DrMyers’s Blog

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. 
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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)
————————

December 5, 2015

Jazz Vocalist Aaron Myers Releases Holiday Album “Snowing in Vegas”

CD cover finalWashington, District of Columbia December 5 — Jazz vocalist Aaron Myers released his new holiday album “Snowing in Vegas” digitally Saturday morning.  Co-Produced along with fellow musicians Percy White and Oren Levine, the project is available now for download and streaming.

“This has been a year in the making.” Myers said. “I’m very glad to finally have this project completed in time for the holidays ”

Myers debuted music from his new album “Snowing in Vegas” November 25th on WPFW‘s show “Live at Five.”  On the show, he introduced his holiday favorite “Love all Year” a song in the vein of Darlene Love’s “Baby Please Come Home” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.”   Myers will also perform music from his new holiday album live at Mr. Henry’s December 18th from 8pm – 11pm at a no cover show.

This is the second album released this year by Myers.  He released “The Lion’s Den” October 2nd, a jazz fusion project featuring both covers and originals.  Like “The Lion’s Den,” his holiday album offers familiar holiday favorites with a few originals written by him and others.  “The phrase snowing in Vegas came from a cool story told by Oren Levine and his wife” Myers said.  “After hearing the story of their unsuccessful quest to find warmer climates, and then traveling to Vegas when it actually snowed, and I started to play the melody on the piano right away!”   Levine and Myers played together for five years at the Black Fox Lounge.

Earlier this year the team released “Stand Right” an ode to the WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) that is also included on the holiday project.

Aaron Myers, known as the “Class Act” and currently ranked the number one Jazz artist in Globally on the Reverbnation Jazz Charts, brings his show to Mr. Henry’s the fourth Friday of every month.  Selected Best Singer in the Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC Readers Poll” for 2015, Myers has made an impression on the District by merging art with activism.  Currently he serves as Board Secretary for Crittenton Services of Greater Washington and Board Treasurer for OASIS Dance Company.  Visit his website at www.aaron2.me for more information.

September 22, 2015

Jazz Vocalist Aaron Myers at Mr. Henry’s

11958173_954675931259700_6262411325182674746_oWashington, District of Columbia September 22 — Friday night, patrons will be entertained by Jazz Vocalist Aaron Myers at Mr Henry’s Restaurant at his monthly Fourth Friday Jazz Show.  This show will be unique as he will be celebrating the release of his new album “The Lion’s Den” that will be released digitally October 2nd.  Physical “Pre-Release” copies of the project will be available for purchase at this time.
“Working with Mr. Henry’s has been a great experience,” Myers said. “It’s good to be apart of programming that continues a long tradition of jazz and live music.”

Myers debuted music from his new album “The Lion’s Den” September 9th at Blues Alley.  To a packed house, he introduced his version of “I Can Recall,” a vocal version of Chick Corea’s “Spain” with noted soprano Aundi Marie Moore and rapper Pacman Slim.   Myers will also kick off his Friday show with a blues he’s sang for years affectionately called “Aaron”s Blues” that is also included on the project.

A staple on the DC Jazz scene, Myers brought his show to Mr. Henry’s in June after the closing of the Black Fox Lounge where he served as Resident Artist for five years.  Now Resident Artist at Mr. Henry’s, he also serves as one of hosts of the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam every Wednesday night from 8pm – 11pm which was launched by saxophonist Herb Scott.  Mr. Henry’s will be introducing a new feature to the popular Friday and Saturday night jazz shows, a reservation component that will offer a special dinner menu and preferred seating.  This added element is unique and a fresh addition to typical no cover live music shows.

“I’m an independent artist that takes great pride in his art,” Myers said. “This venue respects that and we’ve worked hard to ensure that every aspect of the show experience is elevated, from the plate to the performance!”  Mr. Henry’s has served the community since 1966, known as the launching pad for artists such as Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.

Aaron Myers, known as the “Class Act” and currently ranked the number one Jazz artist in DC on the Reverbnation Jazz Charts, brings his show to Mr. Henry’s the fourth Friday of every month.  Selected Best Singer in the Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC Readers Poll” for 2015, Myers has currently been selected as a contender in The Blade’s Best of Gay DC Readers Poll as “Best Singer of a Band,” an honor he’s very proud of.  Through his partnerships with charities, businesses, and politics, Myers has made an impression on the District that merges art with activism.  Visit his website at www.aaron2.me for more information.

Friday Night 9/25: Mr. Henry’s Restaurant 8pm (no cover) (No Cover – any questions email aaronmyers@aaron2.me) “The Lion’s Den” will be released on iTunes/GooglePlay/Amazon October 2nd.

August 12, 2014

Depression is Real

Robin-WilliamsDepression 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.  

 

I remember hitting the bottom.  It was during lunch hour on a Thursday.  Homesick, pressured by the feeling of being inadequate, financial pressures and an overwhelming sense of anxiety had pushed me to my breaking point.  As I wondered on foot in downtown LA, I walked across an overpass and stopped at its peak.  I walked to the edge and grabbed the rail with my hands and watched hundreds of cars pass below.  I stood their frozen.

 

A short period of discomfort followed by an eternal rest seemed more appealing than the inner turmoil I was experiencing, moreover it was becoming like the right answer.  The sound of each car that passed below seemed to lull me deeper and deeper into a dark inner tunnel where death appeared to be the only solution.

 

 Hearing people passing behind me did not distract me and no one seemed to stop.  Maybe to them I did not appear to pose any danger, which as an entertainer, I was, and am, use to.  Making people smile and feel at ease while one is dying inside becomes a habit, and even a type of medication.  When I, and other artists, am on stage everything is ok.  There is no drug on the market that can compare to the gratifying feeling of a loving audience.  The show ends, people leave, they cut off the lights, and the artist is left alone.

 

As I became conscious of my breath, I felt the wind and began to smell the exhaust of the cars and slowly backed away from the edge.  I was lucky, but there are others who are not.
The death of Robin Williams, just as the death of others also involved in the arts, resonates with me in a personal way.  It takes a special person to channel all of the good in oneself to cheer or brighten someone else’s day while inside it seems like things are crumbling.  He was an inspiration to me and will continue to inspire many more to come.
Depression is not a “state of mind’ or a temporary “feeling”, it is an ever present disease.  If you, or someone you know, are coping with depression, seek help, encourage them to seek help, and do all you can to send as much positive energy  and prayers their way.
Again, I was lucky that time.  I am aware that there maybe a time in the future where I may not be so lucky.  That awareness is the daily burden I, and others in my position, carry.  Depression is real.

 

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!

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