Living in Washington DC, it is easy to get inured to treasures that we drive and walk past every day. Last night at the National Archives, we put on a reading of ten of the songs from 19, our musical about Alice Paul and the struggle for women’s suffrage one hundred years ago. We all had a chance to, once again, see our Constitution, and of course, the 19th Amendment. It is right there. The real thing. The Archives had an extensive and thoughtful exhibit on suffrage in America. What a great city to live in.
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 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.
On October 18, the Capital City Symphony under the baton of Maestra Victoria Gau will premiere my three-movement work Mid-Century Mambo. It’s an orchestral piece inspired by 1950s dance rhythms, including a mambo, of course, and some string-y, Percy-Faith-style pop. Luckily, Gau’s group has a rock-solid battery that includes a groovy bongo player.
The concert will be held at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC. It’s an all-American evening and I’m in illustrious company: the other two composers on the bill are Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland. I’ll be at the performance, so if you come, please say hello!