DrMyers’s Blog

August 9, 2014

Jazz is Here to Stay

This blog was written in response to the opinion editorial “All that jazz isn’t all that great” written by Justin Moyer.

 

Jazz is (not) boring.

Jazz is (not) overrated.

Jazz is (not) washed up.

Anytime I see these words, without the added parentheses, starting off an opinion editorial, immediately I am reminded that our forefathers/mothers fought for the freedom of speech.  It is also my opinion that in there fighting, they would hope the generations that followed them would strive with even more ferver to have responsibility with this right.  Alas, I read the words chosen by Mr. Moyers as he begins a diatribe against a genre of music drenched in self expression…and I drop my head in shame.

The first Jazz album I heard came by accident.  While rummaging through some records at the home of my Grandparents, I stumbled upon a record that seemed different from the others.  It was thicker, visibly older, worn, and on one side simply read, “Gut Bucket Blues”  Little did I know, the sounds that I heard would evoke such emotion 70 years after it was first recorded, and leave such an impression on a 12 year old boy.

Since then my love of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, Jack Teagrden has not only evolved, but aided me in my appreciation of musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, Kris Bowers and Allyn Johnson.  Each person represents a snapshot of an era, and through their individual expression, a timeless, ageless story is told that transcends words and in some moments, demands change.

  1.  Jazz allows a story to be told in different forms

As a southerner, I appreciate a good story.  Some of the greatest stories I remember hearing were told over the Sunday dinner table.  Waiting in anticipation of a punch-line or a climax in a tale I had heard countless times from my Grandparents is still one of my fondest memories.  With that said, some of my soberest memories come from hearing the same tales, told by a family friend, my mother, or even when passing on the tale to other family members and friends for the first time.  Humans are unique, and even reading stories from a printed text, our voices, inflections, and tones differ adding a different flavor to the text.  Thus is Jazz.

How awesome it is to have heard Louis Armstrong’s version of “Stardust”!   You hear as he takes his trumpet and paints a picture for you with only tones from his instrument.  How equally touching is it to hear Mel Torme sing the lyrics of Stardust, in his twilight years, written by Hoagy Carmichael, some 60 years earlier.  Jazz gave freedom to artists of all genres to not be afraid to add their “flavor” to a song, not taking away any substance or meaning from the composer/lyricist.  If you don’t believe me, ask Aretha Franklin about her cover of “Respect” or Nikki Minaj about the work she put into her mixtapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhLdBFGCkl4

         2. Improvisation encourages musicians to evolve

I am so thankful that the history of man did not stop with the discovery of fire.  With each generation, this concept was built upon.  Likewise it is with music.  When improvisation is captured, it allows other musicians to take one persons’ improvised expression, and to build upon it.

With improvisation, a new voice is given to the musician/composer to share his/her expression.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecyHa_lktnI

        3. Jazz Continues to Evolve

In the legal definition of “evolve” one finds that it also includes “preserving the good characteristics” and that change can be “random, generationally slow, good, bad or deadly.”  Evolution takes on different tones, in different times, to different people.

The expression of Jazz at one time was only regulated to speakeasies, gin joints, and back rooms.  Then, only in Dance Halls.  Festivals captured Jazz for a while, and then it stayed in school auditoriums or during special performances by Jazz originators.  Now you find Jazz, again, in small clubs and intimate venues, but this time with the invention of new instruments and tools to, again, express Jazz in a different or an “evolved” manor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o2RS8WfcbY

        4.  Jazz is Radical

There were 8 recorded lynchings, not sure if there were others undocumented, in 1937 when the poem “Strange Fruit” was written.  When Billie Holiday recorded this with added music to the poem, the number of lynches had decreased to 3, but this terrible act was now introduced through the expression of Jazz to the world.  The honesty of the pain, disappointment and fear Holiday felt towards her country due to its lack of inaction and the continuation of the practice of lynching was, and is, overwhelming.  Her 1939 recording of this, in time, became her biggest selling record.

