I don't know about you, but with all of my slathering the internet with my pleas for your money these are some of the questions I've been asking and I want to answer them for me and anyone else who's curious:
1. I love this band. I love it with all my heart. I love these guys and the music we make together. I love how songs written 100 years ago come alive like they were written yesterday and I love how new songs that I write are born into loving, fertile soil and can grow beyond what I had in my mind and wrote on the page. For example, listen to Sweet Pea as we recorded it on Dreams May Take You and then listen to how it sounded in San Francisco this Winter. Same song, three years apart. (Happy 3rd birthday on July 21 to my sweet niece for whom I wrote it!) I want to capture this group of musicians playing this repertoire right now. I want Mike Davis' grandson to be able to hear what his grandfather sounded like on Stardust when he was 23 years old. I want an old guy in Tenessee to hear Rob Adkins arrangement of Memphis in June and remember his wedding night. I want it on record to share forever. This will be a snapshot in time of this band and this exciting time in this hot jazz resurgence.
2. I believe this CD will bring joy to many people. My favorite comments from my first two CDs often come from people with kids: "Your CD is the only thing that my kids like that doesn't drive me crazy in the car" and "I'm always looking for new Lullabies for my new baby" and "My kids ask for the 'happy trombone music.'" For some people it has been soothing and healing "I had your CD on repeat on my iPod during my knee surgery." I also want to believe that more girls will play trombone and be band leaders (maybe, just maybe, there will be a little girl in the future who grows up to play the trombone professionally and people won't say to her every day "I've never seen a girl who plays trombone.") I took a "Carnival of Joy!" CD to one of my dear friend's house and her six year old daughter just sat and looked at the picture for a long time.
I love how happy I look in this picture, (that's me in the red dress with the awesome eyelashes.) That's how I feel on stage, too, like 'here I am in this garden with a giant blue fountain and colorful people and flowers!'
On the back of the picture is her sweet signature:
Thank you, Annie, this picture lives above my piano.
And this is my friend Ella, (Daughter of the great Louis Armstrong historian, Ricky Riccardi) and the first concert she ever attended was a Garden Party show in Tom's River, NJ. I recently had to re-sign her Dreams May Take You cover because it had been rubbed off from so much love!
Creative little girls who are into hot jazz music? Yes!!
3. I refuse to let money be the thing that stops me from creating and releasing new music. There was a time when record labels were the only way that music could be released and if they didn't favor you, your music, your style, your face... they didn't sign you or release your music. Thanks to new technology making recording studios more available and crowd sourcing providing funding, times have changed dramatically. Some of my most respected musician colleagues do not think it is appropriate to crowd source; they have a sense of pride in paying for their recording with money they have saved up. I absolutely respect that. But, if I saved all of my money from my gigs I would either be evicted from my apartment or would be releasing this record in 2018 and I don't want to do that because (please see reason 1.) Additionally, the model has changed and frequently record labels wait for artists to self-produce and then will distribute the album. Who knows, maybe this will be the beginning of a big record contract for Garden Party, or maybe not, either way it's going to be a fantastic new album.
Thanks for reading and if you feel like contributing, whether it's a $10 digital download of the whole album, $25 for a physical copy or $1000 to get a custom song written for you, by all means, you may do so right here. For those of you who have already contributed, THANK YOU! I believe this is worth investing in and look forward to sharing the music with you.
With love and gratitude,