Three years ago, my journal reminded me this morning, Icelebrated a wonderful musical success. Ladder To The Moon, a narrated concert of music inspired by the life and art of Georgia OKeeffe, created by me, was performed at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. A group of amazing musicians and I played my compositions and arrangements, to a sold out room for a standing ovation.
I overcame many challenges to accomplish this including my ignorance, inexperience and fear,and a nearly disabling letter from a hater. Days before the concert I received a letter from a local jazz musician who, after reading the ads for the event, wrote to tell me: you are not any good, you will never be any good, you are making the good musicians in town look bad, and you should just quit.
I will never forget this event and will always be grateful to Alan Joseph, Marc Neihof, Dave Hanson and Stefan Flores who performed brilliantly both individually and collectively. This was an audacious undertaking for me and I am grateful I escaped with my life.
Today my music is so much more advanced and I am delighted to say I will be performing my new compositions with other orchestras this year. And, I am so ready to tackle another project like Ladder To The Moon. Ok Universe, send it my way. Thank you mom and dad for teaching me to never give up.
Branford Marsalis with his quartet lit up the ENT Center for the Arts last night with a brilliant performance to a sold out house.
Last night at The ENT centerBranford Marsalis showed us why he is three-time Grammy Award® winner and has been cited as “arguably the most respected living U.S. jazz instrumentalist”. Each of the musicians showed their mastery in playing that was both technically brilliant and creatively inspired. The program included some challenging new avant-garde jazz that demonstrated how jazz is ever-changing, alive and exciting. Then with perfect timing the group included stellar performances of two familiar standards – Sunny Side Of The Street and St James Infirmary that brought the audience to its feet.
Going to a concert of this quality is beyond entertaining it is revitalizing. Engaging art is one of the ways that we renew ourselves, boost our creativity, and move ourselves to the “sunny side of the street.” Take the opportunity when you can.
The Ent Center for the Arts is a transformational performing and visual arts complex on the UCCS Campus. This 92,000 square-foot building features four performing arts venues and a visual arts gallery. We are so fortunate to have this outstanding facility in Colorado Springs. It is easily accessible, has convenient free parking and most importantly is brining in world class talent. If you have not been there, do check it out! You can still get tickets for Catherine Russell for Thursday nite.
CATHERINE RUSSELLThursday 4-19.
Catherine Russell is that rarest of entities—a genuine jazz and blues singer—who can sing virtually anything. Her dusky, stalwart, and soulful voice radiates power as she launches fearlessly into each tune, getting inside the melody and capturing every emotion. With an off-the beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell joins the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American popular song.
Here’s a full-length sample of my new tune What To Do?
To create the sample I used digital instruments to play the score as a backing track and recorded myself playing along on flute. When we perform the song with the FluteDaddy quartet you will also hear additional improvised solos on piano and bass.
What To Do? is is a happy, bouncy tune that will premiere at our LifeJazz concert May 6 and I’ll share the story of its origin at the concert, but there was an interesting effect of writing the song that I’ll share here.
I was looking for solutions to problems when I wrote this piece. When I completed it I was flooded with creativity, new solutions and renewed confidence. Over the years I have noticed this effect before, in me and in my clients. When we take up any creative activity we tap in to our deeper self and become more resourceful and resilient. The next time you a feel stuck, do something creative. Paint, dance, take photos or something else you love. It doesn’t matter how good you are at it or that you have not done it in a long time. Just engaging the activity will access more of your authentic self and will free some new energy. Try it. Need ideas? This article about drawing might help.
Come join us for The LifeJazz Show on May 6th for music and story that will please your ears and lift your spirits.
The downbeat for the next new sound of my music is May 6 at 2:30 PM.
