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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March 3, 2015

In Production: Jazz Artist and the Screenwriter

Aaron Myers

Aaron Myers

Aaron Myers has performed to audiences in Washington DC for the last six years.  Voted runner up for “Best Singer” & “Best Performance Artist” in the Washington City Paper’s “Best Of DC” readers poll, Myers has been heard in Embassies, Night Clubs, Festivals, and Fundraisers.  Myers became a DC Staple as the Resident Artist at the Black Fox Lounge (a total of 147 headliner shows) and is now showing the public his other artistic side.  A native Texan, Myers decided to make Washington DC his home 6 years ago.

“I love screenwriting” stated Myers.  “I wrote my first pilot TV show when I was 13 years old.  It was was a situation comedy that I wanted to star three couples.  Jack Lemmon married to Shirley MacLaine, Walter Matthau married to Betty White, and Ossie Davis married to Ruby Dee.  I wish that it could have been produced, I’m sure it would have been an awesome show!”
Now, Myers is currently filming a new feature documentary with emerging cinematographer Jazmine Kiante called “Cab Fare” profiling Taxi Drivers in Washington DC who have been driving more than forty years.  Filming began in January and is already crating buzz in the city with appearances from national lawmakers, city officials and people on the street.
Friday, it was announced that the script for his second feature film “Paths at Sunset” with writing partner Scott Sedar has now been completed and is now ramping up for production.  “This film tells an unorthodox love story of a couple who is approaching the sunset of their lives.  Let me just say, life isn’t over after 60…at all!”
Below, find more information about this DC artist and his upcoming productions.
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“THE LION’S DEN” ALBUM – PRE-PRODUCTION

This is the Sophomore Album of Aaron Myers slated to be released in June of 2015. This album is a combination of Jazz & Neo Soul while paying homage to Jazz legends and contemporary innovations.

“CAB FARE” 2015 – FILMING

Follow the stories of Washington DC Taxi Cab Drivers as they tell the story of an evolving city through the eyes of the ones who know it best. Hear touching stories from DC Cab Drivers, Riders, Politicians & Celebrities while seeing the evolution of a city from behind the wheel of a DC Taxi Cab.

“PATHS AT SUNSET” – SCRIPT COMPLETED

Helen Ware has just been given shocking news that changes her outlook on Love, Life and relationship forever. See how she’s forced to accept her new reality and how she embarks on a journey of love that is quite unorthodox.

“UPON A RIVERS END” – SCRIPT COMPLETED

Life in the Antebellum South is filled with heroic tales of freedom. See the tale of a freedman as he travels to one of the most brutal plantations in Louisiana to bring its slaves to freedom.

“HALF NOTE” – TV PILOT – SCRIPT COMPLETED

Ready for Pitch Aaron Brass is an Entertainer who is on the brink of greatness…so he thinks. With the help of his colleagues, friends and girlfriend, Aaron experiences the pains of making art while trying to “B” in Show Business. Sit back and watch the crazy situations he endures to express his art!

October 20, 2014

Aaron Myers ranked #1 Jazz Artist Globally on Reverbnation

10339544_10152644126902033_418074803278710753_nWashington, DC, October 20, 2014 – Local Jazz artist Aaron Myers has garnered attention from independent music professionals across the Globe.  It was announced Wednesday October 15th, Myers is ranked Number One on the Reverbnation Jazz Charts for Washington DC, the United States and World Wide.  He has maintained this rank since that time.

“Growing up in a town of about 300 people in Texas, being ranked Number One is indeed a dream come true”, Myers said Friday night at his show at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, DC.  Myers is the Resident artist at the Black Fox Lounge completing over 138 shows since 2009.
Reverbnation is comprised of over 10.6 million music and entertainment professionals globally.  Ranking systems are based upon several factors ranging from downloads, song plays, profile views, etc.  Since 2006, Reverbnation has helped millions of emerging artists build their careers by connecting artists to venues, festivals, brands, publishers, labels and fans themselves.  Reverbnation offers emerging artists from around the world access to the global music industry.
Myers released his debut album “Leo Rising” in 2013 during the DC Jazz Festival to critical acclaim.  He was invited to perform at Blues Alley, the nations finest Jazz and Supper Club as reported by the New York Times, on September 3rd playing to a sold out audience.
“I am just grateful to make my living doing what I’ve dreamed of doing my entire life.  Washington DC has been very good to me, and I am glad the World has been given the opportunity to take notice!” said Myers.
Aaron Myers performs a live Jazz show at the Black Fox Lounge every first and third Friday of the month from 9:30pm to 12:30am.  Learn more about his work at http://www.aaron2.me.

