Showing posts with label Jamie performs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jamie performs. Show all posts

Monday, August 13, 2012

Singing the Berlioz Requiem at Davies Symphony Hall with 350 other musicians - a follow up

Robert Gurney conducts 250 singers - I'm right above his left hand. photo: Timothy Lee
I think it's safe to say that last Sunday, August 5th performing the Berlioz Requiem (and several other pieces) was one of the most exhilarating and exhausting musical experiences I've ever had. It's really special to pull off something so amazingly beautiful with 350 other people, with 1700 other people in attendance (check out the standing ovation).

Actually, I would have done it all just to hear the Richard Strauss Sprach Zarathustra, Fanfare (also known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), which we did, four times. THAT was one of the most thrilling things I've ever sat through.
You can only see twelve, but I promise there were thirteen timpanis. Photo by me.
Watch the video below. There were 13 timpani (kettledrums) and it was absolutely incredible to hear them all get pounded at once. And that major chord they hit at 1:06? Just goosebumps all over... from what wasn't all tingly already. What an absolutely thrill. I was so excited after the first run through at the dress rehearsal I literally raised the roof. I felt like such a huge dork, but I loved seeing all the smiles on everyone else's faces. 

350 people strong. Photo: Timothy Lee
Performing the Requiem was equally as thrilling, and totally exhausting. This piece is something like 80 minutes long, and the chorus sings for most of it. As an Alto 2, I got to sit down a couple times, but that's it. And I kept wondering how the folks twice my age were faring. I was physically sore to the core for the next couple of days.

The group of musicians we worked with are the Redwood Orchestra, also a group of volunteers, from the peninsula. They were fabulous and conductor Eric Kujawski was a pleasure to work with. We lovingly called him "The Dude" because of his likeness to Jeff Bridges in the Big Lebowski

From the first balcony. Photo: Elisabeth Wakcher
One blogger (one of the 80 choristers that joined us from New York) wrote about one of the funniest moments at the dress rehearsal, Kujawski called things to a halt, saying:
MORE! We need MORE! You, in the back row (of the percussion section), what are you doing standing there! Find something and hit it!!

Eric "The Dude" Kujawski - check out his shirt... photo: Timothy Lee
There's talk about going to Carnegie Hall next year. I'm on the list.

Cute photo of some of the Alto 2s. photo: John Martin

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vote for me to sing the National Anthem at AT&T Park!

My aunt Sharon is a huge opera fan, and she told me that Classical Bay Area radio station KDFC is having a little youtube competition to get someone to sing the national anthem before the Rigoletto Simulcast in AT&T Park on September 15th at 8pm.

So I figured why the hell not. I practiced in the car a little bit and then a couple days later I did one take on my computer. It's not perfect, but who cares?

VOTE FOR ME! And you can vote everyday if you want :)

Consider going to watch the Rigoletto simulcast at AT&T Park, it's super fun. You can sit on the field or in the stands and have a picnic. And it's FREE!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jamie sings the Berlioz Requiem with 250 other people in Davies Symphony Hall

Next Sunday, August 5th at 3pm I will be performing one of the coolest pieces, the Berlioz Requiem, at Davies Symphony Hall with 250 other singers (San Francisco Lyric Chorus), the Redwood Symphony Orchestra and FOUR horn choirs.

The horn choirs are going to be placed in various corners of the hall, SURROUND SOUND.

I'm so excited about it.  It's going to be so kickass. Loud. Dramatic. So rock and roll.

Also on the program is that awesome Strauss piece appearing in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you know, the one with the monolith and the monkeys?

Read more about it here in my article

Tickets are $20-45

Listen to the "Dies Irae" movement from the Requiem, this is one of the more dramatic movements.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Hosting on Voicebox KALW 91.7

Almost a month ago, Matt Lombardi and I were invited to guest host on VoiceBox 91.7 KALW with Chloe Veltman to represent and talk about Hear it Local.

As a show/podcast focusing on the voice, I chose to feature a collection of female Bay Area singers that I love. The show was on the air last weekend as "Bay Area Bombshells". Listening to myself on the radio gushing about these women I find so inspiring was an interesting experience. I love radio and I hope I get to do it again!

