Virtual Neighborhood Celebration: The Hill

This 60-minute virtual concert, hosted by Martha Dye and Brian Sams, features music from two popular performers: Manny James and Aleecya Foreman.


Manny James

Church Street South Entertainment, recording artist, songwriter and composer

Manny James was born and raised in New Haven, CT. A singer and performer since the age of 8. He arew up in a community that presented many challenges. He says “We didn’t have much growing up, but we made the best of what we had” Those experiences fueled his creativity, his drive, his love for people and helped to mold him into the man and artist that he is today. He credits his neighborhood for his approach to life, songwriter and performing. Manny says “ My music and performances are my way of giving back to the people. As an artist It’s important for me to create from an honest space. To write music that people can relate to. I also always want to make the best music that I can at that moment. If not you can easily get caught up trying to fit in someone else’s mold of who or what you should be. To me that’s one of the worse things you can do as an artist. I'm not with it”

Manny James has brought his unique, soulful, no holds barred performances to many of the Tri-State’s top venues as both a headliner and opening act. He established himself as a premier artist and songwriter well before debut album "Just Being Honest " was released on July 4th, 2014. The album debuted in the Top 25 on iTunes. A year prior he co-wrote and released the YouTube viral sensation "So Incredible" (The Julio Jones Dance) via a Visa/NFL “My Football Fantasy” campaign. The campaign garnered 4.6 million views in less than a week.

In 2017 he released another EP, the phenomenal "Church Street South", named after the neighborhood he grew up in. This album led to him having his most successful year to date, gaining twenty-two thousand fans from 57 countries. In 2020 many achieved a lifelong dream. He formed his own record label Church Street South Entertainment and released his new single, the beautifully soulful, “Never Let Go” on June 5th. The song has been very well received, to say the least. He is poised to take the next step in his career. Which will no doubt be something great to witness. He is currently working on a new full length album to be released in the near future as well as writing and producing for other artists. You can find his music on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Tidal and all digital platforms. Follow Manny on all social media platforms.

Aleecya Foreman


Aleecya Foreman, better known as her stage name, "Aleecya," is an award-winning singer-songwriter born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. She started singing at the age of nine and continued her journey of being a vocalist in jazz, Rnb, and soul music.

Aleecya was deemed "Best Female Rnb Artist " of 2018 by the New York Independent Radio Station Awards; she also opened for the legendary Dionne Warwick in 2017 and the Grammy-nominated soul artist Carolyn Malachi in 2020. Aleecya headlined the 2019 annual Indie Soul Festival of Springfield, Massachusetts, and performed on the main stage at the Boston Music & Arts Festival.

The Soulstress has recently released her long-awaited single "Vegas" and is planning to drop more music for her fanbase throughout 2020. All and all, her true goal is to leave her footprint on the earth and inspire those around the world with her music for generations to come.

Martha Dye


Martha has been a part of the New Haven community since 1966, where she and her husband John raised their three children in the Hill section. She received her Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from South Central Community College and her Bachelor’s degree from Albertus Magnus College. As a resident of the Hill neighborhood, she became a community activist and was one of the original members of the Hill Parents Association, advocating for a more effective education system for the New Haven Schools. She was employed by Yale New Haven Hospital as a preschool teacher for twenty-three years. In 2005, Martha Dye was one of five recipients awarded the YNHH Dream Builder Awarded for “exemplifying unity, community and respect for the uniqueness of others.” After retiring from YNHH, Martha was employed by Yale University with the Simons Laboratory of Social Science in autism research for six years, retiring in 2012. Martha has served on serval boards in the New Haven community. She was a member of the New Haven Association for the Education of Young Children (NHAEYC), the Ct. Association for the Education of Young Children, (CAEYC) and on the board of Concepts for Adapted Learning, (CfAL.). Martha was guest speaker for West Haven Black History Program and Hamden High School Black and Hispanic Program, where she spoke on her experience with Brown v. Board of ED., on the closing of Prince Edward School System in her home town in 1959. Some of Martha’s other volunteer services include the New Haven Read Aloud Program, the New Haven Reads Program and Arthur Street Block Watch. For the past five years, Martha has served on the New Haven Neighborhood Hillfest committee that is sponsored by New Haven Arts & Ideas. Martha is a dedicated member of Friendship Baptist Church in Hamden and volunteers there for Breast Cancer awareness month and creates programs for the church’s Black History month.

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