Where did the idea for this concert, "Soul of the Tango," come from?
I had a lot of Eastern European and gypsy jazz clarinet tunes and thought we could do a concert based on soulful music like this, which gave birth to the name. Then our incredible pianist, Richard Johnson, gave me some really amazing tunes that we could do as well. The whole program is going to be based on music for the heart and soul.
Have you and your daughter performed together before?
We have done three all-Gershwin performances and, since the quarantine, we've done two Facebook Live concerts with Morgan's boyfriend Aaron, who is a fantastic guitarist. The all-Gershwin concert was a huge success, and I wanted to do another concert with her. What more powerful way to perform than with your own child? It’s one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
What influence do you think you had on Morgan growing up in terms of being a professional musician?
Well, she had the clarinet in her ear all the time because her bedroom was next to the room I practiced in! Not to mention I practiced the entire time I was pregnant with her. I think she came out into the world already singing. In addition, I always told her that she should do what she loves. When she got into high school, she was struggling with what she should focus on. She said, "Mom, I like math and science, but I'm not sure what to do in my life." I asked her what she really loved, and she said singing. So that is what she is doing. I couldn't be more happy for her. She has an amazing voice and is incredibly creative and dedicated to making things happen. She is already in high demand as a performing artist.
What do you enjoy about playing jazz?
I love the freedom it gives me to play with a huge variety of sounds, expressions and styles different from classical. Playing with jazz artists expands my creativity.
Anything else you would like to share about the upcoming concert?
Richard Johnson, our pianist, is an incredible artist and has performed with Wynton Marsalis. He also teaches at Peabody Conservatory and is a clarinetist. I hope that many people will either attend the concert or listen to the livestreamed event. You will be glad you heard this remarkable program!