It’s the night of Winter Solstice 2018 – a good time to reflect on a year nearly gone and a new year ready to bring new adventures. Come on a journey with me – and please share yours also:
January 2018 – the Jazz Education Network Conference (JEN) has been the first journey of the year for the past 10 years. This time festivities took place in Dallas, late night jams, great music, lots of learning and time with friends – followed by more jazz hangs in New York at the Jazz Congress and Winter Jazz fest. In fact, the partying eventually cost me my voice and when it came time to record my Jazz Tip for JALC, well – here it is –
February 2018 – Jamming with the Future of Jazz on Sundays at Players Pub. This is a very special series sponsored by B’town Jazz where the young and old talents of Bloomington gather to play and learn together. This year we hosted five jam session culminating in the Future of Jazz concert with special guest John Raymond – the Future of Jazz is in good hands!
March 2018 – Women’s History Month, and boy did we celebrate! Jamie Baum and Leni Stern joined us here in Indiana to stage the first Indiana Jazz Girls Days – not one, but two! And we added a series of concerts in Indianapolis, South Bend, Bloomington, Evansville, West Baden, let’s do this again!
April 2018 – CD Release Tour for Sheroes with concerts at NYU, An Die Musik, and Nighttown. Of course, we had put our heart and soul in producing the album but boy, it took off like a rocket! Jazz Radio Promoters across the country spun it enough to keep it in the Jazz Week charts for 25 weeks, peaking at #6 and ending at #31 in the 2018 Year-End Charts. With glowing reviews, including a 4-Star feature in DownBeat Magazine it was voted into the Album of the Year list in the DownBeat Readers Poll. Thanks everyone for the amazing support!
May 2018 – The Time Flies gather with new compositions for a tour and studio recording. This incarnation features bassist Scott Pazera and drummer Josh Roberts – get ready for the new release coming in May 2019!
June 2018 – Summertime and the living is easy, time for the annual Gemini party and as a very special treat we got to perform again in Cologne as part of the Indianapolis/ Cologne Sister City Exchange – this year’s special: Experiencing Chick Corea! Thank you to the Sister City Committee, Amerikahaus, and Casio for the support.
July 2018 – SPEA in Graz and ISME in Baku – together with a group of 10 IU students we compared the Music Industry at our residency at the Jazzinstitut in Graz followed by presentations and concerts at the International Society of Music Education conference in Baku, Azerbaijan. This part of the world was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the immersion into the culture and the amazing piano tradition in Baku’s new and old segments of the city.
August 2018 – Time for Festivals and Outdoor Concerts, especially fun was our feature at Animals & All That Jazz this Year with the Acoustic Project. For the B’town Jazz Fest, I put together a set of Hoagy Carmichael music with Hoagy Bix Carmichael in town, sharing memories of his Dad. And the Sheroes were featured at the Dobbs Ferry Concert Series, closing it on a beautiful Wednesday night. But the biggest event: our son Zackary Herzig started at Circadium in Philadelphia with the goal of becoming a circus artist and made us half empty nesters – Fly High!
September 2018 – new writing adventures on the horizon continuing the documentation of the ABCs of Jazz Education: Jamey Aebersold, David Baker, and Jerry Coker all rooted in their time together in Indiana. The proposal and first chapter were shared at the Jazz Research Conference at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar, allowing also for a quick visit and concert in Berlin. More on this adventure soon!
October 2018 – Sheroes Fall Tour, 10 days of music-making and friendship. As our recording spiraled to unprecedented success, we were able to connect with audiences at the East Coast and Midwest. Stops during the journey included Washington’s Blues Alley, Cleveland’s Bop Stop, Akron’s Blu, Temple University and more – a very special addition this time was honorary Shero Peter who jumped in for Jennifer and helped not only playing bass but also driving the van, thank you – can’t wait till our European outing in April!
November 2018 – Jasmin got to march in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade as a Color Guard Member of the Bloomington High School North Marching Band. They also got to see a Broadway Show, shop on Times Square and so much more – sleep, who needs it when you’re having fun?
December 2018 – The final tally: Sheroes is one of the 100 Best Albums of 2018 according to DownBeat Magazine and #31 in Airplay according to JazzWeek. What’s next? Documentary filmmaker Kay D. Ray completed the documentary In Her Hands following our group and contemporary jazz women and it’ll be screened throughout 2019. The Sheroes will be in Europe in April, the Time Flies release tour is set for May, and we’ll be back in Europe for concerts and classes in June/ July.
But aside from all the traveling and charts, the most important feature of 2018 was the door that opened for women in any field, overcoming barriers that have kept us from opportunities, from participating, from contributing. The door has opened and little by little the new guests are coming in to bring their voices, experiences, knowledge to the table – let’s welcome everyone and celebrate together! Change takes time and there are still lots of hurdles to overcome, we need new policies, role models, initiatives – excited to see how far we can come in 2019.
Here is my holiday greeting – a Peaceful Piece, recorded on the Whole World in Her Hands and featuting Lakecia Benjamin, Jamie Baum, Reut Regev, Monika Herzig, Jennifer Vincent, Linda Oh, and Arianna Fanning. Wishing everyone much success, health, and happiness for 2019!