MUSICIANS IN SUPPORT OF SMOKEFREE AIR
“It’s a strain to perform in venues that allow smoking. I only played in one venue that allowed smoking and that was enough for me to know I didn’t want to play in a smoking venue again. Smokefree venues are the way and being a vocalist, I must perserve my voice and inhaling smoke is not the ideal way to do that. I’m 100% for Smokefree Venues and the Smokefree Movement.”
Jontavious Willis is an American country blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a GRAMMY nominee, and is nominated for 3 Blues Foundation awards
“After a gig in a venue full of 2nd hand smoke my throat is irritated, sinuses are inflamed, and eyes are burning…. That can’t be good for my voice.”
Sean Ardoin is a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and Creole-Zydeco musician extraordinaire. The legacy started with legendary Creole musician Amedee’ Ardoin, the first Louisiana Cajun or Creole accordionist to record; followed by Bois Sec Ardoin, one of the best-known practitioners of the state’s rural Creole sound for six decades, to Sean’s father, Lawrence “Black” Ardoin and the Ardoin Brothers, then to Sean. He co-lead the critically-acclaimed Zydeco outfit Double Clutchin’ for 10 years, then started Sean Ardoin + Zydekool’s. Sean has performed at Carnegie Hall, worldwide festivals, performed live on BET’s Comic View, been featured in commercials, had his music in movies and on TV. Sean founded the Creole Hall of Fame in order to recognize the Creole contribution to the world. Sean also served on the Governing board of the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy.
@seanardoin – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Velo, snapchat, and LinkedIn
“I am passionate about creating a space where musicians and audience members can both feel comfortable. In smoke free music venues, we allow the best of both worlds. If someone would like to partake in smoking they can go outside to a provided space, then join listeners inside for the main event, the music!”
Kendra Muecke from Kendra & the Bunnies is a singer/songwriter, writer, actress, and published author. She has released two albums, published two books, writes for several online music magazines, is part of SAG-Aftra, and tours nationally. Her mission is founded on peaceful collaborative experience and shared understanding.
“Having been a heavy smoker in the past I realize the irrefutable damage it can do not only to oneself, but to nonsmokers as well. Our musicians and fans need to be protected from secondhand smoke. This is a health equity issue – everyone needs to breathe! I find it alarming that more music cities aren’t already smokefree. What’s going on Atlanta, Nashville, Las Vegas? It’s time for all cities to go smokefree!”
AL BELL, Former Chairman & Owner, Stax Records. Former President, Motown Records Group. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Al Bell Presents, LLC. Al Bell Presents is a high quality global business focused on “working with others” in pursuit of “global economic development and empowerment opportunities” utilizing the powerful spirit immersed in music and entertainment.
“I am the official music ambassador of Macon, Georgia. We have big things going on in Atlanta. We want to have smoke free environments for our entertainment, the health of our citizens, the health of the children. and the health of the people who participate in all these amazing things we are doing.”
Joey Stuckey is an award-winning blind guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer, producer, radio and television personality, music columnist, educator and sound engineer. He is also the official music ambassador for his home town of Macon, Georgia.
“When delivering a musical performance I feel it is paramount for the audience to have the best experience possible! That includes a smokefree environment that isn’t toxic to their health, or mine. I proudly lend my voice to support smoke-free performance spaces and work environments.”
Eric Adcock is a 3-time GRAMMY Nominee, Pianist, Songwriter, and Producer from Abbeville, Louisiana.
“As a singer, my voice is my instrument and the air quality around me is so important, but no matter what type of artist you are, I believe that everyone should be able to choose the air they breathe.”
As seen in AXS, PopDust and AllAccess, NYC pop artist and dancer Kendra Black has collaborated with award winning artists and producers including the renowned Snoop Dogg. She just dropped a new EDM/Pop infused album ‘The Fire’ in Feb 2019; some of her latest releases include her track ‘Dangerless’, available on all music platforms, as well as her album ‘The Edge’ produced by L.A. production team Trend Def Studios, featuring Snoop on her single ‘Rude’. The single is already finding spins on Power 105, Hot 97 and 103.9 FM and its official music video has over 60,000 views and is available on VEVO, Youtube, Apple Music, and Amazon.
IG and FB: @kendrablackmusic
Louis Anthony deLise, D.M.A.
