My Return to the Stage – August 21, 2021

I’m having a myriad of feelings going through me right now: Exhilaration, excitement, nervousness, anxiety, panic, thrills, chills (the good kind, not the worrisome ones) and so much more. Tonight is a special night for many reasons. The San Francisco Opera is opening its 99th season with Puccini’s Tosca, an opera that has a long history with the War Memorial Opera House. I am returning to the production originally directed by Shawna Lucey in 2018, and I am reprising my role as La Marchesa Attavanti. This is also an unique production because both Ailyn Pérez and Alfred Walker are making their role debuts as Floria Tosca and Baron Scarpia, respectively.
Aside from these debuts and reprises, it is a tremendously important moment for me personally because it will mark the first time I have been on a stage, in front of a live audience, since January 2020. For most performers, and most of the world, coming back to live theatre has been a blessing and a curse, an opportunity and a threat, a welcome return and a challenge to endure. For the last year and a half, many performers (myself included) have been quiet, contained, unable to do what we love and crave, yet eager to get out, get back, learn more, be more, and do more.
I know that tonight at the War Memorial Opera House, “There will be more stars than there are in all of the heavens” (to loosely reference Louis B. Mayer). It will not simply be from the role debuts, or the chorus, or the children, or the backstage crew, or the audience, but collectively from all of us combined. We all will be making history in the most glorious way, in the way of the comeback, the fighter, the return to making greatness happen, witnessing it, and giving and receiving simultaneously.
I am thrilled to be a part of this production, and excited to be back onstage. It’s one of my homes, and where I live from time to time. I have to give a huge thanks to the admin and the backstage crew at the San Francisco Opera House for being diligent and working tirelessly to keep us all as safe and secure as possible in order to have this production succeed. Many thanks to them all. Toi, Toi, Toi to the cast and crew for a wonderful opening night!
Tosca is running for five performances, starting tonight! Hope to see you there. It’s good to be home.

Ola Belle Reed – “I’ve Endured”

One of my favorite banjo picking gals is songwriter Ola Belle Reed. She was born on this day, August 18, 1916 in Grassy Creek, North Carolina. She came from a musical family, learning clawhammer-style banjo from relatives, and began writing songs and performing as a teenager. Her songs are personal and reflective of her Appalachian life and upbringing.
In honor of her birthday, I performed a rendition of her song “I’ve endured” which is one of my favorite songs from her catalogue. Enjoy!!

One Month Anniversary – “When Will We Learn” music video release

Exactly one month ago today, on Woody Guthrie’s birthday, I released the music video for my song “When Will We Learn” which is from my debut album “Siren’s Song.” This song is about grieving, healing, and coping with the aftermath of needless loss in the form sudden tragic death. It’s heart-breaking and gut-wrenching, but a much needed message and balm for the world we live in today. Check out the video here.

“When Will We Learn” – New Music Video!! Premiering 7/14/21

Woody Guthrie once said, “It’s a folk singer’s job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people.” I’ve kept that line with me, and often thought about it when I began writing the songs that would become my debut album, “Siren’s Song.”
One of the songs I wrote, in October of 2017, is a tribute to the folks dealing with the aftermath of gun violence. It’s something that has destroyed communities, broken up families, and traumatized countless numbers of people. We know these tragedies happen daily, and have almost normalized them because they occur so often. Too often.
After hearing about the Las Vegas shootings in 2017, I was devastated, walking around in a daze of grief and despair for several days. One of the things I do remember reading in the newspaper days after was that a young womin, who was a survivor of the massacre and had just turned 18, told a reporter, “This is not something I’m supposed to see. I am not supposed to enter into adulthood like this.” Her words, and that particular line, struck a chord with me and lingered in my mind for a long while. I began to write out some lyrics and started humming to myself, and soon, “When Will We Learn” was born. It has been a tremendously comforting song as well as a harrowing song for me to experience and perform. 
“Siren’s Song” debuted on May 4th, 2019, a day after what would have been Pete Seeger’s centennial birthday. It is my privilege, on what would have been Woody Guthrie’s 109th birthday (July 14th, 2021) to present my song, “When Will We Learn.” My hope in writing this song and making this video is that, indeed, the message can comfort disturbed people and disturb comfortable people.
Thanks to my supportive cast and crew, especially Vanessa Moreno Gentry, who worked tirelessly and poured her heart into directing and editing this video. Thank you for the long hours, the many meetings, and for sticking with this project, even through a global pandemic. I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate make this kind of art with you!