This courage has been adopted by other artists to use Jazz to speak up, out, and against injustice of people throughout the world.  “Mushy” is not the first or last word that comes to mind when I, and many others, try to describe Jazz.

 

       5.  Jazz is Re-emerging and Local

 

When I moved to Washington DC in 2008 I was surprised at the classic venues located here in the district that offered Jazz.  More venues have now opened their doors to Jazz.  The Capitol Jazz Festival now offers “Jazz in the Hood” showcasing the hundreds of local Jazz musicians in the District of Columbia.  You will find new festivals starting up every year across the country, and globe, to also showcase the growing number of jazz musicians, that bring with them the influence of their time along with new technology.

 

Trends  have been adopted and thrown away.  In the future we will view the fads and technology of today as we now view leisure suits, hoop-skirts, and the “View-Master”.  Jazz has not and shows no sign of being dead or on life support.  To borrow from Mark Twain, Rumors of its demise has been greatly exaggerated!

 

If you do not believe me, walk into a local restaurant or small venue and ask for their live music schedule.   You will be surprised just how “alive” Jazz is, and will continue to be!

 

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~Aaron Myers

Resident Artist

Black Fox Lounge

Washington DC

http://www.aaron2.me

@aaronmyers

May 13, 2014

Yevvo, Jazz & Radio

For Immediate Release

 

 

Yevvo, Jazz & Radio

 

(Jazz Artist Aaron Myers introduces technology to the DC Jazz Community)

 

logo-yevvo

Washington, DC, May 13, 2014 – Jazz/Neo Soul Recording Artist Aaron Myers will perform his live Jazz show Friday, May 16th, 2014 at the Black Fox Lounge in the Dupont area of Washington DC from 9:30pm – 12:30am.  For the last 4 years, he has given over 100 performances as Resident Artist, singing familiar Jazz standards and originals songs from his last album “Leo Rising” to a full audience; it is this full audience that adds to the feel of the days of old when people flocked to an intimate venue to experience the spontaneous creativity of live jazz.  This week, he will introduce new technology to the old standards!

“We experimented with this technology at my last show as a practice round”, said Myers;  “…this week I believe the viewing audience will experience the same feeling of intimacy the actual patrons feel in the room”.  This technology is a new app called YEVVO.

 

YEVVO is an iPhone platform (which is also available for android users) app that works much like a social network; you get followers and you follow your friends. At the slide of a finger you can “go live” and your followers get notified to tune into this one of-a-kind live broadcast.  The broadcasts are not saved, so much like seeing a live Jazz show, the audience gets the once in a lifetime experience with what they see and hear.

“I’ve found this platform to be a great way to expand ones fan base, but also a great way to introduce Jazz to a brand new audience all over the world.” Myers stated.  Experimenting with the app at his last show, he performed to a live audience of 80 people at the Black Fox Lounge, while also live streaming his music and performance to 977 active viewers, who were also able to interact with him during the show.

 

The Black Fox Lounge is a well-thought-out repose located two blocks north of Dupont Circle, in the Northwest section of Washington DC.  Opened in 2009, the Black Fox Lounge now offers live entertainment 7 days a week.  This is not the first time technology has entered the realm of the Black Fox Lounge.  Myers held its first live recording there in 2010, testing to see if the venue would support a good marketable product and was successful.  “It is my hope that people across the world will be able to experience the Jazz Scene in real time, and see all the talent that is right here within the District of Columbia!”

 

In addition to his shows at the Black Fox Lounge every first and third Friday of the month (No Cover), you can also catch Mr. Myers on WPFW 89.3 “Live @ 5”, Wednesday, May 14th at 5pm EST.

