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 grew up in NYC where Fashion Week is basically a “national holiday”. Since I was a child I have loved fashion because I consider it to be another way I can express myself creatively – how I get dressed every morning tells the world how I am feeling on any given day.
Winters in New York have always been chilly, but this year was especially crisp. We were knee deep in snow when our power went out for the third time – and I’m not talking about a little flicker, the previous time we didn’t have power for 10 days.
Going to Italy is really the most romantic thing you can do, even if you’re alone. I was there performing for several months and got swept away by the magic in the air – La Dolce Vita.