Friday, December 25, 2009

Temporary Houses: a Conversation About Being in the Present

“The only power we have is in the present.” How many times have we heard this, yet we forget so often.
Forgetting to be present in the moment we’re experiencing, not in the past and not in the future, we rob ourselves of the means we have to change our circumstances for the better - to liberate ourselves from painful memories, and to proceed with courage and wo/manifest our truest, most heartfelt desires. As long as we’re not in the moment, we’re not in control of ourselves – and we are the only force that can make a difference in our lives. This is something I’ll remember when I slip into forgetting.
What brings this to mind for me was a recent walk in my new neighborhood. I moved in with a romantic partner who, on the immediate, physical level, is significantly “richer” than I am (although on the astral, quantum leap level, *“M.y O.wn N.atural E.nergy Y.ield” is huge, and I like to think and expect the immediate, physical level will soon reflect that!).
Here is the conversation I was having with myself while on this walk. For what I hope will be entertainment and spiritually assisting purposes, I will pretend two voices are involved, the fearful doubting, disbelieving “voice” (or attitude) and the fearless, faithful, positive one.
One attitude serves the vision of success and abundance. It creates strategies, moves, and circumstances that make one’s dreams come true. It inspires action in the dreamer, and this is crucial, because dreams without action amount to delusion and despair, whereas combining steps, no matter how small or seemingly non-productive, can have tremendous benefit, even if sometimes the only apparent benefit is another moment on the correct path.
“Wow, this is a really beautiful neighborhood. It’s so clean and filled with nature and neighbors who take great care of their homes and lawns. Look at the holiday decorations! Look at all the squirrels! Look at the crows! They’re huge and scary and those sounds they make are awful! I love this place. I feel so good here! This makes me happy!”
“But I feel sad because this place reminds me of my painful childhood. I grew up on a street much like this one. Maybe there are people in these houses who are just as sad as I was many times…. This is depressing. Besides, I can’t afford to live here. I have no money! Plus, we’re not here forever, we’re leaving soon. This is only temporary housing until we move into his “real” house, where the fire was.”
“Sure, there are sad people living everywhere, so there’s bound to be some here. But the world isn’t all depressed and depressing, you know. Not everyone had a difficult childhood. Not every home life is abusive, and not every family is dysfunctional. There’s lots of good in the world – lots of happy times for everyone, including you! And why are you thinking you can’t afford to live here? You live here now, don’t you? You’re here, living here, belonging here, right now! Make the most of this time to visualize different circumstances in which you live in a neighborhood like this and also have significant economic power and presence. And remember, his “real house” is just 3 blocks away, in a very similar and upwardly mobile neighborhood. The house won’t be as pretty as this temporary one, but remember that it’s three times the size, is being repaired, and has the potential to be just as pretty as it was before!”
After talking myself through that temporary funk, I went from feeling happy to sad then happy again.
I remembered that the past is in the past, the future doesn’t exist (it’s all the present – the now), and that all my power was in the now, only. I also chuckled at myself thinking how I’d been living in this neighborhood for months, would continue to for several more weeks, and simultaneously thinking, “I can’t afford to live here!” That’s like being alive and saying over and over again, “I’m dead,” or laughing uproariously during a joke or comedic show and saying, “I’m depressed.” When we focus on the present moment, we are absolutely in a position to make statements that reflect what’s actually happening, not what we fear or feel badly about from the past or so-called future. (And, if what’s happening in our present is sad or scary, we can use our strengths to re-form our thoughts about, and reaction to, those circumstances or emotions.)
I chose to leave my sad feelings and past behind, and to focus on the abundance of the moment. I chose, while walking through the affluent neighborhood, to think of it as mine. I chose to feel as if I belonged. I chose to imagine my bank account reflected my living there. I chose to pretend and speak aloud sentences that matched my dreams, knowing that my consciousness knows no difference between what is so called “real” and what is imagined. Why would I affirm lack, sadness, and poverty and have my consciousness believe and act on it when I could affirm abundance, joy, and affluence when it would believe and act on that just as well?

So, as I type this to you now, I am not doing so as a broke artist in the temporary housing of her beau. I am doing so as a rich woman living in an expensive house and affluent neighborhood – and totally belonging. In fact, I just re-read that last sentence aloud, and did it feel good! In fact, I’ll make an affirmation of it:
“I am a rich woman living in an expensive house and affluent neighborhood in which I belong and feel totally comfortable.”
Well, I gotta tell you I just read that sentence aloud several times and it feels wonderful!
(I also wrote it down and plan to say it regularly.)

What would you dare to want if you knew your consciousness would immediately begin to create it for you?
What thoughts would you think (About money, your career, life, love, your home life, etc.)?
What affirmations would you write (Always beginning with “I am”, “Now I” or something similar)?
And most importantly, what actions would you take (Even the tiniest baby steps count)?

I’d love to hear your comments! Please email them to me at

Recommended: Orin Journeys (guided meditations) by Sanaya Roman, co- author of Creating Money: Keys to Abundance. Self-actualization topics range from money and relationships to breaking addictions/healing self-destructive behavior as well as advanced techniques including channeling and crystal work. Available at (MP3 downloads always $7 and cassettes on sale for just $3 each!”

*MONEY (My Own Natural Energy Yield) – Iyanla Vanzant

Cassendre Xavier has been making various forms of art in Philadelphia since 1991. Sometimes recording or writing under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, she coined the term “renaissance negresse” in 2002, and founded Philadelphia’s Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, of which she serves as director, in 2003. Cassendre is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award “for work in art and change”. She will be a featured artist (performing her original music and writing) at the Erotic Literary Salon on Tuesday, January 19, 2010. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from the renaissance negresse!

Dear One,

Hello! How are you? I mean, really, stop, take a moment, and check in with your breath. How’s your inner chestal reggione feeling? Are the shoulders relaxed? Take a few deep breaths. Maybe stretch like a cool cat. If you’ve been seated for a long time, take this time to stand up for a little while, and reach to the ceiling, filling your lungs and cells with fresh, new oxygen. This is the time to de-stress.
I’m writing to you because although I’ve been so overwhelmed, I’ve been very appreciative of the gifts of grace I’ve been given from time to time. One of the sweetnesses has been holiday wishes.
From electronic greeting cards and forwarded emails to heartfelt Facebook status updates, and even the occasional paper-mailed card (can you imagine?!) it’s just nice sometimes to be remembered.
So I’m taking a moment from my writing schedule, from checking off my “Things to Do List” one by one (very fulfilling!) and stopping to let you know that I know you’re there either running around like crazy, doing a bunch of errands back to back, or putzing about kinda slow and depressed-like, or maybe a little bit of both.
You’re either diggin’, shovelin’, or playin’ in the snow. You’re either home alone or with a partner or with your family. Which ever singular or combined thing, I hope you’re enjoying yourself. Whether glorious solitude or the mixed blessing of friends and family, I wish you a safe, warm, and happy holiday season, however you observe it.

Be well all ways,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
renaissance negresse (musician, author, visual artist, actress)

Founder & Executive Director of Philadelphia’s 7th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (July 29 – Aug 1, 2010) Discounted Early Bird Artist Submissions Ends January 15th! Visit for details.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Volunteer Singers & Musicians Wanted!

Hi, there,

I can't regularly pay musicians, so I thought I'd stop going the regular route and try to find only volunteer musicians- folks who don't need gigs to pay their bills.

I'm a 40 year old plus-sized, black female, award-winning community arts organizer and singer-songwriter with 18 years of performance and recording experience.

I sing, play acoustic guitar, and would like to someday play electric lead while dressed like a cross between Mae West and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

You can hear/see my work here:

What I'm looking for is:

a) Several female vocalists for lots of harmonies similar to Sweet Honey in the Rock
b) A bassist
c) A drummer

My sound is described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade & Enya" (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Books & Music), and my latest album sounds like a cross between Tania Maria and Bobby McFerrin. All my albums and performances are about 70% original songs and 30% newly interpreted/arranged cover songs.
I also record original affirmation songs and need singers to perform those with me.
I am the sole songwriter and arranger of my group. I'm not seeking nor am I open to any collaboration in that area, so if you have a very strong need to co-write or co-compose, please seek someone else and save us both a lot of time and pain in our mutual heartal reggiones, if you will. (As it were.)

Basically what I'm looking for is folks who really love music as a hobby and who like my music and want to pursue a mutual dream of performing this music for as many people as possible.

Singers don't necessarily have to drive and have a car (though it is preferred), but the drummer and bassist definitely do.

If you're interested, please reply to cxmusic(at) (replace the "at" with "@"), or contact me through any of the previously mentioned links.

Hope you're enjoying your holiday season :-)


Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse (musician/author/visual artist/actress)

Founder & Executive Director of Philadelphia's 7th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival
(Thurs July 29th thru Sun Aug 1st, 2010)

Shrimp Savannah: A Recipe

(For seducing a new lover.)


1 medium pot freshly cooked basmati rice
2 cups large (or 3 cups small or medium) shrimp
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen whole okra
6 of the firmest, reddest, medium-sized plumb tomatoes you can find
1 bag fresh organic raw spinach
2 large cloves of freshly crushed garlic
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
(This ingredient is essential. Do not substitute.)
3 T. tamari or soy sauce
2 generous pinches, or ¼ cup of fresh or frozen basil
(a natural aphrodisiac)
3 T. olive oil
1 fresh lemon
4 T. water

Devein, clean, and rinse the shrimp in hot lemon water. Finely chop the basil and mix it with the tamari/soy sauce, garlic, water, and black pepper. Put these into a bowl with the shrimp, mixing with your clean hand (not a spoon). Think sexy thoughts as you handle the shrimp. Marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. Prepare a large, heavy frying pan or wok with the olive oil. Lovingly layer two of your favourite plates with the rice, spinach, and slices from the tomatoes. Slice them so that they most resemble vulva. Serve with a snakebite (half cider/half beer) or a sweet white wine. Recommended music: Sting's Nothing Like the Sun, or anything by Sade.

