On this day last year I was meeting and visiting my birth mother’s home for the first time. The Southern United States for the first time. It was beyond inspiring - transformative, redeeming. It is exciting and lovely how nothing has changed in my feelings for Shirley since then. I’m in a perpetual newlywed phase. We didn’t have to go through any of the mother daughter conflict so endemic of that relationship. There’s nothing complicated about our feelings for one another- at least in no traditional sense. We just keep on adoring one another. There’s a part of me that just wants to move to a little house down the road from my mother in Shreveport and set up house, spend as many hours as I can making up for those lost. Hear her stories. Make her laugh. Learn each other. Then there’s that other thirsty part of me that is so excited, so giddy giggly with the way the NoteSpeak project is progressing.
We had the best time touring through Italy, Austria and had a great finale with a sold-out show in Prague for the International Jazz Festival in November. None of us had played the Czech Republic previously we and were much impressed with the power of the interwebs to spread the word.
‘Note Speak stretches all boundaries with intriguing spoken word backed by an ambitious jazz ensemble, all with original compositions of poetry, prose and musical wonder. Note Speak literally had the sold-out audience leaning in to every word and every note during the entire show. The audience was wild for both the concept and the execution, craving more that is sure to come from this creative act.’ Denis Budankov Artistic Director International Jazz Festival hosted by Reduta Jazz Club Prague.
This was the first long jaunt for the new touring band and, as such, a bit of , ahem, a test for how well we’d manage on the road together. I’m happy to report that though these musicians are each and every one exceptional players- there are no prima donnas here. Everyone got along splendidly and the show just kept getting stronger each night. We also laughed a LOT in the van and out.
We are kicking off 2020 with a bang. In January we are heading for Jaipur Literature Festival where we've been invited to perform on the main stage. (Past performers include David Gray, Tinariwen, Susheela Raman, Karsh Kale, Beth Orton & Sam Amidon, Lisa Hannigan & Dub FX). In March, NoteSpeak will be released and I’ll be heading to Philadelphia to meet with the CEO of Ropeadope Recordsand do some interviews. All kinds of good things coming up for the release and the summer tour so do stay tuned. If you haven’t yet please sign up for the mailing list to find out what the skinny is before anyone else.