That is the Sunday that the new FluteDaddy quartet will premiere my latest compositions at the venue at Library 21C 1175 Chapel Hills Dr. The music is unique and engaging and I am really excited to share the songs and the stories of their creation with you. Here’s why:
All of the pieces in the show on May 6 are inspired by nature, art and life and each has a wonderful story. Prarie Frost is a somewhat cinematic piece inspired by a hazy dawn rising over a prairie touched with a magical coating of frozen droplets. Spring Forwarddescribes a tale of a courageous crocus and is presented in a polyrhythmic, latin theme.
And, I am especially excited to perform Wednesday Blue, a piece inspired by the art of the highly regarded artist Suz Stovall. I think the piece represents well the spontaneous and joyful visual feast of color that is her art. I will tell the unusual story of the music’s creation and Suz will be present to accept my dedication. There are more pieces and all as interesting. Listen to sound samples here
The new instrumentation of FluteDaddy quartet features dynamic jazz and classical pianist Reggie Berg, a newcomer who has been impressing people around the Front Range with his playing lately. I have had the great pleasure of working with bassist Jason Crowe for years and he is not only one of the finest players but adds a genuine, warm presence. Tyler Kennamer, our drummer, regularly performs with Jason and Reggie, really sets the groove, and all together the rhythm section really clicks.
Please, please come and join us for The LifeJazz Show on Sunday May 6 at 2:30 PM. It will be a memorable experience.
Espressivo is a stunning abstract, painted to music, by Colorado artist Suz Stovall.
Suz Stovall’s abstract works invite the viewer to look deeply and enjoy the visual feast of color. Her art is spontaneous and joyful. Suz studied graphics and painting at the University of Memphis. She now resides in Colorado. As a ceramicist, Suz won numerous awards in some of the most prestigious shows. She Returned to her first love painting wining several First Place and Best In Show awards and has been featured in several national magazines. For more information about Suz’s art firstname.lastname@example.org
Expressivo is a stunning work that I am pleased to say resides in my home and I get to enjoy it daily. In fact, I wrote some music inspired by this painting and I will dedicate the music to Suz at it’s premiere performance in The LifeJazz Show May 6, 2018. Engaging with a work of art is a great LifeJazzing technique to boost your creativity and enliven your life. For you enjoyment here it is Expressivo.
Submit Your Art?
If you are an artist and would like to submit your photo and profile for a pot in LifeJazzing blog, write to me at email@example.com
Injecting Dreams Into Cows is a book of delightful poems by our friend Jessy Randall.
Jessy Randall’s poems are smart, funny, weird, and friendly. She writes about robots, love, friendship, video games, Muppets, motherhood, Pippi Longstocking, and the peculiar seductiveness of old Fisher Price wooden people on Ebay.
Here is a one of Jessy Randall’s poems I like:
Robot Listening To Music
The robot was listening to music. Now turnout up, he said. Now turn it down.
Now turn it up
Now turn it down.
Now turn it up
Now turn it down.
That is the correct volume, he said. But the song was over.
LifeJazzing is being tuned in to life in a new way to accept miracles and opportunities and to respond to life creatively, improvising, playing from the heart and enjoying life more.
You have heard people say “let’s jazz it up”about many things including wardrobe, decor, publishing and more. They are talking about adding color, expression and zest. They are suggesting we be more creative, spontaneous or lively. LifeJazzing is my term for applying the metaphor of jazz to life. On the one had playing the right notes in the universal sonata and on the other improvising and creating.
This blog was formed by LifeJazzing after hackers destroyed my previous site and I chose to see this as an opportunity to share a joyfully optimistic philosophy in a different way. This is the first post. In future posts i’ll publish bits of poetry, video, art and music along with stories of inspiring people. Please stay tuned for more.
Part of my “campaign” to inspire others is the new event The LifeJazz Show. Come join us for some entertainment and inspiration. I have been presenting themed concerts for years and for years before that got comfortable sharing stories with business audiences. This seems like the perfect next thing.
Bear with me as I slowly rebuild the website with new content. I will start sharing on this blog right away. Your comments, contributions and suggestions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org