In the WBGO Gallery through September 30, 2018
Gallery Reception Thursday, September 6, 6-8PM
The NYC Jazz Scene Series started as a whimsical way for me to tie in my music with my painting. I decided to paint the clubs where I have sung or even just sat-in over the past 15 years. Some of these places are not conventional jazz clubs- just places where a traditional jazz scene has been created (for example the Carlyle Hotel). It started with The Ear Inn. I had had the late night gig from 12am to 3 am many times, and the Ear was legendary. One time Hank Jones came in. while we were playing. He said something lovely to the band on his way out, and then it hit me who he was, so I ran out onto the sidewalk to talk to him. The Cajun was a great place to congregate. It was one crazy club run by a very crazy couple. Eddy Davis had a regular there, where we all learned so much. He helped so many musicians get their “sea legs”. Vince Giordano had a Monday night there when I was making my first CD with him and we would try out all the upcoming tunes. He really created a scene. Terra Blues was my first gig as a bandleader. Dan Levinson gave it to me. I was subbing for him, and I remember he said I was “ready.” Dizzy’s is a painting from a more recent gig with Wycliffe Gordon. I think I finished painting it a day before we performed. So it was “life imitating art” in that case. My art, both audio and visual, is about joy, and in most cases how I wish the world to be. As that wonderful song says “you’re nearer heaven on mother Earth’s green.” I have never been so honored or touched by anything as I have been while reading these essays from the people who have meant the most to me in my career in NYC. I treasure the history I have with them and our shared musical experience here in New York.