A few days ago, I started my work day on a long Skype call with a friend in Paris who is working on bringing my jazz band, Chaise Lounge, to France for a tour. As soon as that call ended, I was added to a Zoom.us video conference with a filmmaker and a corporate client. From our three different cities, we shared film edit files and made comments and adjustments as we listened. In real time! Just a few years ago, that would have taken days of travel and a mind-numbing amount of back-and-forth revisions. After the conference call was over, I made my final adjustments to the score in ProTools and sent the stereo .wav files to the filmmaker via a large file transfer site called Hightail. I marveled at the technology that keeps collapsing the time it takes to do this work, and the distance among those of us who do it. I then took out my pen and wrote several thank-you notes, put them in envelopes, and left them for the postman. For some things, slower is better. I hope your new year is starting off well, at whatever speed you are starting it.
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.