From the chapbook "secrets & lies: poetry and other words" by Cassendre Xavier (ARtivist Publications)

Copyright © 2005 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow in NY/Erotic Literary Salon 12/15

Greetings, Friends!

Firstly, you know I’m really excited about my participation on Rupert Wates’ recording & live performance project “Joe’s Café”, which is a collection of songs he wrote based on true stories he found in anthologies and news clippings. My song is “Snow in New York”, and after months of rehearsal, Rupert Wates and Friends had our first live concert of “Joe’s Café” in Manhattan on 122 at the esteemed venue the Metropolitan Room. The show was videotaped and here is my part of it – me singing “Snow in New York” You can watch the whole rest of the show by visiting and finding all the “Rupert Wates and Friends” links on that channel.

Secondly, I’ll be working the door at the Erotic Literary Salon tomorrow, Tues 12/15. It’s an absolutely lovely and very special event I’m so pleased to be a part of. I’ll be featuring in January (on the 19th – it’s always the 3rd Tuesday), and really enjoy the atmosphere there. Details:

Hope you’re doing well, and look for my next ME! ME! ME! which will be called “Apology Included” and hopefully both make nice with, and open the eyes of the folks I offended with my last newsletter. If not, well, hey, it won’t be new to me!

Happy holidays,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
renaissance negresse (musician/author/visual artist/actress)

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est 2003) (Early Bird Discounted Submissions Ends January 15th!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

ME! ME! ME! Newsletter "Brilliant Retarded Genius"

ME! ME! ME! The Cassendre Xavier Newsletter
The Brilliant Retarded Genius ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)
[Bio: Cassendre Xavier is a multi-media artist who coined the term “renaissance negresse” in 2002. Known mostly as a recording artist and author, she is the founder and director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003).]
Table of Contents
A) Greeting
1) Soundtrack
2) Upcoming Appearances (including the Rupert Wates / Metropolitan Room – NYC Show on December 2nd)
3) New Writing
4) What My Friends (& Associates) Are Up To
5) I Make Stuff
Z) Farewell Blessing

Contents of Table

A) Greeting
Hello! I’m very happy to be writing to you again. First, let me clarify yet again that I am not living in New York City. I moved to NYC on New Year’s Day of 2008, and returned to Philly on November 15th, 2008. I’ve been back ever since. Also, in addition to my pseudonym Amethyste Rah, which I created to express my spiritual side, I also have another, new name, Amrita Waterfalls, which I am using to express my um, how you say, more “sensual” side, if you will. More on that in future newsletters. You might not be ready yet, heh-heh. Gotta ease ya into it :-)
Anyway, so what can I tell you? My life has been very busy and overwhelming these last few months. It seems there’s never enough time to get even ¼ of the things I need done, and I’m constantly falling short and/or behind. Still, there’s always hope for improvement, as I focus on the temporary nature of all things, crises and time crunches included.
I’ve also been feeling my age lately (40). People in their 20s are “kids” to me, none of the new songs on the radio are by anyone I know, and just the fact that I’m still talking about “the radio” and have no idea what gadgets are used for music listening these days is a sign. When I have time, I’ll start hangin’ out with a bunch of teens and figure out what’s what :-)
My guy and I were taking in a little entertainment the other night and I said, “All these people are so young!” He said, “They’re not young---we’re old!” I was like, “No we’re not!” (He’s 53.) Then he said, “They could be your grandkids!” I was like, “No, they couldn’t!” But he was like, “If you’re 16 and you have a baby, and your child had a kid,” and I had to just stop him right there. I said, “My mom had me when she was 22, I’ve never had kids, and to me, 20-ish or older is when you have kids.” Of course he’s right. Lots of people have kids at 16 or younger, and I am perfectly decrepit enough to be a grandmother at the young and fruitful age of 40. Bastard. But where was I?
I’ve been very aware of my weaknesses, lately, as well as my strengths. Author/finance expert Robert Kiyosaki says we all have genius in us. He calls it a “genie in us”. I think we all have areas where we are absolutely brilliant – where noone can touch us, where we totally shine like no other. Then we have areas where we are total dumb asses. I shine gloriously in all such areas.
I can type fast and sound really good on the phone and can produce an event anywhere anytime not even knowing anyone, I’m tremendously resourceful and can create an office, meal, and living space with superficial scraps. I am a queen of manifesting at lightening speed, and I’m super positive all the time. I’m highly intelligent and present very well as soon as I open my mouth. That’s the brilliant genius side. Then there’s the gloriously unabashed retarded side. That side is bad at math and has a terrible sense of direction and can’t drive and is a bad listener and can’t finish one project before starting another and is depressed for weeks at a time and is highly challenged in many other areas.
I’m really glad I can embrace both my brilliant genius and totally retarded sides. I’m okay with the fact that I can write a book a week (it seems) or record a new album every year, but I can’t seem to do the standard basics that keep people with much less ability seemingly gainfully employed year to year. In recognizing my weaknesses, I can start to address them.

1) Soundtrack
This is some of the music I listened to while writing this ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)
Amber - Sexual (li da di) 1999
Princess - Say I'm Your Number One
Princess - After The Love Has Gone 1985
Joyce Sims - Come Into My Life
Chuck Mangione – Give It All You Got
Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out

I also went to, created a free account, and listened to “radio” by some of my favorite artists: Amos Lee, Sade, Bob Marley, Jon Mayer, etc.

2) Upcoming Appearances (including the Rupert Wates / Metropolitan Room – NYC Show on December 2nd)
Saturday 11/28/2009 9:00PM 21+ No cover.

Acoustic Lounge @ Buckets Bar & Grill
3749 Midvale Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1743
(215) 849-1222
[Hosted by Marc Lancaster and featuring George O’Brian]

Wednesday 12/2/09 9:45PM
With Rupert Wates, performing a song from his forthcoming album "Joe's Café", on which I will be one of the soloists.
"Rupert Wates and friends perform songs from his forthcoming album 'Joe's Cafe'.
Based on true stories, the songs evoke the experience of ordinary American people
from the dust bowl to the present day"

The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St Betw. 5th & 6th Ave. - New York, NY 10010 – (212) 206- 0440
Tickets are $10 + 2 drink minimum. Info/to order:
To read an article featuring Rupert discussing “Joe’s Café”, visit
More about Rupert:

For more of my upcoming appearances, please visit

3) New Writing
Expecting the Universe’s Elevator
Dodson & Ross / With Pleasure Newsletter

(More writing excerpts at

4) What My Friends (& Associates) Are Up To
Wilson Gil & the Willful Sinners (Americana band) are puttin’ their thang down in Berlin, Germany and there-aboots. Check their schedule at
Kiebpoli (kay-po-lee) Calnek, blacK*acrobat, actress, performer, is teaching ROPE classes.
Monica McIntyre (cellist/composer/vocalist/lyricist) is gearing up for a national tour and accepting requests for house concerts.
Martina Plag, puppeteer, is growing Stadium Praxis,
Laureen Griffin, artist, is creating and teaching,
Aziza Kinteh, poet, is performing and hosting a monthly reading series
Roia Rafieyan is a music therapist and singer-songwriter performing shows, making people laughing and keeping a journal at her website
Susana Mayer, PhD is the salonniere and muse of the Erotic Literary Salon
Poets Angel Hogan, Ebony Malaika Collier, and Stephanie Durann are all performing locally and post their events on Facebook. Find them among my friends list at

5) I Make Stuff
I don’t know why I even bother posting this because the last time someone ordered a CD from me online or by mail, I was the age of the people I now call “kids”. Just kiddin’, it hasn’t been that long, but it has been a long ass time. I do “move product”, however, in person, although that’s been less and less with this constipated economy.
I’m not really upset, because I know things come and go, and one season of abundance often becomes a season of scarcity, and then back again – the pendulum swings.
Some of us independent musical artists may be experiencing severe difficulties in generating interest in our work, and the subsequent sales of our products, but there’s a new age dawning – one of information sharing and many, many creative ways of making art and making a living.
I feel that as long as we remain focused on what we started doing this for in the first place, as our intentions become clearer and more true, and as we become more joyful in our work, we free up the energies to support us. Basically if I did what I’m doing, I’ll be doing it right and attracting the right people and elements to make it grow.
I’m glad to know I have a future in art. I feel like a newbie, although I’ve been doing this for 18 years. The playing field has changed. With technology and this Aquarian Age, I’m starting anew. I need to. Things are really bad financially for many, many people, and as much as some of us are focusing on joy and abundance, there is still the so-called reality of scarcity and lack to be dealt with. And as long as this dry spell is here, it’s time to focus on truth and joy as motivation to work. If you’re not going to be making a lot of money anyway, then it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re enjoying yourself and being of the most service. Ironically, that’s when the pieces will fall in place, answers will come, and solutions will be found.
If you’re an artist struggling to make ends meet or to promote your work to a wider audience, hang in there, stay truthful, and most of all, enjoy yourself! Let the work be its own reward and it will pleasantly surprise you.
Oh, and here’s my
Product Order Form
You know, just to read and enjoy the words :-)

Z) Farewell Blessing
May you be surrounded by love all ways.
May you know the strength of your potential.
May you remain present in the present.
May you stay focused in joy.
May you often have good-feeling thoughts.
May your dreams and wishes all come true (or something better), surpassing all your expectations, and may it be for the good of all.