To listen, CLICK HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the list to "VoiceBox"

Here's the playlist in case you were interested:

1) "Then It Starts to Feel Like Summer" by The SHE's, vocalist: Hannah Valente / Then It Starts To Feel Like Summer

2) "Float and Fall" by Meklit Hadero / On a Day Like This

3) "Monkey Gone to Heaven" by the Pixies, performed by Conspiracy of Venus / UnderCover Presents The Pixies' Doolittle

4) "Opa Cupa Fly" by Brass Menazeri Brass Band, vocalist: Bridget Boyle / Vranjski San

5) "Many Seasons" by Kacey Johansing / Many Seasons

6) "With You" by Dreams, vocalist: Emily Ritz

7) "Driving is Fun" by Dina Maccabee / Who Do You Suppose You Are?

8) "Stay" by Crystal Monee Hall / River Train

9) "Cadillac" by Con Brio, vocalist: Xandra Corpora / From The Hip

10) "Our Little Secret" by Megan Slankard / Token of the Wreckage

11) "Love For the Asking" by Kally Price

12) "Tore My Heart" Oona Garthwaite / Shhhhout!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jamie sings with the Family Crest

This is fun: the below video is from The Family Crest's performance in my brother's backyard from a couple weekends ago. The Family Crest is playing a show a day in the month of September and they asked me to sing a couple tunes with them.

The below video of "All is Dark" (which is fitting, because it was dark out there) does not feature me singing, however, I am listed AS PART OF THE BAND at the end. I think that's pretty darn awesome. Thanks to the Family Crest and videographer/photographer Matthew Washburn for this one, it's a really beautiful video.

Here, however is a video of me singing "In the Avenue" with the Family Crest last March in Austin Texas at a South by the Southwest house show I put together.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vote for your favorite songs on Jonathan Mann's Song-a-Day album

Just a note that the voting is up for Jonathan Mann's song-a-day project for the month of June. Everyone had a great time and I commend everyone involved for taking part in an incredibly ambitious project. I had a great time popping by and working on it with everyone.

There are a total of 30 tracks, one for each day of June, and only ten of them will appear on the album. YOU GUYS can vote on which ten songs.

Click HERE to listen and vote for the songs where I appear!

Track 9: They Double Dared Us
Track 17: One of these Mornings

And even though it's bizarre, Track 29: Colony Collapse Disorder

Other songs I recommend and like:
Track 14: Sweaty Girlfriend
Track 27: You Can't Stop Love (see awesome video below)

But take a listen and see what YOU'D like on the album :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jonathan Mann's Song-A-Day Project. I participated in song #890

I met Jonathan Mann earlier this year through the Family Crest. I first saw this video he wrote the day after a Family Crest show and I quickly learned that Jonathan is no ordinary songwriter (if that even exists).

Jonathan has been writing a song a day for the last 891 days and posting them on his youtube page. The idea is that if he writes a song every day, yeah, most of them will be mediocre, and some of them might even suck, but there's that small percentage that actually might be pretty good. So he's been writing about whatever pops into his head: Paul Krugman, elves and Maru the cat.

For the month of June, he decided that writing songs is a lonely process and wanted to get some friends involved. So, he ran a campaign to raise money for a larger song-a-day project that would pay a handful of musicians and eventually lead to the production of an album of songs written during June.

You can also watch the whole process of writing, recording and mastering each song, every day on streaming video here:

Read more about the project in this East Bay Express article that ran yesterday.

SO, I stopped by yesterday with Sarah Dabby, violist of the Family Crest and recorded some vocals for "They Double Dared Us" (I come in toward the end). It was a blast and I'm looking forward to stopping by again.

Don't worry too much about the video, these songs fly past so quickly that they just need to get posted. This one might just be a little creepy because Jonathan is just sitting there staring at the camera while footage of his eighth grade graduation runs above him. Oh well, just enjoy that face then. Lol. (And watch the video below it to see some footage of us recording.)

