DrMyers’s Blog

April 25, 2017

DC Celebrates International Jazz Day with the DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards 

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Washington, DC, April 25, 2017 –  The DC Jazz Lobby, a subset of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, will celebrate International Jazz Day, Sunday April 30th, by honoring 6 individuals with a program held at Busboys and Poets, Takoma location, from 6pm – 8pm.  The DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards will annually recognize individuals within the DC jazz Community who have worked to promote, support, and uplift members of the DC Jazz scene.

“Establishing an event that not only recognizes individuals that have worked to further the reach of Jazz in our community, but to help promote Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day is essential”, said Aaron Myers, organizer with the DC Jazz Lobby and board chairman of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.  “With DC playing such a pivotal role in Jazz, I feel this is very appropriate.”
Jazz Appreciation Month was created in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, PhD, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  Last year, DC City Council-member Laruby May introduced a resolution recognizing DC’s involvement in Jazz as well as the influence of Women in Jazz.  This year, a resolution was introduced by Council-member Robert White recognizing Jazz Appreciation Month, International Jazz Day while also recognizing the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald.  “I introduced the Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day Ceremonial Recognition Resolution of 2017 to recognize the local musicians who have made great contributions to the art form.” said At-Large Council-member Robert White.   “It’s important to acknowledge the impact music and the arts have on our communities and on the molding of our young people.”
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30th as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the Globe.  Last year, Washington DC was the host city for International Jazz Day with over 100 artists attending an event at the White House hosted by former President, Barack Obama.  With the creation of the DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards, DC will annually have an annual set event that will be added to the roster of International Jazz Day activities worldwide.
This year, honorees will include: Nasar Abadey, Judith Korey, Dick Smith, Ellen Williams Carter, Dave Yarobough, and Sandra Butler Truesdale, with a ceremonial resolution being presented by Council-member Robert White. “I want to thank the DC Jazz Lobby and it founding members, as I am truly honored and privileged to receive this recognition at this point in my life.” said drummer and educator Nasar Abadey, who is a staple on the Jazz scene and mentor to many musicians.   “It also gives me great pleasure to share this acknowledgement with such a stellar group of Jazz Musicians, Aficionados and Activists who celebrate the legacy of this great music.  This commendation also coincides with my 70th Birthday this year, and 50+ years of paying tribute to this exceptional American Art form, as a professional performing artist.”
Over the last year, there has been an up tic in activism from members of the creative community in DC as performers and presenters work with the District Government to ensure spaces remain open and that contributions from creatives are included in the creative economy.  Both last year and this year, legislation has been introduced to address and remedy concerns identified by these efforts.
“The DC Jazz Community owes a great deal of gratitude to these awardees for their service.” said Herbert Scott, Jazz saxophonist and Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.  “This event demonstrates the storied legacy of the men and women that are working to keep the DC Jazz Scene vibrant.”
 
 (DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards/ Sunday April 30th / 6pm – 8pm / Busboys and Poets – Takoma is located at 235 Carrol St NW, Washington, DC 20012.  This event is free admission and open to the public.)
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December 7, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump: DC Arts Community Speaks Out #REformanceArt

 

 

 

This press release went out on Monday (12/5) as a response to the election of President-Elect Donald Trump.

DC Arts Community Sends Message to Donald Trump

 

