It has been another amazing year to be a Creative! With so many challenges it’s been a wonderful opportunity for taking more time at home than usual to reflect on new realities and focus on the possibilities! One of my most positive experiences during the pandemic is that I was able to stay home more often to witness each and every plant and flower that has been landscaped into our yard through the years, emerge into blooming splendor!
A few highlights of my musical life this year were several LIVE Concerts outdoors this summer and fall: The Settler’s Inn “Jazz on the Deck” Series (Hawley, PA) with Bruce Arnold (guitar), Tony Marino (bass) and Joe Lovano (drums); the first annual “OC Live!” Series with my Zephyr Band (Newburgh, Orange County, NY) with Fred Jacobs (trumpet), Bruce Arnold (guitar), John Menegon (bass) and Bob Meyer (drums); and a delightful breezy afternoon outdoor gig at The Brewery at Orange County Hops “Sunday Jazz” Series (Walden, NY) with Teri Roiger (keyboard), Fred Jacobs (trumpet), Bruce Arnold (guitar), John Menegon (bass) and Lamy Istrefi (drums) that as we were packing up, turned into a mad dash out of the first Much-Needed Rain in months!!!!
Musically, the whole year has been restorative thanks in part to flutist Cheryl Pyle’s “Beyond Group” with monthly 3rd Sunday LiveStreams on Zoom from the comfort of our homes. Our Sequential Improvisations revealed a healing energy with Musical Ideas shared among the 4-6 of us, depending who was available in the core group! And in summer we resumed live concerts at the lovely “6BC Gardens” in lower Manhattan. This Winter into 2023 we will continue the monthly Zoom sessions so if you are interested in tuning in to hear an hour of free-flowing improvisations from 4 -5 pm, check my EVENTS page and contact me for the Zoom link!
During the month of April, both the Musical and Visual aspects of my work came together when I was curated into an Exhibit & Performance Series called “Musicians Who Paint” at Westbury Arts, a NY non-profit. During the month of April, 8 Artists were curated into this Exhibit and Performance Series. There was a group discussion about our processes and each displayed 4 paintings relating to music in their Gallery space for the month. Plus each Musician/Artist presented a Music Concert to share our musical expression and concepts. I brought a Trio to share some of my favorite classics and original songs, two musicians with whom I feel very comfortable: Bruce Arnold on guitar and Joe Lovano on woodwinds. It was a blast!
In August I braved the airports for the first time in a few years… and had the honor to be part of the Faculty of the “Jazz Denmark Summer Workshop” outside of Copenhagen. This historical gathering of some of Scandinavia’s most talented and accomplished jazz musicians is an intensely productive week of master classes, rehearsals and performances for all involved. I loved working with and hearing all the talented and open-minded musicians who were so receptive to new approaches and perspectives of rehearsing and arranging original charts within each group. Other faculty this year included Teri Lynne Carrington, Carlos Enriquez, Kris Davis, Keyon Harold and Joe Lovano and it was great to play with them for the Faculty Concert and then see how each worked with and shaped their ensembles. The Staff and Organizers did a super job to make sure everyone was happy and everything ran smoothly. Thank you!
Alongside all these musical events, I had 3 different SOLO ART EXHIBITS this Spring and Summer! That was quite amazing and very fulfilling!!! My visual art includes paintings and mixed media works of Musicians, Dancers, Musical Instruments, Landscapes and Abstracts inspired by music or dance. Since I’ve been so influenced by all of the arts, it made sense to create an inter-disciplinary event. So I hired a group of musicians to enhance a few of the Receptions with music composed by some of the Jazz Personalities in my portraits! It was a delight! Now I am working to finalize a Virtual Tour to post online, in case you could not attend. So stay in touch and I hope to get that up shortly!
Some of the JAZZ MUSICIANS I have sketched in live concert settings and subsequently painted include: McCoy Tyner, Sheila Jordan, Jaco Pastorius, Abbey Lincoln, Michael Abene, John Scofield, Dave Douglas, Joey Baron, Dewey Redman, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Marilyn Crispell, Joe Lovano, Idris Mohammed, Dwayne Burno, Linda Mayhan Oh and Kenny Werner. This Winter I’m preparing to work on new paintings of Elvin Jones, Carla Bley, Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdez and the many lesser-known yet wonderful musicians I have been inspired by through the years.
I spent many years studying and performing as a dancer so that has always been an important part of my vibe, scoping out the movement of life. Some of the DANCERS I have painted include: Isadora Duncan, NY modern interpretive dancer Maria Mitchell, Mexican flamenco dancer Natalia Loza and several dance companies and I continue to work on studies of the human body. Many of my Original Paintings (not all) are available for purchase and I have Archival Quality Prints of many of them as well. Please inquire about availability if anything interests you.
I am now accepting commissions and have really enjoyed documenting people and pets this past year! So if you have an idea for which you’d like to have in an original piece of art, as a gift perhaps, let me know.
So, please check THIS WEBSITE’S PAINTINGS PAGE in addition to my ETSY SHOP which features many other items like Blank Greeting Cards of my paintings, Prints, Painted Rocks and Original Paintings in Oil, Watercolor, Acrylic, Pastel and Encaustic Wax at www.etsy.com/shop/JudiSilvanoArtnCards . Yes, I’ve been busy!
On the Musical Horizon…. My collaborations with guitarist Bruce Arnold continue and we have begun releasing a NEW SONIC TWIST ALBUM! We recorded these Improvised Music Sessions at Studio 66 this past summer with selected guest artists and every week a new track is being released and posted on YouTube until the Full Album will be released in Spring of 2023, “Sonic Twist & Friends”. We have also recorded another Duo Album, title to be determined, which will be released later in 2023, where Bruce & I played with a percussion perspective. More to come… I will post details on my Facebook Page and if you’d like to receive my NEWSLETTER, please do so on the first page of this website.
Context: 2022 is the 20 year Anniversary of the Release of my RIDING A ZEPHYR Duo Recording with the late-great Mal Waldron who was Billie Holiday’s last accompanist. It was released on Soul Note/ Black Saint Records in 2002! Wow! Our collaboration received a wonderful reception with the combination of Mal’s Compositions, some with my New Lyrics which he embraced, and some of my own Originals. What a gift for me to spend that moment in time with him in a Brussels studio on that one day and then countless trans-Atlantic phone calls sharing his stories and jokes. It was like a dream, and I realize that we had met on a spirit level. I miss him and am so grateful for that chance in my development, to have connected with this generous giant within the musical universe.
Also, it is the Anniversary of the recording of my Landmark Release CLEOME. This was a 5-year band project with my quartet of George Garzone (tenor sax and clarinet), Michael Formanek (bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums and percussion) from several Live Sessions at the Knitting Factory and Studio 66, released on JSL Records.
So there is a lot going on, even though I often feel that I’m not doing very much. So, THANK YOU for listening and looking!!!!
Wishing you and yours an expansive and joyous season of reflection into the renewal of springtime. Best JUDI SILVANO