Because the internet is such a useful and empowering tool, the cello part came remotely across the interwebs from Barton Lewis. There are also opportunities (like today) to record yourself singing and send it to Jonathan to be included in the final track.

At the end of the month, we will all be able to vote the songs will be included on the album. I'll be looking to you guys to help get my tracks on it! :)

Here is a video from the behind the scenes, I show up around 1:45 into the video.

Seriously, today's song is about Maru the cat who turned 4 a couple weeks ago. We love him.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

San Francisco Lyric Chorus: Voices of Immigration, Jamie sings a solo and her own immigration story

My great-grandparents, Dorothea and Georg Boss in Italy around 1941 (I love how tan he is from the Italian sun)

Next Saturday and Sunday (May 7th and 8th), my choir the San Francisco Lyric Chorus has its Spring concerts. After almost a year of being a member, I can finally be part of a performance (for the first I was in a wedding and the second I was in Africa).

The pieces were chosen with the personal immigration stories of chorus members in mind. For instance, there is one tenor whose family is Cajun via French Canada, so we are singing a couple French Canadian tunes. There are songs specifically about leaving the Old Country and arriving to the New World. We'll also be performing the beautiful Shape Note tune, "How Can I Keep From Singing."

I have a solo in one of the Yiddish tunes. It's short, but very beautiful.

The mother/baby image is my grandmother and great-grandmother in Danzig, Germany around 1918

I submitted my family's story of immigration and it, along with a photo or two, will be featured in the program.

My grandmother was born in Danzig, Germany (now called Gdansk and part of Poland). She and her three younger brothers were able to get out of Germany before 1940. I now have family scattered across the globe from Brazil to Australia and Israel to England.

Peter, Georg, Walter, Lori (my grandma) and Hans in Danzig Germany, 1928

The Boss Family: (front) Georg, great-great-grandpa Louis, Peter & Dorothea. (back) Hans, Lori and Walter; 1939 Danzig, Germany.

When my great-grandparents could stay no longer, they left my great-great-grandpa Louis and got on a boat set for Palestine. Due to the British blockade, the boat was rerouted to Libya. Then a Jewish-Italian organization brought them to Southern Italy and shuttled them from refugee camp to refugee camp (including possibly a prison) until they settled in the small hill town of Cancellara near Naples. They lived there in relative hiding for three years, living among poor Italians.

In 1944 they were able to get on the ONLY U.S. Government sponsored refugee boat (it's so sad there weren't more). They were two passengers of one thousand Christian and Jewish refugees. Three thousand applied to be on this boat. There is a book about it called The Haven by Ruth Gruber. The boat docked in New York and my great-grandparents lived in Oswego, until their citizenship went through. Then they moved to Los Angeles to be near my grandmother and one of my great-uncles.

One of the most amazing things about this story (there are many) is that my grandmother did not know where her parents were or even if they were still alive. It's also amazing that poor Italians welcomed my great-grandparents into their community for several years. I'm thinking of going to Italy to collect aural histories if at all possible.

I have a box full of photos, they are such a trip. I also have some letters and military papers I'd like to get translated. Anyone know German well?

Anyway, if you're in town, come see me sing next weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Family Crest plays "Note & Words," a fundraiser for The Oakland Children's Hospital with a 100 person secret choir

Matt, Ravenna, John, Owen, Liam & Lucas
Photos by Matt Washburn (to see more click here )

Last Friday night I had the pleasure to help organize and be part of a 100 person SECRET CHOIR for the Family Crest at Notes & Words, a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland in the beautiful Fox Theater in downtown Oakland. It was a little bit of a bummer because they put us way up in the top of the balcony where no one else really knew we were there, but it was really fun event, and it was awesome to get some my friends out to sing with and experience my new favorite band.

Other performers were musicians HYIM and Megan Slankard ("Notes"). Authors Michael Lewis, Kelly Corrigan and Beth Lisick ("Words") told hysterical stories about being children and their own children. Michael Lewis' story (author of The Blind Side) definitely including peeing in the pool...

Sarah, Owen, Lucas, Liam, Ravenna & Laura

This is also the first time The Family Crest has gotten to play in a large space like the Fox Theater, and they totally filled it up, sonically and visually. Even from the third row from the back, I could tell how much fun they were having up there. And even though I'm not a huge fan of the sound at the Fox, they sounded pretty darn good to me.