Washington, DC, December 5, 2016 – DC based Jazz artists and presenters gathered to video a message to President-Elect Donald Trump this past Wednesday and Thursday, releasing the video online Saturday, December 3rd.  Organized as “REformanceArt,” these artists outlined their love for their city, and what expectations they have for the President-Elect.  Fifteen local artists met at Studio202 on Rhode Island Ave, NE, and the result is an open letter, that many are calling brave, chilling, and tone appropriate.
“I gave myself forty-eight hours to wrap my head around the election,” Aaron Myers, a local Jazz vocalist and activist said when asked about the project.  “After those forty-eight hours were up, I decided to look at what I could do to not only encourage my audience, but to also protect them.  After speaking with saxophonist Herb Scott, I thought that there was no reason for us sit idly by hoping for the best, but to be actively engaged with our local and federal officials to protect my rights, the rights of my fellow musicians, and the rights of our audience members.”
The group that came together at Busboys and Poets, just two days after the election, and discussed a unifying direction. “After the election results, I felt empty.  I felt as if all I had worked for as an artists promoting social change was lost. Pointless; until I got together with some DC artists one morning and let me tell you, REformanceArt was the answer,”said Mark Meadows, who starred this past season in “Jelly’s Last Jam” at Signature Theater.
At this initial meeting, the name “REformanceArt” was adopted.  The meaning is simple; artists who “Perform to Reform” with the goal of using their platforms to not only entertain, but to also empower audiences.  “Artists exist, and are to be heard!” said Emcee Dior Ashley Brown, a long-time DC arts activist.  “We are the creative economy, we are innovators, and leaders of society, infrastructure, influence, we add to, and balance society.”  This tone can be felt by many of the artists who have grown increasingly irritated by not feeling heard in recent months with the closing of many venues many musicians relied on for work, practice, and even shelter.  Now with the looming WMATA safe track, and early closures, many service industry workers fear their jobs (which are apart of the creative economy) are in jeopardy.
“We are looking to take our influence not only to the streets of DC, but to the halls of congress, and into the strategy rooms of upcoming elections.  It is our goal to form a PAC, and use the creativity we have on stage, to aid candidates that share our ideals elected into office.” said Myers.  The organization has been in communication with the offices of Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, along with Andre Carson.  “We reached out to both sides of the isle for guidance, and to have our voice heard,” Myers continued, “however, we’ve only heard back from the Democratic leaders so far.”
One concerning change expected with the new administration is the change of intentionality inclusion of the arts, and artists at the White House, and the plight of many in the creative economy when crafting strategy.  Programs like the Affordable Care Act, if abolished, could leave many entrepreneurs, artists, and small businesses without coverage.  “I would like to see President Elect Trump improve on the wonderful things our current President has done with highlighting what critical role creatives play in our society, and how valuable the Arts are for all human beings.” said saxophonist Herb Scott.
REformanceArt will be having its’ launch event Friday, December 9 from 6pm – 9pm, hosted at the home of David Weiner. 21 Gessford Court S.E. Washington DC 20003 along with the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam & DC Jazz Lobby. 

July 11, 2016

The Lion’s Den & Liner Notes

The Lion’s Den
Can be found:
Itunes
GooglePlay
CdBaby
Amazon
AMLD1
The “Lion’s Den” was released in 2015
Pre-Production was done at R Street Studios (Holly Bayhnumn engineer) in Washington, DC
Production was done at House Studio DC (Jake Grotticelli engineer) in Hyattsville, MD
Mastering – Kyle Murdock
Spain:
Arranged: Aaron Myers
Song by: Chick Corea / Al Jarreau 
 
So, who takes a jazz standard by the great Chick Corea, and puts a 21st century spin on it including: Opera, Jazz & Rap?  This dude!  We’ve taken Spain and incorporated the original Spanish language from the Concerto de Aranjuez sung by Aundi Marie Moore (who blew everyone away in the studio), combined it with the lyrics from Al Jarreau sung by Aaron Myers, adding the realness of rap by Pacman Slim, bringing the whole story together.  
Tyler Leak (Drums)
Dave Kane (piano)
Percy White (Bass)
Aundi Marie Moore (Soprano Vocals)
Pacman Slim (Rapper)
Aaron Myers (Voice)
Herb Scott (Saxaphone)
Aaron’s Blues
Composed & Arranged by Aaron Myers
 