“When I was a young drummer performing in Philadelphia, I was a nonsmoker, and yet, I remember how my clothes stank from cigarette smoke and how that putrid odor lingered in my hair and on my instruments. Forty years later, I’m surprised to learn Pennsylvania still allows smoking in clubs, bars, and casinos. Musicians who work at these places are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. This really needs to stop! Musicians and others employed in the hospitality industry deserve safer working conditions. That’s why I wholeheartedly support the efforts of Smokefree Music Cities.”
The career of composer Louis Anthony deLise has included assignments working as an orchestral and studio musician (in orchestras that accompanied Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Lou Rawls, Tom Jones, Bob Hope, Luciano Pavarotti, and many others), while simultaneously producing, arranging and conducting orchestras on recordings released on the CBS, EMI, Mercury, Centaur, Vanguard, and Def-Soul record labels.
Louis was arranger and conductor on Grammy-winner Patti LaBelle’s number one hit album, The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle. Along the way, deLise has maintained an active career as a composer of concert music, most of which is published in print by Metropolis Music Publishers (Antwerp, Belgium) and ALRY Publications (Seattle, Washington).In 2019, his Salone del Astor, a concerto written for flutist, Joan Sparks, was named, “Best Newly Published Mix Duet” by the National Flute Association.
His most recent record release is Natural Light, an album of ambient instrumental compositions played by the composer and his ensemble. Natural Light was recently in the top 10 on the ZMR Top 100 “New Age Radio Play” chart.
Dr. deLise was formerly Adjunct Professor of Theory and Composition at the Boyer College of Music and Dance and at Rowan University. He is the author of The Professional Songwriter, a new textbook on songwriting, and president of Bocage Music Publishing, LLC.
For more information: info@BocageMusic.com or call 856.616.2867
Lenny San Jose
“As a vocalist, and a melodica and sax player, my lungs are a big part of my livelihood as a musician. I’ve been lucky enough to live and perform in smoke free cities during my career and I hope that soon, every musician can breathe easy while performing their hearts out on stage.”
Lenny San Jose, aka Ukulenny, is an ukulele performer and educator based in Oakland, CA. An endorsed Kala Artist, he performs and teaches workshops across the country, preaching the ukulele gospel wherever he goes.
@ukulenny on IG, Facebook, and YouTube
“Choose a smoke free life. Choose a smoke free life for those around you. Don’t smoke! Let us all breathe free!”
David is a non-smoking, award winning, multi-Grammy® nominated visionary known for his diversity and distinctive tracks that inspire the imagination. David’s impressive recording career includes more than 60 albums, 20 Billboard hits, film & TV soundtracks and game scores.
“Everyone deserves to work in a smokefree environment. By now everyone knows the health dangers of secondhand and thirdhand smoke. The times I have sung in smoke filled venues greatly affected my singing and ability to perform. Not only does the smoke in the clubs affect the performers, but the audience, crew, waitstaff, and bartenders as well. Everyone is affected and there are long term consequences. I applaud Smokefree Music Cities for being the champion of this cause. There have been great steps taken to eliminate smoking in music venues, but there is still a long way to go.”
Linda Sypien is a singer, actor, and voice-over artist who has performed extensively throughout the US and Japan. Linda has performed with many Grammy winning artists including Chaka Khan and Carol Burnett.
“All smoking does in venues is harm others. There is no positive benefit whatsoever. If we can take a small step to stop this, then we can make the world a much better place.”
Sierra Heuermann is a singer-songwriter, Recording Academy member, SAG actress, and stunt woman. Sierra is the lead vocalist for the award-winning band Sierra and the Radicals. She was also a vocalist on Muse’s “Drones” tour. The goal of her music is to show the importance of processing emotions, and how one can heal by great lengths when doing so.
Sierra’s acting career includes starring in the #1 box office film “Ouija” (2014). She continues to act and perform stunts in many Film and TV productions.
Instagram: Sierra And The Radicals (@sierraandtheradicals) • Instagram photos and videos
Spotify: Sierra and the Radicals
Soundcloud: Sierra And The Radicals
Google Play: Sierra and the Radicals – Music on Google Play
“It’s counterintuitive in this day and age for venues to still allow smoking. Everyone is aware of the harmful side effects smoking causes, both for smokers and those within second-hand distance. It’s a simple solution and ultimately helps to save lives.”
