Showing posts from 2014

New Year's Resolutions

If you are like the average person, the thought of making New Year's resolutions either brings you hope or trepidation... I decided I would ruminate this December about things I would like to continue doing or do altogether differently in 2015. Most involve some inherent benefit to myself or to those around me, or toward greater career productivity. In no particular order, here they are:

1)Practice a minimum of two hours a day. I share this goal with many artists I know--without practice, nobody would want to hear me sing. Enough said.
2) Continue exercising a minimum of 3 days per week. Aerobic exercise just feels good. I tend to feel lousy when I am not doing it regularly, so I look forward to keeping up with my P90X, P90X Plus and P90X3 workouts.
3) Avoid allowing the attitudes and behaviors of negative or toxic people affect my attitude or behavior. This is a toughie for me--as a passionate artist, I am passionate about everything I do. This sometimes rubs people the …

Booking Season!

A working artist always seems to be adding dates to their concert calendar, regardless of the time of year, but the late summer and fall seem to be crucial times each year to make contact with concert presenters who are preparing their concert seasons more than a year in advance. Currently my DTG Productions intern and I are busily preparing press kits, demo recordings, print materials and more to send to interested concert presenters for consideration. My career in performing a variety of different types of shows makes this process complicated, as I am sending out information regarding my symphony pops concerts (both holiday pops and jazz pops), my jazz trio shows and my solo cabaret shows all at the same time to both large and small venues. I am currently planning a big band show in Spartanburg next spring, a solo piano/vocal cabaret in California next summer, and symphony shows for the following 2015-16 season (among other concerts in the works). Concert presenters interested in…

Large Ensemble Work

This photo captured a special moment this past July when I was invited to sing at The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head with the wonderful Bobby Ryder Quartet and proprietor/fluegelhorn player Bob Masteller. This intimate jazz setting--singing in a small club with an attentive audience-- has always been a charming way to share my music. Lately, however, I have increasingly been offered opportunities to share performances with much larger ensembles and larger audiences in larger venues. How does a performing artist traverse the wide pathway of musical demands when challenged by very different types of concerts to perform? First, understanding the differences between both large and small ensemble concerts is the first major challenge. For a jazz improviser like myself, much more freedom is generally available when performing in a small combo setting on a smaller stage (although I have successfully played highly improvised concerts with my combo on a large stage... as long as we are placed…


Tuesday I premiere my Jazz Seasons show in South Carolina... an iteration of this show appeared twice at New York's Metropolitan Room a few years back and was one of my first forays into solo cabaret. I have found that I enjoy playing and singing in this context--the freedom of performing all by oneself is radically liberating somehow. Don't get me wrong--I love performing with great artists! But the cabaret world seems to welcome a person alone onstage. One of the greatest freedoms of performing in this context is the permission to improvise aspects I would ordinarily leave predictable... meter, feel, texture, tempo, rubato... and for a true improviser like myself, that lack of knowing what will happen is particularly gratifying.

This year alone I have premiered four distinct shows: Divas and Masters of Jazz (my latest version of this), The Great American Songbook (with Greenville Jazz Collective), Tish Oney Swings Into Spring, and Jazz Seasons. Last winter I premiered…

Down Time

How does one define "down time?" Why is it necessary? How can one maximize its benefits? Coming off an incredibly busy and intense school year, I am greatly looking forward to exploring these questions over my intentionally not-busy summer ahead... Sure, I have a couple of selected performances scheduled, but overall I am planning to take some time and genuinely REST for a change. For the artist, restfulness needs to happen if one is to remain creative. While we can (and often do) create art under pressure, our creativity lags when we are overly stressed, tired, burned out or generally overloaded for too many months/years at a time. Taking time to get away, ease the stress and place mental energies onto more creative pathways will nourish an overwhelmed artist.

What can I do this summer to recharge my creative batteries? For one, I long to creep back into my dedicated practice time untouched by other encroaching commitments. Giving myself two hours to lose myself in…

Projects and more projects

Jazz concerts, new ventures, recordings, music articles, collaborations... January and February always seem to be the time to plan the "next phase" of projects. I am excited about a concert coming up March first--I will be the first vocalist to ever perform with the Greenville Jazz Collective! This wonderful instrumental ensemble is dedicated to writing and performing new jazz music. As a departure from their norm, we are engaging in a celebration of classic songs from the Great American Songbook programming works by Gershwin, Arlen, Porter, Duke, and Berlin. Our first and only rehearsal hit today--and I already know this performance is going to be a trip! Greenville/Spartanburg folks won't want to wait to get tickets--this ensemble usually sells out this tiny venue fast (The Coffee Underground), so see and order your tickets today!

I have been meaning to release a pop single for several months now... it is fully mastered and ready t…