We sang on a couple songs, but most notably, a new song called “As We Move Forward." Check out some of these dynamic photos by Matthew Washburn and video. You can actually hear our singing at the end a little bit. There were about 90 of us up there in the balcony and I think there were more folks scattered around singing as well.

In the video below the other entertainers of the evening join the Family Crest on stage.

Thanks to everyone that came out! Hope you had fun.

Lucas and Matt. Lucas is wearing his cello harness, so cool.

Photos by Matt Washburn (to see more click here )

Liam and Owen

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to participate in a jam session as a vocalist

Last weekend I found myself in a jam session among professional musicians at a party at Sonic Zen Studios in Berkeley. As a vocalist who dabbles in playing instruments, rarely do I feel confident enough in my playing ability to pick up something more than a tambourine in these kinds of circumstances.

I walked into the party and a jam session, full of professional musicians. The jam session had already begun. I sat down, listened for a while and then, of course, got myself a tambourine.

Then they hooked up a microphone. I decided to not even consider not singing. I jumped right into it and had the most positive jam session experience I’ve ever had.

How does a vocalist “jam”? These are things I’ve figured out over the years.

1) Be very conscious about how much space you are or are not taking.
As soon as a singer begins to sing, the ear focuses on them. It’s just how the ear is trained. A bass guitarist or drummer can keep playing, and should keep playing unless they are making a specific statement to drop out. A jamming vocalist needs stay very conscious about taking up too much of the attention and stay sensitive to what the other musicians are doing. If the keyboardist and drummer are getting something going between them, you want to be sure not to step on their toes until the back-and-forth is over.

2) Dealing with lyrics.
How does a vocalist deal with this whole word and lyrics situation? Well if you are a poet, you probably won’t have any trouble. I’ve never considered myself a songwriter or a poet. And I've never really felt that words come easily to me. But this evening, words sort of came out in a stream of consciousness, or as a couple words and then some “Bla-dee-bla-dee-bla” nonsense syllables. I don’t think it really matters if you scat or sing words, but when out pops some funny or thoughtful lyric, people react to it.

3) Think like a horn player.
Play your melody a few times, riff on it a little bit. Then drop out for a while, come back in with some back-up, simple lines with some oooo’s or aaaah’s or back-up vocal type punctuation at the end of phrases. (Think Motown or soul back up singers.) Then come back in with the melody.

4) Don’t be afraid to be dramatic or silly, just don’t over do it.
Make funny voices, sing real low, real high, scream. Just don’t let that be all you do. Save it for special moments.

5) Don’t be shy to use material that isn’t yours or something you’ve been working with on your own.
There’s nothing wrong about quoting someone else. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bringing in something that you’ve written on your own. You never know what kind of ideas someone else in the circle might bring into the mix that you wouldn’t have thought of. It could make an idea blossom into something bigger the next time you work on it.

6) Milk a good idea, just know when it’s time to move on.
When you get something good going, and the other musicians seem to react well to it, work it. And then when you feel that you’re ready to move on, do it.

The more you jam, the more comfortable you’ll get. You’ll start to get more confident in following your gut and your abilities to make things up on the spot.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My band: Leopard Print Tank Top

Our first gig: me, Elisabeth & Joie

So, um, I have this band called Leopard Print Tank Top and we had a really great gig tonight that made me realize that I should tell you all about it so that I can feel like it's a real thing that I'm doing.

I play the glochenspiel, sing and play whatever other instruments are lying around. Elisabeth, who I've been singing with since I was five years old, sings and plays the ukulele. Our friend Joie belly dances.

This is the description we sent in for tonight's gig -

Leopard Print Tank Top is a San Francisco based trio that proudly embraces the ridiculous. LPTT's quirky instrumentation of ukulele and glockenspiel combine with vocal harmony, belly-dance and lighthearted theatrics. Their playful approach to performance is beautiful, mesmerizing, and utterly silly.