Songwriter, Recording Artist, Producer
A prolific and untethered songwriter, Kathryn Cloward’s relatable lyrics and soulful melodies with engaging musical arrangements reveal the passionate woman she is and the journey of transformation she’s been on. She is also known as “Kathryn the Grape.”
“My hometown Houston, TX is a smokefree venue town. I have been around long enough to remember when that wasn’t the case. I tour all over the USA and some in Western Europe now, and occasionally I’ve played a smoking venue. The memories come flooding back of the not-so-good old days. It takes me up to a week to recover my voice. Because I cannot afford to damage my voice, I never return to those venues. I strongly support the work of Smoke Free Music Cities to create a healthy inside environment at venues for musicians, patrons, and staff.”
ALIE VINCENT HARRINGTON
“I strongly support SmokeFree Music Cities in all of their efforts to ensure everyone involved in the entertainment industry has clean air to breathe and work in. It’s not only a personal choice but a human right to have our health and well being protected. I hope my hometown Nashville TN and all cities across the world join this movement.”
Producer, Singer/Songwriter, Composer, Musician
“I’ve been exposed to secondhand smoke. This is why I join with my fellow entertainter advocates ‘standing up and speaking out’ for smokefree venues for our places of work! We should not have to jeapordize our careers and lives for a paycheck! This is my job! And I can’t do my job if I can’t breathe!”
Jazz Saxophonist, Recording Artist
DEACON JOHN MOORE
“Keep live music alive in a smoke free environment!”
Deacon John is a New Orleans treasure. He has entertained three generations of New Orleans and Louisiana fans as a musician, singer, actor, and bandleader of The Ivories. His enthusiasm of singing the classics and original music ranges from R&B, Blues, Rock and Roll, Jazz and Gospel leaves audiences blown away. He has played with music legends (such as himself) Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, and Ernie K-Doe. His accolades include the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame inductee, the 2017 Big Easy and the 2016 Mercy Endeavors Award for his lifetime achievements. His own words “I am an Entertainer” and a “Chameleon when it comes to playing music” demonstrate his view on his career. Moore serves his musical community as the President of the Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA.) American Federation of Musicians Union.
Just 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart damage similar to that of habitual smokers; nonsmokers’ heart arteries show a reduced ability to dilate, diminishing the ability of the heart to get life-sustaining blood. Damage to the endothelial cells of arteries persists for at least 24 hours and interferes with the body’s efforts to repair itself. In addition, the same half hour of secondhand smoke exposure activates blood platelets, which can initiate the process of atherosclerosis (blockage of the heart’s arteries) that leads to heart attacks. These effects explain other research showing that nonsmokers regularly exposed to SHS suffer death or morbidity rates 30 percent higher than those of unexposed nonsmokers.1,2,3
“Starting out in the music business at 16 years old I was performing as many as seven nights a week seven sets a night in smoky bars. I learned very quickly that my decision not to smoke was a very smart one. However, suffering the consequences of working in a smoke-filled environment was not something that I relished. Having had glaucoma all my life the effects of secondhand smoke on my eyes, not to mention my vocal cords and lungs has been difficult at times to say the least. I will continue to use my voice to speak out against venues that continue to allow smoking.”
Ellis Hall also known as “The Ambassador of Soul” is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer who has been featured on multiple Grammy nominated projects. Having been blind since the age of 18 he has performed internationally as a lead singer/keyboardist for the soul-funk band Tower of Power, The California Raisins and is known for his multi-platinum hit “What Does It Take” on the Kenny G Duo Tones Album. Hall has also shared the stage with some of the most noted performers of our time to include, the Legendary Ray Charles of whom he is the declared Protégé. Hall also has two successful concept Symphony shows Ellis Hall Presents: Ray Motown and Beyond and Ellis Hall: Soul Unlimited where he is supported by major symphony orchestras such as The Boston Pops, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra to name a few.
“I really feel I can do my best work when the air is clean making it easier to sing and for long pure notes to ring out without being stifled and cut short by a smokey atmosphere. Thank you to Billboard Live Tokyo for this photo and for not allowing smoking at their venue.”
