It’s June, the garden looks fabulous, and exciting music projects are in the works. Just a quick note to let you know I’ve revamped my wedding and special event offerings page. I’m available, that is, musically speaking! Check out my new page here!
Laura playing Sunday Kind of Love by Louis Prima:
I want a Sunday kind of love A love to last past Saturday night I’d like to know it’s more than love at first sight I want a Sunday kind of love
Snow is starting to fall. Looks like we’ll be having a white Christmas in Seattle! Here’s to peace, love, music, health, and joy today, and every day. Here’s my daughter, Ruby, and I playing Christmas Cookies (Dec. 17, 2017 at Music Center of the Northwest), originally recorded by George Strait, written by Aaron Barker. Merry Christmas!
Rodeo queens, show girls, casinos, hustlers, Texas hold ’em, slots, swanky shops, and mile after mile of neon lights, oh my! Last weekend, Joe and I took a trip to Las Vegas, my first time. Why Vegas? Two words: George Strait.
I’ve been listening to and singing George Strait songs for over thirty years. I love his soothing voice, the beautiful songs, his personality, and his old- school country sound. What’s better than George singing more than thirty of his greatest hits, accompanied by the Ace in the Hole Band? Amarillo By Mornin’, Check Yes or No, The Chair, Easy Come Easy Go, are some of my favorites. I also enjoyed the two songs tribute to Merle Haggard, including, Are the Good Times Really Over, now that’s some old-time country!
I can’t stop thinking about the show, what a delight to experience a stage full of seasoned musicians who effortlessly and elegantly tossed off hit after hit. I think musicians of all genres would find inspiration in watching these professionals at work. Some of those guys were in their late 70’s if not 80’s. Definitely not their first rodeo.
While in the big AT&T Stadium, the concert had excellent sound with amazing views of George and the band no matter where he was standing on the square-shaped stage, thanks to the Jumbotron. For the encore, the George and the band played a perennial favorite… All My Ex’s Live in Texas, the Milk Cow Blues, and an old-time swing number, Take Me Back to Tulsa. Here’s George Strait singing Old Troubadour.
We also took in Cirque du Soleil’s One, featuring the music of Michael Jackson. A stunning show with death-defying acrobatics, creative staging, brilliant costumes, amazing performers, and dazzling lighting. Standouts of the show include, Billy Jean danced in the dark, the dancers (and flying acrobats), outlined by a tiny lights, the sexy, Dirty Diana, danced by an athletic, and incredibly flexible woman, the fierce female bass player playing all those memorable riffs such as Beat it and Smooth Criminal, and a hologram of the King of Pop himself, dancing the grand finale of the show. Absolutely mesmerizing. Here’s the trailer for the show.
Below are some shots of the strip and check out George Strait singing Old Troubadour.
I’m delighted to announce the launch of a new program, Heart and Place: Stories of the Westward Expansion told through music and narrative. This project feels like coming home, as I grew up in rural Montana. Choteau, Montana, to be precise, population 1800.
My early music experiences in that small town and have fueled my career as a music educator/ musician. Some of those experiences include singing in choirs, playing in band, studying piano, playing for church, acting in musicals, and to driving to the next small town for voice lessons. This program brings it all home.
I’ll be launching the program in Seattle on Oct. 14 and will be taking it to Montana to perform at the CM Russell Museum Oct. 26, 7:00, as well as several Great Falls area schools.
The story of the West is epic, and while I cannot focus on everything, I’ve chosen certain aspects to highlight including the music of the Overland Trail, the early frontier settlements, and the Northern Cheyenne Courting Flute as taught to me by Jay Old Mouse of Busby, Montana. The performance includes solo piano music, singing, guitar, and demonstrations on the fiddle and the Northern Cheyenne Courting Flute.
“COURAGE IS BEING SCARED TO DEATH, BUT SADDLING UP ANYWAY.” ― JOHN WAYNE
Contigo En La Distancia by César Portillo De La Luz, Recorded 1/5/17 in Yellow House Studio by Laura.
Central and Southern Florida! Joe and I spent a week over the holidays in the Orlando area, Miami, and Key Largo.
We kicked off the trip with a visit to Joe’s family in Titusville where we spent a beautiful day at the beach and another day meandering through the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge amongst alligators, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, and Green Herons.
In Miami, we side strolled down the stylish art deco styled South Beach. Wall to wall activity includes bustling sidewalk cafés, posh shops, sandy beaches, and Cuban music blasting in the background. We also visited little Havana and enjoyed a traditional Cuban meal near our hotel.
My favorite outing was to the Viscaya Museum and Gardens, built in 1914-1916 by the wealthy James Deering. The mansion and gardens, situated on a 180 acre estate, resemble the Italian Renaissance and Baroque villas Deering visited in his travels. I was fascinated by the ornate details of the huge mansion including a massive open indoor/outdoor courtyard and the sprawling gardens. On the day we visited, teenage beauties posed for quinceañera photos. Each girl had an entourage in tow including photographers, assistants, make up artists, mothers, aunts, friends, and sisters juggling water, granola bars, curling irons, dresses, shoes, and cell phones.
Our final adventure (not including driving on Florida’s fast moving highways) was a day trip to Key Largo for an afternoon of snorkeling in the Atlantic. We took a boat 45 minutes out to sea to Grecian Reef where we enjoyed an hour and a half of snorkeling with a huge variety of tropical fish in blues, greens, yellows, and pinks, including several large and teethy barracuda!
I have a new recording available on CD Baby.
Women with a Past features lesser known women composers in a variety of styles from classical to jazz inspired gems. A variety of light solo piano music perfect for sampling a little of this and a little of that! If you’d like to listen, read a little more about the project, or purchase, click here. Thank you to Marika Finkel for the creative cover photo.
Lyrics from the beautiful folk song (echoing my thoughts today)
How Can I keep from Singing
My life goes on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it’s music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?