Yes it’s been a moment since I’ve made a post to this here website yet as the end of the year nears I wanted to take a moment to mention just one more concert for 2014.
Before that though – I want to take a moment to say thank you, thank you for all your support for this year and every other. I find it difficult to make creative music without knowing how it comes across. Putting my heart and soul into the music I make and knowing it communicates in a strong way makes me happier than hardly anything else. I need to be present in my music and I thank all of the people that help show me the way. These are times that demand strong voices. On New Years Day of this almost gone year, my husband and I went to see 12 Years a Slave, a movie we spoke about for hours afterwards, seemingly setting the tone for how this year would unfold in this country. How racism, every present in American Society would rise back up through the blatant racist policing all across this country and highlighted in incidents in Missouri, Ohio and my own city, New York. I want my voice to be stronger than ever.
Stronger than ever as a teacher. I’ve been teaching since the late 90’s yet the last few years something has changed. I just love it and get so much out of it. I see the immediate benefit of my work with students. It’s a clear and wonderful relationship and I’m running two vocal workshops on a weekly basis, which teaches me so much about my students and myself. I’m amazed to see my students grow and this year they grew tremendously. This time of years, many of my students are performing, old hat for some. For others, they are dipping their toe in the water for the first time. I’m tremendously proud of those vocalists that brave their souls to discover all this wonderment within them.
Stronger than ever to face sadness. 2014 had a number for tough losses of friends such as trumpeter and downtown scene stalwart and musician Roy Campbell, the legendary Amiri Baraka, and most recently, another downtown legend Will Connell passed away. That news, so sudden and unexpected especially since Will was full of energy and excitement, prepping for his residency at The Stone (coming up this week and now held in his honor). He was a fierce and powerful musician carrying that fire with quiet dignity and his SOUND was something to be experienced. Thankfully, I played with him a few times this past year for the first time after all these years. I put together a quartet that got to play out twice and thankfully documented by Don Mount – VoiceHornsBass included Vincent Chancey on french horn and Ken Filiano on double bass along with Will playing flute, alto and bass clarinet.
This coming week, I along with a host of great musicians and poets will descend on the Stone to pay tribute Will Connell, Jr., our great friend of the community and of the music that will be terribly missed. We miss him already. Please check the Stone website for all the details of this week’s residency. I’m part of the ensemble playing this Tuesday night, DECEMBER 23rd entitled World Peace, With or Without People: Music from the legacy of Horace Tapscott, set at 8 and 10pm. I hope many of you will join us to raise our voices in tribute and celebration.
With all that’s going crazy in the world at this moment, I’m grateful for those closest to me – friends, family and the gift of music. I wish you and yours all the best for a healthy and happy holiday season full of reflection and appreciation for what we have to be thankful for. Best wishes too for a prosperous and wondrous 2015.