DrMyers’s Blog

March 15, 2016

Super Tuesday Jazzy Endorsements

1931064_55124637032_7149_nToday I offer my 2016 endorsements.  As an entertainer I find it important to offer my voice and my art for activism.  In offering these endorsements, I hope you would consider these candidates when casting your ballots.
You can find these endorsements on my website => HERE
Even if you do not vote for these candidates, I only ask one thing of you, DO NOT VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP!  His tone & rhetoric is laced with racist undertones and incites the hate filled fringe element of our society, creating an atmosphere similar to the way former Alabama Governor George Wallace did in the 1960’s.
Below you can find the links to the websites regarding these great candidates, review them, and then make sure you reach out to them if you decide to support!
Hillary Clinton (D) – President
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) – DC Delegate
David Grosso (I) – At-Large
Yvette Alexander (D) – Ward 7
Robert White (D) – At- Large

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 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.

September 4, 2015

Aaron Myers’ “The Lion’s Den” Album Pre-Release at Blues Alley

Aaron Myers at Blues Alley.  Taken by Darwyn Dave

Aaron Myers at Blues Alley. Taken by Darwyn Dave

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.

“This album has a lot of creative, fun, jazz & fusion on it,” Myers said. “it’s been a rough year for me, all of my pain and joy is in the music!”

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.

“Last year we sold out the venue,” Myers said. “And I hope I have the opportunity to display my art to a love filled audience!”  Teamed with stellar musicians such as: Bassist Tarus Mateen, Pianist Dave Kane, Saxaphonist Herb Scott, and Drummer Tyler Leaks, audiences can expect the musicianship to be superb.

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.

April 9, 2015

AARON MYERS voted “Best Singer” in the Washington City Paper’s “Best Of DC” Readers Poll

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

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.

March 23, 2015

AARON MYERS RELEASES NEW JAZZ SINGLE “Stand Right” an ode to DC Metro System

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 To1237176_4679927815781_244853502_nuche 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

AARON MYERS & CO. DEBUT AT TOUCHE SUPPER CLUB

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

Aaron Myers taken by photographer Darwyn Dave.

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

Mutual Friends

photo (1)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

Aaron Myers and his Second Act

10818473_10152941630802033_26185113107098685_oJust 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

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.

 

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