Planting Seeds for the Future
Hello and Welcome!
I'm so happy you're here! I have many new readers and I'm also mindful that some of my dear ones - -my longtime loyal followers - - may have missed some updates, so I think it is a good idea to reintroduce myself and share what's new, work-wise.
I’m Jeudi. People call me "a vintage-voiced chanteuse" (vocalist), which I think is pretty accurate. I specialize in what I call 'salvaged sweet jazz' meaning I mainly find these tunes by digging through heaps of sheet music in antique malls and by scavenging the internet. I also say that these were 'sourced from a time where the dance floor was the ultimate social platform and the prospect of romance was just a Fox Trot, Charleston, or Lindy Hop away' -- because social dancing was how you could get to know someone close up and personal.
I'm also a multi-disciplinary artist, entrepreneur and co-founder of Home And Yonder, which is the uber creative umbrella for all of our family's endeavors. It's an art, vintage culture, food, travel & lifestyle multimedia group. I’m all about family and have been happily married to Paul for 26 years. When our twin sons were little, I chose to step back from the stage because they needed some extra help and I wanted to be more present in their lives. I was keenly aware of the window of opportunity for their growth. I also recognized that childhood comes with a expiration date, and I didn’t want to miss out on any special moments. So, instead of growing my business outwards, I hunkered down and started developing projects I could work on from home. I focused primarily on developing ideas (many of which are just now started to roll out) for our family brand. I also focused on recording. In 2015, I released my first CD “Winter Was Warm” under our family’s own label. Recording allowed me to share my music on my own terms and to establish my artistic legitimacy. (Back then, many venues wouldn’t even book artists unless they had a CD.)
But after a series of family losses over the years and a recovery from breast cancer last spring, the focus is more on legacy and living life to the fullest. What do I want to create and contribute? With my newly restored health and new lease on life, I want to be significant, to contribute to the greater good, to make a difference, to brighten people's lives and bring joy to them. When I create, my work is grown from a place of love and optimism and compassion; it's charged with the best thoughts and intentions. Since that energy infuses it, I hope it lifts people's spirits and inspires them to think positively and bring their own light into the world. I want to live abundantly and to have a creatively fulfilling, viable and lucrative career, that will help support not only our family and our chosen lifestyle, but will also allow us to contribute to philanthropic causes and be a source of goodness. Here's my winning statement: I'm expanding artistic engagement & horizons, creating community and wealth. These are big dreams and goals, but we like seeing things take root and grow. So, we're planting seeds now for the future. The pinecone for the mighty Sequoia is small and the seeds within even smaller, yet they're encoded with the DNA of something great and significant. Whatever you sow, you reap; might as well plant something good! Ideas and goals are like seeds and your mindset is the growing medium. If you enrich the soil, nurture the seedlings and protect them from weeds and fluctuations in temperature, you'll harvest, something good. If you want to know where you'll be in a year, examine what seeds you're planting today; examine your mindset. In order to look forward, we have to examine the past and especially past mindsets.
(This poster and my Winter Was Warm CD were designed by emilieburnham.com)
Our sons are grown now, and I couldn’t be more proud of them, or more grateful for having that opportunity to be present when they were little. We're a close knit family and I love spending time together. But that's not to say it wasn't challenging at times. There were moments when I felt conflicted; wanting to pursue my own dreams, yet wanting to ensure that once our sons were grown, they’d be ready to pursue their own dreams. Way back when, I produced an act called “Diva Interrupted” and I used to joke that I was a “stay-at-home cabaret singer”. That was my mindset; the story I was telling myself. It's funny thinking about it now, because in a self-deprecating way, I really absorbed that title and was a bit ashamed about 'not doing anything' significant. In reality, I was maintaining a stable home for my family, ensuring my sons got the care and attention they needed, while I was fervently working on my own projects. In fact, I worked diligently for several years to write, research and produce that show. I also pulled together a team of remarkable talent to collaborate with and they supported me and elevate the work to a higher caliber than I could have previously imagined. Looking back, I now know that all of that introspective and focused work was a period of gestation that propelled me onto my current path, which is more truly aligned with my tastes, values, interests and strengths. So much so, that now I'm feeling really confident and poised and more authentic. ( It's also funny how being a "stay-at-home cabaret singer" is now a thing, since live music is mostly confined to live-streaming concerts. Who would have ever imagined? No, I haven't yet produced my own live stream show, but I am taking notes and developing ideas.) What I am, is ready-to-go with a cache of creative endeavors.
Long before the lockdown, in the years since my previous CD was released, I spent five years researching and developing two major music projects. During that time, I recorded 32+ mostly obscure, Jazz Age era tunes. I've long loved this music because truth be told, these swinging and sentimental songs really capture two major aspects of my personality - - the happy-go-lucky side and the introspective side-- and they're really well-suited to my so-called vintage vocal characteristics. (Especially a sub-genre sometimes called "sweet jazz" since I don't have the type of belt voice that could rise above the horn section of a "hot jazz" band.) And although this collection is comprised of 70 to 90 year old “cover songs” and inspired by the recording artists of yesteryear, we've dressed it in a new suit of clothes, with fresh new atmospheric arrangements, theatrical interpretations and an intimate storyteller’s approach. Now they’re mastered and ready to go. I thought of holding them back till after things settled down, but I thought better of it and started releasing the tunes from my "Love Outshines the Moon" song cycle on a monthly basis, at each full moon. (The videos in my IGTV “Tuneful Trajectory” series give you a little insight into the behind-the-scenes process, because I realized that unless you're in the trenches, you may not know what it takes. I like watching artist process videos -- do you? If so, here's mine.)
Which leads us to now, where I'm at the unusual intersection of emerging/encore artist. It's a revitalizing and creative time; it's a new paradigm. I'm hustling, working from home with my husband on developing projects for “Home And Yonder." I'm reinventing my career, rebuilding my fan base, writing, shooting music videos, doing PR, learning about marketing, taking online classes and working on goals with two different coaches, I'm part of musician's mastermind group and meeting so many wonderfully talented and supportive people. In short, I'm learning as much as I can and developing new habits and skills and putting them into practice, as quickly as I can. Fortunately, we’re all about optimism and ingenuity and curiosity, because there’s much to learn about the various platforms and new tech skills to develop. But it seems the playing field has been leveled by the pandemic. Most of us artists are in the same boat - - which makes it strangely democratic - - even for me, who was working out of public view for so long! And since no one seems to have any answers to what things will be like in the next 6 months, or next year--while I’m vamping, I’m going to just keep taking small actions steps, moving forward and sharing monthly music and video releases.
I’m happy you’re here to share the journey with me! To stay in the loop, subscribe to my list.
Love & Light to You!
Best, Jeudi ❤️🎶
P.S. I'm trying to reach 100 likes/follows on my YouTube page. Could you help me out? (While you are there, any nice comments would be appreciated.) And sharing is caring!