UPDATE ARCHIVES

I had the honor of meeting with The Recording Academy’s 50th anniversary ambassador and music industry extraordinaire “Q”. His gracious and magnetic charisma lit up the room! I even had a book signed. “The Complete Quincy Jones -My Journey and Passions” is a wonderful addition to my music collection, beautifully written with a spectacular visual presentation and loads of interesting memorabilia reflecting into a life of phenomenal almost incomprehensible achievement, kind humanitarian service, genuine loving relationships, and a deep sense of gratitude. What a great life and a truly enjoyable read! I found it interesting that we are both musical junkies!

I also had the opportunity to support the grand opening of the Grammy Museum by attending an entertaining night at L.A. Live Grammy Nominations. Although I got there a little late due to an unexpected heavy traffic delay, I arrived in time to enjoy John Mayer carry out an acoustic set all on his own. I really dig his music and uplifting lyrical compositions. “Fathers Be Good to Your Daughters…. Daughters Will Love Like You Do…. Girls Become Lovers that Turn into Mothers… So Mothers Be Good to Your Daughters Too” How beautiful is that? Most notably there is a special quality in his voice that complements his music, comparable to a soothing summer breeze blended with a soulful rocker’s edge.

When I got to the after party I was amused to find Morris Day and the Time as the entertainment for the night. Wow! What a surprise! During an interview with manager/publicist Patrick Salvo, a few years back, I was asked to list a few of my favorite movies and Purple Rain was mentioned. The band put on a way cool show with lots of humor and good time danceable music. I think what makes Morris Day ultimately entertaining is his ultra suave persona. He’s got a knack for being smooth. The entire band resonates a strong style in sharp dressed what I call Mafia attire, exceptional showmanship, both strong in musicality and solid choreography. Jimmy Jam’s high class “hitman” energy adds a special touch to this band and was that Jellybean over there on the stage right keyboard synchronizing in the cool dance moves? Last week at the NAMM show as I was walking by, I noticed Terry Lewis on a Monster endorsement poster at the booth and I think that says it all regarding his monster musical career.

The NAMM show was fun. I continue to work with YRS MIDI Systems. I even have an ongoing endorsement with them. Anything I need as far as custom computer recording gear, digital workstations, or tech support is just a phone call away. I am a spokeswoman for the company and also keep them informed when I run across great products that I think may be essential in adding to the retail part of the company. This year I introduced George York, president of YRS MIDI Systems and YRS MIDI Productions to Solid Stand. I recommend this stand to any keyboardist who demands nothing but the best in their personal gear. It is “Freedom” patented and freedom is good word for it. I think it has a hydraulic lift or something like that, operated by foot pedals. I want one for myself. For more info visit www.solidstand.com

I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with George York and Nate Moyer (my new production artist) at the show. George is also co-writer of some of my songs.

Back in 1994 George and I recorded at the YRS MIDI Productions along with producer/ arranger Rick Tell. Later down the road, I remade the song, “The Carousel” on my album “Tattooed in Skin”. It’s been a few years back. This week at the convention I ran into both, the drummer Eddie Rogers and then later that evening the bassist, Billy Sheehan of that particular project. When we were all three in the studio together, Billy was putting down bass lines with Eddie tracking in his studio (Bitwerx North Hollywood), and I myself was music director/producer. There were some magical artistry moments when the entire room lit up. Billy did a spectacular job on bass and as producer I brought up the levels on certain moments when I felt the bass melody should shine in the spotlight. I also must note that Eddie really rocks on drums! Together they made a great a team! It’s been quite a few years now since that project and we’ve all moved on. When I ran into Eddie this week, I immediately noticed that his face lit up when Billy came into the conversation. Those cool memories in that studio triggered his energy field and brought him up quite a few watts in brightness. Eddie was Steve Vai's drummer during their Berklee College years and I think we both agree that Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan together made an incredible team. That was an understatement. Later that evening I ran into Billy and stopped to say hi. There were quite a few people around and I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation. However it would be nice someday if we all three have time to sit down and talk for a few moments without crowds and distraction.


