All posts filed under: Life

The 7 Deadly Sins – A 2016 Resolutions Exercise

Wow! It has been a very full year–travel, music, friends, family and many creative moments. One of the things I am most proud of is that I was able to post at least one article here each month. Starting and maintaining a personal website was one of my 2015 resolutions and I intend to keep going! Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact me with encouraging comments. For 2016, from the many possible promises I could make to myself, I decided to focus on resolutions I could commit to that would nourish me as a person and as an artist /musician. I started by contemplating my 2015 achievements, and analyzing my attempts at achievement (otherwise known as brooding over my mistakes and failures.) Then, for some reason known only to my subconscious mind (is that redundant?) in the middle of this thought process I remembered something I saw recently about the “7 Deadly Sins”. Now, totally sidetracked by this concept, I will share a few random thoughts on these sins to close out 2015. Hopefully, at the end of …

The Gela Jazz Festival

Last month I was fortunate to be able to travel to Italy for a couple of weeks. So many wonderful things happened there! Yes, too many cool things, so I will break up my account of the trip into several posts here at “Moments, Memories, & Jazz”.  GELA 2015 The first leg of this trip was a week in Gela, Sicily, to attend the Barry Harris / Stjepko Gut jazz workshops, held September 14-18, 2015,  and to participate in the 4th Annual Gela Jazz Festival held each evening at the Teatro Eschilo. These two interconnecting events were organized by Loredana Melodia, a singer, “super-jazz-woman”, and someone I am lucky enough to now know as a wonderful friend. Professional and amateur jazz musicians from all over the world traveled to be students in Gela. Each weekday we gathered at a school near the center of town to take jazz theory, rhythm, vocals, and improvisation classes. The first class in the morning was with Stjepko Gut, trumpet player, conductor and internationally recognized teacher of workshops and masterclasses. He got us all in …

9/11 Tribute Song – This Unforgiving Town

This Unforgiving Town (My Lagan Love – 9/11) ©2003 Laurie Early/ASCAP The Hudson flows along the shore Where orchards of steel grow. Each gleaming bough contains a tale Of lives and loves below. And every wave sings out its song For shattered hearts needing repair. Who will be dressed in sorrow’s gown In this unforgiving town? As sunlight wakes the morning sky Our innocence a memory. An axeman wears a selfish smile As he fells another tree. The city’s armor takes the blows But yet the human damage shows. Who will be saved? And who will drown In this unforgiving town? When twilight rolls upon the day A dusty night time looms. A flood of tears won’t wash away The pain caused by these wounds. And so we’re called to higher ground Because it’s there that love is found. Who will be brave? And who’ll be brought down In this unforgiving town? My Lagan Love, the melody that inspired this song, is over 500 years old. I have changed the Irish Traditional up a bit …

Banana Puddin’ Jazz: Jazzy Ladies Night

Post Performance UPDATE:  In addition to  an edited version being streamed to television/internet on BRIC (Brooklyn Public Network), an audience member captured some of the event on their cellphone and uploaded to YouTube – not my best angle, but the sound is pretty clear. On Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, 9:30 PM – Arlee Leonard and I will be singing at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe along with some amazing jazz musicians who just happen to also be women. Miki Yamanaka will be at the piano, Adi Meyerson on bass, and Josephine Josafina on the drums. You know, Rome Neal never disappoints with his Banana Puddin’ Jazz events, so, come on down to 3rd Street, give a listen, and then sing or play in the Jam Session that follows! Tickets are $15 LINKS: Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe 236 East 3rd Street New York, NY 10009 (212) 780-9386 Rome Neal’s Website / email Direct link to tickets

Unexpected Treasures

While thinking about the things that make me happy, things that cost little or nothing at all, it occurred to me that I discover, appreciate, or see little treasures every day, whether I am outside or at home–everyday surprises, unexpected treasures. These treasures can be as simple as time spent in conversation with a friend or someone you just met, discovering a beautiful architectural trim on a building down the street, appreciating a special space you have purposefully created in a room, or experiencing something unexpectedly profound–something that causes you to feel connected to the universe, comforts you, or challenges you to go in another direction. Finding and exploring a treasure can happen when your mind is relaxed and open, or when it is stressed and occupied with other thoughts.  There are no rules, and seeing something cool can happen at any time. When I started writing down all the inspiring things I encounter each day (more about this in my post Keeping Notebooks) I realized how much these little things mean to me.  I will sporadically share some …

Keeping Notebooks

While contemplating my life, with a focus on things I do everyday, I decided to write about a tool that has become very important to me – a simple notebook.  (I prefer the 5″ x 8″ lined 80-page spiral-bound style as this fits easily into my bag.)  It is my personal “external hard-drive” and helps me keep track of my day-to-day activities, as well as providing quick storage of creative ideas and prompts.  I carry one with me every day; it’s always available for use, unlike the internet. My system for TASKS Over 20 years ago I worked with a woman who told me about how she kept track of tasks she needed to do.  I tried her system and it immediately helped me get organized at the office. I modified the idea a little and have used it ever since to make sure I get things done in all aspects of my life. Basically my system works this way: If I am in a meeting and I am asked to take action on something, or if I am on the bus and something I need …

Welcome !

Moments, Memories & Jazz site is my “home” on the internet. Thanks again for stopping by.  To read a little about me and to see how cute I was at around the age of two, please visit my ABOUT page – just click here.  If you are interested in reading more about the freelance songwriting services I offer – then click here. Even if you are visiting on your phone, at the bottom of this page is a link to “FULL SITE” you can click there to see my latest posts. -Laurie