How The Arts Transformed My Life…

Well, I for one know that the arts have SAVED my life. Growing up in Harlem in the 70′s wasn’t exactly a picnic and so the chance to attend one of the most revered high schools in New York, The High School of Music & Art, was not only a dream come true but an eye-opening experience. It was my first time being exposed to students from all walks and not just the neighborhood. It truly was the most wonderful experience of my young life. I still have so many friends from M&A – we were and are a very special group. I studied voice and somehow, all these years, always managed (while holding a professional job) to be in band, or a jazz trio, or to coach, or be an inspiration. I perform cabaret in the city and have recently inspired a few old classmates to get back on stage! While live music, especially live jazz, has taken a bit of a beating, there is nothing like being on stage and doing a show. Not just singing at a bar or restaurant – I mean booking a room and giving a show. Rehearsal is therapy. Sending out invites and “save-the-date” cards is so exciting. The anticipation of show time. It’s just the greatest feeling in the world. I perform at one particular venue several times a year and my “following” know what to expect when they get that invite: a show they’ll never forget. It’s my gift to myself as well as to my audience when i hit that first note. I wish there was more time and money to do it more often. Like I said live music is a tough sell these days. But I take what I can get gladly and with such pride.

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