Humor

BOOBS and other stories…

Until now my claim to fame (well in jazz circles at least) has been as a Juilliard-trained saxophonist, flautist and piccolo player (See ABOUT).

Well, two years ago I decided it was time to settle down and find myself a nice solid job with a salary. For the musicians out there reading this, a “salary” is this thing called regular pay, where you get a fixed amount of money to live off of if you do work for someone called “the man”. It brings lots of job security and health benefits, two things that I’ve never had in my life.

I applied for a job in Montana (where I lived at the time), and believing that my qualifications were at least above-average,  I thought I’d at least get an interview. To my dismay, this organization was being run by mostly older white men with a patriarchal mindset and I was sent the ol’ “best of luck” email.

See, I’ve been a woman in a male-dominated field since I began playing music, which has never really bothered me. But at this particular moment I became furious at the status quo, and knew I was being denied something because of my gender. At this moment I had two choices: get on Facebook and have an embarrassing public meltdown OR start writing music about it. I chose the latter and boy am I glad I did!

Cue “BOOBS!” I began writing songs about all sorts of women-related topics: mansplaining, income disparity, boobs, menstruation, abortion, religion/politics, and body image. I’d play these songs for my friends in Montana and began to discover that I was actually funny! These songs snowballed into a full blown musical called “BOOBS: The Musical” for which I organized a reading in NYC featuring an all-Broadway cast.

A friend of mine thought the show as great, but also thought that it could be done as a one-woman show with me at the helm. At first I thought, “NO, not ME? I’m not meant to play funny songs and sing them at the piano! I went to Juilliard Jazz and that is what I do!” But upon further reflection, I decided that you never know if you’re meant to be a musical comic until you try, and since I was making so much money in my jazz career (sarcastic font), I said what the heck.

“BOOBS and other stories” is a one-woman show featuring these hilarious songs and the stories behind them. Fresh off an enormously successful debut in Whitefish in September 2019, I’m bringing the show directly back to NYC for a debut at 54 Below. The sky is the limit with this one guys, watch out…

 

 

Jazz

Sax & Taps – with DeWitt Fleming Jr.

I’ve been lucky to have had a fun and exciting career as a musician (see ABOUT), nothing has compared to the joy and exuberance of Sax & Taps with my duo partner DeWitt Fleming Jr.

We crossed paths in Whitefish, MT while participating in shows with Alpine Theatre Project in 2017. We quickly realized we had several musical colleagues in common and actually had done a gig together fifteen years prior! Before the summer shows were over we decided to record in the studio with Toby Scott, renowned engineer for Bruce Springsteen.

Fast forward to 2019. We knew this project was the real deal and that it was time to do an album. In May we recorded our album live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz At Lincoln Center, with Mark Meadows (piano), Endea Owens (bass) and Carrol Dashiell III (drums). It’s due for release in 2020.

In the meantime, we’re promoting our videos (see below or click on VIDEOS), and booking their album release tour for 2020.

Visit www.saxandtaps.com!

 

Education

Twenty years of Education…

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community that supported the arts in public education. A graduate of Hall High School in West Hartford, I developed a love for music and strong work ethic at a young age.

My seriousness for the study of music began in my freshman year of high school which was also a time when money was a real struggle in my household. Finding the money to pay for bills, rent and food was a constant stressor, and I wanted to help contribute. I knew my town lacked a beginner sax teacher, so I began working with young students and within a year I held a studio with over twenty students a week and was able to help with family finances.

Fast forward to my early career as a musician. My love of education has made it possible for me to work with students of all ages and has brought me to lecture at Juilliard, University of Montana, Drake College, Whitworth University, among others.

My early career was stationed in New York City, but as life there grew prohibitively expensive and exhausting I relocated to Whitefish Montana, an isolated but vibrant cultural hub near Glacier National Park. Within a few years getting my feet wet (in the snow) I’d started two sister companies, one nonprofit and one for profit. Between these two entities I’ve booked hundreds of performances, from private events to appearances at nursing homes and care facilities. These companies have not only provided paid work for the local musicians, they’ve run over a quarter million dollars in revenue through the arts scene in northwest Montana.

Because of the knowledge I’ve gained through these projects, music entrepreneurship has become my most impassioned subject to lecture on. The survival of jazz and the musicians playing it depends on an understanding of its tenets. I believe that if I’d learned about the ins and outs of the business when in college my career would be ten years ahead of where it is now. I hope to share my knowledge with music students across the country and give them tools that will set them up for future success.