“How many of you have never heard of Dakota Staton?”

Staton.wav

I have always heard and repeated – with a long 'A' vowel – the pronunciation of: Staton. Yet, even Mr. Barker is not exactly sure how to state the name of an artist whom he obviously respected; even though she was not of his generation. (It would be like me talking about, Alicia Keyes – but, ten years from now.)

Dakota Staton was a big enough star by the 1960's that even my parents had a copy of, Dakota Staton WITH STRINGS in their own minute record collection. The LP was purchased by someone, from the 'cut-out' bin. Nevertheless, by that afternoon 1976 – when Mr. Barker was speaking to the Xavier Students about this potent Capitol Records artist, I was excavating the LP with her smiling head amidst glowing dots of “lounge lights.” After considering my past, I now say that 'with strings' was the first Jazz Vocal record that I ever heard. I'm so glad to have it now; I Thought About You, sounds divine spinning on my Denon... drifting through my Klipsch 'corner horns' here at Maison Musique.

Dakota Sta

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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."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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