I thought these days were over, really behind us. I find it troubling and sad, and most of all annoying. You see, when I see someone, I see the musician first. And when I hosted my first ever online recital, I was pleased to see that as a group, we had nearly every skin color represented – from the more northern strawberry blond and nearly translucent skin to the equatorial espresso skin designed for lots of sun.
I have no doubt that I have been ingrained with biases, and I’m always seeking them in myself, rooting them out, and learning as I go. Toward that end, I want to make crystal clear that my studio is a safe place to express who you are, in a wide variety of ways. If you want to explore your musical heritage, cool! If you want to sing the latest pop tune, cool!
Lastly, I want to give particular honor to Black Musical Culture. All jazz comes from black music. All rock, gospel, hip-hop, and so on – all of them originated in Black culture. So much music we enjoy today can be traced directly back to Black culture. We need to honor them and share their stories. They are the founders of a lot of American music.
Here’s one of my favorites…Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Legend is that she taught Elvis Presley to play guitar. In any case, she’s one of the early ones, and still breathtaking.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe- “Didn’t It Rain?” Live 1964