Joyfully and flawfully,
Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
renaissance negresse

Copyright © 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rupert Wates On Building “Joe’s Café”

[I’m thrilled to be one of the musicians involved in this very special project, which will be recorded in February and performed live for the first time next Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009. Below is more information about Rupert and the album.]

Rupert Wates was born in London.
He has been a full time songwriter since 1992 when he signed an exclusive deal with Eaton Music Publishing. He has written songs in all kinds of styles for all kinds of artists. During the Nineties he worked with Jazz singer Liz Fletcher, recording the albums MELLOWMANIA and LIVE IN THE PARK, both released on the Sanctuary label, and BLUE AFTERNOONS on Mainstem.
Moving to Paris in 2001, he developed his skills as a singer and performer and formed his own group. In 2005 he recorded the album SWEET OR BITTER WINE, his first as a solo artist. The album was released on the Mainstem label in autumn 2005.

Since September 2006, Rupert has been based in the USA. His music has found a warm reception in America and in 2007 alone he has been nominated eight times for songwriting awards. Strong melodies, memorable lyrics, nuanced and real emotion - these are the hallmarks of Rupert Wates' music.

'Every cut's a gem, completely absorbing, enthralling, and thus we have a new and unique songwriter-musician already in the first rank...Rupert Wates is an exceedingly rare talent' (Mark Tucker, Folk And Acoustic Music Exchange)

'A writer who makes you think while he entertains...Rupert Wates manages that tricky tightrope with great skill' (Chris Kocher,

'Mines a far richer vein of songwriting than many of his contemporaries' (Jazz Journal)

'A delight to listen to...These are songs crafted with care and imbued with sincerity and conviction' (Rob Quicke, Britsound Radio)
'Truly gripping lyrics with great themes and troubling, witty messages. An inspirational artist' (Leith Radio, 98.8 FM
Rupert writes to the musicians involved in his forthcoming recording and live performance project “Joe’s Café”:
Dear Friends
This message is for everyone who has done me the honor of taking part in my stage-and-studio-spectacular, 'Joe's Cafe'.
We now have a full complement of singers and the sequence of songs will be performed as follows:
PRAYER - (Live version:) JASON EWALD (Studio version:) CRAIG BICKHARDT and VARIOUS

The musicians will be:
Guitar - Rupert Wates
Piano - Bartosz Hadala (live show only)
Percussion - Chris Howard
Bass - Jamie Bishop (live) and Michael Manring (studio)
Violin - Darol Anger (studio only)

The dates are as follows:
Wednesday, December 2 @ 9.45pm: Live show at Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22 St, Manhattan tel 212 206 0440

Friday Feb 5-Sunday Feb 7: Recording at Hard Luck Studios, Commerce St, Red Hook Brooklyn NY

Everyone involved is absolutely first rate and it promises to be a very rewarding experience all round.
I'd like to fill you in about the background to the show. As you all know, it consists of all original songs based on true stories which I've found in anthologies and magazines. Why did I settle on the title of Joe's Cafe? Many reasons. Firstly (for me as for most of us) most of my gigs are in cafes - I've played over a hundred of them this year alone. So to write a show about one of these places, and to imagine the songs which might be performed inside it, was natural to me. Secondly, in thinking about the future of music - which seems quite embattled at times - I feel that small scale events and spaces, like cafes and house concerts, are gaining significance. For me personally, the days of big arenas are long over (if they ever had any validity). From a musical standpoint I prefer the intimacy of smaller venues and find them far more rewarding to play. From the audience's point of view, too, these days when people have less money to spend, music in a more domestic environment - home made music - may be the only live music they can afford to hear. Joe's Cafe is a place where people come, without paying a fortune, to hear music in its most natural form and listen to each other's true stories. Above all the project is, for me, a way to express our solidarity as perfomers and musicians in a pretty tough old world.

There are other, more practical reasons why I developed the project. Whatever venue we play, we all know how difficult it is to get an audience. The fact is that the more performers there are, the bigger the draw we represent - because we can all invite our friends and contacts. This is one more reason why I envisaged an album with a lot of singers! Integral to the plan, and to the success of the project, is that we should all tell as many people as we can about it, in particular the live show at the Metropolitan Room. In this I am truly depending on your help. It’s a privilege for me to put the show together. I'm excited by the prospect of working with you all.

Looking forward very much to working with you.

Very best and many thanks

Rupert W

Dear Friends and Patrons of Joe's Cafe
We're now a week from the Metropolitan show, and the box office tells me there have been quite a few pre-bookings.
If people ask you to describe the material, one cap that fits is to call it melodic art/folk - in the vein of James Taylor, Paul Simon or early Joni Mitchell. If they're curious to hear more of my past writing, you can send them to my websites and But "Joe's Cafe" is more than just a haphazard collection of songs. The idea of the cafe gives the whole thing a kind of unity. Then there's the fact that each song is based on a true story, and they're all going to be sung by twelve different but very special singers.
I'd like to thank everyone once again for all the hard work we've put into this project and I'll look forward very much to seeing you next week.
Very best to all

----------Visit or for more info.--------------

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Turkey & Tofurky Day!

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you a happy, safe and restful holiday this week, however you spend it, and also I wanted to let you know about two music shows I have coming up in the next 2 weeks. I’ll be performing at Buckets in East Falls this Saturday. Very excited because it’s the “Cheers” bar of my musician friend Will Brock. Check it out (it’s free)!
Saturday 11/28/2009 9:00PM 21+
Acoustic Lounge @ Buckets Bar & Grill
3749 Midvale Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1743
(215) 849-1222

And next Wednesday the 2nd, I’ll be with a whole ton of other musicians with British singer-songwriter Rupert Wates at the esteemed venue the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. We’re doing the first ever live performance of his forthcoming album “Joe’s Café”. This is a collection of songs written by Rupert and inspired by true stories about New York City and….well, you’ll have to stay tuned for details! We’re expecting lots of our friends and supporters, and I truly hope you’ll be among that number :) Details below!

Wednesday 12/2/09 9:45PM
With Rupert Wates, performing a song from his forthcoming album “Joe’s Café”, on which I will be one of the soloists.
at the Metropolitan Room on W 22nd St in NYC
Tickets are $10 + 2 drink minimum. Info/to order:
More about Rupert:
Yours musically,

Cassendre Xavier

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beware the Black Woman and Her Suitcase

[Philadelphia Gay News, Black/Out column by Cassendre Xavier. Reprinted with permission.]

Because I’m a struggling artist, doing many office-y things, and because I don’t have my own office (yet), I almost always have with me what I like to call my “office on wheels”. This is the standard, government issue suitcase contrapment consisting of some type of tough, nylon material atop a set of four very strong and sturdy **wheelery-type objects.

I’ve noticed lately that some people kind of bump into the suitcase as it rolls behind me, or almost trip on it.
I was walking around center city a couple of weeks ago, when a guy behind me tripped on my suitcase, fell to his non-death, actually making palm-to-concrete contact with the sidewalk. I was most affected by hearing and seeing his mobile phone hit the ground. I felt horrible. I tried to help him up but he must’ve been hitting the gym because he sprang up faster than you could say “Tae-Bo”. Or “Pilates”, or something (I don’t know what you crazy kids are doing these days).

Anyway, he seemed fine, and I left wondering, “How come that guy didn’t see a big ol’ suitcase less than a foot in front of him? Could it be, oh, I dunno, because I’m black and he’s white?” I noticed that when I walked through a crowd of black people, none ever bump into my suitcase. We see each other, because we’re alike. That’s something I’ve fabulously re-coined the “Birds of a Feather” theory. I believe we all recognize, make space for, and usually respect the space of folks who look like, or have something in common with us. Others would say that black people seem to be well aware of, and make space for white people, but I’m trying to write a little humor column here, so let’s get back on track, shall we?

So, I thought back to my days working at a chain bookstore. There was an information center on the first floor which consisted of a series of counters which appeared to have access on the other side only if you felt entitled to use it. I marveled at the demographics of people (women, older folks, people of color), who chose to stay in front of the counter and those (men, business people, dominatrices) who went behind and typed away on the computers as if they owned the joint.

I realized, I could use this to my advantage. I could create a little game out of it. Something I could do whenever something bad happened to Moi at the hands of one of their brethren: I would go, during lunch hour, to a highly congested area and just walk around, rolling my suitcase in a nice, friendly, and figureskatingly attractive weaving pattern, trust my powers of invisibility as a black woman, and just watch them fall like the adorable over privileged dominoes that they are. Wouldst that make Moi a bad person?

*Yes, I know that’s not really word. I like to make words up, okay? Give a gal a little freedom, will ya? Isn’t it enough that I’m black and you don’t see my suitcase already? Sheesh!

