she has lived in Oxford, England, Bangalore, India, rural North Carolina, New York, Providence and Boston. Reflecting these experiences, Nisha’s cultural identity and music are shaped by many influences. She is a classically trained pianist, vocalist, and percussionist of North Indian and Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions. As an artist-in-residence she has engaged people of all ages in drumming and singing workshops that build community and cultivate creative expression As a musician, Nisha weaves together these varied experiences to create performances that feature percussive piano playing, melodic world percussion, and text that bear witness to the people, land, and movements she has experienced in India and the Americas.

Nisha composed and performs music for Door of No Return, an original play by award winning performance artist Nehassaiu DeGannes, about American stories of immigration, displacement and resistance. In March 2010, Door of No Return will be featured at the “How Many Slaves Do You Own” conference of Engrenage Noir/Project Levier at the Montreal Arts Interculturels. Nisha also appears on the 2008 release Ravengirl of Rhode Island singer-songwriter Kristi Martel.

Nisha’s debut release Living Water (2008) is available for purchase at the conference and also

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