Julia Fordham continues to enchant audiences around the world with her extraordinary vocal range and heartfelt songs. “A luscious contralto that she wields with an almost operatic command, it is one of the most strikingly beautiful voices to be heard in pop.” – New York Times. From 1988’s Happy Ever After – her first release and international hit and throughout all of her 15 albums, Julia’s unique voice and exquisitely crafted compositions strike an everlasting chord.
“I am so in favor of smoke-free venues. When I play in a smoking venue, afterwards I feel like crap, my voice and throat feels like it is raw. I may as well have been smoking the same cigarette as the man in the front row. I believe that I should not have to jeopardize my health and possibly my life to do what I live and love to do! Make music, and be able to earn a living doing it.”
Mike Bourne and The Atlanta Boogie Band
WINNERS! 2010 IBC CHALLENGE AS ATLANTA’S BEST BLUES BAND
SEMI FINALIST AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL BLUES COMPETITION IN MEMPHIS!
Mike Bourne has knocked out audiences and critics in famous venues from the House of Blues and Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago to Sweden’s famous Jazz Club “Stampen”.
“Playing music in a smoke free environment has added years onto my music by way of keeping the air clear which keeps my lungs clear.”
Klein knows his way around, under and over a trombone. As a member of the hit band Bonerama, he has performed on the national stage such as the Bear Creek Festival in Hampton Georgia, the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy CA., and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. Some of the more memorable highlights of his career was being able to demonstrate his talent on the trombone on the CBS Late Show with David Letterman, HBO Comic Relief, Treme and a CNN short spotlight. Audience members everywhere can be heard saying “I never knew a trombone could do that”. Klein learned and is still learning his craft by also playing with the legendary Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Nighcrawlers Brass Band. You can even catch him blowing that incredible trombone, or even his sousaphone at the famous Preservation Hall.
“Smoking just seems so out of style these days. I mean, how uncool it is to consciously know what level of poison these things are on, yet continue to blow smoke everywhere. I mean, you’re taking away my right to oxygen… and that is just the uncoolest.”
Branjae established herself as a full-bodied-triple-entertainer; singing, dancing, and acting her way into the hearts of concert audiences from Tulsa to Austin’s SXSW, from Atlanta to Chicago, and across the sea to England. She’s opened/shared the stage with Thundercat, Fishbone, Ohio Players, RC and the Grits (Erykah Badu’s current band), Andy Frasco and the late Waymen Tisdale.
SHS is a major source of pollution – and is a risk factor for pulmonary disease, asthma, and lung cancer. Three cigarettes smoldering in a room emit up to 10-fold more particulate matter (PM) pollution than an ecodiesel engine. High levels of PM exposure from SHS may account for frequent episodes of short term respiratory damage in nonsmokers.4
“No one should have to tolerate a smoking environment for any reason. This includes the performers up there working, the audience and fans wanting to hear them and any crew providing the technical, audio and lighting support to make the show happen. Here’s to a smoke free musical experience for all!”
Producer/engineer LENISE BENT is one of the first women audio engineers, a post production audio professional, and a long-standing voting member of NARAS and the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy as well as many other important audio organizations, including the Audio Engineering Society and SoundGirls.
Bartenders working in smoke-filled bars are more likely than other workers to report having red or irritated eyes, coughing in the morning, coughing during the rest of the day, runny noses or sneezing, and a sore or scratchy throat.5
“As a frequent touring musician, singing in a smokefree venue is an absolute must. Smoke, of course, affects my lungs and breathing, and irritates my voice. We pay the price… but so does the audience, as they don’t get our very best performance.”
After New York State’s smokefree law went into effect, the number of hospitality workers who reportedly experienced irritation of the eye, nose, and throat declined by 62%, 34%, and 45%, respectively. Before the state law went into effect, 59% of hospitality workers reported respiratory symptoms, such as morning cough, shortness of breath, or bringing up phlegm. After the smokefree law took effect, the number of workers who reportedly experienced morning cough dropped by 46%. Another study showed that within three months of implementation of the law, the prevalence of workers reporting sensory symptoms declined by 50%.6,7
“I want to leave a longer music Legacy to my family and fans than my father Zydeco Legend Roy Carrier was able to leave to me. He had to play in smoky places all of his career. And he suffered for it. Smokefree is a way to give me and my fans a longer life filled with music.”
