Berklee Global Jazz Institute at the Newport Jazz Festival 2016

Yesterday my Berklee Global Jazz Institute vocal group sang in the opening concert of the Newport Jazz Festival! We did one song, “Autumn Leaves,” my arrangement! The two young ladies are the children of the director of the Global Jazz Initiative at Berklee, Marco Pignataro, who was also a disciple of Dizzy Gillespie! Singing in the Newport Jazz Festival was truly an amazing experience!

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute is designed to help instrumentalists and vocalists with unique talent and wide-ranging musical interests achieve their artistic goals through an experiential and interdisciplinary approach. As part of the BGJI this summer I have been coaching this vocal ensemble.

Singing in the Newport Jazz Festival was truly an amazing experience for my students, and me!

Donnas BGJI Vocal Buzz-640

Global Jazz Initiative Vocal Buzz!!!!! Jack O’connor, Daniel Barbrack,John (Jack)VanGorden, Daniela, and Carolina! Thanks, Young Musicians, for a remarkable week!!! WE ALL GREW SO MUCH! <3 Forever!

Donna-Marco-640

w Marco Pignataro, Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Initiative.

Dottie West

DottieWestDottie West was a super hero type woman! She overcame so many dastardly odds to become the singing sensation she was. She had so much personality and was so smooth in her delivery of a line or a song! I found her enchanting to be around and was devastated when she passed!

When asked to fly to LA and sing with her and Kenny on the tour of their duet album, I was ecstatic! And while in LA, I was especially honored and thrilled to call my friend Denise Stewart (Denise S Bates), who was a fellow Fiskite, to sing the third part on the songs we were to perform!! That was something! we had a ball!!!!

Somebody Talkin’ About Jesus

I was recovering from a horrible auto wreck, in barefoot, following through with a show I’d been rehearsing for weeks before the wreck. I went on the stage at Exit Inn( Ithink, somebody help me! It may have been the War Memorial or some place like that!) When I had finished a horribly frantic over-done, busy set of maybe 4-5 songs, the emcee came out and said, “We’ve got a young lady who just came to town this week… she wants to have a career in the record industry. Why don‘t we help her get started with a nice welcoming hand?”

We clapped…

Out walked Kathy Mattea, guitar strung across her shoulder and under her arm. I’m still speechless in remembering that indescribable rich true gorgeous siren of a voice!!! Next thing I knew I was singing on her record(s)!! This is one of the opps Vicki Hampton and I got to be as creative as the artist, and it’s because Kathy had the chops to let us do our thing and still show totally OUT!!!!!!!