DrMyers’s Blog

October 20, 2014

Aaron Myers ranked #1 Jazz Artist Globally on Reverbnation

10339544_10152644126902033_418074803278710753_nWashington, 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.

“Growing up in a town of about 300 people in Texas, being ranked Number One is indeed a dream come true”, Myers said Friday night at his show at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, DC.  Myers is the Resident artist at the Black Fox Lounge completing over 138 shows since 2009.
Reverbnation is comprised of over 10.6 million music and entertainment professionals globally.  Ranking systems are based upon several factors ranging from downloads, song plays, profile views, etc.  Since 2006, Reverbnation has helped millions of emerging artists build their careers by connecting artists to venues, festivals, brands, publishers, labels and fans themselves.  Reverbnation offers emerging artists from around the world access to the global music industry.
Myers released his debut album “Leo Rising” in 2013 during the DC Jazz Festival to critical acclaim.  He was invited to perform at Blues Alley, the nations finest Jazz and Supper Club as reported by the New York Times, on September 3rd playing to a sold out audience.
“I am just grateful to make my living doing what I’ve dreamed of doing my entire life.  Washington DC has been very good to me, and I am glad the World has been given the opportunity to take notice!” said Myers.
Aaron Myers performs a live Jazz show at the Black Fox Lounge every first and third Friday of the month from 9:30pm to 12:30am.  Learn more about his work at http://www.aaron2.me.

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

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

###

 

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.

December 15, 2011

Two Year Anniversary at the Black Fox!

ImageTwo years ago, I walked in by chance into the Black Fox Lounge as a customer.  On Friday December 16th from 9:45pm – 12:45am I will walk in as the Resident Artist celebrating 2 years at the Venue. Over the course of these two years, I have been excited to participate in the Jazz Community here in the DC area, opening doors for me to provide music for special and private events but also very public events such as the 50th Peace Corps Anniversary Celebration and NALDA 100th Anniversary. 

 
As I celebrate this Anniversary on Friday, I will also be donating a portion of the revenue from the night to the Future of Music Coalition, a cause I believe in whole-heartedly. This organization works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.  
 
Please join me at the Black Fox Lounge 1723 Connecticut Ave NW, DC for this Free Event on Friday December 16th from 9:30pm – 12:30am and help me celebrate my Second Anniversary in the tradition of the fantastic jazz musicians of old…swinging.

February 18, 2011

Live Jazz AND Spoken Word…all for Free!!

The Black Fox Lounge is a contemporary lounge in the Dupont Circle area of Washington DC offering live music 7 days a week to its patrons.  Reviewed by several blogs and the Washington Post, the Black Fox Lounge will be adding a new twist to it’s Friday Night Music Lineup!!

Friday February 18th (and every 1st and 3rd Friday of the Month) Aaron Myers accompanied by a Jazz Trio will team up with local Spoken Word Artists to offer a night of Jazz and Spoken Word.  “It’s all about self-expression” said singer Aaron Myers, “When I think of Jazz almost immediately my next thought goes out to the poets who helped define the Harlem Renaissance”.

Myers will be joined by, Bettina Judd, Yorri J. Berry, and Michael Van Wood who will “Grace the Mic” and invite the audience to expand their horizons of thought.

The show starts at 9:30pm and runs to 12:30am, however the shows have been running clear into the 1am hour due to the popularity of the Jazz Show!  A patron commented to the Washington Post that, “My parents were native Washingtonians, and they tell me about going to cocktail lounges with live music in the ’40s and ’50s. You don’t have that anymore. But this place is bringing it back.”

See you there!!  Below is Aaron Myers in an impromptu composing session!

February 9, 2011

Are you a Professional? Are you Single? Are you in the DMV? Check this out!

If there’s anything the Beltway is not short of, it is the amount of Single Professionals (some have even mastered the art of being Professional Singles).  In 2009, Forbes rated Washington DC #5 on its list of Best Cities for Singles and if you just wait till 5:00pm in Metro Center (The subway transfer point for 3 major lines) you will see the hoards of “Professionals” equipped with Ipods, Blackberry’s and books to read while enduring the commute to and from the workplace.

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, Professional Singles are asked to put down the books and embrace  an alternative that has been offered.  On Friday February 11th,  Sauciety an American Grill is offering a Professional Singles Mixer.  This is not like your every day networking events, that we all hate and dread going to!  This event is targeting a specific group of people, and could possibly change the lives of a few singles in the future!

For $40 patrons can enjoy; Signature Drinks, the Debut of their new menu, a Dessert Dipping Station, and to top this all off live music by CaShandra J.  a performing artist who is singing all over Washington DC.

But most of all…these Single Professionals will get an opportunity network, lay foundations with, and potentially meet other Single Professionals that might lead to future long lasting relationships.

Doors open at  7pm and by using the promotional code AMyers you will receive an extra $5 off and if you purchase more than 5 tickets, the price drops by $9 dollars! For reservations call 240-766-3640.

PUT DOWN THE BOOK and join us at this event!!!

January 31, 2011

Dupont Circle JAZZ SCENE!! Friday Feb. 4th at the Black Fox Lounge

Every town has a local business that is known for its quality service and atmosphere; many of these places are known as treats or “secrets” by residents, because when you first visit them you wonder who’s been keeping this great place from you and from your family!!  The Going out Guide

The Black Fox Lounge is one of the best kept secrets in DuPont Circle!  The Washington Post Going Out Guide Stated,

“From the heavy barstools to the fixtures, the colors throughout are neutral: glossy brown wood, beige marble floors, butterscotch walls. It screams “adult,” not “happy hour,” which is rare in Dupont” quoting one patron saying, “”My parents were native Washingtonians, and they tell me about going to cocktail lounges with live music in the ’40s and ’50s. You don’t have that anymore. But this place is bringing it back.”

Not only is it a chill atmosphere, but its retro style gives you the ability to enjoy drinks with friends and also affords you the opportunity to hear Great Live Jazz Music by local Jazz Artists.  This Friday from 9:30pm – 12:30am Aaron Myers will be singing with the Black Fox Ensemble (House band for the Black Fox) and it plans to be a night of Gershwin, Allen, Davis, Monk, and many more!  Management encourages guests to get there a little early to ensure good seats; it works off of a first come first serve basis!

Warm up on Friday with some great drinks, great friends, and great JAZZ!

January 26, 2011

DuPont Circle Snow Ball Fight and the Black Fox Lounge

Tonight at 8pm, Washington DC will be awaiting the start of what has grown to become a tradition in the District.  With the snow still falling, members of the community will gather in the historic Dupont Circle, and kick off a massive Snow Ball Fight!  Many can remember the hoards of people who joined in with the fun last year with the massive amount of snow that was available.  Come ready to rumble! There is also rumored to be scores to settle from last year between Georgetown and St. Johns!  Regardless of, it promises to be a FUN TIME!

After the Snowball Fight, many people will be heading over to the Black Fox Lounge for Complimentary Chicken Soup to warm up after what will promise to be a fun but chilling experience.  Warming up at the Black Fox Lounge (1723 Connecticut Ave NW www.blackfoxlounge.com) serves two purposes.  1st – To warm up after being covered in snow and 2nd – to dodge the massive wait for the metro!  Plus…it’s Complimentary *Free!  Things you should remember: Socks CAN substitute as gloves, but make sure they’re clean; Don’t trust anyone…it’s anyone’s ball game out there; If you get too cold, beat everyone else to the chicken soup at the Black Fox Lounge!

 

May 1, 2009

“Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy”: The Secret Lives of Politicians on Display!

 

Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist

Growing up in a small town, one grows accustomed to certain “facts”.  The school district could all sit on one parcel of land, and if you are from the south, there is only one place to be on Friday night…the High School football game!  Neighboring families share history and when discussing family history, the family church must be also mentioned.  Dating can be awfully dreadful in a small town due to the fact that “blood relationships” are common among members of the opposite sex.  Feuds and Fights can last for generations, with no need for an explanation of why; that’s just how it’s always been.  

No small town can be a “true” small town, without a little taste of Gossip.  Some of the best Gossip takes place ironically after church, and typically about the people who attended church that Sunday.  “How could she show her face in service after what SHE’S done” or “it’s a wonder he could even stay awake during service, he was out all night!”.  Fashion critics, Music critic, Oratory Critics, show their expertise over the dinner table with always a disclaimer coming from the person with the juiciest person.  This disclaimer came as a warning that simply stated, “If I hear this again, I’ll know EXACTLY where it came from”!  With this staunch warning, one would not dare repeat the information shared over that dinner table;  because if he/her did, they would be nothing more than an idle gossiper, and heaven forbid anyone view them as nothing more than a “Gossiper”.

Believe it or not, there is an old adage about the origin of the word Gossip.  As it was told to me, “Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people.  Since there were no telephones, TVs or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars, instructing them to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. When assistants were dispatched, they were told, ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’  The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and thus we have the term ‘gossip.”  Now whether or not this adage is really how the word Gossip was formed, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Although the adage has been questioned in years past, the irony lies, in that the lives of Politicians have been notoriously the root of much gossip.  This is most evident during campaign season, as we just experienced with this last election.  The number houses held by one politician and “Who’s the Mama” from his running mate, ran a hard race against a man who we were not sure was born in America, and with a running mate who was going to drop out of the race at any minute.  The gossip surrounding the last election is child’s play if we take a look back in history.

During the presidential campaign of 1800, the Federalists attacked Jefferson as an infidel and a Deist, claiming that Jefferson’s intoxication with the religious and political extremism of the French Revolution disqualified him from public office.  President Andrew Jackson dealt with much sorrow, when his wife was viciously attacked by his opposition after it was discovered that she was not divorced from her first husband when she married Jackson.  Although he won the election, his wife died of a heart attack after shopping for an inaugural dress; for the rest of his life he blamed the opposition’s attacks on his wife for her death.  But NONE of these compare with the gossip surrounding the “Bachelor President”…James Buchanan.

Not much now is discussed about James Buchanan, but when he was in office, scandalous rumors circulated about Buchanan, his “bachelorhood”…and his roommate Senator William R King, who would go on to be the shortest serving Vice-President in our nation’s history, due to his death only 45 days after taking office.  Buchanan and King were inseparable while in Washington.   President Andrew Jackson, known for speaking his mind, would begin referring to King as “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy”, while Aaron V. Brown (Governor of Tennessee) spoke of the two as “Buchanan and his wife”.  Below is an excerpt of a letter from Buchanan to King:

“I am now ‘solitary and alone,’ having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.”

In hindsight, we must remember that men spoke in very classical and endearing ways at that time.  It is very possible that this letter was just a simple letter to a friend he missed while he was away.  Nonetheless, with all the other correspondents between the two gentlemen burned by their descendents, we will never know; but there is a video documentary that will is threatening to “Out” some modern day politicians who have advocated against gay rights in their respective offices.

Directed by Kirby Dick, “Outrage” premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this week.  One of the politicians targeted by this film is Charlie Crist, Florida Governor, and a viable candidate for the 2012 election on the Republican Ticket.  As summed up by the director, he views this film a way to expose those politicians who live outwardly as straight men for political gain, advocating against issues that would help advance the Gay Community in achieving equal rights; while secretly living as homosexual men.  He hopes by making this film, these politicians will be bold enough to see that this is a bad decision both personally and politically.  Rallying around the fact that this is the 21st century, he hopes that this film will encourage politicians to know that they can run in their districts and win by honestly portraying their sexuality, whether on the Republican or Democratic ticket.

Now in regards to if the adage I told earlier is true…it too is mere Gossip.  The word “Gossip” spans far before our political system was in place, deriving from the old English word godsibb, a combination of god and sib, the term which was used for what we call Godparent.  In the 16th century, the word assumed the meaning of a person, mostly a woman, one who delights in idle talk and chatter.  The verb to gossip, meaning “to be a gossip”, first appears in the classical work of William Shakespeare.

In regards the reaction the documentary “Outrage” might receive, it’s almost certain to make friends and enemies; this I am sure of.  But maybe this will finally open an honest dialog that will address whether the American people should be more concerned with whom a politician takes to his/her bedroom, or the policies they are introducing in the Halls of Congress, which directly affects their lives.   Maybe James Buchanan had some feedback about the inner thought of a man, who might feel less of a man, because of his/her sexuality and how others view him or her.

James Buchanan 15th President of the United States

James Buchanan 15th President of the United States

“The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.

~James Buchanan

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