In the spring of 2016, I will perform with “Home Free,” a group of women and men who are receiving services through OPCC (formerly Ocean Park Community Center) at the Cloverfield location in Santa Monica. We will sing favorite songs, play drums, kazoos and other fun musical instruments to celebrate the completion of “Sing it Out Loud!” a 12-week program designed to increase well-being through creating and performing music.
There is already a percussion group at OPCC, and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and beginning this class in January! I have been wanting to develop this program since January 2014 and now OPCC has invited me to do it!
OPCC is an independent, community-supported organization formed to address the effects of poverty, abuse, neglect and discrimination to help people regain their independence and improve their quality of life. Check them out at their website and on Facebook.
This year I volunteered at the Cal Vet Home in West Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday after being approached by my friend Herb (who goes to my gym in Santa Monica). Herb wanted live music to accompany the Thanksgiving Day feast for the veterans who live at the facility. The California Department of Veteran Affairs works to ensure that veterans of every era and their families receive all the benefits and services they have earned through their selfless and honorable military service. I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute music to the veterans as a way to say thanks to them for their service.
On Friday, November 21, 2015, I played at the Clavo Cellars Winery in Templeton, California at the invitation of my friend Jeff Dalton who moved up there from the south bay this past year. Jeff also performed, as did many other talented musicians. It was a fantastic evening with a lot of people attending and enjoying the show. I know Jeff from our days of riding in the Beach Cities Cycling Club. I brought my mountain bike up with me and Jeff, his friend Christie and I had a great 18 mile ride through paved and dirt roads among the area’s vineyards, farms, ranches and homes. I took my laptop to keep up with school (the benefit of online coursework!) and it was a fun and relaxing weekend. The photo was taken at Clavo Cellars by Jeff’s girlfriend Christie Dubach.
I’ve begun to sing for my supper! I’m playing jazz standards, pop, folk, rock and country songs from the 1930s through the ’70s, and more. (For example, I love and play “Oh, Shenandoah” which is from the 1800s!)
“Hawks and crows do lots of things,
but the canary only sings.
She is a courtesan on wings
(so I’ve heard).
Eagles and storks are twice as strong.
All the canary knows is song.
But the canary gets along.
Sing for your supper
and you’ll get breakfast.
Songbirds are not dumb,
they don’t buy a crumb
Of bread, it’s said.
So sing and you’ll be fed!”
From “Sing for Your Supper” by Rodgers & Hart
(from the 1938 musical “The Boys of Syracuse”)