MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It's a heaven-sent edition of Women To Watch as Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani tracked down one of South Florida's most popular jazz & gospel singers, Maryel Epps.
Every Sunday, the faithful flock to brunch at Steve Haas's City Hall The Restaurant in Miami to revel in the divine—delicious food and decadent drinks, served with a side of uplifting jazz and joyful gospel courtesy of the diva next door, Maryel Epps.
Brunch at City Hall is not just about the eggs benedict and the mimosas, it's the gospel according to Maryel Epps.
"I wasn't a preacher's kid," said Epps," But my mother loved going to church. And I loved listening the people sing so the inspiration of the gospel was there, like at 5 or 6-years-old."
Epps has a beautiful voice. She's well trained and excellent at both jazz and gospel.
"With the jazz it's written. With the gospel. It's more from my heart. It's freer. Jazz you can scat, but the gospel just kind of flows from my heart."
Epps is modern, sassy and tells it like it is--her passion for gospel is evident in her soulful, God-given talent.
"God is in me," said Maryel. "I believe in spirituality a lot more over religion because religion can take you to a place of judgment and I don't like the judgment part."
Inspiration for Epps not only comes from above, but also several other singers reeled off by Epps to the Trend Tracker®.
"Mahalia Jackson, Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin," said Epps. "But first and foremost my mother, she showed me many forms of music and much style and grace."
Epps believes teaching other women how to sing is a sure way of empowering.
"I work with a young group of women, Girls Choir of Miami, it's a wonderful thing."
Epps, when asked, expressed that all she really wants is, "justice for all."
When asked about her legacy, Epps answered, "She had a ball living life as a singer and loved everybody. Everybody!"
In a lightening round of questions, typically asked to all women featured in Gilani's Women to Watch, answered without hesitation; I am, "magnificent." I will, "always joyous of every moment, in the now, I won't, "procrastinate any further," I promise, "to be kinder to me, and I wish, "Girl, I wish I'd win the lotto."
To catch Maryel Epps live, visit City Hall for brunch every Sunday.
For more on Epps, like her on facebook: www.facebook.com/MaryelEpps.
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