Agachiko is the project that brought me back to my first musical love… JAZZ
Though I did a lot of theatre during and after conservatory, I also had a baby jazz band. It quickly became apparent to me, that even though I could technically sing the material, it was almost like singing in another language that you aren’t exactly fluent in. I mean, of course young people have some life experience to draw from… but the depth of emotions, the TRULY LIVED ESSENCE of womanhood had barely touched me… yet.
Surprisingly, Steve Lacy turned up at one of these fledgling gigs (we were opening for someone), and struck up a conversation with me at the break. I walked away with an invitation to come to France, and thus my love affair with the country began. I remained for almost 2 years, before returning to the States to attend graduate school in Boston. Even though I dropped out of my program, I remained in Boston performing more ‘age appropriate’ music… ROCK & ROLL Baby!
After a marriage, and a lot of other events that give one a crash course in loss, pain and sorrow… I guess I felt I was ready to again embrace my first love.
Putting Agachiko together was my way of coming home again. It was a surprising honour to be able to pull together musicians of this caliber. Players whose own projects are instrumental and who rarely work with singers. Players who understand and embrace nuance, and who give me room in the mix to be another instrument among them, and who challenge me to go deep; after all, there is no point in putting words to music if their meaning cannot be conveyed as clearly as the notes that carry them.
Creating a repertoire that includes new original material in this genre, and does meaningful homage to idols Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln has been nothing less than amazing.
So to Russ Gershon ~ Tenor Sax and Arranger, Ken Field ~ Flute, Scott Getchell ~ Trumpet, Sam Davis ~ Guitar, Blake Newman ~ Acoustic Bass, and Phil Neighbors ~ Drums… I love, salute, and thank you for being a part of my homecoming. As I strike out on this adventure, know that we will be together again, and it will be GLORIOUS!