Ooh! I’m so excited! Somebody pinch me!

I’ve been asked to join onstage the inestimable and peerless Dr. John on March 29, 30 & 31 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in a tribute to “New Orleans’ greatest musical son”, Louis Armstrong. This tribute is the first part of Dr. John’s 2012 Artist Residency, “Insides Out”. Other artists scheduled to appear:

Kermit Ruffins
Rickie Lee Jones
Roy Hargrove
Arturo Sandoval
Blind Boys of Alabama
Wendell Brunious
Telmary Diaz
James Andrews

read more…

In addition to the foregoing, I’m adding two more gigs to my itinerary page on the website, but I’m giving y’all the skinny first – as I always do.

The first is with Fred Hersch. Fred is a musician I’ve admired since listening to him for the first time several years ago at own my pianist’s behest!

I love Fred’s imagination, the unabashed freedom with which he plays, the risks he takes and the incorporation of the more personal aspects of his life into his music. Fred’s CD release of 2011 “Alone At the Vanguard” received two Grammy nominations; one for best jazz instrumental album and the other for best instrumental jazz single on that album, “Work” by Thelonious Monk.

And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite for Fred’s music, gift yourself an unforgettable experience by clicking here and reading about “My Coma Dreams”, a series of compositions based on eight specific dreams Fred had while in a medically-induced coma for two months.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an entire concert of duets only with anyone. I’m starting to get nervous!

May 31 and June 1st will find me back in Denver, Colorado at Dazzle with the most dynamic, innovative and playful ensemble I have ever heard play anywhere – Convergence.

You gotta watch out when you hear Convergence live; their music is like a contact sport – you gonna get hit everywhere. First time I sang with them, I found myself holding on for dear life!

We did a collaboration together a couple years ago where they took some of my original music and arranged it to fit their 6-piece ensemble: Greg Gisbert (tpt); John Gunther (sax); Eric Gunnison (pno); Mark Patterson (tbn); Paul Romaine (drs); Mark Simon (bs). Now we’re back at it again with brand new material.

Individually, these musicians are superb. Together, they are a tour de force. Personally? I’m scared…

Since moving back to Virginia, I have really missed Colorado and all my wonderful friends, so y’all better come. Otherwise, you just might find some gris-gris on your doorstep!

March 20, 2012

forget safety. live where you fear to live.
destroy your reputation. be notorious. ~ rumi

spring is here. that wonderful confluence of all the sassiness, flavor and juice in the universe getting together simultaneously and just “showing off”, as my dad used to call it.

spring is here. and there is no turning back to the darkness and cold of lifeless winter. what’s that? you say you like it cold and dark? you gonna have to go somewhere else to find it these days. you can stay in bed under the covers if you want to, but the birds of spring are conspiring to have you do otherwise. and if those winter cobwebs just refuse to clear from your head, then you need a serious dose of a favorite cartoon of mine that used to rev me up when i was a kid.

spring is here. and i wanna be like those trees just outside my window, sap running through them, letting nothing stop them from blooming and pushing forth new buds, new leaves, new growth. old trees ain’t feelin’ no shame towering over y’all young saplings. we ain’t embarrassed by our crusty old bark, a lifetime of leaves at our feet. ain’t chagrined when we shed old branches. with our growth rings as our autobiography and our arms reaching out to the sun and roots that run deep, trees like us have withstood the test of seasons. a hard wind would flatten y’all younger trees right on over to the ground. that tree you sometimes see growing all by itself on the side of a mountain crag? that’s the tree i wanna be – seemingly defying logic, gravity and good sense; forgetting safety, being talked about by all the other trees who cling to more solid ground, being notorious; not holding on for dear life, mind you – but blooming and springing and singing! and if i fall, i fall. just like love.

spring is here, i say!

what you seek is seeking you. ~ rumi

i am seeking your help – not your money – your help. this year, i am seeking 15 small, black box theatres on the east coast in which to perform my one-woman show “Slut Energy Theory – U’Dean” (that’s me in the pic as U’Dean). “Slut Energy Theory – U’Dean” is a play about surviving some of life’s greatest challenges and thriving as one learns to speak one’s own truths. please click here for detailed description, reviews, etc.

since its premiere in 2009, i have performed “Slut Energy Theory – U’Dean” in denver and boulder, colorado; dallas, texas; and tampa, florida. now that i have moved back to the east coast, i am seeking to bring this show to small theatres that seat no more than 150. the 2-act structure of the play is simple: it requires 4 props; the music is on a CD; the sound and light cues are simple; and there is a talkback at the end. my fee is nominal. i’m approaching it this way because i believe in this play and i believe in U’Dean and her message. it is my desire to bring U’Dean to smaller communities, as well. performing excerpts of it for womens’ shelters in the area is a prime goal. some of you reading this newsletter are directly connected with theatres. and the rest of you who may not be directly connected with theatres most likely know of someone who is, or you may simply live in a town that has the kind of theatre i seek.

a gesture as uncomplicated as replying to this email with the name of a black box theatre will be a big help. if you have the contact info of someone connected with such a theatre, that’s even better. and if you point me in the direction of someone who could walk me through the steps of getting a grant to bring this play to small towns & community theatres, that would be stupendous!

you’ll notice my itinerary so far this year is quite open. that’s because i believe there are at least 15 theatres along the east coast that are seeking a play like mine and that by means of this newsletter, the itinerary will quickly fill in with dates for “Slut Energy Theory – U’Dean”. and i believe that some of you -as you read this – are already seeking a way to connect me to those theatres. thank you in advance for your sweet, sweet help.