Posted by maryg

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Actually, the last time I posted (with the exception of the March on Washington post) was Summer 2012. I am referring to Summer 2013. A lot has happened since then. During the last six months I have been focusing on major life events that have kept me from devoting a lot of time to my […]

Lessons from my Father, Part 2

I grew up in Greenfield, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. Our school district was separate from the Milwaukee County system. There was very little diversity. There were two African American students in my high school of around 1500. (Yes, you read that right, Two.) My grandparents lived in Barron County, Wisconsin. Their view of the […]

Family Affirmation

I know it’s been a long time since I have posted. Don’t worry, I’m still singing jazz. I just took a vacation from posting. Come back often – there will be more. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to spend time with my extended family at our biennial Miller Family Reunion. This is held […]

Lessons from my Father

I had an interesting experience last week. I sang at the monthly Jazz Jam, the same one from my last post.  I sang three tunes, (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, I Could Write a Book, and In a Mellow Tone) and even had charts for the one tune that I don’t sing in the original […]

Jumping In

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have been taking jazz voice lessons from the amazing Alison Crockett. My plan when I started was to study for three or four months until I got my chops up. That being said, my last lesson was just a few days ago. Alison’s admonition to me was this: […]

What Have I Learned in 2011?

I have had quite a year when it comes to singing jazz. I think about where I was when 2011 started. I knew what I wanted to do, but had a hard time figuring out how to get there. Here is a synopsis of my take-aways. Working with a combo – I have been with the […]

Chest Voice vs. Head Voice

I’ve been singing for a long, long time. My first solo was when I was five years old, in kindergarden. Our class was singing “Spoon Full of Sugar” from “Mary Poppins.” I was five years old, and my teacher said, “Mary, you have such a pretty voice.” Long story short, I sang by myself for […]

Antithesis of Diva

At our last JBM rehearsal, I had a conversation with Fred about vocalists. The conversation caused me to realize yet again the role of a vocalist in a jazz group. Jazz, in its essence, is communal. Most everyone’s instrument is featured at some point in a song. It’s a musical conversation where everyone gets a […]

First Performance

Tonight, after months of practice, our combo, Project 6, will take the stage at Twins Jazz tonight at 9:30. In addition, two other combos from the Jazz Band Masterclass program will be performing, one at 7:30 and one at 8:30. We will perform a set of seven songs. I have memorized the order of the […]

Beginning and Ending

Last week’s rehearsal was simply awesome. The rhythm section is really coming together well. I think we all left feeling good about things. The one thing we discussed was beginning and ending a song. What are the possibilities of beginning a song? V to Vsus? Last four bars? What’s appropriate for the tune? And how […]