Jacki Odess-Gillett in Concert November 18th

In celebration of the recording the following week of my forthcoming album "The Name", a collection of original, spiritually-oriented jazz songs, I invite all friends and well-wishers to a concert

Saturday, November 18, 2-3:45 p.m. 

Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, (Formerly The Arts Block),                                                289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA

Joining me will be the Valley's Golden Boy Miro Sprague on piano, the wonderful Billy Arnold on drums, and the highly talented and accomplished bass man Dave Picci on bass.

Sadly, Charles Neville will be unable to join us for this concert, although he will be featured on the recording.

This will be my first public concert in Western Mass, and I would love to see family, friends and friends of friends come out to help celebrate!

As the physical light slowly wanes, let's bring in the Light of love, laughter, spirituality and harmony to cheer us through these cold and dark days right before the Glory of Winter sets in!

Hope to see you there!

 

 

Well, I promised I was going to step up my game, and I am so excited and happy to announce that I HAVE BOOKED THE RECORDING STUDIO AND 3/4 OF THE BAND FOR MY THIRD CD, "THE NAME", CONSISTING OF TEN BRAND NEW SONGS, AND SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSICIANS IN WESTERN MASS, THE US, AND MOST PROBABLY THE WORLD!!!

We'll be recording Thanksgiving week!

Wish me luck, pray for me, and YA BAHA'U'LLABHA!

Back in Action and Ready to Rock and Roll!

I've taken a rather long hiatus since January. Like many artists, I seem to be afflicted by a pattern of start, stop, determination and doubt. This usually takes the form of several months or, more recently, years, of concentrated effort, followed by several months of almost complete non-action. I tend to swing between the two poles of believing in the music and allowing myself to become distracted by doubts and thoughts (illusions, perhaps?) of the greater importance of other callings in life. The good news is that times of progress and fecundity seem to be becoming endowed with greater potency and drive, while periods of inactivity are, perhaps, getting shorter.

I returned to Massachusetts in March, to stand by the side of my dear cousins and Aunt Ettie, as she made her peaceful transition from this life to the next. Life was a whirlwind, involving the Illnesses of the North in Winter, my Aunt's passing, and beautiful but tumultuous family upheavals which are proving to be filled with many gifts, one of which is my awakening (as fully as currently possible) once again to my musical calling and destiny.

Look for tangible manifestations of this new level of consecration soon to be reflected in performances around the Northeast!

Sarasota December 17, 2016

SARASOTA

December 17

Siesta Key. One of the world's most famous award-winning beaches. 4:30 in the afternoon. Perfect weather. Crows chattering high up on a wire, engaged in a more detailed and complex conversation than I am used to hearing from crows. Sand like white powder. The smell of the sea: like nothing else on earth. And oh the ocean, friend to me all my life.

December 18

Snowy egrets and Spanish moss and mild warm air encompass like a blanket... gentle ripples on the inlet to the bay...fish, fish that jump high and wide and bigger and flatter and more plentiful than any I've seen at Puffers Pond! And farther up the inlet a great blue heron stands still as a statue keeping watch.

Buzzards rule here. they swoop and glide through the glistening morning.

December 21

Dew falling like tiny pinpricks on my skin, as the light grows with increasing intensity in the sky and my soul hesitates between light and dark, wrestling with ancient sins

Gainesville, December 9, 2016

I’m sitting outside of Tropical Cafe Smoothie in Gainesville, Florida, listening (against my will) to obnoxious radio pop music and sipping on an Acai Berry Blast. Couldn’t figure out why it was so sickly sweet. Then Germaine the young man behind the counter told me it “only” had one scoop of sugar! I asked him to show me the scoop, and almost fainted! I can’t even IMAGINE what that amount of sugar would do to me, (like two cups?)! Germaine gets it without sugar, because sugar makes his face break out. I educated him on food science for the second time today, and told him that he was young, so sugar just made his face break out, but when he gets older it will rot his insides!

The first way that I educated him was by asking where they get their chickens from. He didn’t know, and he also didn’t know about factory farmed chickens…so I let him in on the secret. He went to check for me, and a woman came out with the info. Where’s Germaine? I asked. “He’s looking at the chicken.” HA!

Germaine was so sweet, he made me another one WITHOUT the added sugar. Next time I think I’ll check out Earth Fare.