Dex Records!!

Good morning!! ☀️☀️🌞🌞
Funday Monday morning announcement that my debut album “Siren’s Song” is on the shelves at Dex Records in Long Beach, CA! This is a fun store, off the beaten path, full of hard-to-find, limited-edition releases as well as new releases from local bands and musicians! Record store aficionados should put it at the top of their list of record stores to visit (and soon!!). 🎧🎧🎶🎶

@DexRecords is located at:
3906 E Seventh Street
Long Beach, CA 90814

The new music video for my song “When Will We Learn” is premiering this Wednesday, July 14th. Featured on my debut album (which you can purchase at Dex Records), I feel this song contains an important and powerful message that people from all walks of life will be able to empathize with and understand on many levels. 🌹🌹🖤🖤

Looking forward to sharing more with y’all on Wednesday.
Stay tuned, Folks. Stay tuned…

Hello, Arhoolie Records!!

Folks, it’s the first Friday of July!! Officially, it’s Summertime!!
Fun reminder that my debut album “Siren’s Song” is for sale at Down Home Music Store, former home of the iconic Arhoolie Records in El Cerrito, CA! It was an absolute honor and thrill to get my album on the shelves at this incredible store, amongst so many other talented musicians. This record shop is filled with all kinds of unique gems, so take the high road and get thee to Arhoolie Records and pick up my album and peruse their aisles as soon as possible!! Located at:

10341 San Pablo Ave,
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Thank you in advance for the love and support!!

Happy Friday!!!!

Hey Folks!! Well, I THOUGHT today was Bandcamp Friday, but apparently it’s been canceled. But no matter. Today is the 25 month anniversary of “Siren’s Song” being released, so I’ll celebrate that today!! I’ve been working hard promoting my album, and I have two new albums in the works which will be out later this year. It’s been a long road and a bumpy ride, but I’m so grateful for the love and encouragement I have received from many folks near and far.
When I was writing the songs for “Siren’s Song” I had an idea in my head of what I wanted the album to be about and how the cover should look. I was fortunate enough to have my dear friend Les volunteer his time, efforts, and talent to photograph me with my banjo on the beach at 7am. I love looking through the photos, as it brings me back to a moment in my life when I was joyous yet fearful, determined yet anxious, strong yet vulnerable. I had a great time at that photo shoot, and I can only think how far I’ve come and where I’m off to next. As we all should, stay tuned…
Thanks, Folks. Take care & be well!!

“Siren’s Song” has arrived in Long Beach, CA!!!!! 🌈🌈

Happy June, kids!!!! 🌞🌞
Long Beach I have arrived!!!!! 🏖🏖🏝🏝⛱⛱
My debut album “Siren’s Song” is officially for sale @FingerprintsMusic in Long Beach, CA!!!!! Thanks to the folks who work there for selling my album!! I am very excited to be expanding and have physical copies of my album available for sale. It’s so important to support local artists and musicians and music stores by buying physical copies of music. It pays WAY more than streaming platforms and allows musicians to actually make a decent living. What a concept, right? So without further ado, get thee to Fingerprints Music and you can find “Siren’s Song” in the Folk section!!! Thanks in advance!!! ✋🤚✋🏻🤚🏻✋🏼🤚🏼✋🏽🤚🏽✋🏾🤚🏾✋🏿🤚🏿

Fabulous fun weekend & photo by the Marilyn Monroe-loving, sparkling diamond that is @greasysparkle11 💎💎💍💍♦️♦️☀️☀️ Her favorite song on my album is the fourth song! Can you tell me which one it is??

Thank you for all the support! Hope everyone has a lovely June!! Happy Pride Month!! 🌈🌈

Happy Birthday, Fats Waller!! 🎶🎶🎵🎵

Happy birthday to the incredible Mr. Thomas “Fats” Waller! In February of 2020 I was able to travel to Nashville and record a Fats Waller album with some of the best guys in the business! I had a stellar time, and loved the recording process!! Then in March, everyone closed up shop and I had to shelve the album. Even though I had hoped to finish recording vocals & instrumentals and have the album mastered, finished, and released by May 21st, his birthday, it was just not in the cards for me.
Since things are beginning to open back up, I’m hopeful that by the end of this year I’ll be able to go back into the studio, finish the album, and release it! I’ve got my Fingers crossed! Do yourself a favor and go listen to some Waller tunes today. He is wonderfully upbeat and such an absolute pleasure and joy to listen to! Happy birthday, Mr. Waller!! 🎹🎹 xoxo