Every chance I get to share music with you is such a treat, but this Saturday’s showgoes a step beyond. I will be performing arrangements of Jimi Hendrix’s music with the incredible Jon Cowherd on June 13th at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 3, 7 pm, as well as some original music by both Jon and myself.
When I told a dear friend about this show she expressed surprise that I was so into Hendrix’s music. “It just doesn’t seem like you” she said. I wanted to share the story of how I got introduced to this music and why I love it so.
When I was a teenager visiting California with my family I would always take time to visit my friends up in Humboldt and Mendocino. I used to take the greyhound bus up from San Francisco, and most visits my godfather John Norris would give me a ride back down. We used to talk about art, music and life and he showed me all sorts of music I had never heard before in these five hour drives. Honestly, it was one of my favorite parts of the visits up north. On one trip John asked if I’d heard Jimi’s music. I was 16 years old and had not. John only had “Axis: Bold as Love” in the car and we listened to it over and over for the whole drive. I fell in love. “Little Wing” was my favorite. This was the year I got my hummingbird tattoo on my back, and at that time only the wing was completed. John called me “Little Wing” from then on.
These talks with John are a big reason why I became a musician. I remember one conversation especially vividly where we discussed the human spirit. John said that everybody’s spirit hides inside a shell. Sometimes, when we don’t expect it, they peek out through our eyes. That’s why we can have instant connections with strangers when we haven’t said a word to each other and eyes lock. Our spirits just happened to peek out at the same time and connect and that is beautiful, even if we never speak. John suggested that art has the ability to bring people’s spirits to the surface and coax them out of hiding for a moment. I agree with this. As a musician (and a teacher), I make it my mission to hang myself out there and be vulnerable in hopes that you can connect. I won’t lie, it can be terrifying. But I find that every great musician does it, no matter what style, and that is what allows me to connect to their music.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the first artists that I felt that way about. It has been such a treat to pour over his music and pick tunes to play with Jon, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
I hope you join us for this very special evening of music. Advance tickets can be purchased here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/782123