A Fine Spring Morning

Photo by David M Warren

The weather has been so lovely here in San Francisco this week. I’ve got a spring in my step and an earful of tunes keeping me thrumming and humming along.

Soon I’ll fly to the east coast; perhaps I’ll see you there? This Sunday I perform at Andrea Clearfield’s Salon – a very special evening in a private home in downtown Philadelphia. Here is a brief description of the locale:

“The bones of the house may date to the 1780s. The huge attic, created when three row houses were combined, probably housed a painter’s studio. Over the years, it served as home to an art school, a party room for Mummers, and a studio for a Philadelphia Orchestra cellist.” Read more

Wendy Bull Oakley, Winston-Salem NC
Painting by Wendy Bull Oakley

I performed here a few years ago on my Peace or Drama music and art tour. What a thrill to share songs and paintings in this treasured spot! My pianist friend, Joseph S. Smith and I will return to perform the song we wrote together back when we were classmates at Berklee College of Music. The ghost of Van Gogh will be joining us.

We’ll also be channeling the ghost of Blossom Dearie, jazz singer/piano diva divine from the 50s-60s and beyond. On Monday I’ll head to New York City to research where Blossom lived and worked for decades (as I’m writing a show about her and the NYC jazz scene). Meet me on what would’ve been her 92nd birthday (April 28) at the historic Village Vanguard, where she traded sets with Miles Davis.

Last week I led a phone interview with fellow jazzer, Bob Dorough, who is still gigging in NYC at age 92.  Bob wrote/sang most of the Schoolhouse Rock songs from the 70s. He hired his friend Blossom Dearie to sing Figure Eight after the animator said, “We need a little girl’s voice for this one.”

So even if you don’t know her name, you’ll probably recognize her distinctive voice. I’ve been uncovering hidden gems from her early days on the Verve Records label. More to come on this, but I’ll leave you with one of my current faves – one I can’t help singing as I walk down these sunlit city streets. Let’s hope the balmy weather follows me east!