Chubby Carrier is undeniably “The World’s Premier Zydeco Showman.” Born on July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history. Chubby began his musical career at the age of 12 by playing drums with his father’s band. He began playing the accordion at the age of 15. By age 17, Chubby had begun to play with Terrance Siemien and toured the world for 2 1/2 years, before forming his own band in 1989. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded ten CDs over the past 22 years of Chubby’s professional career. His band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada. North Africa and Europe. Chubby and the band travel 150-175 days a year, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest. Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. Chubby has also done guest appearances on recordings for Tab Benoit, 6Was9, and Jimmy Thackery. Ann Wilson of the group Heart encourages Chubby to “continue the great sound that you have. This sound will take you places.”
The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Secondhand Smoke has concluded that 100% smokefree workplace policies are the only “effective way to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace.”8
“As a musician I want to be present and feel connected to my environment. Playing in smoky clubs and casinos is an unwelcomed distraction and, more importantly, an unhealthy place for any musician. I’m glad to be a voice in support of smokefree air for everyone.”
Jessie Bridges, a native of California, is an Indie/Folk Singer-songwriter and an Actress.
Smokefree laws add value to establishments. Restaurants in smokefree cities have a higher market value at resale (an average of 16% higher) than comparable restaurants located in smoke-filled cities.9
“As a vocalist, performing in a smokefree environment is essential to sustaining my voice! I have been blessed to have traveled the world, singing in various cities … It’s always a joy to step onto a stage where the air is clean and free of smoke! It’s good for our planet – it’s good for our lives!”
Terry Steele is a Grammy-Nominated songwriter, a solo artist, and lead vocalist for the group Hiroshima. He wrote “Here and Now,” which earned Luther Vandross his first Grammy Award.
A national 2015 Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans favor smokefree public places.10
“Let’s clear the air…smokefree venues help me to live well and sing about it! I support Smokefree Music Cities. Won’t You?”
Yvette Landry is a Grammy nominated, award-winning vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and noted children’s author. She fronts both, “The Yvette Landry Band,” as well as “Yvette Landry & The Jukes.” A Governor to the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, and a Cultural Ambassador, Yvette performs as an award-winning Louisiana honky-tonk artist, who travels throughout the United States, Canada and Europe sharing her own music as well as the Cajun culture.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) adopted a position document that states: “At present, the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity… No other engineering approaches, including current and advanced dilution ventilation or air cleaning technologies, have demonstrated or should be relied upon to control health risks from ETS [environmental tobacco smoke] exposure in spaces where smoking occurs… Because of ASHRAE’s mission to act for the benefit of the public, it encourages elimination of smoking in the indoor environment as the optimal way to minimize ETS exposure.”11
“Living in Los Angeles, I automatically assume that a venue will be smokefree. If I walk into a venue where it isn’t I feel assaulted by the air. The smoke gets into my jeans, my hair, my eyes, my lungs, my mood! Sadly, I don’t think I could stay.”
Shelly is a 2 time GRAMMY-Nominated songwriter, a musician, and author of “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter.” Best known for writing the culturally resonant female empowerment anthems, “What A Girl Wants” (Christina Aguilera) and “Bitch” (Meredith Brooks).
The average level of cotinine (metabolized nicotine) among nonsmokers increased by 456% and the average levels of the carcinogen NNAL increased by 112% after four hours of exposure to secondhand smoke in a smoke-filled casino with a “sophisticated” ventilation system.12
“Smokefree shows make the job easier and more enjoyable because I can breathe. Breathing is important for singers horn players, bartenders, servers and tech crew because if we can’t breathe we can’t do our jobs, whatever your job is in the venue. I play around the world and it is rare to walk into venues that allow smoking, it is always a jarring memory of a less civilized time. I’m grateful for smoke free music.”
Paul Sanchez is a native New Orleanian singer-songwriter, actor, and founding member of the rock band “Cowboy Mouth.” He was featured in the HBO series “Treme” as himself and as the creative force behind the musical “Nine Lives” – based on Dan Baum’s novel.
Smoke-filled casinos have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks in rush hour traffic. After going smokefree, indoor air pollution virtually disappears in the same environments.13
“The dangers of second and thirdhand smoke are very well documented. It’s just not possible for me to perform in a smoke filled atmosphere. Aside from the health risks and the uncomfortable vocal experience, it’s just never a pleasant experience when you return home and your clothes and equipment are destroyed with the smell of smoke.”
