If you were to ask Aaron Myers what he’s doing on any given weekend, more than likely you’ll get the response “Working” followed by a slight grin. As one of DC’s many jazz musicians, Myers has been fortunate to consistently secure two “Artists Residences” that has kept him quite busy over the last six years. For five and over 140 shows of those years, you would find him at the now defunct Black Fox Lounge in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Now, you can find him weekly with the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam and every Fourth Friday for his featured show at Mr. Henry’s, the legendary Capitol Hill establishment that launch Roberta Flack.
August 5, 2015
March 23, 2015
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 Touche 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.
March 16, 2015
Jazz Returns to the U Street Corridor
Jazz Vocalist/Pianist Aaron Myers debuts at Touche Supper Club, continuing his Jazz quest here in the DMV. 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. Now, he debuts at a new venue in DC, reintroducing JAZZ to the U Street Corridor while also preparing to release his new album “The Lions Den.”
“Anytime a new venue opens in Washington (DC) and provides an artist space to express their art, I’m game!” said Myers. Touche Supper Club is located in the H Street Corridor, an area steeped in the history of supporting the arts in Washington DC. Since opening, it has created a great deal of buzz in the arts community, not catering to only one form or genre of art, but to many different forms and genres. “Washingtonians should do their best to support any venue that is providing space to artists. The artists of Washington DC are often on the forefront of change and often time provide a voice for the disenfranchised!”
This will not be the first show played by Aaron Myers in the H Street Corridor. “I played a show a few years ago with a singer at HR-57 and was shocked with all the passers by who heard the music and came in. I do hope that energy will continue in that area” HR-57 served the Jazz community for 21 years and was named after H.Con.Res 57 which designated Jazz as “a rare and valuable national American treasure”.
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.
February 5, 2015
Don’t you just love Facebook? A place where you can connect with your friends, share articles about issues you feel are important, vent about people or situations, Facebook has become integrated in the American culture just as talking pictures or color television. Whereas birth announcements, engagements, and weddings were first announced in the paper, instantly we can scroll through our timelines and be updated on the latest news within our communities and the lives of our friends. An even wider spectrum is uncovered as we can also see how we are connected to others. New acquaintances can be vetted by seeing what friends are shared mutually. As articles, statements or events are shared, comments are posted and it is that time one is able to see, at least to a degree, who your friends…call friend.
The latter possesses an interesting question to all people: How well do you know your friends? For years, relationships are built upon shared experiences, shared secrets, shared conversations, shared ideologies, and shared interests. Through the passage of time, the bond between individuals strengthens as the strands of these relationships are tested and tried. However, through Facebook (and other social media networks) one can see what happens after these shared experiences are over and individuals begin the same process with other individuals. Thus, one can see the thoughts, ideas, experiences and at times secrets shared by your “Friends of Friends.”
Have you ever had the experience of scrolling through your timeline and seeing a shared post, article, or video you did not expect to see posted from a friend? Perhaps, you shared a post yourself and was shocked by the reaction you received from your friends or “Friends of Friends.” Facebook has exposed the differences within relationships, whether religious, political, racial, ideological, or what have you, that had previously been hidden or politely ignored for the sake of pleasant company or conversation. What happens when you discover that your “Friend of a Friend” is a racist?
I’ve been faced with this many times. I am a proud Southerner (5th generation Texan), I’m a proud African American Man (My Great-Great Grand Parents were slaves), I am a proud Veteran (September 11th happened while I was in Basic Training) and I am a proud Progressive (Registered Democrat).
My upbringing has allowed me to have interface with people who believe, worship and vote differently from the way I do. Thinking back to my days in Kerens Elementary, I am often reminded of the words spoken daily by my kindergarten teacher, “Play nice and keep your hands and feet to yourselves.” I try daily to adopt this principle in my adult life, succeeding better some days rather than others, but for the most part, we all are forced to work with, interact with, and at times live with people who share opposing views. Everyday the art of compromise is seen on the bus, train, in traffic, on elevators, in work spaces, in church pews, in classrooms, in restaurants, in every place but congress it seems. The tension has become less evident in urban centers where a heavily populated group of diverse people are forced to interact with each other. The expansion of social media and the internet has made tensions less apparent in rural areas where diversity and necessary interaction between divers people may not be as frequent or optional.
What do you do when a difference of opinion crosses over to apparent hatred, bigotry or racism…by the “Friend of a Friend?” When is the relationship of the “Friend” taken into account? Where do you begin when analyzing the strength of the shared strands within your relationship? How do you resolve the inner turmoil, resentment and dissatisfaction? The What, When, Where and How have been presented to me on many occasions. Minorities and members of the majority are faced with these instances, and forced to self consciously react…often times reluctantly because of friendship. Who wants to lose a friend right?
The 21st century demands that we answer these questions out right.
