So, I got new headshots. Beautiful, right?! (Two of them are visible on this page.) I'm referring not so much to the subject matter (although she is impossible to ignore!) as to the photographer, Jessica Siemens. I met Jessica through a friend a couple of years ago and I'm so glad I decided to let her take my new publicity photos. Jessica has been photographing professionally for a long time, so it was surprising to see how organically she works, all up close in natural light. She captures the real you. Take a look at the mini portfolios on her website, and LIKE the Jessica Siemens Photography Facebook page. She's a very cool person and charges very reasonable rates for amazing work. I am so pleased!
Uptown Crew is all over Monticello Avenue these days. I'm hosting our Open Mic every 2nd and 4th Thursday at Moore's Lounge, 189 Monticello Avenue. Moore's has become something of a second home for me, especially since it's practically around the corner from where I live. I'm happy to see that the UC Open Mic has brought new attention and business to this 40+ year community establishment.
Besides Uptown Crew's open mics, Moore's is famous for live jazz. My whole neighborhood, from Journal Square down to Communipaw, West Side Avenue to Monticello, probably has the highest concentration of world-class jazz musicians, and live jazz performances, in all of New Jersey! I'm not kidding -- it's amazing.
So...I'm co-producing a jazz showcase of three live bands at Moore's with two veteran producers and live music professionals: Nick Ciavatta, a highly accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right, an outstanding voice-over artist (you have heard him many times!), and CEO of Friggin Fabulous Productions, and world music expert Neva Wartell, aka DJ Neva, an ethnomusicologist and the brilliant mind behind the Music for the Masses movement. The June 3 show is called JC Originals Jazz, it's part of JC Fridays, and it's going to be amazing!
Inspired by hanging around some super talent singer-songwriters over the past half a year, I've written three new songs in 2011. Nothing on audio/video yet, but come out to one of the Uptown Crew Open Mics and you're likely to hear one of them. I have a new cover too, an old Percy Sledge favorite of mine: At the Dark End of the Street.
I've been cast in a new off-off-Broadway one-act play...Galileo the Musical opens June 8 as part of the Planet Connections Festivity in New York City. This annual theatrical festival focuses on works with an environmental theme. Galileo the Musical jumps from the present, where scientist John Holden attempts to convince Congress that global warming is a real and present danger back to the court of Pope Urban where Galileo attempts to convince the clergy that the earth is not really the center of the universe. Both gentlemen suffer sad rebuke. It's a great play, and I'm super pleased to be involved with such talented people! Being in this production has given me the opportunity I've been looking for: It's made me refocus on my legit singing, what with all the vocal pyrotechnics! Come if you can, and please donate to our fundraising campaign - even $5 makes a difference. Galileo the Musical is a _gaia production.
I'm also working on a spoken word CD. We're in editing mode, and an awesome artist is on board for the artwork. Sorry...can't say too much about it now, but this CD should be available for purchase within the next few months.
Other than that, I'm focused on my domesticity, my heart, and bringing Uptown Crew to the next level - we're working on our 501(c)3 application! Please, LIKE our Facebook page and, if you can, make a donation to support our ongoing activities. We've got a lot in store for the next twelve months, and we need your help -- THE CREW IS YOU!
A life well lived is my wish for us all.