Washington, DC, October 20, 2014 – Local Jazz artist Aaron Myers has garnered attention from independent music professionals across the Globe. It was announced Wednesday October 15th, Myers is ranked Number One on the Reverbnation Jazz Charts for Washington DC, the United States and World Wide. He has maintained this rank since that time.
October 20, 2014
August 12, 2014
Depression is real. As an artist, I live with it every day, and the operative word is “live.” It is not easy, and at times it seems as if I have no problems with the struggle. There are times when I feel on top of the world…for a moment. Then a tunnel surrounds me blocking out any affection or caring word I’ve ever heard from anyone else in my life. It becomes me at my most isolated, not selfish, state where although people are surrounding me, they have been blocked from my vision.
August 9, 2014
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
June 10, 2014
May 13, 2014
For Immediate Release
Yevvo, Jazz & Radio
(Jazz Artist Aaron Myers introduces technology to the DC Jazz Community)
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.
Black Fox Lounge
1723 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20009
Information about Aaron Myers
April 14, 2014
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.
Black Fox Lounge
1723 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20009
Information about Aaron Myers
February 21, 2014
Washington DC is now moving towards a Democratic Primary which will determine who the Democratic Party will put forward to stand in the DC Mayoral Race. After carefully listening and observing all of the candidates, I today offer my full endorsement to Andy Shallal.
If you are in DC, and would like to know more about Andy Shallal, I ask that you watch this VIDEO.
February 3, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Aaron Myers Announces Upcoming Fall Tour, New Album Release, And WAMMIES Nominations
Jazz aficionado, Aaron Myers, II has announced that in celebration of the successful release of his debut album “Leo Rising”, upcoming release of his sophomore album “Lion’s Den”, and recent award nominations by the Washington Area Music Association; he will be embarking on a Northeastern tour.
Aaron Myers is a native Texan who began playing the piano at the age of 3. A veteran of the United States Army, where he also Played, Sang, Directed & Composed music; Aaron went on to Navarro College, majoring in Theatre and Business, where he was the musical director with the College Gospel Choir. In May of 2013, Aaron Myers released the Video “What’s a Man to Do” from his Debut Jazz/Neo Soul Album “Leo Rising” (released nationwide July 4th 2013) to critical acclaim. In July of 2013, Aaron Myers opened the musical, “My Civil War” for the Capital Fringe Festival. Currently, Aaron Myers is the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, DC and Minister of Music at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ.
Congratulations are in order as singer/songwriter Aaron Myers, II has garnered three prestigious Washington Area Music Awards (“WAMMIE”) nominations in the following categories:
- Best Jazz Vocalist
- Best Jazz Recording – Leo Rising
- Best Debut Recording – Leo Rising
Aaron’s sophomore album “Lion’s Den” is set to release on July 4, 2014 and he will be touring this coming fall. The following tour dates are as follows:
Washington, DC (Blues Alley)
New York, City New York
October 22, 2013
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.
April 18, 2013
Washington D.C. Jazz Artist Aaron Myers Dedicates Show to the Victims of the Boston Marathon Tragedy
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