j-notes.com: five years later

5 years old

Update 11/19/2007: I guess you thought I ran away and joined the circus by now. I am still there. Today, I am in Chicago visiting my mom.
It has been an incredible year for me. I could not have imagined such a great adventure five years ago when I started this website as a spot to share my thoughts on music. In the early years, I wrote a lot of music reviews. Now, I take a lot of great notes for future reviews. Much of my time spent behind the camera taking a lot of photos.
I had my first jazz photography exhibit this past summer. Capturing The Moment was more of a blessing than I ever could have dreamed. It even got extended for 3 weeks. I am working on a new exhibit which will open on January 12, 2008 at The Jazzschool in Berkeley, California. It will run for 10 weeks during their winter quarter. I have the honor of doing artist talk at The Jazzschool on the afternoon of Sunday, February 24, 2008. I will be discussing the new exhibit as well as jazz and photography. Following the artist talk, local sax great Howard Wiley will be performing a tribute to sax legend Dexter Gordon. It will definitely be a great afternoon. More details to follow.
A few cool moments from the past year:

  • I visited the legendary Fantasy Studio in Berkeley for the recording guitarist Terrence Brewer’s next album which will be out early next year. It was an incredible experience and you could feel the vibe of all the greats that had recorded there.
  • Local piano great Adam Shulman used one of my photos for his album cover. Thanks Adam!
  • Berkeley Jazz Festival – I got to shake hands backstage with actor/humanitarian Harry Bellafonte after he received the Icon Award from the Berkeley Jazz Festival. Prior to the award presentation, vocalist Randy Crawford sang her heart out with the Joe Sample Trio. It was a great day of music.
  • I took two great music courses this past summer. The first was “Telling Your Story Through Music with Marcus Shelby” at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. The course two Monday sessions which ran for 3 hours each night. Bandleader/composer/bassist Marcus Shelby took is on a wondeful adventure of jazz history. We listened to early jazz, blues, and spiritual music recordings as Marcus explained the history of each piece of music. He also demonstrated styles, tempos and rhythms on the piano. He gave us a homework assignment in which we had to write a 12-bar blues, a field holler, a work song, and bring in a spiritual which inspired us for next week’s class. The next class rolled around and I was prepared with my songs and performed three of them for the class. It was definitely a great course that I would highly recommend.
  • I also took a Circular Singing Workshop with vocalist Nicolas Bearde at The Jazzschool in Berkeley. Nicolas took us through some vocal exercises to get us warmed then he broke us into sections by vocal parts (satb). Each vocal section was given a part to sing. The key is concentrating and memorizing your section’s part without taking in another section’s part which were being taught at the same time. I got to sing bass and tenor parts and just when you had your part down, Nicolas would pull you into the middle of the circle to solo adlib over all the voices. Once you were done, you had to pick someone from a different vocal section to take your place in the middle of the circle and you had to take their place in their section. Let’s just say I got to sing with the sopranos for a bit. I had a lot of fun.

I thank you for reading and supporting me over the years. I look forward to doing this for years to come. Thanks to my family and friends for their love and support. I know my dad is smiling down on me.
Enjoy your music!

6 Responses to “j-notes.com: five years later”

  1. ronn says:

    Wow, five years!! It seems just like yesterday I first saw your URL. Congrats and can’t wait for the recap.
    BTW, cute pic! 🙂

  2. shim says:

    Love the photo!
    Congratulations on 5 great years!

  3. Terri says:

    Hey James,
    5 years…WOW. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. You are as cute now as you were then. I love you!!!

  4. James says:

    Thank you everyone!

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