Friday, January 31, 2014

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

A couple of years ago, my aunt asked me to accompany her to a wedding. Throughout the bride's career as a singer, my aunt and her husband Leonard were the bride's mentors.

Angela Teek has had a long career in entertainment from Star Search (the original American Idol) to Broadway and beyond. I didn't experience her entertainment side of life as often, though I always looked up to her as an independent woman, pursuing her talents day after day. When she visited, she always had interesting stories of people she had seen and places she had been.

So I went to the wedding and I brought my camera with me. I was dissatisfied with my limited set-up, but my aunt assured me that Angela would be happy with whatever I would capture.
The wedding was simple and there were some interesting guests. I met a performer from Dancing with the Stars and more people that Angela had worked with in 'the business' over the years.

During the reception, Angela got on the microphone, and I immediately started recording. Live music always brings an element of surprise and liveliness to the room. Before that night, I had only seen Angela perform once or twice live. I cut a sizzle reel for her when she was working on a cruise ship, but that wasn't the same.

For this little performance that I had the pleasure of seeing, Angela's seasoned voice caught me by surprise. Her band was wonderful and followed her lead as she entertained us all. She sang these songs at the request of her husband, in her white wedding dress, and I knew I was a part of a very special moment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

boogie woogie on the piano.

I've had this melody stuck in my head for two days.

Sister Mary Clarence signals for the choir to smile. Their voices open and a peaceful vibration enters the church. The nuns in the front pews are surprised. The 'misfit' group they had dismissed had found a fitting leader.

Then, the choir begins to clap their hands to a new, more energized beat. Each of the singer's voices ring clear and true. Before long, Sister Mary Clarence is twirling and dancing at the front of the stage. Her arms flail overhead and the altar boys tap their feet to the rhythm. Some passersby stop in the church to hear their joyful sound.

The level of energy in the room skyrockets as the choir nears its finish. Kathy Najimy as Sister Mary Patrick is my absolutely favorite.