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. 

September 16, 2015

Jazz Vocalist Aaron Myers Releases New Album “The Lion’s Den”

AMLD1Washington, District of Columbia September 16th — After months of preparation and recording, Jazz Vocalist Aaron Myers announces the release of his new album “The Lion’s Den” that will be released October 2nd.  Digital copies are already being pre-ordered on Amazon, with the option to pre-order on iTunes and GooglePlay being available within the next week.

Completing this album has not been an easy task!” said Myers, “But the product is something I’m proud of and displays the true collaboration between genres.”  “The Lion’s Den” offers everything from the song “Black Lives Matter” dedicated to the activists of today to a touching tribute to his grandmother Velma Sanders on the last track of the album.

Myers took a path that many independent artists are taking, he supported this project through the Crowdfunding site GoFundMe.  Crowdfunding is the practice of raising small amounts of money from large numbers of people, typically via the internet.  “I was told not to bother trying to crowdfund for a Jazz album because there was not enough support for the genre, so the pressure was really on!”  Exceeding his goal of $3500, Myers used the money to help complete his project at House Studio DC. House Studio engineer Jake “Vicious” Grotticelli stated, “Aaron Myers is an enigmatic entertainer.  From his writing, to his singing, to his playing and arranging, Aaron really took this project somewhere special.  It is an amazing project, and I was honored to be involved in a small piece.  It’s the kind of album where you will hear something new and great each time you listen.

Most people try to stay in their lane either musically, financially, personally, whatever it is.  That’s their comfort zone.” said Percy White, bassist on the project.  “When I asked Aaron about venturing out of his lane, he said you don’t have to stay in your lane when you own the road.  I believe he will own whatever road he goes down.  He is my friend and I will be right there with him…enjoying the ride whether he owns the road or is simply passing through.”  Myers honed is craft in the church growing up in Goodlow, Texas, a town of only 312 people at the time.  He took his love for music with him as he entered the Army and then on to Los Angeles, where he started working in entertainment.

Teaming up with other area musicians, Myers reached across genre boundaries tagging noted soprano Aundi Marie Moore and rapper Pacman Slim to join him for his rendition of “I Can Recall” or “Spain” known instrumentally by others.  “The Album is an experience waiting to happen from beginning to end” said Pacman Slim.  “Aaron Myers is a fantastic artist and it’s truly an honor to be apart of this project” said Moore.  Washington’s own Herb Scott, noted Saxophonist and founder of the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam whose featured on the project stated, “Aaron’s music is deeply rooted in the soulful gospel tradition that is the backbone of jazz and that’s why I like working with him.  He’s so warm and inviting, just like his music.

When you’re working with musicians you like, fun is only the beginning.  Anything else that follows is pure magic” stated Myers.  “The Lion’s Den” is set to be released digitally October 2nd on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and other music streaming sites.  Physical copies will be available in locations specified by his website.

Aaron Myers, known as the “Class Act,” is a native Texan who relocated to DC 7 years ago, and has made DC his home now serving as the Resident Artist at the legendary Mr. Henry’s and Minister of Music at Covenant Baptist UCC. 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.
“The Lion’s Den” releases 10/2: Mr. Henry’s 9/25 8pm No Cover w/ pre-release CD’s available.

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