There is a hidden gem in San Francisco called Jazz in the Basement. That’s what it is. And it’s the best jazz, in a very intimate setting, and with a very friendly ambiance. The singer Jesse Foster and his wife Michele host one concert every month with top notch musicians.
Just about a year ago in conversation with the pianist, we started talking about Swedish music – there was this one tune he knew… I sent him something else to listen to… and one thing led to another. (more…)
Life is wild sometimes. These golden moments that pop up when you least expect…
So I am celebrating New Years Eve with the friends of Foster Goldstrom, in this beautiful Maybeck designed house, filled with exquisite art and interesting individuals. The New Year is greeted and toasted at 9pm PST and the music starts to play. There is maybe 10 people dancing in one end of the living room – so I join them. This groovy, almost 30 year older [outrageous, you would NEVER believe], African-American woman, dressed in black with a cool hat is starting to mirror me with a smile saying “oh you are so tall, and slim and can dance in such a cool way [stiff]” – which is like pulling a Norwegian joke on me [pulling my leg big time] – so I let loose and start mirror her. Which makes her crack up and say “I need to leave for another party – but I need to give you my card – we should go out party in San Francisco!”
I am following up the next day with an email and she emails me back – and calls me back next day eager to work on her social media. We decide to meet for dinner. “Oh – I had already committed to this jazz event, but if you don’t mind I can give you a free ticket.” So we go.
Entering this gem in Oakland – art gallery combined jazz club – I get the question: “Do you sing?” There is no way out – name on the list. #34 – probably too late in the game, so I am not too worried. [This is a love – hate situation – but for several reasons, I could not say no to this one.] This is a really cool place. Musicians are really good, and the majority of the singers as well. My dear new friend introduces me to a number of people passing by – and I start to realize that by now all the organizing people and half the band knows me [as number 34]. What the heck would I sing? And can I the lyrics? What happens if I don’t? The singer next to me, Lady Sunrise, responds to the last question and says “Just sing from your heart baby”. [At my dance school growing up in Sweden, we were always told “if you forget the lyrics, sing the Norwegian National Anthem” – not much love in that one…]
If you knew where I came from, you would appreciate the stretch and excitement this situation had. At Christmas we had a table card game going with various questions. One was “Which is the #one fear that you want to overcome?” My response: “Singing in public.” Solo that is. Hiding – and LOVING – singing in choirs is no problem. But I have had a desire and intent for a long time. Was I prepared now? Not really. But in some ways it felt like it. At one point my friendValena and I was looking at each other smiling and saying in chorus: “This is not a coincidence”.
Second last at 11pm: “-Which song? – Summer time. – Do you know which key? – No”. This is how it went.
It wasn’t perfect – but it was fun, and I have come a long way. If I can, you can. What is your dream and intention?
What ever that is – just come from your heart baby.