I’ve just found out about Tidal – according to the blurb:. “the first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and curated editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.” Anyway, you can now stream my music on Tidal. One of my audiophile friends let me know, so I’m letting you know. Click the picture to go to the Nights of Key Largo album, but I think Obsession is on there too. In other news, my albums Nights of Key Largo (Venus) and Beyond the Blue (Venus) are now available as SACDs – Super Audio Compact Discs, For those who don’t know, single-layer SACDs can only be played on a Super Audio CD player. Check them out on the CDs page.
Each year that I go back to this jazz festival (this was my sixth year) it’s better than before! Rochester was my first ever festival (in 2007) and I think it will always be my favorite. I will always be forever grateful to Ron Netsky who wrote my first preview, and first review, which was the beginning.
This year I went a day early without even realizing that meant I could see my favorite contemporary singer, the phenomenal Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah. She was, as usual, amazing and we all loved her. At least I think that’s what three standing ovations means , , ,
And afterwards, backstage with Ron Netsky, she hugged and kissed me and asked after my family. I was amazed she would remember so much about me. from one meeting plus my having picked one of her songs as one of my Jazz Jukebox (click the play arrow) choices when I played at Ruth Price’s Jazz Bakery one year. Then again, that’s how she sings – very real and engaged and generous. I have bought her albums for the children in my life – I am nine, so I know what other nine-year-olds love – and they all love her too.
Our own festival gigs were fantastic. The Rochester crowd is always incredible. Someone in the audience on the first night welcomed me “home” and that is what it feels like now! But this year I was worried about filling such large capacity rooms (700 and 500) over two nights. But there had been so much fantastic pre-press in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and the Rochester City Paper (see below) that all the shows were packed and a lot of people came to both nights! Thank you. Here are the reviews of the first night for the first set (by Justin Murphy of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle) and the second set (by Ron Netsky of the Rochester City Paper). Being interviewed by Derrick Lucas of 90.1 definitely helped too – although please excuse my appearance. Who knew that a radio interview would be video-ed! And thank you also Lee Russ on North Coast Radio. I’ll be back! Here are some of the pictures.
Thank you, Ron Netsky at the Rochester CIty Paper for this.
And Jack Garner (and Jeff Spevac – yes, do go and see Youn Sun Nah!) – for this
Okay, it is totally insane but SOMEHOW, along with one of my favorite singers in the whole world, Youn Sun Nah, I have been picked as the one show overall not to miss at the upcoming (and actually star-studded) nine-day Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Youn will be performing on June 29th (I’ll be in the audience) and I will be performing on June 30 and July 1. So you can see us both! Hooray! Not sure how that happened but I am thrilled! You can read the whole article here. Thank you Jack Garner (who picked me) and Jeff Spevac (who picked Youn Sun Nah) for putting me in the same camp as one of my ultimate musical heroines. And thank you, Rochester, for having me back. This will be my sixth year!
Billy Drummond and I went to see Youn Sun Nah perform a couple of years ago at the Blue Note in New York. When we went back stage, I was amazed that she knew who I was. She gave me three of her CDs, which she’d specially saved for me. It is so great to meet someone you admire and find out that they are every bit as lovely as their music.
Finding my way between the two cities notwithstanding (always a challenge for the directional dyslexic), I was so thrilled to be back at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco this week, and blown away to have my debut at the San Jose Jazz Festival Summerfest, playing with wonderful musicians, Hristo Vitchev, Dan Robbins and Jemal Ramirez.
Not to mention staying with my lovely friend Shannon, surrounded by Redwood groves and lovely smelling flowers and eucalyuptus trees. Something about those Redwoods. They feel so present, as if they have souls or something.
And having my coffee on the deck in the morning with birds. And eating pears picked from the trees in the garden. Shannon totally spoiled me! I could get used to that life.
