My talented friend Fawn Fritzen & a new CD

Do you remember two years ago, when I introduced you to my singer/songwriter friend Fawn Fritzen?  Go to this post if you missed it. At that time, she was just getting ready to release her first album, Bedroom Voice.

She’s done some really fun things along the way, including making a very sweet music video that I adore. Obviously I love it because I adore her voice, but also because I’m in it! If you watch it, you’ll see Mr. C and I dancing on the banks of the Yukon River mid-way through. Mr. C has only danced in public with me on two occasions, and this was one of them. Here it is:

Well, time goes on and I’m very excited to let you know that Fawn is getting ready to release her second album, Pairings!

Right now Fawn is raising money to help her get the CD released. She’ll tell you all about it herself:

The album features some of the best Canadian jazz musicians today, including George Koller on bass, Reg Schwager on guitar, Karl Schwonik on drums, David Restivo on piano, Kelly Jefferson on tenor sax, and more…

Would you like to be part of Fawn’s new album release? Go to gofundme.com/fawnfritzen. She’s got incentives!

And if you go to her webpage and sign up to receive her newsletter, you get a free song download!

I have some very talented friends!


X is for Xylophone!

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C’mon…raise your hands. How many of you think of this little toy when you hear the word xylophone?

Actually, the term xylophone also includes instruments such as the marimba, the semantron and the vibes. BUT (for you purists – I’m talkin’ to you, Mr. C…) while vibes are often called xylophones, they aren’t actually a true xylophone. This is because, unlike the xylophone, each vibraphone bar has a resonator tube with a motor-driven valve at one end that produces a tremolo. Also unlike a true xylophone, the vibraphone also has a sustain pedal like a piano.

Does hearing the xylophone have the same effect on you that it does on this cat?

I hope not, because I’ve assembled a few very short clips for your enjoyment:

Take a breath and hold onto our seat for Ralph Heid, the worlds fastest xylophone virtuoso playing the Flight of the Bumblebee!

Do you prefer jazz? How about the  master of the vibraphone, jazz-giant Lionel Hampton!

How about the William Tell Overture featuring Dan Marquis on xylophone with the Indiana Wind Orchestra:

Perhaps you prefer your xylophone to be more…organic?

Or maybe you prefer zen-xylophone (this is actually very neat and worth the watch)…

And how about a piece of classical music written especially for the xylophone:

Would you like to make your own xylophone?

XI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday)

R: Raqs Bedaya

In 2011 I choreographed and produced a full theatre production that featured the Big Band, the Saba Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble and ensemble soloists. If you’ve watched any of the videos I’ve re-posted about the show during the A-Z in April blog posts,  you’ll have noticed right away that this was a really fun show.

Everything about it was fun!

Including this dance.  And there is a story behind this dance (of course!). As you may know, I have quite an extensive DVD library. I often buy a DVD and then find that I already know the material. But that’s okay because even if the material isn’t new to me, I can glean a new perspective on it or find a different way of presenting the material in class. And I enjoy just putting on a DVD and dancing along … it’s nice to follow somebody else’s lead instead of being the leader all the time. Makes for good drills.

So anyway, at the back of one of these DVDs there was a very nice choreography taught to a song that I have liked for a long time called Raqs Bedaya off of one of the Yousry Sharif Wash ya Wash CDs.When I heard the song, I said “I know that song -I LOVE that song!” So I watched the performance. While the technical material was intermediate, the choreography that she tied it all together with was quite advanced.And I loved it! I absolutely loved everything about it! I loved her cheeky attitude. I loved her lightness of step and heaviness of hips.

I could see myself in that dance.

So … I learned it! I followed the chapters and learned the combinations one by one. While I was learning each combination, I allowed myself the freedom to change it as I pleased. In the end, parts are definitely Jenna’s and parts are definitely mine.

The piece is a hybrid of choreography that I had an absolute blast learning & doing. And – best part yet – it is a blast to dance! Fun fun fun!

The Big Band makes an interesting back drop, eh?

And of course there is the perk of being able to wear that outfit. Today, 4 years and 30 pounds later I don’t know if I could squeeze my big toe into it!

One of my favourite moments in the dance…a cute undulating backwalk, Saiidi style.
If you’ve made it this far, maybe you’d like to see the actual dance?

Raqs Bedaya from Rockin’ the Casbah, Act I: Casbah Cabaret. March 19, 2011.

RI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday).