Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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I have been a jazz pianist ever since I heard Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, etc. on Blue Note Records in the 60's. Later on, I began to expand as a jazz vocalist.
During the late 70's I toured with the venerable Marvin Gaye--an experience that I will cherish forever.
In 1991 I moved from my native Atlanta, GA to Boston, MA whereupon I enrolled as a full-time student at the Berklee College of Music. Emerging as a '95 Berklee graduate with a major in Music Education, I taught in public schools in Boston for several years, after which time I enrolled in a Jazz Studies program at The Boston Conservatory where I earned a master's degree in 2000.
Shortly thereafter. I relocated to Los Angeles where I presently teach and perform.
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My friend, Leslie Drayton, invited me to join.
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