My San Jose Jazz Festival debut was amazing fun and we sold out Cafe Stritch, which surprised me because the venue is huge. Then again, that’s why we love festivals. I kept running into people outside when I was wandering around who said they’d been turned away at the door. But I played two days – the second day with just Hristo and Jemal in the Pagoda Room – so some of the people who hadn’t been able to get in the day before were able to make it, and some who had been there the day before made it again. It is so wonderful traveling for music and meeting new people – including my new-to-me cousin, Gabrielle, who came with her beautiful daughter, Arielle. And making it even more fun, we were interviewed on the spot for KCSM Radio by Dick Conte and Melanie Burzon. I love California.
Cafe Stritch has the best green room I’ve ever seen. You could have another gig up there. In fact, I think they used to have gigs up there years ago. I wielded my all-stages pass and ran into tons of great musicians, including Karrin Allyson (also playing at Cafe Stritch), The Royal Bopsters, JC Stylles, Will Calhoun, Nastuko and Eddie Henderson and Jana Herzen. It’s a beautiful festival in a beautiful city. More please!
I had such an amazing time in England this trip. First of all, I got to hang with my family, which was a gigantic treat. And I got to travel around the country a bit more than usual. I went to Durham for the first time, which is so beautiful. Super English and very civilized (by which I mean they had fish and chip shops, cake shops, tons of well-stocked Oxfams, decent Cadbury’s chocolate, PG Tips and great Indian food).
And I had my debut performance in gorgeous Newcastle which I am horrified to report I had never been to before, and which I was surprised to find at least as beautiful as (famously beautiful) Bath. Prior to this visit, the only associations I had were coal (as per the saying “Like taking coals to Newcastle”), beer (Newcastle Brown Ale) and factories. How wrong. Besides which, it’s worth going there for the accent alone, which is hands down IMO the most beautiful accent in all of Great Britain. I was asking directions just to hear it over and over again. And I got to play with the Peter Gilligan Trio which was really fun at a wonderful venue called The Cherry Tree. I have to keep reminding myself how lucky I am to play with all these great people all over the world.
Speaking of which, London’s Pizza Express was a blast. We had a packed house, which is always fun, and I got to sing with the incredible Cleveland Watkiss who surprised me by being in the audience and who I invited onto the stage for an unrehearsed “I’ll Remember April” (I think) as well as to join me with drummer/singer extraordinaire Winston Clifford (who I always love singing with in London) on Ayub Ogada’s “Kothbiro” – singing harmonies and taking turns at soloing. What an amazing singer and musician and what a treat it was to share the stage with him at first sight! My cousin, bassist Sara Loewenthal, of the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, who has wanted to get us in the same stage for years, took the pictures.
It was also my first time playing with Neville Malcolm and Sean Hargreaves – both beautiful people and players and this trio is now my UK core band. I love them and we laughed so much at our six-hour (pub break included) rehearsal – which I went to pretty much straight off the plane from New York. Eesh! Yes I was tired but it didn’t matter. And I also had my first ever gig at Pizza Express in Maidstone, which was lovely in a more low key way (by which I mean, er . . . not packed), and I met some lovely people, who I hope to see next time.
I’m finishing up my next CD and will plan a trip back maybe in the fall. Not sure yet. But definitely before the weather turns mean – although, it has to be said, it rained every single day of this trip. So I suppose, to borrow a poem by (quite obviously British) Anon:
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.”
See you then!
Well, actually, it aired already … on Valentine’s Day this year. But it’s coming back to be re-aired on the Rochester PBS Network on Friday, June 17th at 10pm on WXXI-TV, and has just been released to the national networks. Watch this space for more news. Meanwhile, you can read all about the unbelievable series of cock-ups that led to this gig almost not even happening HERE
Finally getting near to the finished mix of Picture in Black and White. Next up – mastering! I can’t wait. The hardest thing of all is the listening back to it and switching on just enough critical listening to discern the best takes without being so self-critical that you just want to discard the whole thing. Here we are back in November, which feels like years ago, at Systems Two, Brooklyn.
It’s a little bit funny … being in such great company. But it’s true! I can’t quite believe it happened – especially given all the cock-ups on the journey to get there. (See two blogs ago). Thank you Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival for having me, and for everything. Thank you Dana Leong, Adam Platt and Keita Ogawa for being such great sports.