Happy Centennial Birthday to Dancer/Singer/Actress Ann Miller!!

Ann Miller has been a huge influence me as a performer. I have loved watching her in the numerous musicals she starred in during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and I always appreciated her upbeat, sweet personality, and her attention to detail when she danced. She always looked like she was having a great time when she was on the screen, and I carried that with me when I started performing.
To celebrate Ann Miller’s centennial today, April 12th, 2023, I recorded a fun number in her honor!!
I hope you enjoy!! 🔥🔥♥️♥️💃🏻💃🏻

Happy 100th Birthday, Ava Lavinia Gardner!

Today I celebrated in style. I got two dozen yellow roses to arrange in a display, and since some of the rose heads had fallen off, the cashier gave me one dozen for free. It was a kind gesture, one that I feel added to the specialness of this occasion. I also baked a coconut cake, her mother’s coconut cake that she always baked for Ava for her birthday. After her mother passed, Ava always had a coconut cake for her birthday for the rest of her life, no matter where she was in the world. To pay tribute to this remarkable lady, I sang through all of her songs, listened to them, and reflected on what film she was doing and where she was in her life when she had the opportunity to sing.
As I set up a display this morning, with the cake and the roses and the photo, I added two green emerald candles on the cake. When I took the photo of my display, I noticed a light reflected in the mirror of the photo (from the candles, no doubt), but, like the rose gesture from the kind cashier, I felt it was a sign that maybe Ava does appreciate the celebration and gestures of gratitude toward her, long after she has passed. I like to think that she herself is celebrating, enjoying some cake, laughing loudly, and being the best version of herself. That’s the most, and the best, any of us could hope for on any given day, let alone on a Centennial birthday.
Happy Birthday to Ms. Ava Gardner, a one-of-a-kind, dynamite lady, who stayed true to herself and paved the way for many of us to stand tall, be proud of who we are, and live life to the fullest. Here’s hoping the next 100 years are just as grand. 💚💚

When Will We Learn

After the Las Vegas shootings in 2017, I sat down and wrote the song “When Will We Learn” to help me cope with the pain and sorrow I was experiencing, to help me try to understand why this tragedy was repeating itself over and over again, so much that it has actually become a norm to hear about another mass slaughter. Another shooting. Another group of civilians murdered. Yesterday, it was school children and teachers who were the victims of violence. My heart is heavy, and I can’t help but think of the same line that haunts us all:
When Will We Learn?

I find art to be one of the most useful tools to help me cope and grieve with tragedy. Music especially soothes my soul in many ways. I released this music video (which was shot in January of 2020) last year on July 14, 2021. The anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birthday, and the storming of the Bastille. Two extremely significant days for me. I agree with Woody Guthrie’s sentiment, “It’s a folksinger’s job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people.” I sincerely hope that this is the last shooting tragedy we have to endure. I hope that changes are made swiftly and action is taken against this senseless, needless violence for the greater good of the people of this country.

When Will We Learn

One Touch of Venus

Lately I’ve been getting back to my musical theatre roots, and I’ve revisited the Ogden Nash/Kurt Weill musical “One Touch of Venus.” It’s a musical that is on my list of shows that I would love to do!! I’ve studied the play, the score, & the libretto, and learned most of the songs as well. I can’t state enough how much I love this show!! The character Venus is so well-written and speaks to me on many levels. Obviously there is the Ava Gardner connection (great casting choice IMHO) but I knew of “One Touch of Venus” (and the music) long before I ever began studying and learning about Ava Gardner.

Recently, I found some original photos online of the 1948 film production of “One Touch of Venus” and I was able to purchase a few stills. I’m so happy with my growing collection of vintage pics! They have inspired me to re-read the play and get out my songs! I am enjoying singing through and working on them again.

In the meanwhile, if you haven’t heard of, read, or seen this gem, check it out in any and all ways you can! 📕📽 I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do! I always try to credit photographers, so shoutout to Don Ornitz. His name was the only one on the back of any of the photographs I bought. (See the last pic). 📸

Ava Gardner & Robert Walker are so cute together in the film, and it features a stellar supporting cast as well (a HILARIOUS Eve Arden, Olga San Juan, Dick Haymes, & Tom Conway). Also, Ava (Venus) has some memorable lines in the film.
“Poor mortal, are you frightened?” Enjoy!!

“Situation Wanted”

Last year I spent most of December celebrating Ava Gardner’s birthday month by singing songs from her films and making videos of myself cooking recipes from her family cookbook. I didn’t get to all of her recipes or songs (in all truthfulness I was not able to find the sheet music), however over the course of this last year I was able to find more sheet music to songs she sang. Recently, I recorded the song “Situation Wanted” from the 1949 film “The Bribe” – an underrated noir film. She was dubbed by Eileen Wilson in the film, but I still think Ava did a great job starring as night club singer Elizabeth Hintten and performing this song in the film. The music is by Nació Herb Brown and lyrics by William Katz. Enjoy!!

Happy 99th Birthday to Ms. Ava Gardner!!

Born in 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina, Ava Gardner would have been 99 years young today! Reading and studying her life and career has been a great joy of mine over the last few years. I recently acquired this original photo from a movie she filmed when living in Spain called, ”The Angel Wore Red.“ It’s a moody film with an interesting, engaging plot. I enjoyed it immensely! Worth a watch if you haven’t discovered it yet.
The red glasses were also ones she personally owned and used in her daily life, and I am thrilled to say that they are now in my personal collection. I’ll happily use them today and make a toast in honor of her birthday! Lastly, yellow roses were her favorite flowers, and I can’t say I blame her. I love the bold, bright colors as well. Stunning!! 🍷🍷🎁🎁
Happy Birthday, Ava!! ❤❤💛💛

Studio day!! 🎙🎙🎧🎧

Along with recording my Johnny Mercer video tribute last week, I also was able to spend some time in the studio (on his actual birthday!!) recording some tunes! First time I’ve been in the studio since February 2020 and it felt great to be back at work! I’m looking forward to sharing my songs and recordings soon! Stay tuned….

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!