Understanding what racism is, whether fueled by either hatred or bigotry, and acknowledging it when seen is a start. Black’s Law Dictionary defines racism as, “A set of policies that is exhibited by a person or persons toward a group of people of a different race. Often antagonistic and confronting. The assumption of lower intelligence and importance given to a person because of their racial characteristics.” Regardless of how “close” you may be with a friend, when you have been left feeling you have experienced racism, the safe space lies within yourself to express your discomfort and to know a racist does not own the right to feel “comfortable” when this mindset goes against the constitutional rights of the whole. One can even view it as utilitarianism…the greatest good for the greatest number. In this case, that good is equality, and that number is America.
When is the relationship of the friend taken into account? Immediately. As the strands within a relationship are tested, one must meet each test head on. One strand does not have to end a relationship, but it can certainly define a relationship. Relationships, friendships, are based upon boundaries. These boundaries are also where you can test the strength of these strands. If you make your boundaries known, the way those boundaries are respected then can define the future of that relationship.
The hardest part of these interactions come when one is faced with the inner turmoil of experiencing racism through a different medium, from a person with a reference. We choose our music, jobs, food, health regiments often times at the recommendation of a friend. Friends have introduced friends that resulted in marriage while others often ask for a reference when applying for a job. Social media and the connections of mutual friends have played an important role in making the world smaller, more connected, and in many ways more enlightened. Understanding no two relationships are alike, one often expects that the bond and strands shared between an individual would be commonly shared with others, and although different, never crossing the line of racism, bigotry or hate. Unfortunately, this age old dilemma has plagued mankind for ages.
No one wants to lose a friend, but in the course of friendship, one must never lose oneself. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best I believe, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Above was an example of a statement made to me by a “Friend of a Friend” that was followed by many other hateful attacks. I stated my discomfort, set my boundaries, my Friend removed those attacking racist posts, and reaffirmed my belief that friends do not have to agree on everything (especially politics) but can definitely agree racism and hatred have no place within our boundaries of friendship.
January 12, 2015
Just weeks after closing down the Black Fox Lounge in Washington DC, Jazz Vocalist/Pianist Aaron Myers debuts at Bethesda Blues & Jazz with his new touring band continuing his jazz quest here in the DMV. Myers served as the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington boasting 5 years and 147 headliner shows at the venue before its closing December 31, 2014. Now, he starts off the new chapter in his career with this upcoming show and work on his new album “The Lions Den”.
“I am excited to display my art in a beautiful venue where so many have played before” said Myers. Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club is housed in the beautifully restored Art Deco Bethesda Theater built in 1938. Since opening, it has become the regions #1 Live Supper Club. “I’m now writing a new chapter in my career, and believe me, this is only the beginning!”.
This will be the first show played by Aaron Myers since the end of his residency. “Expect some great Jazz, soulful Blues and a touch of Comedy. I plan on doing some old favorites, and to also give a tribute to Andrae Crouch during the show. He was and is one of my biggest influences.” Andrae Crouch, a gospel singer/songwriter/producer, responsible for revolutionizing the way Gospel Music is interpreted passed away January 8th.
Aaron Myers & Co will play Thursday January 15th at 7:30pm with a $10 cover. Doors open at 5:30pm. Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club is located at 7719 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Walking distance from Bethesda Metro stop.
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!
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
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.
November 18, 2011
Radio Host Aaron Myers Hosts Major Interview On The New Jimi Hendrix Single Set To Be Released On November 27,2011
Who: Radio Host Aaron Myers, Host of The Exchange
What: Interview With Principals On New Jimi Hendrix Release
When: Friday, November 18, 2011 at 11am EST
Where: The Exchange www.blogtalkradio.com/thexchange
Washington, D.C.~ Aaron Myers is set to kick off the official countdown to Jimi Hendrix’ Birthday, November 27,2011, and the official launch of the most unprecedented music release of the year involving legendary guitarist, Jimi Hendrix. Myers is set to interview the Principals involved tomorrow, Friday, November 18th on his popular radio show, The Exchange.
After almost 40 years in the vault, a new single is set to be released of rock legend, Jimi Hendrix and the Ghetto Fighters™ entitled MOJO MAN. The single was produced by Jimi Hendrix, Arthur and Albert Allen (aka The Aleems – TaharQa and Tunde Ra Aleem), the 3 principals of Jimi Hendrix and the Ghetto Fighters. The music with an accompanying video will be made available globally on www.urbanstreettales.com, formed by the Aleem Brothers to bring this project to market.
The Aleems first met and began working with Jimi Hendrix in the mid 1960s and recorded, with Jimi, three of Hendrix’ albums: “Cry of Love,” “Rainbow Bridge” and “War Heroes” as The Ghetto Fighters.
“The Aleems are truly excited about their interview with Aaron on this sure to be historical release.”, says Belinda Foster, Publicist for the Aleems.
Aaron Myers is the host of The Exchange an on-line radio show that is designed to provide updates, inside scoops & information about the Entertainment Industry, where the political scene is dissected and examined, while discussion about life issues and matters of self-improvement take place.
Host of THE EXCHANGE