Posts from the ‘Music’ Category

Haley Gray Jazz Collab Needs Your Help

Jazz singer Haley Gray. Click photo to donate.

Many of you recall my post on Haley Gray back in 2017—and some had the good fortune to hear her sing in our living room here in northern California. She is taking her music to the next level with a new Amherst, MA band:

Haley Gray Jazz Collab ~
• Ailey Verdelle, keyboard
• Hunter Jons,
guitar & arrangement
• Ben Lev, drums
• Nina Hill,

They are in the process of recording a new EP (Extended Play, like a mini-album) and reaching out to raise funds to cover $200 studio costs—a lot of dough for college students.

Even with a small donation you can make a huge difference:


Haley then…

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World (mind-blowing film)

REDBONE: 1970s American Indian rock group featured in the 2017 documentary: RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

In Memory of John Trudell

Thank you, RUMBLE, for taking the high road. 

Read more…

Freedom Singers at the White House


Need an alternative to football after your turkey dinner? Check out this video. Especially important for the young folk among you…

Read more…

Damien Escobar ~ His “violin crooning” inspires me


His crossover style fuses classical, jazz, pop, R&B and hip hop.

New York based Damien Escobar, 27, graduated from Julliard at 13 and calls himself “The Violin Crooner” and I can’t stop listening to his cover of the Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz song, Am I WrongThe video (below) is a year old but just crossed my path of Facebook this past week. One does not reach this level of precision and seemingly effortless fun without  raw talent and the dedication it takes to shape it.

He rose to stardom from the 2003 subways of New York in the duo, Nuttin but Stringz with his brother, Tourie. Creative differences caused the brothers to split in 2012. Damien put down his violin and got his real estate license before making a comeback and releasing his first solo album, Sensual Melodies in 2014.

I’ve had Escobar’s Am I Wrong cover on a loop in my car and at the desk the past few days. Watching him play in this video adds another dimension. He seems to barely hold the violin, in conversation with driving bass, percussion and supporting strings. They start talking mid sentence, like an afterthought. Escobar’s pristine notes undulate, never touching the ground, his shredded bow levitating with the ascension of the melody. I hold on to the steering wheel or the keyboard to keep from floating away while the music accompanies my thoughts of character beats, plot points and story lines. The piece ends as it began, forthwith as if the violin is laughing.

At the end of the video Escobar says, “That was a little too much, huh?” Answer:  “Almost, Damien. Almost!”

Escobar’s cover sent me in search of the Nico & Vinz original and I found inspiriting lyrics and a stunning short film shot in Botswana to “project the positivity, joy and good energy that is in Africa,” say Nico (Ivorian-Norwegian) and Vinz (Ghanian-Norwegian).

“Am I wrong  ~ for thinking out the box from where I stay?  ~ Am I wrong ~ for saying that I choose another way.”  ~ Nico & Vinz,  Am I wrong

The story in my work-in-progress novel, Peach Seed Monkey centers around three men, and here I am jamming with these three artists who have no idea what their music is doing for my headspace and process.

Forget everything you thought you knew about who plays virtuoso violin and what Norwegian artists look and sound like.

Returning with NOLA Reflections: Street MUSIC!

Jackson Square, January, 2015 All Photos: Anita Gail Jones

Jackson Square, January, 2015
All Photos: Anita Gail Jones

Hello Blog Buddies!

Been a while and I’ve missed connecting with y’all, so lets’ jump back in with a NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) street music party! from our 2015 New Year’s trip to Birthplace of JAZZ.

These first two videos are typical of what you can happen upon anytime in Jackson Square:

The allure of New Orleans lives in the mix of everything: night, sun, fog, colors, smells, food, music…


Absent of video, these shots of teen brass band show the mood. Marched through the streets of French Quarter to this spot where they seriously jammed.


Literally everywhere in the night or day, there is music to savor.

St. Cinder ~ Love this ratty ragtime/blues/folk band out of Ashland, Oregon.

St. Cinder

 I lost my video footage but!…I must’ve been standing nearby when hottcarlson recorded this: Click photo to watch.

And here’s more of St. Cinder on Royal Street in The French Quarter:
Shot by RaoulDuke504

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