Menu
Menu

Where Gifted Musicians Grow

Danilo Perez with BGJI students – Photo by Dave Green

Where do gifted musicians go to become student leaders of a world community and affect positive social change?

by
Doug Hall

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, founded by Grammy-award winning jazz pianist, composer, professor and educator Danilo Pérez, through a curriculum that includes world-music exploration from roots up, to arrangements and performances of original composition, to internships and projects in remote under-represented communities around the globe, students develop into ambassadors for humanity. This is not an ethereal concept or group meditation on a “better world” but a hands-on curriculum that directs these young extra-ordinary musicians to park the “self” for a greater good. Pérez speaks to this part and emphasis in the program, “ When somebody has a gift, I believe he/she has a responsibility…you must have the desire to be a role model in society – and step away from your instrument.” BGJI offers a unique alternative approach to a discipline that has often focused more on developing self-achievement and acceptance based primarily on talent. Pérez keeps his mission and integrity close to the selection process, “you have to have the desire to experience the process of human development…fame is a four letter word.”

a-danilo-perez

Danilo Perez at piano – Photo by Kelly Davidson

Continue reading ...

Help a friend out!

Kuki and The Bard are a ray of light in a sometimes dark place. We love their music and cannot wait to hear more.

Currently living off grid, Kuki and Izzi are in the development phase of raising funds to build a recording studio to give young musicians from differing backgrounds and with differing needs a chance to come and get creative in a natural setting.

Kuki and The Bard are a creative inspiration to live more gently on our beautiful planet.

kuki-and-izzi
 Thank-you for giving back Izzi and Kuki, now let’s encourage and give back to these dream weavers!
Learn more below:
Continue reading ...

Merry New York Christmas

It was in the season of 2002 that Rob Thomas wrote, recorded and released the Christmas single titled

‘A New York Christmas’

The song intended to help raise funds for the

Blythedale Children’s Hospital

in Westchester, New York. Rob had been performing here a number of years in a private concert for the children.  He says;

“It’s an amazing, sobering thing, you know, to go and you see someone who’s 11, 12 years old who’s going through more than I’ve ever gone through in my entire life. And, you say, ‘How’s your Christmas?'” 

Perhaps the true meaning of Christmas can be found inside those words.

May we each find our own way to give back this season, where it be needed most.

Thank you for a beautiful song Rob Thomas. It’s timeless to hearts around the world.

Continue reading ...

Amos Lee – Spirit Tour – Portland – Friday November 18

Amos Lee – Spirit Tour – Portland – truly one of the best experiences of my extraordinarily ordinary musical life.
I once heard him say in an interview that ‘I have the most unfamous – famous voice you will ever hear’ and that could not be closer to the truth. His set blends seamlessly from hit to hit with his newest songs already such a part of him.

Walked in expecting a ‘very acoustic show’ – (which I always love) but was blown away when this handsome dude walked on stage in his stylin’ ensemble and took the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall by storm.
He grabs you – grooves you – moves you – renews you and gently places you back down feeling dizzy after having been vaporized by his charm. Hey I say any guy who can snap his fingers – move his hips and sing like Amos – is a triple threat right there!

a-amos-lee-concert

He imprinted from the start, giving a shout out to his opening act the – ‘T Sisters’ whom he said are old friends and he appreciates their wholesome sincerity. That said so much about what was to come on this magical night, in a world so thirsty for these very things. The only shock value I found here was Amos’s cheeky demeanour, the kind that makes a girl blush because so much life runs through him.

I get so hooked on my favourite songs from the past that I am hesitant to embrace a new album – perhaps for fear that something new will change all that was – but his latest ‘Spirit’ is everything a heart could wish for.  Amos Lee songs draw you in to a place where you feel safe and warm and loved – ‘Spirit’ takes this place to a whole new level. Such a bonding moment when he raised his arms up and sang ‘let the spirit wash over me.’ It solidified everything his music makes you feel.

Adele has said ‘his voice blows her away’ and it’s so true – I’ve not come across another quite like him. What a bonus track to see him live – to experience his bright personality with the music you love so much. While breaking it down mid song – an enthusiastic ‘woot’ came from the crowd and he never missed a beat – just gave a quick nod with a mischevious ‘uh huh’ – which felt a true testament of engagement with his audience and affirmation – we are all in this together.

Ryan Anthony Massaro is a private person who has worked hard to honor the gift of music that has been bestowed upon him and Amos Lee has grown to be someone he can be very proud of.
He has proven that staying the course pays true and one can never underestimate the power of collecting hearts one beat at a time.

“Sometimes we forget who we’ve got – who they  are and who they are not.  There is so much more in love to black and white. Keep it loose child – but keep it tight .”

Amos Lee.

Continue reading ...