 

Contact Information:
Black Fox Lounge

1723 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20009

(202) 483-1723

www.blackfoxlounge.com

 

Information about Aaron Myers

www.aaron2.me

info@aaron2.me

April 14, 2014

125 SHOWS & COUNTING

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2014

125 Shows & Counting

(Jazz Recording Artist Aaron Myers will perform his 125th Show as Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC. )

Washington, DC, April 14, 2014 – Jazz/Neo Soul Recording Artist Aaron Myers will hit a milestone this week.  Friday, April 18th at 9:30pm when he dawns the stage, it will be his 125th show as Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC.  

Myers, originally from Texas, moved to Washington DC in 2008 following his nine month stint on the Barack Obama Campaign.  After working as the National Director for the Global Family Program, he returned to his first love of Entertainment, and made Washington DC his home.  “I believe DC has a live music scene that can compete with NYC, Chicago, or LA any day of the week!  I love the music community here, and I feel privileged to be at a venue that appreciates its artists!” he said when asked about the upcoming show.

In 2013, Myers released “Leo Rising” a Jazz/Neo Soul Album, and was recognized locally with 3 Wammie Nominations (Washington Area Music Association) and was voted Runner Up in two categories, Best Singer & Best Performance Artist, in the recent 2014 “Best Of Poll” sponsored by the Washington City Paper.

Black Fox Lounge is a well-thought-out repose located two blocks north of Dupont Circle, in the Northwest section of Washington DC.  Opened in 2009, the Black Fox Lounge now offers live entertainment 7 days a week.  Mr. Myers started with the Black Fox Lounge at the very beginning.  “My relationship with the Black Fox Lounge has grown over the years.  I started there every Saturday night which wore me out; now I’m there every first and third Friday of the month” he said.  When asked what has kept him there for so long he stated, “The Black Fox has been so supportive of me, especially as I have hit major milestones.  From the loss of my father, to the release of my first album, they’ve been right there with me!”

Mr. Myers is currently working on his sophomore album “The Lions Den” and his fall tour that will launch at Blues Alley September 2nd.  Be sure to check out the 125th Show of Black Fox Lounge’s Resident Artist Friday, April 18 from 9:30pm to 12:30am.  There is no cover for this event.

Contact Information:
Black Fox Lounge

1723 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20009

(202) 483-1723

www.blackfoxlounge.com

Information about Aaron Myers

www.aaron2.me

info@aaron2.me

202.907.9236

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October 22, 2013

Aaron Myers Considered for GRAMMY!

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October 22, 2013  (Washington DC)  –  DC Jazz/NeoSoul Artist Aaron Myers, Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge and Minister of Music at Covenant Baptist UCC, has recently been considered in five categories by the Recording Academy for the 56th   Annual Grammy Awards.  Entries are recordings submitted for GRAMMY consideration. Entries that meet all eligibility requirements are then voted on by The Academy’s voting members and the results of that vote are the nominations.

A native Texan, Myers moved to Washington after working as a field organizer on the campaign of then Senator (now President) Barack Obama.  After working with the late writer Linda Grover at the Global Family Program, Myers made a pivot becoming a full time musician.  Within a year’s time, he found himself playing weekend shows at then newly opened Black Fox Lounge and using his musical talents within his new found church.  Four years later, he’s the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge, and you can find him every Sunday at Covenant Baptist UCC serving as Minister of Music.

In April of this year, Myers recorded the Album “Leo Rising” at the legendary Avatar Studios in New York City, releasing it on July 4th.  “Some people told me that I was brave to release my Album, which is primarily Jazz/Neo Soul, the same day as Jay Z released his, but I figured …if he didn’t mind neither did I” chuckled Myers.  “I’m just happy knowing that more people will now have a chance to hear my music!”

“Lockett Consulting sends a special congratulations to our client Aaron L. Myers II for being selected for consideration for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards!” states Lockett Consulting and, “We’re so proud of you” is posted proudly on the website of the Black Fox Lounge.  These are two of many congratulatory announcements recognizing this achievement, with Covenant Baptist UCC alerting its members during a worship service.

