Recently as I was getting into my car which was parked in the garage, I noticed a yellow poppy that had found a little gap in the wall and squeezed its bright head through a parted shingle to explore the darkness of the garage. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. It’s adventurous spirit seemed to mirror what I have been up to in the last month. My journey has been, like the poppy, surprising and expansive.
A week ago, I returned from Japan. I went to Kobe with high school student Kristina Buno as ambassadors of Seattle. In April, I won the Kobe /Seattle Sister competition at Dimetrious Jazz Alley along with Khristina who won the high school division.
On May 3rd, we boarded a plane for the 13 hour flight to Kobe Japan beginning our four day stay. Upon our arrival we had a day to rest, which was very welcome. It was a long flight which was made better with warm towels to refresh the hands and face and an ice cream break 5 hours into the flight. It was just an ice cream sandwich but somehow eaten during such a long flight made it a refreshing experience.
Saturday we rehearsed with the fine Japanese trio who were playing for the evening-piano, bass and drums. While waiting for our turn to rehearse we were able listen to a few of the Japanese singers who were competing for the opportunity to to sing at Dimetrious Jazz Alley in September.
It was so very inspiring to see that this American born art form is finding new cultural foot holds. To be with musicians who love jazz made my musical heart happy. As I listened to the singers rehearsing, I wondered if our jazz forefathers and mothers dreamt that their work would reach so far across the globe. Would they have had any idea that their musical contributions would be so appreciated and valued far from American soil?
Kristina and I were finished with competing when we left Seattle, our role was to be an ambassador and to accept the gracious hospitality that we were being showered with. The competition was similar to that of Seattle-several adult singers had 10 minutes to share their songs in front of an audience and were judged by 5 judges. Unlike Seattle where the judges conferred privately and did not interact with the singers, the judges in Kobe gave instant feedback at the conclusion of each singer, much like the TV show The Voice.
Kristina and I were the “halftime show” singing at the half way point of the evening. At the conclusion of our individual performances we were interviewed by the mistress of ceremonies with the help of a translator.
Of course there is more to this travel tale, but I cannot possibly describe all of the wonderful gifts of music and insights that this trip gave me in one installation. More to come!
On another note…
My new CD “Come Together” is going out into the world and making new connections and friends. It is being played in several college and community radio stations across the country. From a recent report the CD has some light play in parts of Europe. Who would have thunk? CD’s are like children, they are birthed and you hope that they will go out in the world and do great things. Who knows what they will become when they grow up?
Save this date…
One more thing! The official CD release party for “Come Together” will be at Tradition’s Cafe 9/16/16 and at North City Bistro Seattle 9/17/16. Save those dates!
I hope this note finds you happy, healthy and wise. Thank you for your support and love! In the meantime, please continue to be fabulous!