Tour Post #3: 12/1

TH 12/1 After hours and hours of driving through rain, rain, and more rain, through fog and slick places, light and dark, stops at innumerable identical rest rooms and convenience stores, we finally crossed the line into Florida. Somewhere in Georgia we noticed the mildness of the night, the clear skies and warm breezes, and we walked some of the kinks out of our legs.

And we arrived in Gainesville, (Alachua County, to be exact,) found the house, found the key, dragged ourselves in the door, made the beds and slept and slept and slept. And woke to a silent house full of light and the soft mildness of a Florida morning.

The Gainesville Plan finally came together as we drove (talk about last minute!) and through numerous phone calls we received invitations to a Devotional Drum Circle for tomorrow night, a visit to a Children’s Class for Saturday morning, an invitation to a Reflection Meeting for all day on Sunday, a concert for Tuesday evening, and an invitation to perform again during the social portion of Baha’i Feast for the following Sunday (if we’re still in town).

Now on to the plans for Tampa/Orlando/Clearwater/St. Pete, and then down to Sarasota for another concert and a week with Aunt Fay and Uncle Sam before making our way back up the coast to Atlanta for another concert and more activities Christmas Weekend!

Tour Post #2: 11/21

M 11/21 So we’ve been on the road now for two and a half weeks, and today we’ve been driving for hours, from Greenville, NC, to Chattanooga. We had to reroute our journey to avoid the overpowering thick smoke from the wildfires.

It’s been mostly hard, but the best part has been getting to know all of the wonderful people we’ve been meeting and staying with. In Greenville, we stayed with an African American man who was one of the sweetest, simplest, humblest, wisest man either of us had ever met. We were, all three, almost exactly the same age: 70, with birthdays in different months. This man almost single-handedly was responsible for the remarkable spread of the Baha’i Faith in the 60s, making it the 2nd most populous Faith in South Carolina. His story was remarkable; the persecution and harassment that he and his family endured for becoming Baha’is in the deep Christian South. Of course, his family represented the vanguard of the opposition, until they caved in to the new Faith. His dad, in exasperation after his lack of success in using the Bible to prove to Richard the errancy of his ways, finally took to the Baha’i books to disprove to his son this upstart (clearly false and heretical) religion. That was his big mistake; within months, he declared his faith in Baha’u’llah, with the vast majority of the rest of this sprawling extended family to follow!

His name is Richard Abercrombie, and being in his presence was like stepping into a time warp—it seemed as though regular time just disappeared, and we were in a different dimension, where everything slowed way down, and there was no pressure, no stress, no worries, just endless fascinating and spiritual stories, rolling like the green hills of some parts of the South. And the South! Like traveling in a different country! Different landscape, different language, almost (!), different culture, different ways of looking at life.

Everywhere we’ve gone, though, our new friends have been caring people who want the best for everyone, even in a sea of fear and protectionism.

We should be in Chattanooga in 2 1/2 hours. I am so excited to see my family! It’s like an ache inside me, or the thirst of a man deprived of water.

November 12th: First Tour Post

It's been a week now since Jeff and I started out on this ridiculously ambitious venture of touring the East Coast promoting my music! So far I've given three concerts (two more tonight!), recorded eight songs at a Brooklyn studio with "my" cracker jack pianist, and held a wonderful Prayer and Talking Circle with ten folks in Jersey City, six of whom were under the age of thirty! We've stayed in four different homes and met uniformly wonderful people, all of whom are living their lives to promote the betterment of the human race, each in his or her own delightful, unique way!
We've lived through an election, exhaustion, miles on the road (how many, I wonder?), and last but most importantly, have begun the ongoing process of learning to trust, communicate, compromise, tolerate, understand, forgive and take care of each other!

We've stayed in Oxford, Connecticut; Brooklyn, New York; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Sterling, Virginia. In an hour or so we will be on our way to Towson and Sparks, Maryland, and from there to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where we will have a brief respite of a few days (and a lot of activity) before driving to Greensville, South Carolina and then on to Chattanooga, where we will rest and recuperate with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday! WHEW! It's a good thing that "God" has my back, because I could never do this otherwise! What a MIRACLE!!! Oh yeah, and I've only lost one or two things so far! THAT'S the biggest miracle...