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Music, sweet music… 7/4/2014
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A main event in June was my appearance with Jim Brickman on Fox 8’s “This Morning” show. We performed “Never Alone” at the crack of dawn, and believe me, it was a challenge! Up at six, I showered and dutifully ran through my vocal warm-ups...But didn’t feel my voice was at its best at 8:15 am, when we performed live. Was anyone out there watching/listening?

The object was to promote Jim’s Cain Park Concert, Saturday, July 19, in Cleveland. Not only will Tracy Silverman be a special guest, but my dear friend, Abe LaMarca will also be on hand to perform our song “Rise and Shine and do a couple of Jim’s songs with me. I’m so excited for everyone to hear /meet amazing Abe, and thrilled to have him as my duet partner this new context.

Meanwhile, back to “This Morning”: All the hosts at the Fox 8 show--Stefani Schaefer, Kristi Capel and Wayne Dawson--couldn’t have been lovelier. We always have fun with them and the interviews (at least!) went very well.

That same evening, I met with the usual suspects for our Bunko of the month, this time at Betsy S’s beautiful home in Cleveland Heights. The game is a lot of fun and it’s always great to catch up with the gals. But the cherry on the cake was taking home $25, for rolling the last Bunko!

The following Sunday, we attended a unique event at The Rock Hall of Fame called “The Chef Jam”. The Rock Hall was brimming with top chefs sharing their favorite dishes on all four levels of the museum, where the food stations were set up among the exhibits.

The food was outstanding…and so was the live music. First up was a rowdy rock and roll (what else?) band, comprised of Cleveland chefs. We knew a few of them and they were great. An 8-piece band called Wesley Bright and The Hi-Lites comprised the main act. They were engaging, energetic and had the dance floor hopping! We really enjoyed ourselves!

The following week Abe released his incredible album, “Stand And Deliver.” He is such a terrific writer, singer and producer. I highly recommend his wonderful CD! Please visit abelamarca.com or go to CDBaby.com and listen to some of his samples. Now! The CD features our own “Rise and Shine” and I lent my voice to many of the background vocals on a number of other titles. Objectively, it’s a work of art.

Throughout the month I continued writing for my own studio album, which I will start to record in July. Abe is co-writing many of the songs with me, while also producing my CD. Very exciting stuff!

Speaking of writing, towards the end of the month, Jim Brickman, Ellen Wohl and I wrote a Christmas song for Jim’s upcoming holiday CD, to be released in the fall. The premise of the song is wishing that the spirit of Christmas could endure inthe hearts of everyone all year long.

I initiated the idea, thanks to--brace yourselves—our (huge) Christmas tree, still standing from last Christmas! My husband will not let me take it down because it makes him happy. Seeing as it’s July and I would have to put it back up in October, I’m keeping it up. Now, I did remove the ornaments, but it still has its little white lights that we turn on at will. My sister Wendy fears we’ve gone over the edge. Oh well…

Besides writing the song together, we recorded it in Cleveland on a sweltering 90-degree day…for added contrast. Steve Sundholm, who has written songs for me in the past, and also recorded, mixed and mastered my music (he just mastered Abe’s new CD too—almost a family affair!) flew in from Portland, OR to produce and record the song, as well as Jim’s solo piano titles for the album. I will be singing our newbie on the Christmas Tour. I just love the melody that Jim wrote for it and look forward to sharing it with you!

That Saturday, the 29th, was a marathon day, by the way. I took in my favorite yoga class, recorded the new Christmas song with Jim, attended a lovely high school graduation party for an old friend’s son and topped off the day with a Dave Koz Concert at the Palace Theatre! I went with my friend/ yoga instructor Joni and met my sister and her husband there.

Dave and I became friends when we were both guests on Jim's first PBS Special almost 20 years ago. He's talented, smart, lots of fun, and I just love him. We have kept in touch over the years and the time passed in between meetings simply dissolves when we see each other again.

And now for the show! It opened with amazing bass man Marcus Miller, and his always fabulous band. Then it was Dave’s moment to shine! He’s currently touring with three other horn players; Gerald Albright, Richard Elliott and Mindy Abair.(A very sexy blonde, Mindy performed with me in a Jim Brickman Concert a few years back. She's very talented!) They delivered an incredible show! Marcus and Dave were the closing act of the very popular Tri-C Jazz Festival that attracts top-tier musicians from around the country each year.

After the show, we went backstage and partied a bit in Dave's dressing room, (incidentally my dressing room at The Palace last December, when Jim and I played there!). We visited over some lovely red wine and I caught up with my dear buddy and with Mindy too. It was very fun, but had been a very long day. I walked in the door at 1 am!


The month closed with our 30th wedding anniversary on the 30th day of June! Doesn’t that sound like a good omen?

Happy Independence Day and month of July to all!