Expecting To Fly 3 / by Lorraine García-Nakata

Music is in mind tonight as the moon hovers full over this clear San Francisco sky. I'm a little jazzed about two things. One, I'm looking forward to a concert I'm presenting this Saturday kicking off my  2012 Lorraine García-Nakata Concert Series.  I'm also still feeling electric from singing tonight with a group of women that meet in nearby Pacifica, California. Here are several of us just after one of our performances (Sanchez Center, Linda Mar, Pacifica, Ca.).

 Noami Harper, Dinah Verby, Melinda Garrett, Nancy Hall, Me (big hair), Vicki Abrahamsohn, Tina Schuler, Amy Hanley

As shared earlier, music was an early passion that I let go of in response to advice received as a teen urging me to focus on one artistic discipline. I did and visual arts became that focus. For this reason, drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media have had more time to develop and why I refer to this discipline as the "older sibling." Writing, however, claimed space in my life sometime ago and I was hooked. Scribing has had time to season and why this artistic passion is referenced as the "middle sibling." Now that I'm circling around and reclaiming music (who has had the least of my attention), she is less developed and why referenced as "younger sibling." Sure, I get insecure about my musical level as I look around at all the terrific musicians in this area that have long since honed their craft, but my goal is to reconnect and do the work because I'm miserable not doing it. Humility is good.

My concert series, I dropped that in out of nowhere and should explain. The Lorraine García-Nakata Concert Series was initiated in 2003 for three reasons: I love good live music, musicians should be supported, and since I continued as a working mom (with intense work schedule and I didn't want to be away from family anymore than I had to), I decided to bring music to the house. That worked. Genres of music I've presented include: lots of jazz but also classical, blues, R&B, Latin, folk new singer song writers, bluegrass, jazz/flamenco, and more. San Francisco/Bay Area offers so many talented musicians to invite, yet musicians from Los Angeles and as far away as England, have also come specifically to perform for this concert series. More and more I am approached by musicians about performing here as the word has gotten out that this is a good venue. So, I suppose I will continue this habit as long as I can make ends meet.

A little back story. I actually began presenting when I was 8 to 10 years of age. Our Central Valley neighborhood and its residents were not "well endowed" to say the least, so activities such as camping and dance lessons, were not an option. When boredom set in, I'd tell my best friend Wayne Williams, "Let's have a concert." We'd get the word out that at a certain hour that day, at a certain house (one with ripe fruit in the trees for reception snacks), a performance would happen and that the entrance fee would be three empty soda bottles. In those days you could take pop bottles to the store and cash them in for three cents each, on the spot. So, kids went to work picking up soda bottles that were dropped along the side of the streets while Wayne and I negotiated with the parents (whose house we picked) to set up chairs, to allow access to their fruit trees, and also asked if they could cut fruit and place on platters for intermission. Next, Wayne and I would hang a sheet as a backdrop, decide on the staging area, then run through a series of songs we planned to perform. I remember one song we sang was Palisades Park by Freddy Cannon. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYDSFKLu-TA - Cache Everyone sang along to this favorite and a string of other songs before breaking for intermission as fruit was distributed to everyone attending. After intermission, we'd sing a few more tunes, then the show ended. Everyone was happy and no longer bored. Wayne and I cleared the area, thanked parents, filled a couple shopping bags with pop bottles we'd earned, then went straight to the neighborhood store (owned by our landlords Marvin and Pernell Tindel). We bought fist fulls of black and red licorice then promptly climbed up our favorite tree, became anonymous again, and watched people walk by for the rest of the afternoon while eating our performance payment. It seems my love for presenting began early.

So, singing tonight raised my energy. Thinking about the concert this Saturday also continues to elevate my mood. It's still a pleasure sharing music with friends and other guests who will fill this house. Here are bios for the Curios ensemble performing here this weekend:

Nancy Hall (vocal/guitar/dulcimer/ukulele/percussion): Curios' bandleader, prolific songwriter, accomplished vocalist, & musician. I personally admire Nancy's vocals and know you'll very much enjoy the Curios performance of her original music. Several CD’s under her belt include: Everything Knows You, Songs and Stories, and recent, Pillow Book. A career highlight: vocals for Neil Young as part of Crazy Horse year-long tour.

Lee Parvin (vocals/piano/accordion): played/recorded with Michael Bloomfield, played/provided vocals for Taj Mahal. Also at age 13, band member with Main Attraction who opened for Eric Burton & The Animals. Co-wrote for Hall CD, Everything Knows You & continues to help arrange her work. Engineer for Merl Saunders, helped produce Johnny Mathus record. Lee has recorded greats as David Grissman. Also, recorded/produced Gaylord Birch & Vicki Randall, to name a few.

Jim Kerwin (acoustic bass): since 1985, member of David Grisman Quintet. Renowned for playing musical traditions (bluegrass/swing/Latin) has played/recorded with greats as: Stephane Grappelli, Sven Assmussen, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Del McCoury & Jerry Garcia. His work with Garcia-Grisman Band produced many albums & documentary movie Grateful Dawg. Jim has performed on six Grammy-nominated recordings. "Bass fiddle" music is a new endeavor–a term/style he has introduced & coined. 

As you see here, there are so many ways to feed and inform your artistry, your life, no matter what discipline(s) you happen to embrace and/or other interests you enjoy. My artistic life and approach is not particularly conventional, but it works for me. I share this with you so that maybe you'll trust those "additional" inklings that stir inside you. You know very well what they are. Let's say that you do pursue that additional something, then you can spread those wings of yours just a little bit more. 
It's like stretching. It feels great.

web site: http://lorrainegn.com/

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