Thursday, December 21, 2023

looking back at 2023

 Hello again, and happy holidays!!

I haven't written in such a long while and felt like taking a look at some of the highlights of my past year to share with you.

In some ways 2023 felt like it flew by, but at the same time upon reflection, some things seemed like they happened ages ago!  

It has been a joy having Paul Ostermayer relocate to the area living only 20 minutes away.  George, Paul and I routinely play through material together.

George has been working a lot in his home studio when he's not in Boston teaching at Berklee. We love Boston and we get to experience a nice balance of city VS small town Lenox each week.

In March we had some snow!

And then we had some more snow...

In April I flew to Austin to be inducted into the Austin Texas Jazz Hall Of Fame.  It was a distinct and sweet honor and a fun gig!

We had a great band playing for the event: Mitch Watkins guitar,  John Fremgen bass, Steve Summer drums, Peggy Stern piano, Su Terry, John Mills and Alex Coke woodwinds...all dear old friends.

My amazing kids surprised me and came to the ceremony!

In April there was also LuluFest ATX!  Peggy brought the amazing saxophonist Su Terry into Austin from Ecuador for our festival. She knocked my socks off!  Do people still say "knocked my socks off"?  As I wrote that I thought it weird and old and odd....but she did blow me away!

Here I am with my dear friend and bass player for many years Paul Unger. 
He came down from Fort Worth for the festival.

And another very dear friend the amazing guitarist Margaret Slovak played a set.

I paused while in Austin last spring to meet the newest addition to our clan!  My grand niece!  She is perfectly adorable!

And...Passover and Easter celebrated with friends and family before heading back on the road.

We are making the most of living in our 140 year old Victorian house in Lenox, with salon concerts in the parlor for the community and a sound proof recording set up in our attic. 

When I'm not making music in Western Massachusetts I'm making bowls out of paper, gold leaf, paste and lacquer.  I'm obsessed!  Music is a theme that runs through most of the vessels.

And then more travels...from San Francisco, to Seattle, to Portland  and....

Again from Boston....

back to Austin.....
Celebrating her 34th...

My daughter Ariana's BD and a night at Antone's...

Tex Mex and Troy!  Austin food is the best!!

Lunch with two renowned Austin talents: Brilliant photographer Brenda Ladd on the left and Texas music legend Marcia Ball on my right. 
Even though Austin has changed profoundly, it still has a truly remarkable, supportive, amazing arts community. 

And back in Massachusetts :
In May I produced LuluFest Lenox...the sister festival of LLF ATX...women led bands music festival.

Here I am with Mary Ann Mc Sweeney on my LLF set...My band was George Oldziey piano, Paul Ostermayer sax and flute, Conor Meehan Drums, and Mary Ann.

On a break with my buddy Nina...

MaryAnn played the following night fronting her own sensational Fado influenced jazz ensemble.

Here are some shots from the Bernstein Theatre sound check.

Mary Ann Mc Sweeney's Fado band, Peggy Stern's Quartet and The Sara Caswell Quartet played that evening.
I am so thrilled to report the evenings performances were old out!

Sara Caswell violin, Mary Ann Mc Sweeney leader and on bass, Todd Isler setting up his drums and Jason Ennis guitar

ke Sturm bass...on Sara Caswell's set.

Jesse Lewis Guitar, Ike Sturm bass, Sara Caswell and Jared Schonig drums

Jared, Ike and Jesse

Todd Isler...

The sold out theater and magical music...a view from the wings:

We are enjoying all of the music and art in this area when we're here. 

In our own home we had the brilliant John Stowell perform in our parlor for a captivated audience in September, and last week we hosted a wonderful holiday / jazz quintet salon performance here.  George played piano, I sang and we had Paul Ostermayer on flute and sax, Jon Sutters on bass and Conor Meehan on drums. We had the warmest most engaged lovely audience.  I believe house concerts may be the best way to experience live music these days!  We loved it.

So onward!!  Here's to making more music and art in 2024.

And a prayer for peace, clarity, understanding and more love pouring into this chaotic world of ours. The world...the planet, needs that!

I am forever the optimist.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Musically and lovingly Yours,