So the first step in becoming official is that I MADE A FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK! Please "fan" us if you want to hear about upcoming gigs and whatever else bands do on that there web thingie.

We write our own stuff mostly: "Lullabye" sounds like something out of Coraline or Amelie, "Lovership" is about wanting a relationship both ways, "Boobies" is, well, about boobies. We also just wrote a song called "Missed Connections" inspired by craigslist. It's fun.

The best parts? I get to make music with my friends, we make people laugh and the boys love us. What more could a girl ask for?

We'll see where this goes!

Liz and I used to make couch pillow forts together

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's your favorite karaoke song to sing?

Had a fun conversation last night about favorite karaoke songs. Andy, if you check this I'm expecting you to respond! I like the soulful lady songs. My recent favorites to sing are:

- "Midnight train to Georgia" - Gladys Knight and the Pips. When I can I get some Pips on stage with me, make the song way more fun

- "Livin on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi. I can hit those high notes and people are impressed! And everyone knows this song, so they sing along, dependiny mostly on how late in the evening it is and how much people have been drinking.

- "Piece of My Heart" - Janis Joplin. I like Erma Franklin's (Aretha's sister) version of this song, she did it first. And some of her phrasings are fun. But I still like trying to howl like Janis, although I certainly don't do it as well.

- "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield. Again, people know this one, so folks sing along.

What are you favorite songs to sing at Karaoke?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jamie's demo will be played on Austin's KOOP radio on Monday: strean it from the web

My friend Lisa has a show on KOOP 91.7 community radio and on Monday (11AM-12PM Central Coast Time) she will be playing my cover demo of "A Moro na Roca" the Brazilian folk song!

Listen to "What's A Girl to Do" streaming: on the upper left there is a "Listen Now" button

Here's the description of the show:

MONDAYS, 11-NOON (starting 5/4/09)

Host: Lisa Schneider

"What's A Girl To Do" is a free-form Women's Music Show on Austin's KOOP radio, 91.7FM or streaming at Tune in for a wide variety of new, old, local to international music performed and composed by women. MONDAYS, 11-NOON starting May 4, 2009. (Premiered November 1, 2008)

"What's A Girl To Do"celebrates the contribution women have made to the world of music. The show features an incredibly diverse, broad-ranging spectrum of music performed and/or composed by women including vocal and instrumental selections. "What's A Girl To Do" includes a large roots/world music component (ie.African, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Latin, Scandinavian, Klezmer, Greek, Cajun, Celtic, Zydeco, Old-Time, Bluegrass, etc...). But the rest is a mix of singer-songwriters, indie-pop, indie-folk, folk, Americana, jazz, swing, classics, film and theater music, rock, blues, electronic, new age, etc...) "What's A Girl To Do" also hosts many local artists -- performing live on the air occasionally.

Support community radio as well as women in music!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I HAVE BRAND NEW DEMOS!!! This is very exciting. Listen to my recordings of jazz standard "Save Your Love for Me" (made famous by Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley) and Brazilian folk song "A Moro na Roca" (arrangement by Monica Salmosa). 

I added an imeem playlist over on the right side of the blog. Tell what you think about this different kind of playlist application and about my demos.  I think you might be able to download these AND make them ringtones (which cracks me up).

If you'd like me to email these to you, I would be happy to. I've already got a CD ready to get shipped down to my Grandma in LA, she's going to flip when she hears it.

Thanks to Chris at Creative Scores Studios in Oakland, California!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jamie sings "GoodNight Bush" at Yoshi's San Francisco on Inauguration Evening

On January 20th, 2009 I sang with about 2 dozen other people to form the "Goodnight Bush" singers at our debut (as well as one and only) performance at Yoshi's San Francisco to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama.

We sang a four part arrangement by Daryl Henline (also conductor) of the children's parody book Goodnight Bush by Erick Origen and Gan Golan, in bathrobes.  We had one rehearsal the night before and did a warmup in the Yoshi's parking lot.

Someone edited together this awesome video of folks at the inauguration in D.C. reading the story while we sing over it.  It's terrific.  Look for me, I'm just to the right of the conductor. And I'm singing my socks off!