This blues came by accident.  For years when I sang at the Black Fox Lounge, I was asked to sing a blues to open up my shows (mostly for sound check purposes).  After a while, I developed some consistent lyrics that stuck.  After a few years, my pianist (Oren Levine) suggested I go ahead and record it before someone else did…so here it is!  My blues or “Aaron’s Blues.”
Aaron Myers (Vocals)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Percy White (Drums)
Warren G. Crudup (Drums)
Herb Scott (Alto Saxaphone)
Lionel Lyles (Tenor Saxaphone)
Almost Like Being in Love
Composed By: Frederick Loewe 
Lyrics by: Alan Jay Lerner
Arranged By Aaron Myers
I first heard Sammy Davis Jr. sing this song and fell in love.  Then year after year, I heard other legendary singers add their spin to this song.  I attempted to sing this song at one of my shows, and to my surprise I could see many people moving their lips to the song…I wasn’t alone, it was their favorite too.  On this project, I decided to add my interpretation, with a  mixture of Jazz & Soul.
Aaron Myers (Vocals)
Lionel Lyles (Tenor Sax)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Waren G. Crudup (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
One More Minute
Written/Arrange by Aaron Myers
This song was written about how I would imagine the situation would go if I were about to leave a significant other.  How I would imagine I would feel during that process, one more minute, one last time.  After living through these words, I must agree that my assumption was true, but it surpasses just intimate relations with others…but with many close friends and family members..we all want one more minute, before we have to say goodbye.  That is, if the love is true.
Aaron Myers (Vocals)
Lionel Lyles (Tenor Sax)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Waren G. Crudup (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
Percy’s Intro
Aaron Myers & Percy White
 
I‘ve known Percy for years now, he knows my deepest darkest secrets, and if I decide to run for President, he’d have to be my Vice-President so that my secrets will stay safe.  This is not our first rodeo!
Why I Sing the Blues
Written /Arranged by Percy White
 
This is ONLY A SONG as stated by Percy.  I will not profess the same for me.
 
Aaron Myers (Vocals)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Waren G. Crudup (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
The Conversation
Aaron Myers & Geneva Renee
Geneva has a voice as I’ve described it, “when Disney met God!”  We’re both Leo’s and at times, we get into a mess of trouble together, but we make such good music together as well.   This conversation is a conversation we’ve had many times…on both sides.  One day we’ll find “THAT” special someone.  I’m sure her Prince will come soon!
Strong Confident Woman
Written by Aaron Myers & Geneva Renee
Arranged by Aaron Myers
This song was inspired by one of the strongest girls I’d ever met in College.  “MK” (for short) stood her ground, stuck to her morals, and did not take any crap from the college boys (or men).  She befriended me, and did not hesitate to call me on my crap when I needed it, but also with her beautiful voice, offered me a shoulder to cry on at times, but believed in me.  MK…you’ll always have my heart!
 
Geneva Renee (Vocals)
Herb Scott (Alto Sax)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Tyler Leak (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
Black Lives Matter
Written & Arranged by Aaron Myers
 
This song is very simple.  BLACK LIVES MATTER!  I’m BLACK and BEAUTIFUL.  I was born Black and will die BLACK.  It is my hope that my life and death will not be determined BECAUSE of my color by society, but by my creator, in which according to some documents, I (and other Black people) have the right to LIVE.  It is my goal to DIE of NATURAL CAUSES…and not by the result of a bullet, strangle hold, or altercation with law enforcement of any kind.   #BlackLivesMatter   
Aaron Myers (Vocals)
Pacman Slim (Rapper)
Herb Scott (Alto Sax)
Lionel Lyles (Tenor Sax)
Ollie Wright (Piano)
Tyler Leak (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
 
Dedication
Aaron Myers

Marvin Dunaway (Haywood) was and will always remain a friend.  I do not believe death ends friendship.  He took me in as a friend and was a true friend.  Also a Leo, he had spice, and had some of the best comeback lines I’ve ever heard.  One of my only friends who didn’t drink, but didn’t need it to have a great time.  To my knowledge, he didn’t have any enemies.  A gentle soul, and a great example of what a man should be,

 
Winter Ray
Written & Arranged by Aaron Myers
 
Winter Ray was written as I sat at my piano and watched the snow fall.  I tried to capture my feelings of loving the snow, but hating the cold.  Of loving the snow, but missing my family and the warmth of Texas.  Of loving the snow, but worried about those who could not actually be indoors in a safe space.  Of loving the snow, and still worried about those sliding across the ice in their cars.  Winter Ray is the first instrumental I’ve written and I was able to witness how the notes were interpreted by others.   
Dave Kane (Piano)
Tyler Leak (Drums)
Percy White (Bass)
Herb Scott (Alto Sax)
Lionel Lyles (Tenor Sax)
O How I Love Jesus
Written By: Fredrick Whitfield
Arranged by Aaron Myers
This song I dedicated to my Grandmother Velma Sanders.  She was in my first audience, and listened to me play this song on her upright piano for more hours than I could mention and she never complained.  She was a soul that possessed so much light, could ease the tension of any moment with a smile, and could make you feel safe with a simple embrace.  Because she was, I am.
Aaron Myers (Vocals & Piano)
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May 25, 2016

