Greetings from NYC!

I’ve been in New York City these past few weeks meeting artists and potential collaborators, hosting focus groups on my new album to get feedback and perspective on the next creative phase, meeting brilliant thinkers and organizers, and getting inspired by one of the greatest cities in the world. It’s been a few weeks of serious and joyful hustle.

I took this photo of the new Freedom Tower the night of the Creative Capital annual benefit party and auction at the stunning home of contemporary art expert Paige West in Tribeca. That was a fun, fun night. Paige’s home embodies complete and outrageous creativity and class.

One of my favorite moments of the party was running into experimental filmmaker extraordinaire and Guggenheim fellow Barbara Hammer on the rooftop. Since I was the Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival a few years back, I’ve known about Barbara’s work for many years.

Another highlight of the evening was witnessing the performance of violinist Daniel Roumain. It was a combination of serious classical prowess, poetry, and improvisational musing. Check Daniel out, he is the real deal.

The listening party/focus group I organized in Brooklyn went very well too. Hosted my friend’s beautiful loft, which was recently featured in the New York Times, we gathered 30 people of all creeds, demographics and colors of the rainbow to listen to the 12 new songs of my album and learn the story that drove the music and all of the creative decisions of this project. They listened, gave reactions and asked questions, and I responded, shared and invited them in further to my creative process. It was such a gift to create this moment in time in the midst of the creation process of this project that I’ve spent the past two years completely focused on. Focus groups help me know what it is like to listen to this album for the first time, and help me see which aspects of this story and concept resonate the most. This is my second focus group so far, and they have both added tremendous value and perspective.

The next morning it rained in Brooklyn, and I took this picture to remember the moment. It’s been a magical trip so far, and we’re only half way there.


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