The Next Level Band. Photo credit: http://www.gigmasters.com/Live-Band/The-Next-Level-Band/

If there’s something I say everyday, it’s that music connects.

To me, it connects people in ways words alone can’t.

Besides being a foodie (and constant tweeter/Facebooker!), I am a singer. You will find me constantly listening to music, piecing out the little things in music I love, such as when a song resolves itself.

On Facebook back in February, I learned of the passing of a truly talented, wonderful Long Island female singer.

When I heard the news, I was shocked. My mind immediately goes back to that one and only time I met her. The night I found out, I texted my friend who I went with, Alyssa, and we were both stunned.

You may remember in November of 2011 I blogged about going to Tequila Jacks in Port Jefferson village and loving the experience. Besides the food and tropical drinks, the music sealed the deal for me.

A husband and wife musical group, The Next Level Band was playing the night I went with my friend Alyssa, and while we waited for our table, I heard this woman, La Dawn Parris, singing Reggae/Calypso versions of top 40 hits while her husband, Tyrone, played the instruments (and sang some songs too!). I was mesmerized by this group, but especially La Dawn. I didn’t even introduce myself yet and found myself singing along while she was singing, and she noticed too, and smiled at me. It was a blast. La Dawn would even dance with the listeners dancing in the bar.

At the end of said night, I walked right up to La Dawn and introduced myself. I told her she has an amazing voice, how the band is awesome, and I hope to see them again soon. I took one of their cards and we were invited to come back the week after.

Well, it’s been over a year and a half later. And I STILL haven’t been back to Tequila Jacks. Not because I didn’t want to go back. I really have no excuse.

Life happens.

But, if there’s something that constantly amazes me about this beautiful life we all live, it’s how people come in and out of your life, sometimes very quickly.

So I say this. Cherish and live in your life’s moments.

While I only met La Dawn once and didn’t know anything about her beside the fact she’s an amazing singer and her warmth and positive energy glowed the time I saw her —

honestly —

that’s all I needed to know. In that moment. And now.

Rest in peace, La Dawn Parris.

Through my love of food and love of music, I met you once. I heard your song.

Your music moved me, and I will remember that for the rest of my life.

Here is just a snippet of her singing that night.

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