**That’s not a word, either, I know. Wow, you never let up, do you?!

(c) Copyright 2008 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Expecting the Universe’s Elevator (Wisdom Magazine Column)

[The following will appear in November 2009’s Wisdom Magazine online edition. Visit Cassendre’s archived Wisdom articles at]

I performed recently at the National Constitution Center.
It was a benefit for Women Organized Against Rape and a surprise for me (though I don’t think it was a surprise to the organizers) was Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s appearance and subsequent speech.
In one of the emails I received from the organizers just prior to the event, I was given directions to the venue’s exact location in the building. Upon finding the Constitution Center, and entering, I was to “look for stairs” in a certain area. “Stairs?” I thought. In a huge building like the Constitution Center? With my guitar and suitcase full of CDs and credit card swiper, and flyers, that weighs a ton? Stairs? Oh, I don’t think so.
Immediately, I discarded the concept that rudimentary, exercisatory (yes, I made that word up), laborious “stairs” were going to lead me to my destination. I immediately replaced the word in my mind with “elevator”. And sure enough, when the time came to apply this expectation that an elevator would be there for me in all its glory, when I walked into the main lobby of the C. Center, I went into the first store I found and asked a very helpful man who told me where the elevator was --- a mere few feet from the store’s front entrance.
Stairs? Why would I want to take stairs when a building this new and of this size and importance would likely have several passenger elevators and a few freight ones, too?
I got to thinking about how easily I was able to navigate that, simply because I expected and felt entitled to a comfortable, smooth, and easy situation and experience. Wouldn’t I love to do that in every area of my life?
In practicing learning my lessons through joy and not struggle, I’ve been trying to take the gentle route whenever possible.
I’ve also begun to notice others’ behaviors, where proverbial and literal “elevators” are involved.
For instance, when I’m singing in Suburban Station, which thankfully is becoming a rarer and rarer experience, I’ve noticed people lugging heavy suitcases or struggling physically up the stairs, when there’s an elevator right behind the stairs. Sometimes a mother with a stroller and two other children will automatically seek out, find, and use the elevator – most people don’t even look for the elevator – even folks who use canes. It’s heart-wrenching to watch someone begin to struggle up stairs, when there’s an elevator so close by. (I do tell folks where the elevator is, and sometimes, for their own reasons, they refuse it.)
Now, when I remember to, I ask the universe to show me the simplest, most direct way to accomplish a goal.
I’m learning to expect an elevator everywhere I go.
Is there something you’re working on?
Try imagining that there’s a smoother road to accomplishing it, and opt to take that one. Ask the universe (or who/whatever you have these kinds of conversations with) to show you the simplest, most direct, yet effective way to do it. It can even be the best way, just expect it to be a pleasant experience, and it will make the work a little easier, the journey a little more pleasant.
The universe is grand, full of all sorts of tricks and smooth entrances for you to travel. There’s always an easier way – all you have to do is expect it and when necessary, ask.

Cassendre Xavier is a “renaissance negresse” known mainly for her music and writing. Her latest CD Capable of Love and book The Opposite of Fear as well as her Affirmations for Survivors guided meditation recordings, book excerpts/articles, and upcoming appearances are all available through her website. Based in Philadelphia, she is founder & director of that city’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003). Visit

To read this article on Blogspot visit

To read this article on Yahoo Groups visit

To read this article on Live Journal visit

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CX Direct Order Form - renaissance negresse catalogue

(Updated 1/18/10)

Here is where you can learn what products are available by Cassendre Xavier, and how to order them.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multi-media artist and community arts leader based in Philadelphia, PA, USA. She coined the term “renaissance negresse” in 2002 to describe her work as an author, musician, visual artist, and actress, and is the founder and executive director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003). Visit Cassendre at www.cassEndrExavier.

ORIGINAL & POP SONGS BY CASSENDRE XAVIER (in CD and Downloadable MP3 formats) featuring Cassendre on vocals and guitar, and performed in a bluesy, folk, acoustic style. Available to order by mail, phone, or online using your card or check at or call 1 (800) BUY-MY-CD [289-6323]. Cassendre’s official website is

Titles (click on their corresponding links for reviews & product info):

Capable of Love (2009) [Available also as MP3 Download] Featuring sacred chanting, humorous, and haunting songs. A cross between Tania Maria and Bobby McFerrin with guitar. Album highlights: overdub harmony vocals, “The Water is Wide”, “O Shenandoah,” and original songs “Run to You”, “Chapstick Lesbian Song” and “The Damn Dog Song”. More reviews & product info:

Live at Tin Angel (2006) [Available also as MP3 Download] Critically acclaimed live recording at esteemed Philadelphia acoustic listening room, the Tin Angel. Honorably mentioned by Philadelphia City Paper music critic M.J. Fine as the number 9 of top 21 Local EPs of 2007. Album highlights: humor with live audience, between song banter/introductions, and original first-time released sexy-funky song “To Be”. More reviews & product info:

4OUR: a sampler (2004) Four songs representing live, studio, original, and cover song performance. An inexpensive introduction to Cassendre’s music. More reviews & product info:

Beautiful (2004) “Cassendre could not have picked a better name for her CD! She summed it up into one word: Beautiful. She captivates the listener with her angelic voice, smoothed over with powerful lyrics and the affair she holds with her guitar. Tears actually sprung to my eyes after the first listen, I was so moved by the magnificent combination of a stunning voice against awe-inspiring lyrics. You'll play this CD on repeat all day. Don't let this one get away, you need it for your own CD collection.” -Heather Corcoran, Assistant Editor, CoffeeHouseTour. Album highlights: overdub harmony vocals, original songs “Letters from Heaven,” “A Little Bit of Love”, “BOG’s Song” and Sheryl Crow cover “Strong Enough”. More reviews & product info:

Live at the Krafbrau, Kalamazoo (2004) “ …a prime example of the artist's lyrical dexterity. Xavier showcases her ability to use her voice as an instrument. With the intensity of her emotion in the vocal arrangement, Xavier accompanies her voice with the simplicity of her acoustic guitar-playing, creating a polyrhythmic kinship with the instrument.” - Sherella Gibbs, PAW Print (Philadelphia Arts Writers) Album highlights: Humor with live audience, first-time released original songs “Your Eyes” and “Hatred’s Too Easy”. More reviews & product info: More reviews & product info:

The Cassendre Xavier Collection, Vol. 1 (2004) “Sultry, smooth, and soulful... Her voice is sultry, smooth and soulful; her guitar rhythmic and rich.” -Debra D'Alessandro/Producer & Host of Amazon Country, WXPN 88.5 More reviews & product info:

Live at Café Improv (2002) “Cassendre Xavier has combined an unlikely mixture of contemporary and timeless influences to create a smooth yet distinguishable style beyond the usual singer songwriter pattern. It is hard to tell where her jazz, folk and rock influences inform her sensibility, yet informed by all of these she is. It is as consistent as it is memorable, soulful, and real.” - David W. Wannop/Journalist and Promoter. Album highlights: Original song “I’m Happy Now” and an unforgettable cover of B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone”. More reviews & product info:

The Whittenberg Sessions (2002) Debut album, recorded by and named for Emmy Award-winning film score composer Rodney Whittenberg. This album received its first major radio play (Power 99FM, Philadelphia) and features powerful originals “Friend,” “Your Woman”, “Happy to be Alive” and “Life of the Party”, as well as unique interpretations of cover songs including Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield” and Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. More reviews & product info:

Cassendre’s CDs are also sold at Giovanni's Room Bookstore, 345 S. 12th Street (at Pine)
Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 923-2960


Cassendre gave herself the spiritual name of Amethyste Rah in the late 1990s when she began writing about spirituality in national women’s magazines. Always an artist to deal with personal issues in her work and to bring together community to help solve them together, she founded Sisters Healing Together, a peer support group for women survivors of incest with a special focus on compulsive overeating in 1996 which ran until 1999 at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia.
In 2003, she produced and co-starred, with 4 other actresses, in a play called Sex for Survivors, which she also wrote and which was a Philadelphia Fringe Festival 3-day feature.

Throughout, she read a lot about healing from abuse, and coupled with counseling and producing written works about the issue, began recording guided meditations and affirmations very similar to the ones she’d been using on her own healing journey.

[The following are soothing spoken word guided meditations with angelic music background to help you reclaim, heal, and empower your self to live with more joy and ease. Written and spoken by singer-songwriter and former workshop and support group founder Amethyste Rah (aka Cassendre Xavier). While this recording is tailored for self-identified recovering survivors of incest/sexual abuse, and addictions, it is helpful to anyone wanting to improve their self-esteem. Music of Light by Thaddeus © LuminEssence Productions Used with permission.]

The following have been very highly recommended by mental health professionals and their clients, as well as friends and business associates of Cassendre’s who prefer to remain anonymous:

Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love CD (2007)

Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love MP3 Download (2007)

Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality CD (2007)

Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality MP3 Download (2007)

Cassendre’s Guided Meditations are also sold at Giovanni's Room Bookstore, 345 S. 12th Street (at Pine) Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 923-2960

BOOKS AND E-BOOKS BY CASSENDRE XAVIER (To order, email: for product availability and latest order form)

secrets & lies: poetry and other words (2004)
a Curious Bookling™ (chapbook) by Cassendre Xavier. Highlights: Poems “The Day I Was Born”, “telegram to erotic from terror”, “Shrimp Savannah: a Recipe”, “Be Coming Magickal: a Blackwomyn’s Journey (Or: How to Become a Witch When All Your Teachers are White)”, “Hair Like Mine”, and “to the 4’ asian woman who swears she’s so tough”. To order, email: for product availability and latest order form.

Making of a Woman/Artist: a book for every black girl & every black woman who has ever wanted to be an artist (2005)
a Curious Bookling™ (chapbook) with original cover artwork by Cassendre Xavier. Highlights: Essays “Boundaries – the Stronger the Better”, “Unconditional (Self) Love”, “Radical Self-Acceptance”, “Affirmations for the Black Woman Artist”, Exercise: “If I Were a ‘Real’ Artist…”, and Recommended Reading. To order, email: for product availability and latest order form.

Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal. For product description visit Expanding Your Capacity for Joy is also sold at:

Arnold's Way
Raw Vegetarian Cafe, Store & Education Center
319 West Main St. Store # 4 Rear
Lansdale, PA 19446

Essene Natural Market & Cafe
719 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Giovanni's Room Bookstore
345 S. 12th Street (at Pine)
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 923-2960

Erotica: a Liberation [Explicit] Forthcoming in 2010) Writing, photographs, and drawings by Cassendre Xavier writing as Amrita Waterfalls. For product details, visit

For the occasional arts and crafts fair, Cassendre sometimes creates stationery and postcards featuring her original art and inspiring quotes.

To be on her official mailing list and receive regular newsletters and announcements, please visit send a blank email to: and then add to your safelist or contacts. Thanks!

© 2010 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Raw Foods with Cassendre Xavier on Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys 10/24

Hi, folks!

This is going to be my first podcast! It's scheduled for Saturday, 10/24/09 at 11am.

For more information, please visit:

For my complete schedule of appearances, which is regularly updated, please visit

Complete bios:

Cassendre Xavier is a Philadelphia-based award-winning multi-media artist who has been on the forefront of the raw/living foods movement since 2005. (A raw vegan, she primarily consumes uncooked plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.)
Her book Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal (ARtivist Publications/May 2009) has been acclaimed by the proprietors and managers of such respected health establishments as Essene Natural Market & Café (“a fine publication,” – Ed Mitinger, manager) and Arnold’s Way Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center (“very good” – Arnold Kauffman, owner).
Her latest book about food is called The Opposite of Fear: A Food, Mood & Progress Journal (ARtivist Publications/October 2009) and will be released at a live signing at Arnold’s Way in Lansdale PA on October 28th, 2009.
She is co-founder with Judi Rhee Alloway of REAL Raw Life – a raw vegan support group that ran for three months last summer and is now an initiative creating products to support folks in the raw and living foods lifestyle.
In May 2009 she started Cassendre Xavier’s Running & Walking Club, which was modeled after, and endorsed by athlete/health author and activist Gary Null’s Running & Walking Club who said, “I am glad to see you are on your journey.”
Cassendre’s work as an artist focuses on her life journey, hence the raw vegan experience being part of her writing life. She believes the raw vegan lifestyle is perfectly suited for optimal health, wealth, and overall wellbeing, and uses her books to assist herself and others in achieving this lifestyle, which in itself is challenging, and even moreso for people living with further challenges such as food addiction, survivor issues and/or self-sabotage.
She hopes her work makes the raw and living foods lifestyle more attainable for more people, especially people of color and of lower income.
She believes and promotes the idea that anyone and everyone can get healthier by adding more living plants to their diets. Visit her at

“Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on providing people with tools to enrich and advance their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Previous features have included singer Angie Stone, author Kevin Powell, and poet Nikki Giovanni. Callers are encouraged to call (646) 929-0368 to listen or ask questions.The show is live every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.Joy Keys is a native Philadelphian. She is a mother, trainer, speaker, mentor, actress, writer, producer and director. Ms. Keys is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG). She is a Leeway Art and Change grantee. Ms. Keys is currently working on a video documentary about African American single moms. She is passionate about making a difference in her local and global communities.

Hope you're having a brilliant day :-)

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse

Founder & Executive Director of Philadelphia's 7th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Upcoming Events

Please visit for the latest, or better yet, send a blank email to to be on my official email list. Thanks!

Cassendre Xavier coined the term "renaissance negresse" in 2002 to describe her work as a musician, mult-genre writer and community cultural arts organizer. A 1st-generation American-born citizen of Haitian & Chinese heritage, she is a Brooklyn, NY native who has made Philadelphia her home since 1990.
Her 6 independently-released albums are described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade and Enya" (Borders Music Expert, Steven M. Wilson). She also creates spoken word guided meditation and affirmation recordings under the name Amethyste Rah and erotic writing under the name Amrita Waterfalls. The founder and director of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series ( as well as Philadelphia's Annual Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003,, Cassendre is a recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award for her work in art and change. For more information, please visit


10) Capable of Love (2009)
9) Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality (2007)
8) Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love (2007)
7) Live at Tin Angel (2006)
6) Beautiful (2004)
5) The Cassendre Xavier Collection, Vol. 1 (2004)
4) Live at the Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo (2004)
3) 4OUR: A Cassendre Xavier Sampler (2003)
2) Live at Café Improv (2002)
1) The Whittenberg Sessions (2002)

Join the Yahoo Group (by sending a blank email to: to receive Cassendre's various "museletters" under various names including "renaissance negresse" and "ME! ME! ME!" among others.

These museletters usually feature:

· News about Cassendre Xavier’s schedule of house/concerts/Affirmation Sing-Alongs, performances, recordings, publications, and classes/workshops & other appearances
· Raw vegan lifestyle tips
· Personal Growth/Inspiration
· The usual malarkey, shenanigans & tomfoolery!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Yoko Ono & Brad Pitt's Art Class: New Poems & More

Release date: October 2, 2009

Celebrated Philadelphia-based multi-media artist Cassendre Xavier has released her first book of poetry in 5 years. Yoko Ono & Brad Pitt's Art Class: New Poems & More (ARtivist Publications/October 2009) is a collection of creative writing that features the artists' usual themes of pleasure, inspiration, exploration and delight.
In addition to poems like "Body Lotion & Cherry Lip Gloss", the book features her highly unique "Dreamlogue & Interpretaccione", in which the reader shares her lucid dreams with the audience and analyses them for best use and aftereffect.

About the Author:

Cassendre Xavier is known for her many talents as well as her names. Sometimes using the name Amethyste Rah for spiritual essays, Amrita Waterfalls for her writing on sexuality, or renaissance negresse to describe her multi-genre artistic interests, she continues to create work based on her desire to inspire, inform, and entertain.
A Leeway Foundation award-winner for her work in art and change, she is the founder & executive director of Philadelphia's annual Black Women's Arts Festival (Est 2003), has recorded 9 albums of original music described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade & Enya" (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Music Expert). Her "Live at Tin Angel" was honorably mentioned as number 9 of the "Top 21 Local LPs of 2007" (M.J. Fine, Philadelphia City Paper) and she has also received acclaim for her guided meditations of affirmations for survivors of abuse.
Ms. Xavier's multi-genre writing has been published in national anthologies including When Falls the Coliseum: A Journal of American Culture Or Lack Thereof (Free Reign Press) and We'Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn (Mother Tongue Ink, 1999 & 2001 editions), among others.
Her writing has been described as "snappy" and "redeeming" (Karen Gross, Philadelphia City Paper), and she has read her work at varied venues from the Five Spot to the Free Library.

In 2004, Xavier released her first of several chapbooks, "secrets & lies: poetry and other words". The book featured her multi-genre writing - poetry and essays mostly, as well as the script to her 5-member, 3-day Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2003 play, "Sex for Survivors".

Not since then have we seen writing by Xavier, other than her popular "ME! ME! ME! Newsletter".
But it doesn't mean she hasn't been writing.

Moving to New York City in December of 2008, she began writing prolifically about her experiences there and throughout all of 2009. Her "Green Smoothie Raw Blog" and "If I Did It/Working Girl" blogs generated a high volume of interest from her ardent fans, readers, and fellow imperfectly practicing raw vegans/live foodists.
Features such as "Dreamlogue & Interpretaccione", "Elimination Station" and "Duckling/Swan/Piece of Ass Chronicles" all have cemented her in her audience's conscious as a creative artist to watch.
She is a columnist for Wisdom Magazine, a former columnist for the Philadelphia Gay News, and a former editor of Labyrinth: the Philadelphia Women's Newspaper.

Upcoming Appearances:

Oct 24, 2009 - Will be featured on Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys' podcast talking about raw foods.

Oct 28, 2009 - Will be reading and signing copies of her new book The Opposite of Fear: A Food, Mood & Progress Journal, at Arnold's Way in Lansdale, PA.

Jan 20, 2010 - Will be the featured artist at the Erotic Literary Salon in Philadelphia PA. (Will be reading her new writing about sexuality, and singing a song or two.)

Yoko Ono & Brad Pitt's Art Class: New Poems & More by Cassendre Xavier (ARtivist Publications/October 2009). To order your autographed copy, send a postal money order (no checks please) PAYABLE TO: CASSENDRE XAVIER ENTERPRISES, for $9.95 + $2.50 shipping & handling (total $12.45) and mail to: Cassendre Xavier Direct, POB 30204, Philadelphia, PA19103-8204 USA. Free gift & a copy of the renaissance negresse museletter with every purchase! Please include your Name, Mailing Address, Email Address & Phone Number, and allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Want to order online using your credit/debit card? Go to and "Send Money" to: For more books by Cassendre Xavier, visit

Body Lotion & Cherry Lip Gloss (Poem)

after bathing
rub sweet or spicy smelling
all over your body
(and especially your ass cheeks)
and heels
if you don't expect

you will feel more attractive
and you'll attract your next mate

put on sweet tasting
cherry flavoured lip gloss
even if
you just broke up with your lover
and you aren't expecting
to be kissed
you may be surprised
you may surprise someone

do it to feel sexy
and cheerful
and to lick and to taste
your own sweet lips
your smile will cheer
those around you
your love will pour out
and attract your next mate

or not...

but in the meantime
you will be joyful
your skin will be soft and fragrant
for yourself
for you
are enough

you can always choose to be joyful
you can decide that you are enough

--------Excerpt from Yoko Ono & Brad Pitt's Art Class: New Poems & More by Cassendre Xavier (ARtivist Publications/October 2009). To order your autographed copy, send a postal money order (no checks please) PAYABLE TO: CASSENDRE XAVIER ENTERPRISES, for $9.95 + $2.50 shipping & handling (total $12.45) and mail to: Cassendre Xavier Direct, POB 30204, Philadelphia, PA19103-8204 USA. Free gift & a copy of the renaissance negresse museletter with every purchase! Please include your Name, Mailing Address, Email Address & Phone Number, and allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Want to order online using your credit/debit card? Go to and "Send Money" to: For more books by Cassendre Xavier, visit

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

ME! ME! ME! “Love Letters” Ediccione

ME! ME! ME! The Cassendre Xavier Newsletter
the “Love Letters” ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)

Saturday Sept 12th, 2009

In this issue:

New Facebook Groups!
New Newsletters!
Podcast Appearance!
New Book!
Post Office Box!

