My jazz band, Chaise Lounge, loves to play with orchestras! On February 18, we will be playing a concert of originals, swing standards, and tangos with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The program is called “Fusion of the Americas: Jazz Meets Tango,” and it is the world’s first opportunity to hear us performing jazz versions of Astor Piazzolla classics like “Libertango” and “Oblivion,” as well as tangofied American-songbook staples like Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” If you’ll be in the area, you can get tickets here.
I’ve written a new comedy called Him and Jim that will premiere in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in March. Ara Barlieb, the chief creative force behind Crowded Kitchen Players, is producing and directing. Crowded Kitchen’s 2017 production of my play 12ness recently won an ABE award for theatrical excellence for best direction of an original play. Congratulations to director George Miller.
I wrote previously about 19, The Musical, a show I’m scoring about suffragist Alice Paul and the fight for votes for women. I’m pleased to report that the first act is being staged at a workshop in Northern Virginia in a couple of weeks. The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres and a Q&A with my talented collaborators, the writers, directors, and lyricists Jennifer Schwed and Doug Bradshaw. For more information, visit throughthe4thwall.com.
I am a brand new person. And, dare I say it, a better one. Why, you ask? Because I got a dog.
A few weeks ago I went to Animal Control in Frederick, Maryland, and walked away with possibly the mutty-est mutt of all time. Her name is Cleo A. Taylor, and she’s a five-month-old mix of Springer spaniel, poodle, and rocket fuel.
I have always had some difficulty switching from one project to the next throughout the day. Going from a film score to a jazz tune for my band, for example, required a 15-minute adjustment period. And by “adjustment period,” I mean “nap.” But that has changed. Now, any time I need to shift gears, I simply walk the dog. It is one of those activities that is like watching waves at the shore or studying a campfire: it has nearly zero focus and yet it can occupy all of your attention. So far, I haven’t seen any effects on my musical output, but they may be coming. And in the meantime, Cleo is waiting patiently under my desk for me to finish this blog post so I can shift gears and we can go for another walk.