Eamonn McCrystal is a Multi-Emmy Award winning Northern Irish pop tenor, actor, TV host and producer based in Los Angeles, California.
Smokefree workplaces decrease cigarette consumption in continuing smokers, as well as decrease adult smoking prevalence. Smokefree laws result in fewer respiratory symptoms in workers, and there is strong evidence that these laws result in decreased hospital admissions for heart attacks. There is no negative economic impact for restaurants and bars going smokefree.14
“Our voices help us share our stories and smoke filled venues make it hard for us to do just that. We must breathe clean air to perform at our best. Not to mention, secondhand smoke is a serious threat to our bodies and everyone in the audience!”
Northern California brother-sister duo, Connor and Karlee, are touring singer-songwriters.
Bartenders working in smoke-filled bars are more likely than other workers to report having red or irritated eyes, coughing in the morning, coughing during the rest of the day, runny noses or sneezing, and a sore or scratchy throat.15
Celtic Songbird Chloë Agnew supports performing in smokefree environments.
“A smokefree venue is just as important to the musicians as it is to the audience. It creates a safe, clean environment for all, and it’s important we lead the way in setting the precedent for a healthier world for the generations to come.”
Chloë Agnew is a renown singer, songwriter and actress, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Chloë, originally from Dublin, Ireland, gained international acclaim with her music group Celtic Woman and was the youngest original member when she joined at age 14.
#chloëagnew #chloë #celticsongbird #celticwoman #thethingaboutyou #independentartists #singersongwriter #irish
“Smoking in venues is a deadly proposition. Many talented people have died as a result of second-hand smoke. I was recently at my own performance and stepped outdoors for some fresh air, but what I got instead was a mouthful of second-hand smoke. This one unfortunate incident rendered me bedridden for two weeks. Smoking should be outlawed—it is a poison that surely kills!”
Kaylene Peoples is an award-winning musician, music producer, and film director. She has also performed with numerous Grammy-winning artists. As a film composer with many soundtrack credits under her belt, Kaylene was inspired to create Bella Composers, a performing arts charity for women composers, and she is the music curator for the Artemis Women in Action Film and Music Festival.
Nonsmokers and former smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke in confined workplaces display a significant increase in DNA damage associated with a decrease in DNA repair capacity.16
“I tried smoking cigarettes once because I wanted that gruff sound like Wilson Pickett, but after 2 weeks, I quit, and it’s a blessing I didn’t get hooked. I still work in places around the USA where there is smoke, like casinos and other venues. I usually have red eyes, and I start coughing so I would love to perform in smoke free environments.”
Lenny Williams is the former lead vocalist of legendary R&B group Tower Of Power, a multi-platinum artist, a recipient of the BMI Songwriter’s Award, and has shared the stage with many other music legends.
“Every time I play in a concert hall, club or recording studio that is smokefree – which is 99% of the time now – I am grateful to everyone who relentlessly fought this battle for both performers and audiences. I was around when things were very different and really appreciate the positive change.”
Josh Sklair is songwriter, musician, and a two-two Grammy winning producer for two Etta James albums, “Let’s Roll” and “Blues to the Bone.” Josh was not only Etta’s musical director and lead guitarist for 25 years, but he has worked with countless other renown artists, including Jeffrey Osborne, The Blues Brothers, Sohpie B. Hawkins, and many more. He is currently touring with Paul Anka.
Smokefree ordinances in Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin resulted in a decrease in the bartenders’ mean level of exposure to secondhand smoke at work from 20.7 hours a week pre-ordinance to 1.6 hours a week post-ordinance. Secondhand smoke exposure in other places decreased from 8.2 hours to 4.1 hours, and home exposure decreased from 3.9 hours to 2.8 hours. The prevalence of eight upper respiratory symptoms significantly decreased during the post-ordinance period among non-smoking bartenders. Smokers reported a significant reduction of two symptoms.17
“It is not possible to perform at my best, unless my lungs are strong and clear. Every stage I step onto is my office, no matter the size of the venue. If you are a true supporter of the musical arts, insisting on a smoke free environment is one of the most important ways you can support the longevity and health of the artists you love! And you will be supporting your own health at the same time! And your health, the FAN, is absolutely vital to us, the ARTISTS!”
