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As a rule I don’t teach, however through my record label Motema, I was offered a chance to work with a very unique band called NED who plans to make a record this spring. They are all part-time musicians but full time Gynecologic Oncologists many of whom are leaders in this small, specialized field of medicine. I spent about 23 hours at SIR studios between noon on Friday and Sunday at 2PM, when we finished a quick recording of the sixth original song that they played together for the first time this weekend. Their record will ultimately come out next year and be a vehicle to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. What drew me in was the chance to experience what these kind doctors would go through in becoming a band and trying their hands at being songwriters. I was inspired to be the songwriting, guitar and band coach for the weekend. In my role, I functioned as an assistant to producer/mixer/ engineer Mario McNulty (David Bowie, Angelique Kidjo). They were such hard workers, each and everyone of them, as one might expect. Still when I arrived Sunday morning, I was brought to tears to hear a new song they worked on before Mario and I arrived. It was an amazing transformation to see them becoming a band before our eyes. It was a feel good festival except for when it wasn’t and that was seldom. NED is an acronym for ‘no evidence of disease’ the best of all diagnosis in their specialized field whose mortality rates haven’t improved more than 3% in the last fifty years. I learned this and so much more this weekend. To learn more about their fascinating story see the links below. To learn more about ovarian cancer or make a donation, please visit the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation : http://www.thegcf.org/ and see the link to Donate Now and a link to NED. Meet my new friends John, Will, Joanie, Nimesh, Rusty and John.
Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2008/12/07/2008-12-07_all_hail_t he_rock_docs.html
Vote for KJ for the Vox Populi (People's Choice) Award in this year's IMAs!! KJ has been nominated in the Live Performances category for her album Dal Vivo a Umbria Jazz! But only you can help her win the Vox Populi Award in this category, so go and vote!!
1. Go to this link: http://www.musiciansatlas.com/imafinalist/Default.aspx?maincat=6&yr=2009&scat=20 (copy and paste into your browser)
2. Register to vote
3. Rate KJ's song (the higher the better!! :) )
A quick note that my new album, Dal Vivo a Umbria Jazz, went live on iTunes this morning. Just in time for the holidays. You can buy it by visiting this link: http://itunes. apple. com/WebObjects/MZStore. woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=294106153&s=143441 I hear it makes a perfect stocking stuffer. Ho, Ho, Ha!
I just received very good news. My new album, Dal Vivo a Umbria Jazz, is a finalist in the "Live Performance" category of the Independent Music Awards alongside Martin Sexton and April Smith.
Election day has been a memorable one for years. Eight years ago I never went to bed and woke up during a replay on the news, got fooled and fell back asleep. Today I don't know whether to laugh or cry, sleep or pace though I'm more inclined to sleep because I believe in the outcome. This is not about race in my limited view of the world, I want to recognize Mr. Obama for the man that he is and the kind of campaign he chose to run. Our future is hinging on more than just this one man but for the day I am happy to revel in the historic significance. I am feeling lucky to be my age, to have at least this perspective.
I have the perspective a sixties child, raised in New York City, a first generation American. I wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to claim Mr. Obama as their own, at least now that the Hillary supporters have made peace with the reality. I want to claim the part of him that was raised with the knowledge that he was a product of both races. I cried at the nomination, on television, delivered by Hillary in a sea of secret service and supporters.
Today I feel my age in the most positive way. I have the perspective of the civil rights movement in it's early and brutal days though as a New Yorker it had a false distance for me that was the perspective of a child, a child from New York.
Not so very long ago I was out to watch Ruthie Foster perform. Her guitar playing sounded great and her singing was so strong but what got to me was that I felt a sense of envy as she told poignant stories about her hometown of Texas and a general feed store where today you can buy a Ruthie Foster CD. For a moment, I sat there wanting a real hometown, with sayings and tales of survival, pillars of the community. Instead I had to be born in a city so large that saying good morning to everyone you saw on the street would take hours out of everyday. It'd make you seem like a doofis if may reach for the way I would have described this when I was a child.
I am still that child and I still play the guitar and make up songs. Some days it seems like I should be doing so much more and I marvel at my friends who have been volunteering and making calls, or my lawyer who couldn't talk to me because he was leaving for Pennsylvania to watch polls. I had a friend in High School who wanted to be President of the USA. She was born in Italy and immigrated here, was brilliant and works as a producer for CBS news in Rome. I travel to Italy to play my songs. There was no line where I went to vote- I was number 153 and my name was there in the book. Lisa and I 'high fived' as best we could, it takes a lot of them to look at ease doing a high five. Still we tried and I have a wealth of memories and pocket of hope left in my heart, cultivated in possibly the greatest metropolis in the world. I'm not sure if I'll sleep tonight. I am enjoying the way that I feel even the apprehension feels appropriate and real. What an amazing 50 years it's been. I am as lucky as they come.