(March-April 2020)

Listen to Blind Lemon Jefferson ‘How long?’
Hello dear family, 

That may sound strange, but now, we are truly all related more than ever. Blood or no blood. Related through isolation, related through screens, related through news, related through sickness and health, related through joyful online reunions (now that we have more time to settle) and related through headphone and speaker sounds that never seem to end.

I have procrastinated on this letter for awhile, mostly because there is not much I can really say to help any of us truly make sense of this time. We are all experiencing the various levels of trauma-zone we find ourselves in, in our own unique and personal ways and if you are like me, music is proving to be one of the most soothing elements in the midst of this bumpy and blurry ride. We SHALL Overcome! Hang in everyone!

Thank goodness for the communication tools and systems we have at hand though!

Even if they do sometimes bring us sad news as so many great musicians from our family circle move onto and into higher places of existence.

From our evening porch concerts (when it’s been warm enough to play without freezing fingers) following the neighborhood salutes to the frontline workers, to the online lessons and classes I have been filling my week with, to the time I have with amazing groups of music students in my many masterclass visits, to the exciting online recording projects that I am honored to be playing on – I am lucky and thankful.

If you didn’t see this, grab a tissue and enjoy. Jens Lindemann pulled this one off right at the beginning of all of the shut down. I was not set up to record video yet but I did my best.
‘A Hope for the Future’ was written as a tribute to the true frontline heroes around the globe, health care specialists dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic!
As the spring semester winds down, I’ll be posting more videos in this format as my composition students and combo finish up their amazing works.

Speaking of students! This past week was filled with exciting meetings and hello’s as I accepted a humbling position at the Manhattan School of Music to fill in as interim Artistic director of the Jazz program as the great Stefon Harris moves on to do even more wonderful things with his ‘mad’ education skills and more.

I was recruited by Stefon a few years ago to teach trumpet lessons at MSM and was blown away with the high level of the students, not to mention the beautiful level of community and caring that the student body expressed in our day to day interactions on campus. 

I will do my best to keep the ship on a steady course with respect to the positive direction that Stefon has created, as I  both honor the history of such a prestigious institution while bringing a few of my own ideas on board  in the process. 

In the meantime on the home front ( since everything is on the home front these days) ~

There is third grade online school for our daughter, semi-daily online yoga and Hiit classes, gardening in our front yard garden, zoom family hangings, fundraisers and festivals galore, our daily porch concerts and bugle calls out of my studio window and the crucial daily walk/run/bike around the neighborhood no matter what the weather. Jon is building a solid and beautiful sound-proofed studio in the basement and our new couch is proving to be an amazing invention! Yes, the TV made it downstairs and I am finally catching up on Schitts Creek and the incredible MasterClass series that you may have all seen so heavily plugged on Youtube. The Itzhak Perlman and Herbie episodes are worth the price of admission, and then some!

In the midst of it all there are album releases and upcoming online Festivals and Zoom Listening hangs.

Keep and eye on my website for details. (some dates listed below)

I’m so thrilled and honored to be part of this incredible project ~

Joel Harrison. America at War!

Buy, listen, enjoy.

Congratulations to Joel and the big bad big band team of brilliant musicians conducted by the great Matt Holman.

Resource links to help us all in the area of mental health and more ~

Krista Tippitt- On Being (podcast)
Michael A Singer – The Untethered Soul

Some music to sooth the soul ~
Chris Dingman- Embrace
John Scofield – Quiet

Dates in the book that will happen FOR SURE!

May 13th – 7 PM   The Royal Room Livestream hosted by Thomas Marriot

May 18th – Act 4 FestivalMore good things on the way.

Stay strong, be soft, dig deep, listen hard and reach out to one another and stay in touch. Health and peace to all.“Love is not consolation, it is light.“   Simon Weil.

Some photos from the old road.

In music and in love,
“As the doors closed to gigs and tours, live bloggings and lounge access breakfasts, I find my photo cache filling up with images of the earth, and it’s unraveling of springtime beauty…”Ingrid Jensen, April 2020.