Ken Stacey, Lead Vocalist for 5 Time Grammy Nominated Progressive Pop Rock Super Group, Ambrosia.
“When I first started playing in rock clubs, I used to see the crowd through a haze of low hanging cigarette smoke. By the end of the night, not only did my clothes, instrument and gear all reek of cigarettes, but my eyes and lungs would hurt for days. Let’s help to make smoky clubs go the way of my old 4 track cassette recorder and become a relic from an earlier, less advanced era.”
Hailed as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” by BBC Radio, Tracy Silverman has contributed significantly to the repertoire and development of the 6-sring electric violin and what he calls “post-classical” string playing. His groundbreaking work defies musical boundaries and is helping to redefine the role of the violin in contemporary music.
The 2002 Environmental Health Information Service’s 10th Report on Carcinogens classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A (Human) Carcinogen–a substance known to cause cancer in humans. There is no safe level of exposure for Group A toxins. Reducing or diluting the level of smoke through ventilation does not equate to protection from the health hazards of secondhand smoke.18
“As a singer, there’s nothing worse than entering a club or casino and being confronted by that dreadful smell of cigarette smoke. It can often be a make or break in terms of a good performance. Second hand smoke should play no part in the workplace of a professional musician.”
“Playing in smoke filled venues in the 70’s and 80’s gave me a hacking cough and triggered Asthma. Since most venues have gone smokeless my breathing is better and my overall health has improved.”
Bassist, Vocalist, Composer
Photo by Mary Ann Halpin for Vanity Fair
Cadmium, benzene, lead, and arsenic are just a few of the more than 4,000 hazardous chemical components of secondhand smoke that are also toxins common to blue-collar workplaces. Synergistically, cigarette smoke and workplace toxins can multiply the risk of getting lung cancer by as much as 53 times in blue-collar workers.19
“As an artist who doesn’t smoke, but has been around many smokers, I can now see and feel the difference between a smoke-free environment and a smoking environment. Because smoking affects everyone’s health (yours, mine, ours!), I think we should help create a smoke-free environment for us all. It not only affects our voices, but our health and our children’s health. Without second-hand smoke, we’ll all experience longer healthier living!”
Ronee Martin is a singer-songwriter and native Virginian who currently resides in Los Angeles.
She was formerly signed as a recording artist to MoJazz Records/Motown. In addition to her own illustrious singing career, she feels fortunate to have co-wrote a song, “This Is Love,” and have it recorded by one of her childhood idols, Gladys Knight. In 2016, Ronee was a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent, Season 11.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “Ventilation does not effectively protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.”20
“Smoke-free venues give me peace of mind that my vocal chords will still be working by the end of the show. The times I have played in smoking venues, the second hand smoke has affected my vocals for a day or two afterwards,
which is never a good thing for a professional vocalist. I’d love to see Tulsa become a smoke-free venue music city!”
Casii Stephan is a singer/songwriter with comparisons to Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King, her voice will envelop your soul like a “warm blanket” (Tulsa World). Leading from the keyboard, Casii’s songwriting
uniquely blends her soulful voice with emotional lyrics that speak to your heart and pop hooks that get stuck in your head.
The 2010 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease,” confirmed that “Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke. … Damage from tobacco smoke is immediate.”21
“As someone with asthma, it is hard for me to play gigs in smokey bars. I end up using my inhaler towards the end of the night. There were tours where I would go back to back in clubs with smoke and lucky now that many of those clubs are now non-smoking.” which is never a good thing for a professional vocalist. I’d love to see Tulsa become a smoke-free venue music city!”
Tulsa-based singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist, Eric Himan, has toured in support of national acts as diverse as Ani DiFranco and the late Leon Russell. An award-winning, nationally-touring musician, Himan’s music has been played on SiriusXM Coffeehouse and included in Hollister Stores’ in-store playlist nationwide. Himan and his music have been featured in numerous publications, including American Songwriter Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Out Magazine. He has licensed his songs to E!, MTV, VH1, and the Discovery Channel and has sold more than 40,000 albums nationwide as an indie artist. For more information on Himan, visit www.erichiman.com. His latest, CONTENDERS, is out now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and his official website.
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- “Ventilation Does Not Effectively Protect Nonsmokers from Secondhand Smoke,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Accessed on November 5, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/protection/ventilation/index.htm