Performing throughout Europe for over twenty years, EMPRESS
Al-Yasha has toured with her quintet "Jazzy Motions", her trio "Triplex", as well as "Jazz Romances", "Nite Line", the "Berlin Dance Orchestra", the “Golden Gospel Singers”, the “Black Gospel Voices” and her own gospel quintet the "Rite Spirit". She also starred/co-starred in many of Germany’s Broadway musicals including "The Lion King”, "Hair”, the “Buddy Holly Story”, "Sister Act", "Shout" and "Oh Happy Day"...
Her current constellation, "EMPRESS AND THE CROWN JEWELS" is her favorite project. Together with Mexican musicians Ricardo Hernandez/Bass and DannyJu Lopez/Drums, she performs an original repertoire that embraces musical styles from jazz, soul, blues and carribean music.
After graduating from high school, EMPRESS started her acting career studying and performing at “New Heritage Repertory Theater” in Harlem under the direction of Roger Fuhrman, and at the New Federal Theater (lower east side) under the direction of Woody King Jr.
Upon receiving her Bachelor degree from CUNY, she began a serious career as a dramatic actress appearing regularly in several TV soaps, and later co-starring in Broadway/off-Broadway musicals including “Freedom Train”, "Magic & Lions", “42nd Street” and “How Do You Spell Watergait” as well as touring with her own band “Edge” in the U.S.
The love of music was implanted deep in her soul from the cradle. Her father, Boysie Anderson, a noted saxophonist played Calypso music, the "house" music of his time, and often took her to gigs and encouraged her to play guitar for his musical colleagues.
Her uncle Cecil Anderson, known as the "Duke of Iron" is credited as the first singer to record calypso in America, making way for other artists including Harry Belafonte who in 1953 released a successful remake of the Duke’s 1946 hit "Matilda". In the 1952 St. Thomas carnival, the Duke improvised a song he recorded called "Don’t Stop the Carnival".
Inspired by this prolific artist, jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins composed and recorded a tribute to the calypsonian called "Duke of Iron" as well as his own rendition of “Don’t Stop the Carnival” in 1978.
At a time when popular music has become so computerized with synthesized beats and sounds, EMPRESS continues to mesmerize audiences with her original compositions that are as natural, melodious and soul stirring as they are poignant, political and funny.