Reflections on Le Café from The Nutcracker 

Le Café (Arabian Dance) - Tchaikovsky (from The Nutcracker, composed 1892) 

 There is a lot to work through, and a lot of people re-envisioning the ballet. There are many articles written about the potentially racist associations with these character dances and choreography, and I invite you to explore these ideas, while staying open to the music. I have a special place in my heart for Tchaikovsky. When I was a child, I listened to the vinyl record of the Nutcracker Suite countless times before I ever saw…

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Thoughts on Taken From Us 

I’m grateful to have my instrument to express and connect. I’m happy to play music that resonates with people and brings peace. 

And yet, there is a part of me that has been screaming and running for years. That part of me that had sheltered in place has cracked open and seeped throughout my entire being. We know what has happened to black and brown people in this country before our time here, into the present day, though here we are in this newly awakened re-evalution. I'm ashamed and engraged, holding on…

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Travel on musical paths while staying at home, and going gently down the stream 

Hi Cello Friends,

My musical paths have gone a few directions over the last several months. I began recording a classical album, and then turned to a project that is currently under wraps, but should be revealed later in 2020... 

In the meantime, I realized there was some nice music sitting there that could be shared without anyone leaving home! It has been a joy to work with Kent Harrison at Sammamish Sounds studio, and I'm looking forward to a time when we can safely continue. Kent sent the Chopin Piano…

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I get to be a part of some fun art! Here is a photo collage by Bob Scoverski. I appreciate one of the titles he gave this piece, which was "Celloist", because a lot of people do indeed call one who plays a cello a "celloist" (though fyi, I am a Cellist, which is now the official title of this piece:) 

The Elephant and The Swan 

It started in a rehearsal with Different Drummer Band, talking about what our spirit animal would be.... the Elephant and the Swan being two pieces from Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens, representing the bass and the cello. The thing is, I do feel like the Swan--or rather, the Ugly Duckling-turned-Swan. Like many kids, I felt like quite the "other" growing up. My brown skin was not reflected around me, in school or in media. And, that brown skin of mine was covered with spots. (Seriously. I had a…

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Beginning Strings 

I think about how I started playing cello. My parents signed me up for Beginning Strings class when I was in 6th grade, which was a surprise to me. I had a vague interest in playing clarinet, though for no particularly strong reason. The teacher, Warren Shelton, was a wonderfully intense, energetic man. When I walked in the class, I noticed a girl who had the same color skin as me--I had not met anyone the same color as me besides my sister up to that point. My mom is "African-American" (though she would…

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Title story--Waves 

Choosing titles is fun and challenging for me. Album titles are the most tricky! Here is the story of Waves Wash Over Us....

Background: My regular "classical" gig is a member of the cello section in Northwest Sinfonietta. My 3 wonderful cellist colleagues and I are endearingly referred to as "the Fab 4" by our executive director. I have been sitting next to my "stand partner" Val since 1998! 

Anyhow, last summer we had the pleasure of recording a collection of dances for piano and orchestra with the…

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Cello Virtuosity/Gourmet Cuisine 

I am not a virtuoso cellist, by my own understanding of the definition. Mind you, I am a fine cello technician, and I can play challenging passages in orchestral literature. Luckily, there is a place for me in the music world, serving happily in a chamber orchestra and playing my electric cello too. I love wearing different musical "hats", part of which is my role as section cellist of Northwest Sinfonietta orchestra. We just had the joy of playing Samuel Jones' cello concerto with Julian Schwarz, who is

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Live Music at Sea-Tac Airport! 

I have an awesome gig playing my electric cello at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (or Sea-Tac, for short:) If you happen to be coming through, check the link for the schedule--you may see me! This is though a program called Experience The City Of Music, sponsored by the Port of Seattle and the vendors at Seatac. It is such a fun place to play, with so many folks from all over traveling through.... Look for musicians throughout the airport!

P.S.--A Duo with my Dad 

I meant to write a post on Father's Day, but hopefully this will count as Father's Month, sneaking in here as we say farewell to June today...

P.S. I Remember is a "virtual" duo with my Dad, Leslie. He enjoys playing jazz piano, and was interested in recording a duo when I was working on my first cd project. Well, he was interested in recording until we actually got into the studio! Will Dowd, my wonderful recording engineer at Spikehaus, had a digital keyboard, which is of course much different than…

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