Disclaimer: this is not a concert review. It’s an admittedly long-winded depiction of my first experience seeing my now-favorite band play. A review of your first time seeing your favorite band would probably be a bad, biased review, right? If you don’t want to slough through several paragraphs of gushing, I give you full permission to bail now. Totally. I won’t be offended.
One of the things I love most about Dallas is its distinctive neighborhoods and rich communities. When Zach and I first moved to this city in 2013, we lived in an apartment in Deep Ellum. We so enjoyed living there that first year. We could walk to excellent local businesses, such as restaurants, bars and donut shops. We explored the neighborhoods of East Dallas by car, and particularly took a liking to the neighboring Lakewood and Junius Heights. Both neighborhoods featured beautiful, historic houses that we absolutely loved to drive around and gawk at.
When I was in college, I fell in love, hard. It wasn’t sudden. My love for jazz had been building for a few years by then.
It started in seventh grade choir, learning songs like “Hey There” from The Pajama Game and “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady. I would spend nearly all of my high school years obsessing over original Broadway musical soundtracks. I learned during that time that songs from musicals were the popular music of that time. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole and even Judy Garland all recorded nearly every song written by great composers like Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern. These were the songs that got radio play and sold records! And my teenage discovery of an AM radio station dedicated to these old standards unearthed a goldmine of musical knowledge.
For nearly a decade now I've been pursuing my career as a performing songwriter. In my past life, I was an elementary music teacher by day and a professional singer by night. I spent the last half of my college years studying the great American music style known as jazz. It's something that's near and dear to my heart and I want it to always be a part of me. Thus, my new jazz project. Eventually, I'd like to perform regularly in local jazz venues with a combo, but for now, I present my inaugural show at Opening Bell Coffee, which I will play solo. There will be selections from the Great American Songbook as well as a few popular classics, and perhaps an original composition or two. I'll also share some stories about my personal journey with the genre, as I think it reveals a lot about who I am as a person. I look forward to sharing this intimate evening with you.
It's been awhile. A while since what, I'm not exactly sure. A few short years ago I was so active online, keeping my website fresh, posting daily on social media, playing regular shows and basically doing everything I could to make sure people wouldn't forget about me. It's tough to put a finger on what happened to change all that. I've just been living life. Sometimes, I feel like I'm watching other people's lives go along while I'm sitting still.