Dear Beautiful,

So what’s shakin’?
It has been weeks and weeks that I’ve been wanting to write to you, but didn’t because I was too busy or too tired.
Well, I decided today that for a good long while, I may be too busy or tired, so I’d better do it now rather than wait until I have several uninterrupted hours that sound so foreign and blissful to me right about now.
I’m abandoning my usual newsletter format to do what I enjoy most, write you a straight up regular ol’ letter.
I’ve been a letter writer since age 4, when as an underling in my parents’ native Port-au-Prince, Haiti, I wrote a love letter to someone I had a crush on. He was a grown ass man and hence began my lifelong preference for older guys. Sounds creepy, don’t it? But don’t worry, it was purely innocent. I thought he was cute, so I did what any normal budding shameless flirt of a writer would do, I told him so in a letter!
Then, at 8, I had a crush on a boy closer to my age (he was 10, and also Haitian). Years later, we went to junior high school together and we got involved in a scandal based on letters sent back and forth. They were hot, hot, hot, and my mother found, found, found them and my father made copies copies copies of them, had his folks over, and let’s just say that our lust was never consummated!
I have written letters for years and still write them, to different people for different reasons. As the internet has taken over the world, I have still maintained the value and art of writing and mailing real paper letters. Among my current pen pals is a real life friend who is a German professional in her early 60s whose dreams came true last year of being accepted as a Peace Corps volunteer. She now lives and serves joyfully in Tanzania. It takes 3-6 weeks for our letters to reach each other and although I’m very busy, I truly value our correspondence. Believe it or not, she went with another friend of mine to see Steve Vai in concert a couple of years ago!
Anyway, years ago while sending a particularly beautiful letter, I prayed to the Universe, “Please let me write letters and be paid for it.” Since then, I don’t know if that’s happened, or it ever will, but I have continued to wish it and to write letters.
The most recent are new newsletters that express my current life experiences.
In addition to the usual, decades’ old, world-famous ME! ME! ME! Cassendre Xavier Newsletter and the renaissance negresse museletter: art | inspiration | community, there are also a couple more:

Orin DaBen Professionals / In Spirit Newsletter
This is a newsletter I write and send from my “Orin DaBen Professionals” Facebook Group and is for people like me who read the works of Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer PhD (LuminEssence Productions), and who use Orin DaBen materials and/or Thaddeus music in our work. (My guided meditation albums feature the background music of Thaddeus, used with permission of LuminEssence Productions. They are available at

Dodson & Ross / With Pleasure Newsletter
I am a very sexy lady. Some of you know this, yes? ;-) Anyway, I decided recently that my creative and physical energy output ought to have equal amounts of sexual energy output to match. The 2nd chakra is the home base of both creative and sexual energy – it’s the same thing – the thing that paints the picture and the thing that makes the baby is the same thing that makes the orgasm. So I figured, I want to have as much pleasure as I have the urge to create prolifically. So I set about finding suitable playmates and filling my calendar with activities that keep my skin as young and as glowing as makes me look younger than my 40 years.
I also thought of the gospel of Thomas quote, “If you bring forth that which is within you, that which is within you will save you. If you do not bring forth that which is within you, that which is within you will kill you.” Or something like that. I don’t remember it exactly, I’m paraphrasing. Anyway,
another time I’ll tell you the uber cool story of my herstory with Betty Dodson and how I started the first and only Facebook Group based on her and her business partner Carlin Ross’s work.

The group is called: Betty Dodson with Carlin Ross - Sex Educators & Activists

The link is:

If you join it, you will receive my double newsletter “Dodson & Ross / With Pleasure”. The first part will talk about something new and/or what I’m thinking about from their website The second part will be my thoughts and/or experiences of liberating sexuality from a feminist of color perspective.

Here’s a sample of my writing thereintoforewith:

“A certain number of years ago, white male scientists didn't know women could have orgasms. Then they didn't know women could ejaculate. I say let's not let them keep writing our sexual herstories. Let us live, write, and share our own.” – Amrita Waterfalls (aka Cassendre Xavier)

Since it’s on Facebook, I have the pleasure of reading responses, such as the following:

“The female ejaculation is to all women in the XXI century as the orgasm was to in XX century.” -Jorge A. (b. 1954, “working with fine arts & general insanity”, based in Lisbon, Portugal)

“i will [sic] be willing to help with that story.”
- Joe B. (b. 1985, musician in a band, based in Philadelphia, PA)

All are welcome to join this group to receive my double-newsletters. Enjoy!

I’m going to be on a well-known podcast to talk about raw foods!
Details: “Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys”-podcast
Raw Foods

Date: Saturday October 24th, 2009

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST

Go To: to listen from your computer.

Call: 646-929-0368 to listen and questions from your phone.

SPECIAL GUEST: Cassendre Xavier

“Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on providing people with
tools to enrich and advance their lives mentally, physically and emotionally.

You can listen to archives of previous shows by going to Check out the podcasts on HIV/AIDS with AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent, Diabetes with Singer Angie Stone, The State of Young Black Males with author/activist Kevin Powell, Domestic Violence with Women in Transition, Women in Politics with Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Living with Lupus with
Mercedes Scelba-Shorte from America’s Next Top Model and many more.

For more information about “Saturday Mornings with Joy Keys” call: 267-288-7386 or
email: saturdayswithjoykeys(at)

I will be reading from and signing my 2nd raw vegan book “The Opposite of Fear” on 10/28!

Book release and signing with Cassendre Xavier

Wednesday October 28, 2009
Admission: $14.95 (Includes book)

Arnold’s Way
(Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center)
319 West Main Street, Store #4 Rear
Lansdale, PA 19446
(215) 361-0116

Raw vegan author Cassendre Xavier will be signing copies of her new book,
The Opposite of Fear: a Food, Mood & Progress Journal. Cassendre is an award-winning musician, author, and community arts organizer (founder & executive director of Philadelphia’s 7th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival). This book is a tool for handling difficult emotions that surface when moving from unhealthy to healthy eating, and breaking free from compulsive/addictive eating.

Cassendre has been an imperfectly practicing raw vegan since 2005, and is co-founder of the former REAL Raw Life vegan support group.

A prepaid registration fee of $14.95 entitles each guest to either 1 signed copy of Opposite of Fear or Cassendre’s 1st raw vegan book, Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal, which has been called “very good” by Arnold’s Way proprietor Arnold Kauffman and “a fine publication” by Essene Natural Market & Cafe manager Ed Mitinger. Info about Expanding…:
Deadline for prepaid registration is October 20, 2009.

Call 215-361-0116 for information about this event.

For more information about Cassendre, visit, email cxwriting(at) or call the Black Women’s Arts Festival at (215) 951-0330, ext. 2108.

Black Women’s Arts Festival update!
I decided to treat it as my kid. She’s my almost 7year old daughter, which in nonprofit years (double) makes her an adolescent I am saving to send to college. It’s a big job, but she chose me as her mama, so I gotta do right by ‘her!
The 6th annual event happened his past July-Aug and in mid September I’ll be back in the saddle again planning an event as lovely and diverse as you remember it when I was at the helm. Former Creative Director Monica McIntyre outdid herself producing our recent event (9+ venues, 4 days, 50+ artists) and I hope she’s enjoying a wonderful summer and that we’ll be singing songs from her next new album in the shower and other nifty places!
For info about BWAF, please visit or call 215.951.0330, ext 2108.

So my primary guy’s about to pick me up from the office in a few minutes and I want to send this off.

Oh, before I forget…Guess what????

I got my PO Box back!!!! Whoo-hoo!!!!

Can I just tell you how frikkin’ excited I am????

I have had a POB for years and years and years and LOVED it. It’s the very best way to receive mail – very private, secure, fun. And when I moved to NYC last year, like a dodo bird I closed it. I was broke for so long it took me a while to get it back, and then when I did have the money, I had to change my address on my ID and there was all this rigamarole to apply for a box again – or so I thought. When I actually went to do it, it took, literally, one day. And it was super easy. AND my original box was/is still available!!!

So, all you sexy cats can resume sending me the “love letters and dark chocolate” I have been saying I want to receive (only now I’m also adding: “French Perfume” heh-heh ;-) to:

Cassendre Xavier (or my spiritual name Amethyste Rah or my sexy name Amrita Waterfalls, or my title “renaissance negresse”)
POB 30204
Philadelphia, PA 19103-8204

More to say, and I hope to be saying it to you soon, later, my loves.

Enjoy life and be happy,


P.S. Oh, and buy my new album Capable of Love, available at or at Giovanni’s Room Bookstore in Philly 215.923.2960. It’s really good, and I’m not just saying that, other people are saying it too ;-)

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Come see me at IHOP this week!