My Ode to DC’s Budget Autonomy

image1 (9)Today, I’ve watched members of congress on C-SPAN give their opinions in regards to Budget Autonomy for Washington DC.

For those of you who do not know, not only are the residents of Washington DC (like me) not given a vote in Congress (our Delegate is not given a vote), but Washington DC is not given budget autonomy (freedom from external control or influence).

The District of Columbia wants the ability to create their budgets, implement their budgets, and do what’s best in the interests of the citizens of Washington DC.  There has even been a court order in support of that.

However, this Republican lead Congress doesn’t want to see this happen.   Delegate Norton, has passionately tried to make her voice heard through reason, rallied others to support, but still to no avail.

 

As a Jazz artist, I only know one way to express my disgust towards our Congress in regards to this issue.  Below are the lyrics to my song “Home Rule” that will be included on my upcoming album “The PRIDE” which will be released later this year.  These words describe my disappointment in some Representatives who would rather be referred to as “Master” in the Big House.

“Home Rule”

(V1)

There’s a plantation where sharecroppers toil

With sweat on their brow, and blood in the soil.

A building sits there, passing laws every day,

New people arrive, while the natives move away.

It seems unreal, but they have no autonomy,

Some call it the Capitol, but it’s home to me.

(V2)
Millionaires walk around, flooding every street

Giving sullen looks to the poor that they meet

Hired cars, shuffle the people around,

Then & Now, how it’s changed this town.

We asked for our money, they took our authority,

Some may call it Washington, but it’s home to me.

(Bridge)
Taxation without representation you’ll hear the old folks say.
The Good ole masters throw their parties, and then look the other way.
Once a year, they let us, celebrate emancipation day,
Then up to work from dawn to dusk, then home again to pray.

(V3)

To my Delegate I pass a simple note.

She tries to speak our stories in the big house, but they took away her vote.

Dollar after dollar is scrutinized, then a budget they’ll make.
Only to pass it to the authorities, and they’ll tell us what we can take.

You may ask, is this America or a special on TV.

No, it’s just our plantation, Our home, we call it DC.

 

 

 

July 21, 2015

Jazz Artist Celebrates with the Community

Vocalist Aaron Myers captured by Darwyn Dave

Vocalist Aaron Myers captured by Darwyn Dave

Washington, District of Columbia July 21 — The Jazz Community will gather on and off stage to celebrate with entertainer Aaron Myers as he brings in his birthday through music and pool-side fun. Rumors are rampant that other local entertainers, club owners, politicians, and a host of other notables will be in attendance.  Starting with a music filled night of Jazz at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant and then a Poolside Bash at Vida Fitness U Street Penthouse, confirmations are reaching capacity for both venues.

“There’s no better way to bring people together than with music and birthdays ,” Myers said. “Celebrating music and life will be theme of this weekend.”

Myers, now Resident Artist at the legendary Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, is known for his jazz concerts, comedy, and activism. Over the last 6 years, Myers has introduced jazz to audiences through his intimate jazz shows, his radio program “The Exchange” and through his charitable efforts.

There will be champagne, great performances, and a great pool over the two day birthday experience. To those who are accustomed to these events, Myers will bring an element of fun over the weekend that will be memorable.

“This Birthday is special to me,” Myers said. “I’m announcing the upcoming release of my new album!”  Myers also shared another reason the opening festivities hold a certain sentiment.  “For the first time, my Friday night show at Mr. Henry’s will be streamed through a platform that will allow people to view the show from their home computers and mobile devices.  This will be the first show my 98 year old Grandmother will be able to see.  Due to her health, she has never seen my jazz shows.”

