I started my “Growing Up Jazz” series to share stories and honor some of the great masters of Jazz I had the good fortune to know while growing up. It was an unusual yet exciting childhood; climbing inside instrument cases to take naps during rehearsals, dancing around during my parents concerts, going on tour and playing “Go Fish” with legendary musicians on trains and planes throughout Europe.
Midnight Sun was the second song I recorded to enter the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition. I was having a tough time picking a ballad because truthfully, I don’t really like singing them. A lot of ballads I find to be either depressing or cheesy and in my whole life as a songwriter I’ve only written two ballads, neither of which could I enter because the song needed to be a standard.
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where everyone was welcome and there was enough love for everyone. We often hosted exchange students from other countries and for both my brother and I, our house was the house that our friends always came to to hang out… or came to eat since my Mom is such a great cook. But one exchange student in particular was very special – a girl from Japan named Saori. Saori and I would stay up late talking about boys, play music together and just really enjoyed each others company. I was sad when she went back to Japan but we always kept in touch.