2010 was a good year for me. I had several amazing moments, and clearly can't itemize them all. Here are the major stand outs:
Meeting Quincy Jones and performing at Fisk University
Participating in Naomi's wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation
On a day when I was feeling kind of lonely and needed a connection to home, I ran into a good friend in a piano store in Copenhagen. One of these days, I'll write at length about that magical day.
A friend too me to a lecture by Dr. Cornel West. I was spellbound. I love brilliance and Dr. West offers his brilliance to an audience in ample measure. I left the lecture inspired, enthralled and determined to reach my highest level of expression in life, music, art, beauty, intellect, humanity, kindness, empathy, responsibility and love.
Love continues to surround and support me, in ways that are beyond explanation in a simple blog. I am so grateful...
Poems That Will Save Your Life
A friend gave me this book for my birthday and I love it! It's a collection that includes some of my all time favorite poems, and is my source of achieving my life long dream of being a person who can easily recite poetry a la Dr. Huxtable. : >
This song was released in 2009, but I learned it in 2010. Hands down my favorite song of the year. Every time, and I mean, every time, it gets to the D sus chord at 8:31, I weep tears of joy. It's one of the most amazingly beautiful, well conceived, brilliantly re-harmonized moments I've ever experienced in music. After a particular chord progression is repeated over a gradual crescendo, the band introduces the new chord after a descending C aeolian scale and it strikes my spirit me like daylight after a heavy storm. Spectacular!
I'm a fan of great pop music, and my favorite pop record of the year was Bruno Mars' "Doo-Wops & Hooligans". Favorite song "Grenade", but I love many of them. I LOOOOOOVE Bruno Mars!
My favorite jazz record was Esperanza Spalding's "Chamber Music Society". The project didn't catch me as swiftly as her previous work, but it's definitely grown on me. Favorite tune: run-off between "Little Fly", with it's very singable melody which evokes the Viennese classical music of William Blake's era (the poet responsible for the lyric, "What A Friend" with its metamorphosis from sensual ballad into funky modern jazz groove, and "Inutil Paisagem", featuring the beautiful voice of Gretchen Parlato.
Spectator: Hiromi, solo piano at Yoshi's. She is my favorite young pianist. She exemplifies everything I seek to achieve as a pianist: unparalleled musical expression, beautiful touch, fiery technique, and plain, simple fun while playing. Hiromi rocks!
Performer (band): Stevie Wonder in South Korea. I've never seen a crowd as enthusiastic and emotional as the crowd in Seoul.
Performer (solo): Well, not really solo, but it was performing my own music at Fisk University. It whet my appetite for performing more of my own music!