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.

 

December 15, 2010

Live Jazz Recording in DC! Jazz Lives On!

On December 17th, people will be gathering at the Black Fox Lounge at 9:30 to be apart of an exciting part of History.  After birthing such Jazz Greats as Duke Ellington over one hundred years ago, and providing the inspiration for people such as Roberta Flack, DC has opened its doors to another young musician who loves and embraces what has grown to be called “America’s Music”…Jazz.

Aaron Myers, along with a Jazz Trio, will record in front of a live audience at the Black Fox Lounge in DuPont Circle.  Whereas many people might have thought that Jazz was on the decline, these young people have fully embraced the music as their own, even adding new original compositions to the genre.  This live recording will debut two new singles “Partisan” and “What’s a Man to Do”.

Admission is free to this event, and an overflow of people is expected.  Jazz is alive and well in DC, come witness it in action!

April 26, 2009

“Hey! We Looked You Over” and were inspired. Thanks Bea!

 

I was 10 years old when I came up with, what I thought at the time, a brilliant idea!  My sister and I had absolutely fallen in love with Lucille Ball, and we decided that if we loved her so much, why not meet her.  Running through the kitchen, I startled my mother; and with much excitement, I expressed my desire to meet Lucille Ball.  As I rambled on and on, mother simply took her seat and uttered those ill fated words that we all hate to hear,” I’m sorry hun, but Lucy has passed away.  She passed away a few years ago!”  What else could she do?  Those words, being so final, dashed the one desire that I had…to simply say thank you for making my day a little brighter.  

The years kept going by, any I began to write T.V. pilots for fun, and I developed a property called “The Good Life”.  Oh what a line up I had:  Shirley McClain married to Jack Lemmon, Ozzie Davis married to Ruby Dee (not too hard to picture), and Betty White married to Walter Mathau.  Three neighbors, who found themselves in many unthinkable situations, the classic “situation comedy” that was mainly character driven.  But, as the years went on, we lost Walter…and then Jack…and finally Ozzie.  Half the cast gone like that, without even a chance to meet them, learn from them, to express to them how they inspired and touched my life.  I simply tucked the pilot away, and soldiered on.  

Today as I went up the escalator at Union Station, a Reuter’s message alerted my phone that another great star had gone on to join the many players that had taken their final bows before…Bea Arthur.  Immediately, stunned & Jarred, I called friends and family alerting them that Bea had passed away.  Several people, who like me had never met Bea in person, stopped in their tracks, displayed their grief, and without much of a choice were forced to face a harsh reality…it’s final, and she’s gone.

Being a little older and more acquainted with death, I found myself earlier thinking of the “Maude” and “Mame”.  The out spoken characters she played that poked fun at the traditionalistic society we lived in and empowered women to speak out, appreciating their voices that had been muted and/or ignored for so long.  I thought…who else would have shaken the barrel, and displayed a character that contemplated abortion, and equal right for women?  Who else would have spoken proudly about divorce, and the insensitivity men of all races shared?  Who else but Bea, could embrace her sexuality, and demand we embrace it as well…and we did.  

She slipped away from us, ending a battle with cancer Saturday morning.  A part of me was upset, because in my mind no disease could lick Bea…no sir; there was no doubt in my mind that she could lick anything that came her way.  I was reminded of the strength her character Dorothy portrayed when being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in “The Golden Girls”.  Relentlessly her character went from doctor to doctor, demanding a diagnosis and not settling for less.  Lighting the fire under her girlfriends, telling them that sexual harassment would not be tolerated, and that just because of their age, life did not nor would it stop.  No, Bea portrayed a character that had strength and spoke up for us in ways we were not yet prepared to articulate.  Thank you dear!

I wish I could have thanked her in person for one thing in particular that touched my heart so dearly.  

When Lucille Ball was honored by the Kennedy Center, Bea got the opportunity to say thank you and pay tribute in person to Lucy, and she did it well.  Although I was too young to understand what was going on, or that it even happened…I like to think, Bea kind of knew that there were many people out there who were speaking, dancing, and singing through her, to say thank you to another great entertainer.  Now, as she joins Lucy, I hope Bea can see just what impact she had on America, The World, and even Me.

See, I would have never persevered with my career, until I saw one of her interviews.  She spoke of how different and how her voice being low, height being tall did not fit the typical blueprint for women in show business at that time…but she kept going.  Having a strong southern accent, a love of more classical styles of music, and playing the piano, left me feeling out of place growing up, but she changed all of that, and for that I want to say thank you.

Thank you Bea, for being a Friend!

She Tugged Our Hearts

She Tugged Our Hearts

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