Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seattle and Beyond

Seattle was fantastic. Andy Gilbert wrote a really nice article about me and my music in the Seattle Times that significantly helped to attract customers to Bake's Place--particularly for the Saturday night concert. Bake's Place is such a beautiful jazz club. The most challenging thing about it is that it is located within a gated retirement community. A lot of people are put off by that fact and don't want to go there. But if they could just get beyond their own perception of what that must be like, they would realize what an awesome place Bake's Place truly is. The acoustics are wonderful, the environment is very intimate--it only seats 72 people, and the musical experience is probably like no other in Seattle. Many of the people that came out this weekend had never been to Bake's before. It was because of the article that they came (power to the press!!). I was very grateful and happy to have such fantastic audiences both nights. I made some great new fans and the band, as always, played spectacularly. Traveling with Murray, Peter and Paul is so much fun. They all have such great senses of humor and we all get along very well. I was also happy because the hotel I chose for us to stay in this time was close to the Sound and so we were able to walk down to the water and explore a different part of the Seattle area. While down at the water we saw a couple walking their cat on a leash! Peter got video of it--I'll see if I can post something here soon. So bizarre.

The whole weekend was a huge success. The Jewish Film Festival concert was completely sold out to the point where people had to be turned away. What a thrill that was. And the septet played beautifully. We are all now settling in to this new music and it is beginning to take on a life of its own. That is when the magic really starts to present itself. Even over the weekend in Seattle we played some of the Sephardic songs. As a quartet it was a little more of a challenge for the band, but we figured it out and created some new and interesting sounds around the songs. I guess for me it just really doesn't matter in what context I get to perform--I just LOVE to sing and any and all opportunities are a blessing and a treat for me.

Now I have a month to prepare for the La Peña concert on Dec. 21. The artists are submitting their artwork for the art exhibit by Nov. 30. the art gets hung in the lobby on Dec. 3 and the art reception will be the night of the concert. I also have to contact all of the JCCs in this area to drop off flyers for the concert. The goal is to sell out for this event. I think it will be a truly special evening of art and music and I need to make sure it is well organized and as wonderful as I am envisioning!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let me say first off that in the first time in my life I have never felt more proud to be an American! I truly feel the country finally got it right this time in electing Obama and he seems to already be proving that, even before his inauguration. As I've spoken with many people over the course of the past week, both in the SF Bay Area and in New York, I hear and feel a new sense of community, positivity and HOPE. It's fascinating to me that an election such as this historic one, can change a country's entire attitude towards life. Now I'm sure there are people who are very disappointed in the outcome, but I am confident that they, too, will see the change in the world's feeling towards us. And I must say that McCain gave a beautiful concession speech that really seemed to help to bring the country together. Okay, enough about politics.

After spending a few days in Brooklyn and NYC I am back home madly preparing for this weekend. Thursday, at the Cubberly Theater in Palo Alto, I will be performing after the showing of a documentary about an Israeli singer, Yasmin Levy, who is trying to keep Sephardic music alive. The Sephardic Music Experience will be performing a one hour concert after the movie. I love the idea of combining the arts in this way. AND to top it all off, I was featured in the Palo Alto Weekly and put on the cover of the paper! Check it out: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/morguepdf/2008/2008_11_07.paw.section1.pdf

And then the next morning me, Murray, Peter and Paul will all head up to Seattle to play at Bake's Place in Issaquah for a two night stint. I'm looking forward to returning to Seattle to perform. The audiences there are very receptive and friendly. AND it will just be fun to be on the road with the guys for a couple of days. Lots to prepare, lots of practicing to do, lots of excitement in the air!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Waiting, Hoping, Praying

I must admit that I will be relieved when this election has been finally put to bed. I am so excited about the prospect of having an intelligent president who actually might turns things around and instill a new hope into this country. But what if Obama isn't elected? What if the country chooses yet another idiot to run things? Are we really a country of so many ignorant people that we can't see who is the stronger candidate? Is it a color thing? A liberal thing? Shouldn't we decide on the candidate who will lead us in an even mannered way, who has the education and the willingness to grow and learn? Shouldn't we choose someone who is actually in touch with everyday people instead of someone who has lived with a silver spoon in his mouth? And don't even get me started about how frightening it would be to have Palin in Washington. No, I just don't even want to imagine how even more screwed up the United States will become if McCain is elected.

I don't usually spout about politics. Before now it was never something I wanted to be involved in. But what has happened to this country over the past 8 years has awakened me. And to have someone like Obama appear and instill so much hope for change and a positive future has changed me. For the first time I am excited about the election. It's not about the lesser of two evils, but about choosing someone who will lead us into a future we can be proud to be a part of. Right now I have to admit I'm a little embarrassed to be an American--especially when I leave the country. I don't want to feel this way any more. I want to know how it feels to be a proud American. I want to be able to hold my head up and not have to make excuses about why a country as large and strong as the US would be stupid enough to choose an idiot like Bush--TWICE! PLEASE, oh PLEASE make the right decision tomorrow and vote for Obama. If he isn't elected then I am very seriously going to start looking for a new country I can call home. I can't fathom what life would be like under another regime as we have had. Now I just need to figure out which country to move to. I really hope it doesn't come to that.