The recording industry’s most prestigious award, the GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy’s voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences.   Myers summed up his experience so far by saying, “Just making it on the Grammy Ballot is awesome…and taking home the Gold would be awesome as well!”

Updates about Myers’ GRAMMY considerations and his album Leo Rising can be found on his website www.aaron2.me.

May 2, 2013

D.C. Jazz Artist Aaron Myers Announces Engagement of New Management and Video Director

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Michael Silas

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WeSupportMusic.com

PRLog (Press Release) – May 2, 2013 – WASHINGTON, D.C. — [Washington D.C.]  This Friday evening, May 3rd, at the Black Fox Lounge in downtown D.C., Aaron Myers is expected to announce the recent hiring of two new members to his promotion and production team.  In an effort to fully ensure that his upcoming album release“Leo Rising” due for release on June 7th, is all that it can be.  Details of the new record will also be presented at this performance.

Aaron will announce that he has brought on famed choreographer/dancer Michael Silas as the director for his official video “My Funny Valentine.”  Currently residing in Los Angeles, this is Michael’s debut at directing although he has quite an impressive history in the business.  Chosen as one of Lady Gaga’s original male dancers; gaining the Haus name “Mikey Mugler” –  Michael accompanied her on a rise to superstardom.  Silas also performed in both her jaw dropping “Paparazzi” MTV Music Awards performance, Fame Ball, the Fame Monster and Emmy Award winning Monster Ball world tours.  Some of Mr. Silas’s other achievements include the X Factor & The Braxton’s, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera, and more. Michael is also known for his favorite quote by Martha Graham; “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”

And what is Aaron Myers feeling on the engagement of Mr. Silas; “Michael is a friend, and believed enough in “Leo Rising” to take this step of faith with me!  I am honored, humbled, and super excited about what’s to come!”

 Aaron will further announce the engagement of the independent music industry executive Lafond Wright, the CEO of the social media/online radio giant, and artist management firm WeSupportMusic.com.  Mr. Wright and his company will oversee the personal management of Aaron’s career and assist with the marketing of his social media and Internet radio initiatives. Wesupportmusic.com features internet radio shows, videos and articles covering all genres of popular music, and the cultures that surround them.  Aaron will be the featured artist on the management company’s roster.  To quote Mr. Wright; “We believe that independent artists are the very lifeblood of music, and artists should be celebrated for their creativity and their talents and not judged by their age, their looks, their gender, or their beliefs.”

This Friday night May 3rd will most assuredly be a very exciting performance for Aaron.  As the resident artist at The Black Fox Lounge, his performances always fill the house to the max.  But with the official announcement of his debut record release “Leo Rising” on June 7th, and the additions to his production and promotion team, this is one you must attend.

The Black Fox Lounge is located at 1723 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20009
PH: (202) 483-1723 — 
Web: http://www.blackfoxlounge.com
Aaron’s performance begins at 9:30pm. 

For more on Aaron Myers visit his official website at www.aaron2.me

April 18, 2013

Washington D.C. Jazz Artist Aaron Myers Dedicates Show to the Victims of the Boston Marathon Tragedy

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Aaron Myers

Apr. 17, 2013 – WASHINGTON, D.C. — [Washington DC]  It’s one of Aaron Myers regular shows at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC.   But on this Friday evening, April 19th, at 9:30 PM, Aaron will take the stage of the Black Fox with a theme; “Music Still Heals.”  

He will be dedicating the show to the victims of Tuesday’s tragic bombing in Boston that took the lives of 3 innocent bystanders at the Boston Marathon, and injured countless others.

Aaron recalls Boston’s Motto; “As God was with Our Fathers, So May He be with Us”

The show attendees, along with Aaron in its dedication will be sending well wishes and cards to the city of Boston.  Stop by the Black Fox Lounge on Friday evening to show your support for the victims and the devastated city of Boston.