I had the opportunity to stop in and say hello and thank Brian Chung Vice President of Kawai, once again for my digital baby grand piano endorsement. To this day I absolutely love my Kawai and am always excited to find the new updates. The sound is rich in quality, the design exquisite with seven speakers carefully placed into the body of the instrument so that the keys vibrate like a real stringed instrument with the convenience of not having to tune it and I love the action of the keys! There is an orchestra of quality sound at your fingertips with an ease to layer sound, program, and change programs by one press of one button. It even has built in recording, mixing board, and effects. There is a built in metronome that can be programmed to any time signature, and you may also adjust the volume and the metronome speed. There are two built in headphone plug-ins if you want to rock out late at night with a friend and much more! This year I wrote an entire album’s worth of material on this baby composed of classical based melodic rock and a few soft ballads. I’ve added a lot of diminished scale work and exotic chord changes to make it interesting. I did not do this on purpose. It just came out that way and I’m really excited to continue this project. In one song, I combined a Locrian scale to a 1-4-5 blues progression. I plan to keep that one as an instrumental.

 


George, Nate, and I stopped by Carvin. I have an endorsement with them on a keyboard amplifier thanks to recording artist, Craig Chaquico and Bob Chini, Carvin artist relations manager.. I worked with Craig for seven years as Vice-President of artist/ fan relations. I sometimes handled his merchandise department and even was elected personal manager at NAMM one year when his real manager, Laura Engel was on temporary leave of absence. Besides being an award winning guitarist, Craig is also a great guy and long time friend.

 

 

I stopped in to talk with Bob Chini (artist relations manager). Craig was not at the NAMM show this year but working on a new project with a new label and I wish him the best. Sometimes Carvin has live performances and I was telling Bob that I would like to demonstrate a keyboard amplifier right there on that stage. I would even like to add a vocal performance with one of their microphones.

 

 

 

 

George, Nate, and I had the opportunity to meet with Steve Vai at the Carvin booth as well. Wow what an extraordinary guitarist! I saw one of the best concerts in my life featuring Steve Vai on guitar.
During that concert I momentarily went into hypnotic trance watching Steve play. The first thing that captured me was the fluidity of his movement. It was clear that his spirit was fully aware and could feel every single note in that concert hall as it translated into his entire physical being. His long flowing jacket made its presence known as it swirled eloquently across the stage. I watched his remarkable fingers move gracefully up and down the fret board with sweet tender notes and then suddenly attack with stinging burning action. He poured out his soul and added more expressive textures in one song than most strive to accomplish in a decade! On a spiritual note, I enjoyed reading “10 Eternal Questions” a compilation by Zoe Sallis. Besides being a great musician, Steve is an enlightened man and he knows himself.

Recently, I’ve made a few random live appearances as guest artist in music venues to experiment with new stage antics and audience response. So far, it is going well. Currently, I am contemplating the possibility of making a live music video. Maybe around spring after I’ve completed my current projects.
 


I’m also continuing living one of my life’s biggest dreams by playing music producer/ low key talent scout. I am very selective in my talent search. It takes time and investment in order to do this kind of work as you really have to believe in the new artist and your own ability to accomplish the work. Luckily, with each new project I feel a little more experienced. The ultimate goal is finding driven, undiscovered virtuosos and bringing out their best. I call it honing the craft. I bring them into the recording studio and also guide them by offering free advice to help them along their career path and showing them how they may establish themselves into the next level of the music business. I’m currently beginning a new project along those lines and I have a new artist to introduce and a very gifted guitarist. He caught my ear! His name is Nate Moyer. This week I got him a badge into the NAMM show with a special thanks to George York and YRS Midi Systems. I know he really enjoyed the show. Soon we’ll be recording. On that note, I send my highest respects to the late Frank Zappa for a lifetime dedicated into serving the music industry in that special way.