Here in Brooklyn, we are emerging from the happy holiday cave of family and
food (oh yeah, and a bit of wine and whiskey…) and starting off the year
with two weekend shows in NYC this Saturday 1/5 and Sunday 1/6.
The concert on Saturday will be a benefit for our local elementary school
where our son Maceo is thriving in the 2nd grade. The school has suffered
greatly from budget cuts over recent years, yet the principal, teachers and
staff, with support from many parents and the community, carry on bravely
in maintaining a nurturing home for a diverse group of kids to learn and
grow and be safe together.
Be safe together. Like many of you, I cried many tears over the lives lost
last month in Newtown CT, but never were the emotions so powerful as the
following Monday morning when I took Maceo back to school. I was overcome
not with fear for he and his classmates, nor more sadness for the families
of strangers; but with surging love for the dedicated, creative, underpaid,
and tremendously loving staff of this humble place. Though we kept him
sheltered from the news, Maceo was a bit sad that morning and the kindness
and hugs he received from our security guard, our school office, and his
teacher in his first few minutes back were both a credit to the institution
and an indictment of the rest of us. On that day and every day, how can we
not fully support and compensate those who nurture our children?
Yes -- I’m for enhanced mental health services (can we at least stop
gutting the system?) and for solid gun regulations (and as is rote in these
discussions I can spout my own open-minded credentials as someone who has
accompanied in-laws on duck hunts and has in my freezer a gift-wrapped slab
of Colorado elk meat brought down by the guns of my cousins -- Recipe
suggestions welcome) but I have nothing new or illuminating to add to that
crowded debate. For the moment, I’m just for really, truly, valuing
teachers and kids.
So if you are in the area of Brooklyn NY this Saturday night, want to try
my home-cooking, and are looking for a cozy night out of music and
community, come on down. The price seems steep at first ($70 per couple,
$40 per individual) but when you consider that proceeds benefit public
education and provide two sets of music, dinner, drinks, dessert, and
childcare (our wonderful neighbors next door keep the kids delighted!)
After my set, fellow PS9 parent and acclaimed musician Jeremiah
Lockwood will play his own unique brand of mystical
virtuosic blues nourished by ancient Jewish and African traditions. Yeah
you got that right!
Sorry that we can’t offer food and babysitting the following night, Sunday
January 6th, at Rockwood Music Hall, but we will have a special guest
appearance from my dear friend, inspiration, and musical comrade Martha
Redbone, who will step off the plane from London that
afternoon and join us for some improvised background vocals.
The focus for both these shows will be working out newer songs in
preparation for our upcoming recording in March — my first album of all
original music in 7 years (Yes, that duration exactly coincides with the
life of my first son — coincidence?), though I must say it’s been fun to
play some of my dad Harry’s tunes over a number of tributes last month. As
many of you know, we recorded our set on December 1st for a live CD, Jen Chapin Trio:
Celebrating Harry’s 70th, that is available via PalPal
and features our renditions of I Wonder What Would Happen to this World,
Flowers Are Red, Tangled Up Puppet, Shooting Star, and Cat’s in the Cradle
plus a few of mine and some bonus studio tracks. Here
it is. Many of you have let me know that you really love the
CD — thank you!
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