Bela Bela – a tip of the hat to Bela Fleck!
Bela Bela a composition inspired by a Bela Fleck performance .
A few months ago I attended a concert performed by Bela Fleck the 16 time Grammy award winning banjoist and his delightful, banjoist wife Abigail. They gave a performance that was exciting and beautifully polished yet very intimate. In addition to performing on banjo Abigail sang and did some wonderful country-style dancing. I was enchanted and the music danced around in my body all night. In the morning I composed Bela Bela a piece that is an abstract of my experience of the show. I arranged the piece for chamber jazz sextet including Flute, guitar, cello, piano, bass and drums. The video is a recording of the score. We have not yet performed the piece live. Enjoy.
Revisiting Ladder To the Moon
A story of the narrated 2015 concert
Three years ago, my journal reminded me this morning, I celebrated 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.
Choros And Jazz Masters
This jazz master practiced using choros?
My journal just popped up a reminder that four years ago today I played a great gig with Marc Neihof, Alan Joseph, Dave Hanson and Stefan Flores at the Pueblo Zoo. How fortunate I have been to play with such master musicians. I remember Marc had been playing a lot of choros in his personal practice. When he played a stunning solo on this zoo gig, Alan and I looked at each other with wide eyes and Alan said “It must be the choros.”
I’ll be fortunate to be playing with Marc and Trip Zeigler at The Pikes Peak Art & Music Festival in America The Beautiful Park Sunday July 1 at Noon. Say hi if you are there.
Choro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʃoɾu], “cry” or “lament”), also popularly called chorinho (“little cry” or “little lament”), is an instrumental Brazilian popular music genre which originated in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. Despite its name, the music often has a fast and happy rhythm. Source: Wikipedia
Recently I listened to a modern choro composition by one of my new heroes, composer Vince Mendoza with the WDR big band on the album Homecoming. I did find a Vince Mendoza with the Metropole Orchestra video on youtube for you. Here it is:
Wednesday Blue – Recorded Live at 21C.
The new composition Wednesday Blue was inspired by Espressivo, a powerful painting by my good friend and gifted artist Suz Stovall.
Here’s a video of our first performance of Wednesday Blue at our May concert when Suz was there to hear it. Suz is opening a new show at Gallery G44 Friday the 22. Her work is great. Don’t miss it.
You Must Believe In Spring Live at 21C by FluteDaddy Quartet.
You Must Believe In Spring is a beautiful ballad composed by Michel Legrand. In May 2018 FluteDaddy Quartet featuring Joseph Liberti on alto flute, Reggie berg piano, Jason Crowe bass and Tyler Kennamer drums performed a special arrangement of You Must Believe In Spring for an audience at 21C and it was recorded live.
The arrangement begins with a piano solo introduction by Reggie followed by a piano/flute duet played rubato style and then an out-chorus improvised solo on alto flute by Joseph as the full quartet plays. If you like beautiful music you will enjoy this.
Awakening With A Latin Twist
Despertar by Joseph Liberti, was written upon awakening and has a latin twist.
For some reason I have recently been inspired to compose several songs in a latin groove. Despertar, which loosely translates to awakening, came to me almost in it’s entirety upon awakening in the wee hours of morning. It is simple, pretty, has a nice groove and will be fun to perform. Despertar is now in the playlist for our fall concert. You can listen to the score recording now (The open rhythm sections are where the improvisation will take place.)
A link to FluteDaddy Music has been added to the menu. FluteDaddy provides beautiful hip music for special events and was founded by me in 2009.
New FluteDaddy music samples have recently been added:
The LifeJazz event at 21C on Sunday May 6 was a satisfying show thanks to a wonderful audience and great support from fans old and new!
We began the show with several jazz standards beginning with a fast samba version of Jobim’s Chega De Saudade,now called “No More Blues:after americanized jazz lyrics were written by jazz singer and famous scat man Jon Hendricks. The FluteDaddy group lightly swung Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way and the audience really dug Jason Crowes’ bass solo. After I read aloud the wonderful lyrics from Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Reggie Berg played a captivating two minute preface to Michel Legrand’s ballad You Must Believe In Spring and I followed with an alto flute solo. Folks loved it.
Thanks again to for the warm reception for my new compositions inspired by nature, art and life. You said you especially enjoyed the jazz waltz Isn’t This The Day and the hard swinging close of Gotta Go Go Go. It was also my great pleasure to premiere Wednesday Blue, the piece inspired by the art of Suz Stovall who shed some beautiful tears and rewarded me with a wonderful hug.
Thanks again for being a wonderful audience!! Music has opened to me as never before and as I compose my new music I look forward and can say enthusiastically that my next concert, and the ones after that will each be the best of my life.
I have included some photos of the band provided by photographer and friend John Harder. With a little luck I will be able to share some of the recordings with you too. If you missed this concert, please stayed tuned for the announcement of our Fall show, planned for September.
Be well and happy,
Keith Simon and Joseph Liberti In The Culture Zone.
Keith Simon of KCME and 93.5 Jazz interviewed me for the Culture Zone program. I always enjoy visiting Keith and his Culture Zone interview provides some background and insights into The LifeJazz Show coming up next on May 6, 2018. The music audio for the interview is my new tune What To Do?Listen to the recorded Culture Zone interview below.