Aaron Myers is currently the resident artist at the “Black Fox Lounge” in Washington DC, on the first and third Fridays of each month.   Look for Aaron on NBC channel 4 in DC, where he will be the featured accompanist for the show, “Be a Voice VIP” contest’.  The show airs on June 1st. 

Aaron Myers website can be found at http://www.aaron2.me

January 10, 2013

An Inauguration Celebration at the Black Fox – With Resident Artist Aaron Myers

ImageWashington, DC – January 18, 2013 — As the inauguration festivities commence, The Black Fox Lounge will continue to host Friday Nights of Live Jazz and Entertainment with DC’s favorite Jazz Artist: Aaron Myers. As Resident Artist of The Black Fox for three years, Aaron Myers has continued to bring an amazing show to the public every first and third Friday of each month and this inauguration weekend, he will make it even more special with the Unveiling of a Portrait by Curtis Williams.
 
The Black Fox is a safe space to meet new friends, have a good time, and leave a hectic work week to start an exciting weekend celebrating the inauguration of our President’s second term in office. If one is looking for a night of laughter, fun, and a night they will never forget, head over to the Black Fox Lounge on 1723 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC. Admission is Free, drinks are strong, at the show starts promptly at 9:30PM.

September 5, 2012

Politics & Entertainment: A Personal Note from Aaron Myers!

To My Supporters,

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Aaron Myers

I come to you today as you have probably been flooded with remarks, articles, concerns and opinions about the political conventions that have been taking place over the last two weeks.  As many of you, I too have questions and have watched, listened, and still look forward to what will play out on November 6.  As an entertainer who has run for office, I view these events with amusement on many fronts and have come to this conclusion: The integrity of each party will be defined by their ability to compromise.    

 
At this moment, I am preparing to remind the American People to smile and find unity through entertainment.  On Friday September 7th, I will be hosting a Free Live Jazz Show at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC from 9:30pm – 12:30am.    This week I will be also joined by spoken word artist/poet Kavon Ward.
 
People who attend will have the opportunity to also donate to my new project Leo Rising , which will allow me the opportunity to record at Avatar Studios in New York City, New York.  The team that I have assembled has put together a project that will be Grammy Worthy, and with your support we can complete it!  Please take a look at Leo Rising on KickStarter.com, donate, and tell all of your contacts about it!  Reaching our goal is the only way we will be able to secure the funds to make this happen…I am depending on you!
 
As always, I am appreciative of your support, and would not be able to inspire others through my expression of art without it.  Please know, my love for all of you runs deeper than words will allow me to articulate.  Your continued support has been and will be a continued dream come true.
 
So remember, if no one today told you that they loved you, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.
 
Yours Truly,
 
Aaron Myers
Leo Rising
 
 

 

January 27, 2012

Maureen Mullaney and Aaron Myers: Together at Last!

It was confirmed this morning that Aaron Myers will be sharing the stage with Singer/Songwriter Maureen Mullaney at the Black Fox Lounge Friday night January 27th.  Both, while being long time staples at the venue, have always dropped by and teased audiences at each others shows with their energy, playfulness and talent.  For a rare treat, they will finally join their musical efforts in a single performance that will no doubt electrify their audience.

Check out the Black Fox Lounge (1723 Connecticut Ave NW) Friday January 27 from 9:30pm – 12:30am for a Free Live Jazz Concert given by two staples in the DC Jazz Scene, Maureen Mullaney and Aaron Myers!

January 5, 2012

Black Fox Lounge: 1st Show of the year!

On Friday January 6th 9:30pm-12:30am, the Black Fox Lounge will host Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble as they perform in their first show at the Black Fox of the new year!   Live Jazz at the Black Fox is unique because it reminds you of the old jazz clubs you read about and also…it is FREE!

 

 

Myers recently celebrated his second anniversary at the Black Fox and is performs there with the ensemble the first, third and fifth Fridays of the month.

 

 

 

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