At the top of this post is a wonderful shot of my friend Judi Silvano, who is an artist's artist walking the path of the troubadour musician. It is always a proud moment to share the stage with her, just as it's an inspiration to listen to her music on recording, or sight read one of her compositions. With a number of unique albums under her belt, and having played with some of the most wonderful cats of the 2010s (people like Bob Meyer, Ratzo Harris, et al) she's developed something that's completely hers: Art song-meets-jazz vocals.
It's no shocker that in a given week one could find Judi producing commercial painting with watercolors, composing expressive vocal music, and performing jazz standards in a night club. She's a champ of the business, always surrounding herself with great players, and warm hearts.
Or is it that warm hearts surround her? For a few years I've worked as a sometimes-jazz promoter, making phone calls, writing articles, postering (or is it pestering?) and I've had more than one occasion to host musicians in my home. After all, isn't it best to extend that after-gig hang?
It's still a vivid memory for me the great joy of hosting Judi and her band at our pad, now over a year ago. Breaking bread with bad players like trumpeter Freddie Jacobs is the bomb. Though bigger than life for me may have been listening to Judi sing "Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo" to my son Julius, who was then only three years old.
This particular tour for Judi, immediately following the passing of her mother, (and in great coincidence, the passing of her husband's mom) was as rife with human emotion and questioning as can be imagined. Yet, Judi showed up for every gig, and not just physically. She took that stuff, the inside stuff, and brought it to the stage. Brilliantly, she had already surrounded herself with warm hearts (and skilled hands) and the result was a safety net that she could spring on and off of for two hours.
It's a lesson learned for the young musician, largely to do with bringing your humanity to the table- every night you play. And should you do that, you're likely to attract players and listeners.
At the end of the gig, it's the humans that made the scene.