I haven’t written a blog in a while because I’ve been busy with our little bundle of joy! So please bear with me as I have a lot to share with you.
It’s hard to believe, but Melody is already 7 1/2 months old! She’s an adorable and happy baby and somehow she seems to get cuter by the day. It’s definitely been a life-changing and rewarding experience becoming her father. I love spending as much time playing with her as I can. Melody’s favorite game is what I call “Super Baby” where I fly her around the house while humming the John Williams Superman theme song! 🙂
Melody also seems to have a great appreciation for music. We have been exposing her to lots of different types of music and so far she really loves listening to me play piano as well as dancing to my intermediate beatboxing skills. 😉 As for her own musical abilities, she likes to make music from wind chimes, has a couple of toy pianos that she loves to play, singing/squealing (she can get loud!) and percussion!
At the end of June we did a 6 day road trip up to the Bay Area. Some friends of my sister-in-law came to my concert in SF last fall and wanted me to play for their wedding in Carmel. We opted to make a family trip out of it and mixed business with pleasure by booking a couple of other concerts and fitting in some visits with friends and family along the way. The video at the top of this post shows me practicing Melody’s song for one of the concerts with Melody as my audience!
Career-wise, things have been in flux. My steady gig at the Westfield Topanga mall ended at the end of 2013 after a great 3 1/2 year run. I definitely miss being out in front of a big audience every weekend and I especially miss all my loyal fans who came in to listen to me play. So far this year, I have been staying fairly busy playing for events such as weddings, charity galas, corporate and entertainment industry events. And I have several piano and music theory students that I teach privately. It’s been nice to have a little bit of a lighter schedule during this early part of Melody’s life, but I definitely feel ready now to find my next opportunity to perform publicly on a regular basis… whether it be at another mall, a restaurant or a hotel.
In February, we began a radio promotion campaign (utilizing the funds from the IndieGogo campaign) for my latest album CHOOSE LOVE. It has been a successful endeavor and so far 44 stations around the country, internationally and online have added tracks to their rotation. CHOOSE LOVE also did well on the Zone Music Reporter chart which ranks new age, solo piano and instrumental music. It ranked #14 in February and March, #19 in April and #18 in May.
I am also delighted to have my composition “November” included on a wonderful new compilation MUSIC THAT MATTERS that was just released last week. All proceeds from the album sales benefit LoveLight, a non-profit organization serving children in South Africa by funding programs and providing volunteers to give children hope of rising above the challenges they face such as poverty and HIV/AIDS. Each child is seen as capable of making a difference in their own community and they are taught how to grow their own food and support their own lives. The compilation features 36 songs by notable artists including 9 Grammy nominated artists and myself! Get all 36 tracks for less than $10 on iTunes or Amazon and help make a difference today!
During the past year I have been developing another skill… public speaking! I joined Toastmasters about a year ago and this spring I entered the International Speech Contest. I made it to the Area contest with my speech “Stand Tall” and although I didn’t win, I got a lot of great feedback and other speaking opportunities have come out of it. One of the people who heard my speech thought I would fit perfectly on the lineup for The Naked Truth Workshop that is happening this Saturday, July 26. The workshop is all about encouraging women and girls to love themselves from the inside out. I will be sharing my message encouraging participants to stand tall, find their voice through self-expression and let their light shine! Oh, and I will also be performing a few of my original piano compositions!
And, just today, I had the privilege of doing an hour long music workshop for a Kids Art Camp put on by some dear friends of The Alchemy, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists and the arts in Los Angeles. It was fun to help inspire the kids by teaching them a bit about music and the piano, playing some songs for them on the piano, and getting them singing. I finished up by helping them write a camp theme song. Now that I am a father, I am looking forward to even more opportunities to work with kids in creative environments!
Phew, I think that’s enough for now!