Updated: Dec 29, 2022
I have to say, I was not a true lover of jazz. Oh I liked it a lot, but LOVE, nah that was not something I would call my relationship with the genre. Then I met my husband, Eric, in January '2002, I cannot remember the day exactly, but I do remember the date we had. And yes, we did hit the Jazz Standard in NYC as one stop on our long, very long first date, that's another post
That's when I started falling for him and the genre as well. He told me about his dream. His dream of establishing VGJazz that would bring together some of the most dynamic, cutting edge jazz performances from across the US and abroad. Teaming up with the best event planners, public relation specialists and venue owners. And that VGjazz would produce performances in comfortable, mature environments that lend to positive communication, progressive networking and social exchange for professionals and all jazz enthusiasts.
I must be honest, I thought that was a very costly dream with a very low return. The booking of talent, venue, travel, food, and other 'accommodations' can run at a high cost and I didn't get it at first. But for Eric, it was about the music and building strong relationships with the musicians, of whom he admired.
My love of jazz grew with my love for Eric. I didn't understand his vision at first. As I said, I thought it was a very expensive hobby. But his passion drew me in more and more. From '2006 to '2017 we, yes I said 'we', ha, now it's my venture as well as his since we were married in '2005. So, from '2006 - '2017, we promoted jazz performances across the USA. With each promotion, I became more and more in love with the genre. From '2018 to present we have not done any promotions. We were about to do one in Amsterdam, but that was postponed and then COVID....Yes, the other big "C".
I have to say, we have worked with some of the most dynamic musicians across the USA. And started to build relationships with musicians outside of the USA, and then, I will say it again...COVID. But my love of jazz has grown and grown. It continues to grow as Eric and grow old together. Now, jazz is the first type of music we play when we're relaxing at home in Atlanta or Amsterdam. It's been a part of some of our most significant milestones in our lives together. We always hit a jazz venue on every vacation, every place we visit. It's a must! We have it playing everywhere in our home, from the classics to the modern classics. From Louis,Miles, Coltrane, Thelonious, Ella, and Billie; to Elling, Dunn, TK Blue, Esperanza, Somi, Briggs, Brecker, Lesure and Trible to name a few.
We have had the pleasure of building relationships with local jazz musicians and cannot wait to get back at it once COVID calms herself down. But my love for the genre grows everyday and will continue to grow.
We hope to restart the VGJazz legacy once more, once COVID subsides and Eric's cancer remises, praying fervently for the latter. But even if the latter ends in another direction, my love for jazz will continue as well as the vision Eric has for VGJazz worldwide. Eric has worked with some fabulous artist that I want to mention in the blog, artist such as:
Henry Conerway III
Wizard Harper (Who played at our wedding as well)
Bill Lee Trio (Spike Lee's Father)
Melvin Jones....to name a few
Eric's, legacy with jazz continues and will continue into the future. I'm proud to have been a part and to be part of the that legacy. His love, became my love, which is now and forever our love...our love of Jazz.