Recently, Myers has added “Writer” & “Film-Producer” to his list of accomplishments. Although the projects are in production, the film, reportedly a documentary about DC Taxi Drivers, has garnered a lot of buzz in the DC community. In addition to this documentary, Myers is also shopping around new the feature film script “Paths at Sunset” while finishing up work on TV Pilot “Half Note.”

“Producing a film is not for the faint at heart,” Myers said with a grin. “Deadlines, can make you or break you, but they do help you stay true to yourself about seeing these projects through to completion.”

Aaron Myers, known as the “Class Act,” is a native Texan who has decided to make Washington DC his home. Through his partnerships with charities, business, and politics, Myers has made an impression on the District that merges art with activism.  Visit his website at www.aaron2.me.

Friday Night 7/24: Mr. Henry’s Restaurant 8pm (no cover) // Saturday 7/25:  (7pm – Midnight) Vida Fitness U Street (No Cover RSVP to aaronmyers@aaron2.me)

April 9, 2015

AARON MYERS voted “Best Singer” in the Washington City Paper’s “Best Of DC” Readers Poll

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

AARON MYERS voted “Best Singer” in the Washington City Paper’s “Best Of DC” Readers Poll

Washington, DC. ; April 9, 2015 ;  Jazz Vocalist/Entertainer Aaron Myers was voted “Best Singer” in the Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC” Readers Poll on April 9th. Myers was voted runner-up in the poll taken last year by the same paper, making this his first win in that category. Myers served as the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC boasting 5 years and 147 headliner shows at the venue before its closing December 31, 2014.

“This was a great way to start my morning” said Myers. “A good friend of mine had tagged me on Facebook wishing me congratulations. Not thinking I would win, I didn’t even buy a ticket to the Best of DC gala.” Washington City Paper was founded in 1981 and is a weekly alternative news paper with a circulation of over 60,000 (as of 2011). “It is an honor to have your fans, friends and family speak up for you like this and help spread the word of your art.”

Myers moved to Washington in 2008 after working as a Field Organizer on the Barack Obama Campaign to become the National Director of the Global Family Program that was then headed by the late author Linda Grover. Not abandoning his itch for entertainment, Myers is currently not only working in music, but directing the documentary “Cab Fare” profiling the lives of DC Cab Drivers who have been driving in the city more than 40 years. Gearing up for the release of his second album “The Lion’s Den“, Myers has also just completed his second feature script “Paths at Sunset” with writing partner Scott Sedar.

You can find Aaron Myers performing at both traditional and non traditional Jazz Venues in the Washington DC area. More information about his upcoming performances can be found at http://www.aaron2.me.

March 23, 2015

AARON MYERS RELEASES NEW JAZZ SINGLE “Stand Right” an ode to DC Metro System

Jazz Vocalist/Pianist Aaron Myers released the new single “Stand Right” March 23rd, an ode to the DC Metro system. A native Texan, Myers served as the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC boasting 5 years and 147 headliner shows at the venue before its closing December 31, 2014. Releasing this single, he will debut the song at To1237176_4679927815781_244853502_nuche Supper Club this Saturday, a new venue in the H Street Corridor in DC.

“When Oren Levine brought the song to me I jumped at it” said Myers. Oren Levine is a jazz pianist/composer who also played with Myers at the Black Fox Lounge. Over the years they developed a musical appreciation for each others style, going on to record together. “As a Jazz Singer, it is nice to have someone write music with your style in mind. It reminds me of the musical partnerships of old.” The new single speaks of the turmoil local DC residents go through when in a rush doing their daily routines but slowed by visitors who have not yet learned the DC Metro Etiquette. A common occurrence, the story is told with a jazz flare.

This is not be the only collaboration between Myers & Levine. A series of songs have been recorded and will be released at a later date. “I am looking forward to the jazz community hearing more of our work!” Myers will debut the song live for an audience this Saturday during his debut performance at Touche Supper Club.

Stand Right” can be downloaded on iTunes, GooglePlay Store, CD Baby, and other online streaming services.

Aaron Myers & Co will play Saturday March 28th at 7pm (doors open at 6pm) with a $20 cover. Touche Supper Club is located at 1123 H Street NE.

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