Alexis Joyce Taylor is many things. Besides writing for the AFRO she is a teacher for Baltimore City Public School and a performer. On July 21 she will take the main stage at Baltimore’s annual cultural festival Artscape.
AFRO writer Alexis Joyce Taylor will be performing on the main stage of Artscape. (Courtesy Photo)
Taylor will be performing at the country’s largest free arts festival as a “Sound Off Live!” winner, which is an annual competition for emerging musicians in the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. and Virginia area.
“The past several months have been a whirlwind and to say I am ‘excited’ is an understatement,” Taylor, who first auditioned for the 2017 Baltimore City festival cycle in October of last year, told the AFRO.
“To be given the opportunity to share my words and my music with all of Baltimore and beyond is literally a dream materialized.”
Taylor has always had a passion for music and has been singing for most of her life. The vocalist made her first appearance on stage at the age of six in a German community theatre, where her father was stationed in the military. Taylor spent most of her childhood at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
“Music has always been a part of my life- from musical theatre to church and school choirs. It wasn’t until I moved to Baltimore in 2008 that I actually began to write my own music and think about putting together the album, ‘Words.’”
Although Taylor is currently a teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools, she still finds the time to express herself through her writing and her music.
“I love helping people learn and I love music,” Taylor said. “My students love when I teach them little songs about on how to write a sentence correctly, how to count, or the best way to form a paragraph using details. Music is very much a part of everything I do.”
Known for her high-energy presence on stage and mix of gritty, soulful vocals, Taylor says this year’s Artscape crowd can expect nothing less than a good time as they rock out to original pieces and covers. “Whether you like rock, soul, or R&B- there will be music to make the whole family groove.” She plans to perform covers by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson.
Taylor was originally chosen to perform one night at the Light City Festival, which took place in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. However, before the festival could begin, she was asked to perform two nights instead of just one.
Then came the call for Artscape.
“I was on my lunch break at school when I got the message and it was one of the best moments,” said Taylor. “It became even more real when I realized I would be an opening act for the legendary Sheila E.”
Taylor will be performing from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on the Artscape Main Stage located at 1400 Cathedral Street. The festival will take place from July 21 to July 23 in downtown Baltimore, and covers every aspect of art from dance to opera.
Taylor’s CD “Words” is available now.