Hi, folks!
Some of you know this already, but I wanted to inform you that I recently began waiting tables at IHOP to take care of my 6-year-old “BWAF” (Black Women’s Arts Festival whom I’ve decided to start thinking and taking care of as my daughter!
The new center city location is at 1320 Walnut Street (on Walnut & Juniper. Juniper is between 13th & Broad). The restaurant’s hours are 7am-2am. Yep, that’s 7 in the morning until 2 in the morning!
We just opened 2 weeks ago.
NEWS! We’re having a new promotion: Kids Eat Free from 4pm-10pm! (til Sept 13th).
There’s also some NFL promotion I don’t know everything about yet, heh-heh!
There’s also a “For Me” menu that’s got more health conscious options.
I know I’m a raw vegan and that IHOP isn’t exactly that, but if you’re not raw and you would eat here, then…
Why don’t you come up sometime – see me? (By the way, that’s what Mae West really said, not “Come up and see me sometime” You’re getting the real deal here, folks! ;-)
Here’s my schedule for the remainder of this week:
Tues (today) 5pm-Close (we close at 2am and I’m rarely out before 2am).
Wed 5-pm – Close
Thurs -------OFF-------
Fri ----OFF-------
Sat 8am-4pm
Sun 8am-4pm
Mon 5pm- Close

Remember - Ask for Cassendre!

1320 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse and server extraordinaire!

Coming soon:
ME! ME! ME! The Cassendre Xavier Newsletter
Green Smoothie Raw Blog, and
the renaissance negresse museletter: art | inspiration| community

Visit me on Facebook!
Keyword search:
Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse
Amethyste Rah
Amrita Waterfalls

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Opposite of Fear - Book Release & Signing 10/28/09

Wednesday October 28, 2009
Admission: $14.95 (Includes book)

Arnold’s Way
(Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center)
319 West Main Street, Store #4 Rear
Lansdale, PA 19446
(215) 361-0116

Raw vegan author Cassendre Xavier will be signing copies of her new book,
The Opposite of Fear: a Food, Mood & Progress Journal. Cassendre is an award-winning musician, author, and community arts organizer (founder & executive director of Philadelphia’s 7th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival). This book is a tool for handling difficult emotions that surface when moving from unhealthy to healthy eating, and breaking free from compulsive/addictive eating.

Cassendre has been an imperfectly practicing raw vegan since 2005, and is co-founder of the former REAL Raw Life vegan support group.

A prepaid registration fee of $14.95 entitles each guest to either 1 signed copy of Opposite of Fear or Cassendre’s 1st raw vegan book, Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal, which has been called “very good” by Arnold’s Way proprietor Arnold Kauffman and “a fine publication” by Essene Natural Market & Cafe manager Ed Mitinger.
Deadline for prepaid registration is October 20, 2009.

Call 215-361-0116 for information about this event.

For more information about Cassendre, visit, email cxwriting(at) or call the Black Women’s Arts Festival at (215) 951-0330, ext. 2108.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Love Letter to Myself

I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to write love letters to yourself frequently. I started doing this a few years ago and so far have only opened two of them. One was opened last night as I searched through old boxes, bags, and files for the documents I’d need to start my new restaurant server job. A beautiful exotic envelope filled with brochures and tickets of events I’d conceived and produced myself (SISTERSTAGE: Women’s Culture in Performance-2004, and the 3rd Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival-2005), it was a perfectly-timed reminder that my art/work was important, regardless of whatever I had to do to fund it, even if it meant waiting tables from time to time.
I felt I had to share what I wrote, in case it spoke to any creative folks, fellow/sistren artists, and late bloomers out there like myself. We are all ways seeking examples of our possible future selves, encouraging us to move forward in our dreaming, and never forget their validity or our worth.

“22 Feb 07 – The day the Black Women’s Arts Festival organization was accepted into the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator Program

Dear Sweetheart-

My, how you’ve accomplished a lot!
How you’ve pursued your dreams with strength, dedication, vision, and courage!
How you’ve persevered.
I am so very, very proud of you, precious one.
You have taken lemons and made champagne! Wine! Absynthe! Ginger beer!
Take good care of yourself, my love. Many are counting on you, yes it’s true, but what matters most is that you count yourself number one.
Follow your heart. Use your instinct. Never give up or shrink your big, big dreams.
They are great like your endowed womanly features- all of them from your sharp brain to your beautiful toes. Never forget your purpose – to enjoy living and make the most of your gifts – to serve your highest *selves and others.
To be here now and fully.
To love and be joyful.

I remain with you.


Lest you think this kind of letter is easy to write, it isn’t. You may feel funny or even embarrassed at first, but I highly recommend keeping it up til it feels easier and more natural. Reading it back may feel weird at first to, it certainly did for me, and even now reading it back, I’m terribly embarrassed, but it’s for a good cause, and it gets easier each time I read it.
Like using affirmations or increasing your capacity for joy, or like any other exercise, it may be a little uncomfy at first, but keep it up and the rewards can be tremendously yummy.
Write, seal, and mail yourself a love letter very soon if not today.

*I don’t know exactly why I wrote that in plural. I don’t have multiple personality disorder, but I have been growing to embrace more and more pseudonyms embracing various aspects of my life and art/work. I’ve received artistic “permission” recently from sister artist Charlyn Brown who uses many pseudonyms.
**Amethyste Rah is my self-assigned spiritual name. ARah are that name’s initials and also my highest spiritual name.

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Cassendre Xavier is an award-winning multi-media artist and founder/executive director of Philadelphia’s annual Black Women’s Arts Festival. Visit

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Orin DaBen Professionals Newsletter 8/16/09

Greetings, Friends!

It’s been busy as usual, but I wanted to take a moment to reach out to my spiritual community.

I hope this message finds you doing well, reaching for your ever-vibrant and attainable dreams, and enjoying each moment as it comes!

Although my life and schedule have been pretty intense and overwhelming these days, I’ve still felt a connection to myself, to my communities, and to the LuminEssence Productions team by having their products around me.
I’m also very happy to have three clear quartz crystals I received from LuminEssence Productions which have been charged by Orin himself. I carry these crystals with me everwhere and place them on my office keyboard when I’m working and/or writing. They provide two benefits – knowledge that they were sent to me with love and appreciation, and also their physical properties of absorbing and balancing the electronic energies of the computer.

Below are some updates recently posted from our group:

Works incorporating Thaddeus music, or workshops/classes on the books of Sanaya Roman and/or Duane Packer PhD:

Member Jadikavi Anahata wrote:
Removing Doomed and Evil Karma
with samples from Star Journey's and a Buddhist Chant.

I wrote a Christmas Song, In The World Of The Nativity.
I have three versions. This one is called Through The Eyes Of Love.
From the Second Will- The Will To Unify..
"For Through The Eyes Of Love....True Vision Happens."

Oh I must add. I do not consider myseolf a {professional+ in any sense of the word. Everything I have created I give away for free.
For as Jesus said, "Freely You Have Recieved, Freely Give."
My needs have been met most abundantly without any effort from my part other than to Will To Cause.

Founder/Member Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls):
Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love (Guided Meditations by Amethyste Rah, with Music of Light by Thaddeus.
Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality (Guided Meditations by Amethyste Rah, with Music of Light by Thaddeus.
Both were released in 2007, feature tracks from the Thaddeus album “Becoming Your Soul” (used with permission) and are available in CD and MP3 download format at or

Outside of the Orin DaBen Professionals Facebook Group:

Sue McDonald creates guided meditations with music of light by Thaddeus as background. Info:

Maggie Sale Ostara writes:
I'm offering Awakening Your Light Body class in Oakland again this year (Oct 09-March 10). This will be the third time I've taught it and it supports me to go higher every time! Please check it out and pass it along if you are inspired to do so. I would love to connect with others wanting to experience Orin and DaBen's most transformative course!

Roland Verschaeve wrote
at 10:39am on June 18th, 2009
Dit weekend 20 en 21 juni is er in het Lightbodyinstitute in Brugge een super cursus voor gevorderden. "je bewustzijn expanderen".
Graag een seintje.

Works inspired and motivated by LuminEssence Productions:
Member Anneke Rabius wrote:
I have started my own business. I give creative workshops on location in the Netherlands and also in France. After my lightbody..i knew what I want! And I did it. I just follow my heart!

Simen Myrberget (Norway) wrote
at 3:03am on September 27th, 2008
Hello everybody here :-) I work for peace the best way that I can. I have been much inspired by Orin and the book "Living with joy". Please join me for World Peace by joining our peace gardens :-) And thank you all for being!

Community News & Networking
Catherine C Pernot (Merrill Lynch) wrote
at 8:04pm on March 12th, 2009
is there anyone who would interested in forming a Divine Will group ? i am based in London, UK ?

Samuel Berg (Australia) wrote
at 2:30am on January 27th, 2009
Started a group for "Living with Joy," as there wasn't one previously, join if your keen:

Brigitte Züger wrote
at 3:39am on January 11th, 2009
Dear Groupcommunity
I have found the group a few days ago happy to meet so man people who are familiar with Sanaya and duane Paker's, Orin and DaBen's work.
I have started learning the Light Body in 1994. SInce then I have steadily studied the material and became a Light Body Teacher in 1999. I have taught the LB frequently. Again this February there will be a new group entering the LB process. So, to whom it may concern and wants to learn the Light Body, you can contact me. There is more information on my website ( limited though to the German speaking people.
Love and Light

If you have or know of someone who creates sound or video media featuring music of light by Thaddeus, or teach(es) classes & workshops based on the books and teachings of Orin/DaBen/Sanaya Roman/Duane Packer, please reply to this message or email Thanks!

All for now, folks!

Feel free to visit our page anytime [], and of course stop by and sign the guestbook at whenever you get a moment. The folks at LuminEssence love to hear from us, their friends and spiritual family!

Love, light, and blessings to you all!

