Washington, DC, July 19, 2016 – DC based Jazz artist Aaron Myers has garnered attention from independent music professionals across the Globe. It was announced Tuesday July 19th, Myers is ranked the Number One artist on the Reverbnation Charts globally for all genres. This ranking places a Jazz artist at the top of the charts for this site.
July 19, 2016
September 16, 2015
“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.”
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.
September 4, 2015
Wednesday September 9th will find audiences crowding into Blues Alley for the return of local Jazz Artist Aaron Myers. Patrons will be given the first chance to hear music from his new album “The Lion’s Den” and also be the first to purchase hard copies of project that is set to be released October 2nd.
Myers has been been working at House Studio DC finishing his project “The Lion’s Den” which displays his talent as a composer, arranger, pianist and vocalist as he collaborates with opera singers, rappers, and many local jazz musicians. Wednesday’s show will offer live collaborations and also unique arrangements that span from Jazz, Soul, R&B, to Broadway and Funk.
Since June, Myers has served as the resident artist at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill, first home of Roberta Flack, and introduced such stars as Donny Hathaway and Luther Vandros. As Resident Artist, Myers has a featured show at the venue the Fourth Friday of ever month and serves as one of the hosts for The Capitol Hill Jazz Jam.
Aaron Myers, known as the “Class Act,” is a native Texan who relocated to DC 7 years ago, and has made it his home. 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.
July 21, 2015
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.
April 9, 2015
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.
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 12, 2014
Depression 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.
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!