In light,

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse (musician/writer/actress/visual artist)

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (est 2003)

© 2009 Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. (For Orin DaBen materials, please visit


Orin DaBen Professionals Newsletter 8/16/09

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The #1 Sex Toy

[From the bed of Amrita Waterfalls – the Sexy Side of Cassendre Xavier]

Dear Beautiful,

Hi! I don’t know what I’m doing up at half past midnight - getting the last few minutes of fun-time in before I retire for the evening, I guess, but I wanted to share a Dodson & Ross video with you: The #1 Sex Toy:

Here’s my input:

Yes, it’s absolutely imperative to make sure any oils used with latex products (condoms, gloves, dams, oh my!) are WATER-based. Oils, while dreamy while used skin-to-skin, will break down and render no longer effective all latex products.

Like Liquid Silk, Eros is also a wonderful lube for anal play, in part because of its numbing qualities (not that anal play should ever ever hurt), but I find that it is an incredibly annoying feature to have numbing anywhere else. I think it’s the silicone in these lubes that create the numbing.

If you’re adventurous and really into the natural, aloe vera gel is an excellent lube for all play. I’m not talking about anything you buy in the drug store or even the health store – I’m talking about buying a whole plant or even just a huge leaf (Asian, Caribbean, “ethnic” food stores carry them), paring off the thick skin, and enjoying the firm, slippery flesh and gel within. Sure, it’s not conducive to play requiring copious amounts, but it’s pretty slippery and fun! (You can even get creative with it and see how many different ways you can pleasure yourself or your partner(s) with it.)

Thanks to raw vegan leader and sex pup David Wolfe for this tip: coconut oil. Great as a lube (not for latex!) in part because of its anti-microbial properties. Alas, I wish I could say I learned this from Avocado Cacao in practice, but I only read it in his wonderful book “Eating for Beauty”. Give me some time, though, folks, I’ve only been raw, and semi-raw at that, for 4 years :-)

As with everything else in sex, communication is so important. And, as I’ve always says, you can never, ever have too much lube!

Have fun, play safe, and if you haven’t already, join my new Facebook group Betty Dodson & Carlin Ross, which Carlin loves and personally approved! It’s the only place I’m sending genuine love ‘n lust letters!

Dodson & Ross Group run by CX:

Yours with pleasure,

Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah aka Amrita Waterfalls)
renaissance negresse (musician/writer/actress/visual artist)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Green Smoothie Raw Blog 7/9/09

Dear Raw Vegan friends, practitioners, and fellow seekers:

This is a quickie ediccione, if you will (as it were). Very busy preparing for the 6th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival.

I’m back on the raw wagon, and although I’m undecided as to continue this blog, I do feel the need to write it (in some brief form) today.

Although this morning I ate non-raw, at 2pm I prepared the rest of my meals for the day (all raw vegan) and reported them to my food coach (I’ve been at least 50% raw for the last 3 weeks). I’ve also gone to about 8 support group meetings in the past 8 days to address and manage my compulsive eating, something which I hadn’t done before, and which I believe led me to constantly fall off the raw wagon.

I hope to be reporting good news from now on, whether in my blogs, other writings (books, etc.) or just physically reporting by my radiant health and improved fitness that I’m doing well.

Blessings to you on your raw journey,


Cassendre Xavier is a multi-media artist and founder of the Black Women’s Arts Festival. An imperfectly practicing raw vegan since 2005, she was trained in raw food preparation by Arnold Kauffman and Michelle Schulman at Arnold’s Way Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center (Lansdale PA) in 2007. Cassendre is co-founder of REAL Raw Life: Books & More for Your Raw Journey (formerly the REAL Raw Life support group) and is the author of Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal, which is sold at Arnold’s Way, Essene Natural Market & Café (Philadelphia) and Giovanni’s Room Bookstore (Philadelphia) and in e-book format at

Wanna network?

Facebook links:

REAL Raw Life:
Black Women’s Arts Festival:

Fan pages/Groups:

REAL Raw Life:
Black Women’s Arts Festival:

© 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 29, 2009

renaissance negresse museletter 2009/5

the renaissance negresse museletter
art | inspiration | community
brought to you by Cassendre Xavier Enterprises
(Serious Creature Music, ARtivist Publications)

June 29, 2009

In This Issue:


Haitian-American multi-media artist Cassendre Xavier coined this term in 2002.
A musician, writer, actress, and visual artist, Xavier says the term describes a black woman who is skilled or gifted in 3 or more arts. Xavier is a recipient of a Leeway Transformation Award for her work as a community cultural arts advocate, having founded and directed several Philadelphia arts initiatives including the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (2002-2006) and the Black Women’s Arts Festival (2003- Present). She is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has resided in Philadelphia since 1990. [*“Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. ‘Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to ‘My dear, my darling, my sweet.’” – From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.]

Latest newsletter dated June 17, 2009 or visit Click “News”.

Described as "a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade & Enya" (Steven M. Wilson, Borders Music), Cassendre Xavier has been performing her brand of jazzy-soulful acoustic pop in a folk/rock style since moving to Philadelphia in 1991. Her CD Live at Tin Angel garnered the high praise from Philadelphia City Paper music critic M.J. Fine who said that had live albums been eligible, it would've been number 9 of the "Top 21 Local EPs of 2007" (Jill Scott’s release was number 21!). She has shared the stage with folk/rock artists Cheryl Wheeler, Toshi Reagon, John Flynn, Charlie King, Pat Humphreys, Alix Dobkin & Lucie Blue Tremblay, among others, and been featured on Power 99FM, WXPN, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, among other local media. Also an award-winning community arts organizer, Xavier is the founder and one of the organizers of Philadelphia's 6th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival. Her 8th indie release Capable of Love was released in January to critical acclaim.

8pm / No cover
Regency Cafe
29 North Lansdowne Ave
Lansdowne, PA 19050

All full-length album MP3 downloads are only $5, CDs are $10 - visit Expanding Your Capacity for Joy full-length e-book is only $5 (originally $24.95) – visit Affirmations for Survivors: Self-Love and Affirmations for Survivors: Spirituality complete album downloads are only $5 – visit For a limited time only. (CD versions of the Affirmations Series are only on sale for $10 through CX Direct. Email cxmusic(at) to order.)

Grüße! Ich vertrete eine amerikanische Sängerin, die zu besuchen, führen, und eventuell nach Deutschland im Jahr 2010. Sie ist ein Songwriter / Arranger mit einem bluesigen / jazzy akustischen Folk / Rock-Stil als "eine Kreuzung zwischen Tracy Chapman, Sade und Enya". Sie ist eine erfahrene Rhythmus-Gitarristen (und seit 1991) und angehende Lead-Gitarrist, dessen wichtigsten Einflüsse sind Tania Maria, Sting, Gary Moore, Sade, und Milton Nascimento. Sie ist ein überaus produktiver Künstler, hat mehrere Alben unabhängig (seit 2002) und ist nun der Suche nach einer guten ersten Plattenvertrag, um mit einem Team von engagierten Einzelpersonen.Wir sprechen kein Deutsch, von der Art und Weise (Diese Nachricht wurde mit einer kostenlosen Online-Programm zu übersetzen - dank der Technik!), Aber unsere Künstler ist eine französisch-amerikanischen Sprachraum der Karibik Erbe. (Sie ist auch ein unvollkommener Üben roh vegan, ein preisgekröntes Community Arts Veranstalter, und ein Schriftsteller in ganzheitlichen spirituellen Studien.) Wir sind sehr gespannt, Europa und möchte, um ein oder zwei Musikliebhaber sind fließend in Deutsch und Englisch, wie wir unsere Möglichkeiten und navigieren beginnen. An dieser Stelle wollen wir freundliche professionelle Vernetzung - jemanden, der uns helfen, mit Übersetzungen wenn es nötig ist. Dies ist eine kostenlose Möglichkeit, auch wenn wir zufrieden sind, um Ihre Zeit mit Aufnahmen von unserem Künstler, die wir zur Verfügung haben. Wenn Sie möchten, diesen Dialog fortzusetzen oder weitere Fragen haben, wenden Sie sich bitte an E-Mail an cxmusic(at) Wir werden Ihnen unsere Links und Sound-Samples zu diesem Zeitpunkt.

Coming soon: Free e-book series, Artist Inspiration Interviews, featuring inspiring artists Black Women’s Arts Festival 2005 feature visual artist & poet Tamarah Ynise, British singer-songwriter Rupert Wates and CD Baby founder Derek Sivers.

I Feel Good About My Chin: And Other Thoughts On Being A…
Sometimes a Cigar Doesn’t Want to Be A Cigar
To read these and other excerpts from present and future CX print and e-books, please visit

For the latest news about REAL Raw Life, the raw vegan support group CX co-founded in April 2009, including a response to raw vegan seekers or beginners, please visit Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: a Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal is now on sale for $14.95 (originally $24.95), and sold at Arnold’s Way Raw Vegetarian Café, Store & Education Center in Lansdale, PA. “You did a very good job – it’s very good.” –Arnold Kauffman on Expanding Your Capacity for Joy. The e-book version is only $5 (originally $24.95). Coming soon: more books on the raw vegan lifestyle. More on CX’s raw journey in her Green Smoothie Raw Blog (or year 2007 in

Cassendre Xavier’s Running Club, which started in April 2009, is now called Cassendre Xavier’s Running & Walking Club. It was inspired and is approved by nutrition author, health activist and athlete Gary Null’s Running & Walking Club. Gary says, “I am glad to know you are on your journey.” Poet Mytili Jagannathan is a regularly participating member, which meets twice a week (weekday mornings) in Rittenhouse Square, Center City Philadelphia, between 7am & 9am. All levels of running and walking welcome.

© Copyright 2009 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved.