Friday Free Write ~ Jazz Improv Flash Notes on Getting to Know Who You Are featuring David Benoit’s “Human Nature”

Romare Bearden Odyssey - a trip of self discovery
Romare Bearden Odyssey – a trip of self discovery
“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in the face of certain defeat.” ― Ralph EllisonInvisible Man

Our experiences shape and make us into the people we are today.  But that does not clarify who we really are or for that matter what we are passionate about or what we want from life or what our purpose is.

We develop beliefs and values albeit good and not so good from our environment.  The pressure from society to conform plays the biggest role in how these virtues are developed.

When I was younger, I thought academic achievement and fitting in defined my self-worth.

The sunrise cast a warm glow through my picture window early on that early Monday morning in February, 1965.  Dad is sitting at the piano in our living room making last-minute notations on the songs for rehearsal later today.  He is my five a.m. wake up call. I would hear dulcet tones sending a breath of notes across my mind to the beat of my existence.  It was a series of riffs and changes with a syncopated harmonic intent.  It had a rhythm that majestically brought a sense of devotion to each note.  The sound of him hitting each piano key gave the house a mystery, transforming life and setting our house apart from the rest of the houses on Wilton Place….

…Growing up, I was the “native” daughter of a 60s Jazz arranger/conductor where the reining tradition was parents (‘rents) had the final word.  I slump down in my seat staring out the window trying to recover.  I feel betrayed.   Deep down inside I always felt like I was a visitor especially when it came to expressing my feelings and even more so in the world.  To me being mixed race or checking the “Other” box is a perfect witness to my life.  My father was a very complicated man of contradictions.  So reading and writing poems became my escape.    It liberated me from the labyrinths of insuperable gender and race biases that tend to dissipate little girls like me.

I would hole up in my room for hours overhearing myself admit difficult truths that I could not hide from.  It welcomed creative inspirations into my sensory consciousness.    It gave me the chance to explore and discover the province of sound and words.   I found my rhythm. Mom taught me how to read when I was 3.  I was eleven years old when I had fallen in love with sound, art and most of all words.  Dad throughout all the civil rights Tsunami did not faze him because he was driven to do the best on all levels for the upcoming Festival.  I followed suit in my own little way.  I survived by living in disguise. Since I was very young, the sanctity of my bedroom provided a canvas where I hoped, dreamed, set my own values and aspirations.  When I left my room I had to leave them behind like my books and other treasures tucked away on a shelf nestled in the opposite corner of the room.  I knew that Dad loved me, not without surrendering and bartering my own thoughts and feelings when he told me what I was supposed to want.  Dad repeatedly drummed into me that …being a doctor is where it’s at.  My foray into the jazz world began when I could feel my father’s intensity and determination given to each note; I mirrored that sensation into words at my desk.  I discovered and accepted the gifts and talents that Grandpa used to tell me… were gifts God gave me.  I let go of my family “persona”  free to let my imagination come alive and tap into my personal sense of purpose and who I really am.  Early mornings I would lie in bed hearing the music climb the stairs, it had a purpose, it had an intent – it was harmonic, it had a rhythm that grabbed my heart and rendered the beats to prepare me to go to my desk open my curtains and let the burst of the morning gently touch my face.  Jazz was transformative.  I was paralyzed by the feeling of losing my father’s love if I chose to follow my star.  I needed for him to tell me things would be okay.  That he would help me, encourage me, teach me the way things are in the world I was living.  How did he do it?  Every time I tried to step out of the role he created in the song he wrote for me, he would resist.  So I would withdraw and try to convince myself that he knows what’s best for me.  I was so conflicted when he would teach me how to sight sing from sheet music, take me to his rehearsals and ask what instrument I wanted to learn how to play?  There were definitely rules of conduct and engagement with others in the Jazz world.  There were two distinct behaviors, one associated with our home and private life and the one associated with our public life.  I spent most of the time in my room.  There the only rule was to be myself.

So here are suggested secret habits of Jazz Living that I learned that have helped me to find myself:

  • You do not have to prove or define your worth.

It is not up for debate.  You cannot change your circumstance by saying If I do everything my parents or loved one wants then I will be accepted or loved.  Not only is that self-deprecating and destructive it places your value outside of who you really are…worthy of love, respect, and compassion.

  • Take 5 to explore different things to find the things you enjoy.

Begin by having a mindfulness meditation on what things you would do if you were stranded on an island or in the country or even a big city and see what you would like to do and need.  Would you need a guitar, books, art supplies, a camera or would you run or dance in place or create a movie?  Explore what makes you feel comforted, and what comes naturally to you.  You can sign up for classes in dance, guitar lessons, listen to a different music to find out what resonates with you.

  • Let go of expectationsBe yourself!

Stop worrying about what the outcome will be.  Others have always tried to help me to find myself and granted that was wonderful but what I learned from the musicians when I went to their rehearsals was you have to discovers what makes you tick.  What gives you joy and what gives you pause.  Let your inner soul free to fly or sail to where ever it may lead you.

  • Take care of yourself.

Follow your gut.  If something doesn’t feel right, listen to yourself.  Give yourself a break at least, well in my case, a hundred times a day.  If something isn’t going the way I want it to, step back and see what it is you really want from the situation.

  • Fitting in is not the name of the game.

“The real treasure is not reaching your destination; it’s getting the most out of the journey.”

When you are living in the moment and being yourself you will attract authentic and lasting friendships into your life.  People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Your life is not set in stone.  You are the creator of your life and the choices you make.  You are Awesome and if someone tells you otherwise, tell them Haters Not Allowed.  Peace and Love Out!  JBC  😎 & ❤

Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength
Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength

© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


Improvise Ur Life ~ 8 Tips to Listening to Life Like a Pro featuring “Moontide” performed by Dizzy Gillespie ~ A Jazz Mindfulness Improv Meditation

Rhythms-of-the-Universe_Fundamental to our existence, Sound and music, rhythm and movement can heal the body and awaken higher consciousness as we attune to the rhythm of the universe_anandalaurelwooo.torg
Rhythms-of-the-Universe_Fundamental to our existence, Sound and music, rhythm and movement can heal the body and awaken higher consciousness as we attune to the rhythm of the universe_anandalaurelwood.org

…A timbre of caressing eyes that extricate

the horizon from the sun’s intense incantations.

Signaling the beginning

as well as an ending

of the thoughts that flow from the universe to heaven.

Flowing backwards to the unsound

            to the world’s greatest measure that can only be sung alone

   beat by beat

            that creates a rippling in the fabric of creation

            and the space that life seeks  

            becomes a drama of existence and evolution.

            It is a note embracing its own space in my life’s memory. By Jannat Marie

A successful alternative to psychotherapy today would be to listen to music.   Listening to Jazz or Bach or your favorite music serves as a mindfulness practice. It begins with creating an intention of consciousness the difference is in mindfulness meditation is “Listening”  is unique and distinct from a mindfulness “Breathing” practice.

Building Ur Listening Vocabulary

Jazz like all music is a universal language of energy, a “vibe” of emotions and happiness. It speaks to our core desires and feelings. It spans language barriers and political borders.  It is a powerful means through which beings, humans and animals,  can connect to one another.  In a mindfulness practice, you develop an internal and interrelational conversation and thought process focused on listening and seeing with our whole being developing a mutual understanding.  Jazz functions as the catalyst and our conversation is the processing and substrate to a deeper understanding.  This “vibe” or energy flows through Jazz is to heal and transform our lives on a daily basis

As with any great Art, Jazz touches the qualities of our experience that are beyond words. Wisdom, insight, love, fear and joy can all be a conversation traversing the subtle textures and vibrations of the musical palette. Appreciating  jazz and visual arts gives us more than an aesthetic pleasure ~ “Listening” is  an act of compassion.

In my memoir “The Sound I Felt” it is the fundamental perspective that has given me a deeper appreciation and understanding  of jazz and life as I know it.  It is constantly changing and rearranging our visual and acoustic sensibilities giving us a unique insight into our personal experience with life.

Since May 2003 jazz has brought me through the death of my parents and finding a way using mindfulness improvisation to living a full life with Breast Cancer.   Here is what listening to jazz and visual arts has transformed and healed my life.  I invite you to join me and give a listen to what this song brings to where and who I am today.


We all suffer.  I particularly love jazz contemporary and classic styles.  It is a metaphor of life that is looks at life giving a deeper understanding of our own inner-world of thoughts, emotions and feelings. There are inner-terrains and vistas that helps me to find clarity of shape, arrangement, composition, timbre and rhythm bringing to light a catharsis and release through self-expression and improvisation in my daily life.  Jazz is healing.  It is a communion between jazz arrangements and compositions that are orchestrating the kind of energy that is extant  I believe the decision is just below the surface of every thought, in a context of texture, vibe, energy and mindfulness attention that in itself  creates a rejuvenating and healing practice.  Each song gives a different energy in concert with what is going on outside and inside of our souls.  Giving a sense of freedom from the anchors and thorns of life’s pain and suffering and gives a feeling that is suspended in time and space of contentment in that moment.

Brain Research has documented the effects of deep listening to specific kinds of music (jazz) to be fundamentally good for our bodies, minds and bodies and spirits.  There is an emerging field of music therapy  that captures the psychological and physical effects of listening to music.  Here are a few tips to develop a mindfulness meditative relationship with music,

  1. Take 5 – set time aside to select a song and a chair, couch, by the marina…centering yourself.
  2.  Creating a comfortable place to fully commit your attention to the music.  Designate the space as your own private concert hall. Light Candles and scent the air. It is what you feel would make this unique for you ~ a personal private place for contemplation and relaxation.
  3. Turn your phone, e-mail, etc. off so you are not distracted and make this a time you’ve chosen to meditate.
  4. Eat before so you can avoid getting hungry or thirsty in the middle of the piece.  Prepare a small snack and herbal tea to regulate your energy.  designate what your Intention.  Allow any thoughts and images associated with this contemplation rise and fall through your awareness.  No judgment or critical thoughts.
  5. Take a few deep breaths and relax into the sensations of your body. Rest with your breath for a minute or two.
  6. If your attention wanders, gently remind yourself to return to the sounds and sensations of the music.
  7.  If the music stirs your emotions or thoughts, you can include those inner experiences as an extension of the music and appreciation of your practice.
  8. When the music ends remember to thank yourself, the musicians, the composer and God and the Universe for giving you this time and opportunity to listen. — Take a few minutes to digest the experience. You can do this by breathing and meditating or just letting go. You can start by writing a poem or in your journal about the experience.  Or paint, dance or sitting still to take it all in.

Thanks for taking time to let me share my personal mindfulness meditation of jazz with you.  You be the judge…does any part ring true for you?  Peace  and Love Out!  JBC 😎 ♥

Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength
Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength

© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


Tell It Slant Tuesday ~ Jazz Note Flash ~ “one note wanders” by Jazzybeatchick featuring Monk’s Epistrophy

This is a pastiche inspired by Improvised Life| antidote the ordinary’s post Thelonious Monk’s Notes On Life and Music 

one note wanders…

by Jazzybeatchick

Living moment to moment

Life makes many sounds in notes

Can’t live within, can’t do alone but in Solitude

Hear hate, deceit, greed, guilt that are sharing the same swing.

Sometimes eternal notes of death

Is the only peace ‘cause Monk notes “…Cause when you’re swinging

swing some more…


Notes emanating from mistakes that fill the air with despair ‘cause

God’s promises take on different meanings depending upon timing.

Joys like dreams soiled by the cacophony of fear.

Salacious and sentient improvisation is the only survival mechanism

Found where a heart beats syncopated in an asynchronous fantasy that we hear…


Monk notes “Don’t play everything (or every time):  Let some things go by.

Some music is just imagined.  What you don’t play can be more important

Than when you do….”

Timing, rhythm, imagination, and courage to express and live in the moment of your truth.

“Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it.

A genius is the one most like himself…” Monk resounds.


Notes echo in your soul to eternity.

Reminding the jazz that made the sound come true, bring me home to a sound

That echo’s harmony and a peace I have always known.

A calling in my heart that forgives

the ravages of life’s cruel moments hoping that in the CODA

My life makes a difference.

Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength
Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength

© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


Improvising Life ~ 9 Inspiring Steps to a Creative Life ~ Featuring Creative Coffee – Best Time of My Life ~ featuring a Video Snap of Nonconformity and the Creative Life

Have A Colourful Life Courtesy of abstract[dot]desktopnexus[dot]com
Have A Colourful Life Courtesy of abstract[dot]desktopnexus[dot]com
The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.”Abraham Maslow

Here are 9 inspired suggestions to help you start living a creative way of life:

 1.  Be open to try something new.

Step out of your daily routine and did something totally different? Take a dance class, go to a concert or try a new jazz club near you to experience something that is a departure from your normal routine.  Try a new radio station or grab a pencil and start sketching the trees in your own backyard or a park where you see children (they could be yours) take a vegan or gourmet cooking class @ a Natural Food Store to engage in a creative action. Creative thinking and creative action occurs when you decide that you want to jazz up your everyday life.

2.  Create something with your own hands on a regular basis.

Set the table following a layout from your favorite magazine, i.e., I like Coastal Living they have wonderful recipes and table settings that are really festive and different.  Make time to try something new. For example go to the art section of your favorite department store and come up with a theme for the centerpiece with flowers, object, etc.  Check out DYI sites on your computer.  It is a lot of fun when you do it as a family and or friend thing.  Check out Betty Edward’s Drawing From the Life Within.

3.  Express yourself through movement ~ dancing to music or watching a classic film, play video game or even try performing arts of a play or opera you love. For the inner writer start a creative writing or book club.

You have the option of creating whatever fun filled evening of movement by learning a new dance step or exercise or yoga routine to break away from your usual nightly fare.  It does not have to cost a lot of money, just use your imagination.

4.  Integrate Creativity into your daily life.

Begin by scheduling time on your calendar for it. You don’t have to go crazy.  Start off with maybe twice a month.  Make it an intention as you would when you are meditating for a positive and productive day.  Chances are you will not consider it foreign or uncomfortable because you are pacing yourself to experience life differently.   Pick your own pace and find Parks and recreation programs that go to Wine Country or Hiking or Ballroom Dancing where there is not a long term commitment and you can sign up without going into debt.  My cable company has dance, yoga, exercise as part of the cable package for free!

5.  Design or make something for your office or your room that is made by you.

Your surroundings are a reflection of your uniqueness. Inspiration is the catalyst for more creativity, grace and character.  So it is wonderful to surround yourself with objects that you make or you find in unusual places.  Hand-made objects evoke vivid memories as well as diversify your experiences.

6.  Find interesting and exotic creative spaces.

Museums, art shows or galleries, outdoor exhibits, theatres and outdoor performances will places remind and cultivate our innate creative abilities.

7.  Take time-outs or break for new inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere!  Check with friends, family, coworkers, etc. suggestions of creative ideas they enjoy.  Get the conversation on creativity going over coffee or a glass of wine.

8.  Let your creative juices flow and explore everything!

Keep in touch with your creative network.  Dialog and you will both be inspired.

9.  Be a creative outlet.

Talk about unique and unusual experiences to friends, email, start a blog or a Creative Living Circle.  Just be relaxed and free to do whatever suits your fancy.

 At the end of the day, be yourself.  The possibilities are endless.  Just include love, compassion, grace, forgiveness and most of all YOU!  There is no right answer.  Not happy with a choice, just make another one.  And now for a short snap on nonconformity….You are here!  Peace and Love Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

Nonconformity and the Creative Life



© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz 4 the Holidaze! BackBeat ~ Creating a Counter Melody of Life ~ “Nothing More” (feat. Lily Costner) by the Alternate Routes


My father and me at a MJFO rehearsal 1965
My father and me at a MJFO rehearsal 1965

“The essentials of Jazz are: melodic improvisation, melodic invention, swing & instrumental personality.”  Mose Allison

This is an excerpt from my memoir The Sound I Felt in the Prelude section  entltled “HiStory” that captures a conversation I had with my father.  I always wondered  how he managed to use the Hindemith mathematical model to create the sound he created.  He decided to take a break from composing at the piano in our living room and motioned for me to come and sit next to him on the bench in the Spring of 1965.  I asked him how he started and turning toward me he said…

“Music has always been in my blood.  I began writing and arranging music when I was fourteen with the Barons of Rhythm.  I taught myself how to read, write and sight sing music charts.  I went to the library and found the Paul Hindemith method of music theory.   This theory was very complex and was based on the mathematical use of harmonic tones from one center to another using all 12 notes freely or randomly instead of the conventional style of  composing music that relied upon the music scale as a subset of the notes.

I would take an idea, melody or sound and have a rough idea ≈ the plan that focuses on the bottom notes and now becomes the counter melody of the sound or idea.

One day I decided that I wanted to go and see one of the greatest band leaders of my time  His name was Les Hite.  Les and his orchestra were performing in New York City @ 52nd Street, at the tender age of fourteen I knew I’d have to find a way to get in to see the band perform and to meet him in person.

It was Friday, May, 24th, 1944, 6:00 pm and it was now time for me to get dressed for my trip to 52nd Street Club.  I chose my favorite shirt that was made of beautiful brown silk with gold vertical stripes my mother made for my 13th birthday.  Smiling wryly he whispered… My mom chose it because it brought out my sultry almond shaped eyes and warm smile. I was popular with the boys and girls alike.  Although I excelled academically, my music class and teacher Miss Davenport inspired me the most.  You know, I formed my own band with guys from my neighborhood when I was 14.  The guys performed with me throughout my music career.  Frank Sinatra was doing his thing in North Newark; Sara was singing in the choir, a lot of great talent came out of New Jersey back in my day.  Back to the story− at that time, all I could dream and think about was meeting and talking to Les Hite.

So I gathered up train fare and headed to Union Station located on Market Street that was in to the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ which was predominately a Portuguese neighborhood.  Across from the train station was Market Street which had many open venders peddling their wares, fresh and ripe red delicious apples, bright marigold colored oranges; sunny yellow bananas; papayas; pineapples; mangos, it was so bright and festive that it looked like a garden of fruits and vegetables.  There was a seafood market and a meat market that sold the best and freshest cuts.  The street was of white cobble stone.  That gave it a very ethnic and unique feeling, like being on a street in the countryside of Portugal.  Union Station was a beautiful gold domed  building that stood out from the architecture of row houses on the surrounding narrow streets lined with Poplar trees shading the homes and the sidewalks.  Union Train Station was the second most popular cosmopolitan place where travelers from New York and around the world would pass through with the exception of Grand Central Station in New York City.  The station had a semi-circle driveway to the entrance made of cobblestone that matched the streets that surrounded the building creating an island in the center of a close knit neighborhood.

I arrived at the train station and had bought a fresh mango and an orange for dinner.   I walked up to the ticket window; the ticket agent was dressed in a dark blue outfit with gold epaulets and a hat.

Well young man what can I do for you?

I said with a smile, I would like a round trip ticket to New York City,.

The ticket clerk slid the ticket under the half moon shaped glass and I slid the $1.75 in return.

Over the loud speaker the clerk announced, “The 6:48 pm train to Manhattan now boarding on Track 14”.

I sprung to my feet and began running; I was so excited my feet barely touched the marble floor.  People were milling around toting luggage and carry-on’s the women were dressed in coats made of wool and cashmere with tams and hats on shoulder length waved hair.   They held little hands of children with warm coats and gloves with hats that tied under their chins.  The children quietly followed their folks, the girls with dolls and the boys carrying trucks.  I made it to Track 14 and saw the conductor toward the middle of the train.  I sprinted weaving in and out of the crowd reaching the center car where the conductor stood.  All Aboard! He motioned for me to board the train.  I hopped on and found an empty seat next to a group of young musicians dressed in dress pants and white shirts, one guy was placing a suitcase that held the charts for that evening’s performance in the storage above the seat.

52nd Street_New York 1948 Courtesy of wikipediadotorg
52nd Street_New York 1948 Courtesy of wikipediadotorg

I asked, can I sit with you guys?  They looked up and smiled and said Sure Man.  I introduced myself and we chatted about the gig and sight sang some of the charts that they were going to perform that night.  I was shocked to find out that it just so happened that they were band members of Les Hite’s Band.  They invited me to join them backstage.  I was so ecstatic I could hardly breathe.  We arrived at the Savoy and entered through the stage door entrance.  Stage hands were carrying the music stands and microphones to the stage.  Les Hite was in his dressing room talking with his road manager.  Les was cleaning his saxophone in his lap, a page for the manager sounded over the loud speaker.  The manager, dressed in casual slacks and a cashmere turtleneck green sweater stood up and started heading to the door and passed me on the way to the stage.  I took a deep breath, then I knocked on the door.

Les shouted Come In!

I tentatively entered; Les looked up and said Hi kid, what’s up! 

I have followed you and your band and I wanted to know how you do it, how you get that sound?

Les looked at him and laughed and said, it’s easy– you put the highs with the highs and the lows with the lows.  Les broke into laughter as he got up to head to the stage.

I was annoyed.  I couldn’t figure out why he did not take me seriously.  Turning, I said, I can do that, how about letting me be one of your copyists?  I am very good!

Les stopped, took a long, long look at me, okay Kid, you must have something going for you if  you could just walk up to me and ask for a copyist gig.  Come to my office tomorrow at 3 pm and Cal our head copyist will get you squared away.  Good Luck kid.   I shook Les’ hand and walked with him to the stage entrance where Les introduced me to Charlie his Road Manager. Les told Charlie, look out for him, he’s one of our new copyists.  I was on Cloud 9.  That was my ticket into the exciting world of Jazz.  I was now living my personal dream.  So, I joined the band and ran away from home at age 14 and I never looked back.  I knew I was on my way, ‘cause God, fate, or destiny wouldn’t allow me to fail now….”

Wishing you Happy Holidaze with a jazz back beat that is the prelude to the life that has been waiting for me.  It is what makes the sounds of my life come true and are so filled with the blessings and grace that God has given to all of us.  It is Nothing more….Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & <3.


Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2016 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All Rights Reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  Feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


The Sound I Felt ~ Rumors that “Jazz is becoming Extinct” have been Greatly Exaggerated! Featuring “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Erroll Garner

“I love Fifty Shades enough to become vulnerable”  Dakota Johnson Fifty Shades of Grey

102_23.11.2008 Tony Malaby and Mario Pavone Double Tenor 5tet,Geneva by JC Hernandez amr geneva
102_23.11.2008 Tony Malaby and Mario Pavone Double Tenor 5tet,Geneva by JC Hernandez amr geneva

JazzLine News wrote an article on March 9th, 2015 entitled “Jazz Has Become The Least-Popular Genre In The U.S.”  I totally disagree because you cannot quantify culture or art or anything that involves bringing beauty and joy to our lives!  It is like trying to grab a hold of air.   Besides I know a lot of jazz cats and chicks living and dead who would beg to differ with Mr. La Rosa and would challenge him by asking whether he truly loves jazz  and how his love can convey the hope and promise that Jazz has maintained from its inception.  Jazz has been scrutinized, vilified and has downright taken a beating with respect to criticism and evaluating its worth in American Life.  So, I defer to Gerald Early’s take on Jazz which reflects a lotta folks when he wrote “I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.

Jazz dropped into the scene as an American form of musical expression at the beginning of the 20th Century.  Jazz gave life dimension to become expansive, universal, and prolific by capturing color, timbre and reflected the shades of life experiences through sound.   Jazz provided the most influential approach to music for all time.  It is and has always been open to folks from all walks of life.  Jazz applies improvisational self expressions and the hot rhythms of life infused with harmonic manipulations through solo and group performances. It is a breath of freedom that is giving birth to contemporary life and is constantly recreating exciting new soulful sounds that examines and redefines the old and familiar music. Jazz spans the spectrum — from soothing background music to an art form where sounds challenge and require unwavering attention.  It is a beautiful thing to hear deep emotion as conveyed in John Coltrane’s Alabama or Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday.  Louis Armstrong’s Stardust was sheer momentousness. Fresh Sounds Records rated Erroll Garner’s Concert by the Sea as “One of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time. This release -released here with its instantly recognizable original cover includes the complete classic album that was recorded in a former church on the coastline at Carmel, California.”  Give a listen and check out the video snap of Mr. Garner doing his thing.

Finding jazz in everyday life is what gives me the fuzzies and comforts me like meditation and prayer.  I would rather look for the beauty in life and what brings grace to my life then try and quantify my life.  When it comes time for me to die, I want to be like all the men and women Jazz Legends when standing at the Pearly Gates of Heaven to be welcomed because they made a contribution to life not by the number of albums they sold but because they did what God asks all of us to do, spread the Word!  Where were you and what comes to mind when you listen, was it at home, in school, or watching a Woody Allen movie or even Birdman?  Peace & Love Out!  😎 & ❤

live life to the fullest quotes (2)

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.



Is Fear a Factor that is Running Your Life? 10 Riff Changes 2 Get Ur Groove Back feat, “Jazz Odyssey” by New Age Jazz with a 10 Min Guided Meditation

facing Fear

“Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt You Learn by Living

I don’t know about you, but with all the things that are happening in our world, culture and lives are riddled with fear, and for the most part takes center stage in our lives, grabbing us by the throat and suffocating us in our decision-making process. The irony of it is that most of the time we don’t even realize it. This is partly true because of the media and the learned behavior from our culture tends to stylize “fear” as a socially acceptable form of “stress.” And stress—stress is considered a trophy of success!

In the 60s “fear is for sissies or chumps”. It is a sign of weakness.  It was confused with shame and courage and it was something that we needed to hide from others and deal with it in secret.   In literature it was called “The Dark Night of the Soul”.  NOT!  I have lived long enough to know that FEAR and COURAGE cannot share the same couch.  It became a truth especially when I was paralyzed in 1990 and when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Here is how the scenario ran for me, when I was diagnosed both times it was a Game Changer.  My life was never going to be the same.  The fear of not being able to walk was Huge!  The doctors could not find out what was causing it and it was slowly climbing up my legs and Thank God it stopped when it affected my gag reflex.  The doctors finally came up with Guillain-Barré Syndrome.  Angela who became a dear friend who was diagnosed two years before me had to walk with a cane and had to cross the street in NYC at the slide which is where folks in wheelchairs were able to navigate the street and sidewalk curbs.  Others in my support group were not so lucky, some died, some were put on a respirator for the rest of their lives.  Being an active thirty something year old who played Varsity Tennis.  I was devastated.  What made matters worse was that my father did not believe it was a real illness.  There is nothing wrong with you, it’s all in your head, you need to snap out of it and get a job!  Fear became a permanent resident in my heart.

Fear is sneaky, and it shows up in all kinds of disguises, but until you see it for what it is, it’s hard to come into right relationship with fear.  So, I decided I had had enough.  Fear was now something that I had to stop somatizing!  I decided to face it and embrace it as a part of my life.  Here are the riff changes I used to get my life back.  Who knew that I would once again re-enter my life in 2000 with my diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

  1. You are unique – Perfection is the conduit to Fear of Failure

If you become afraid of criticism, failure, or rejection, you are setting yourself up to the illusion of being perfect.  Growing up with jazz and the musicians who improvise and create their own style of living which is facing fear and adversity; I learned that trusting and accepting that God’s grace allows us to recover and heal us because we weren’t made perfect —facing fear is the portal to real intimacy, to be known, loved, and accepted for our true self.

  1. Don’t settle.

Taking risks is a major part of living.  If you become afraid to take risks, challenge conformity, and go for what you really want you have let fear and your ego convince you that you are not good enough.  Then you feel that all of your relationships, your job, and your Life is as good as it gets.   You have forgotten how to dream. That childhood curiosity and imagination are lost.  Settling is not an option.   When you choose to face and get past your fear, hope is reawakened in your heart.  That choice speaks to creating the future where you will not stand for anything less than joy, vitality, even miracles.  Mindfulness meditation and improvisation helps to focus on what you want and where your values are.

  1. Say yes to the Stress.

Being afraid that you will disappoint people or get rejected if you don’t say yes, you have given the power to others and what is outside of yourself.   When you choose, make that choice because it will benefit everyone.  Friends are not really friends if they do not respect your choices.  Only you know what is good for you!

  1. No means No.

You cannot fear something that you know in your heart is the right choice.  If you fear you’re your friends or loved ones will not like you or they want to go in a different direction as you and you don’t want to go in that direction and are afraid of losing them, then I have found that they were not really my friends.  You have to risk it to get the biscuit!  No keeps life honest.  It requires thought and consideration and if you decide that No is right for you, go with it now matter what.  It’s healthy.

  1. There is no escaping fear.

Fear can cause a lot of inner pain, a kind of soul sickness that manifests as depression, anxiety, restlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, frustration, sadness, loneliness, and fatigue. We live in a society that there is a Pill for everything.  The best medicine is to confront and face the discomfort to triumph over feeling the inner pain and void that all of us face one time or another in life.  Drinking or drugging is just another panacea that eludes us into believing that we can control our pain and fear.  It does just the opposite.  It will affect you in so many negative ways that it could take you down a path that you may not be able to recover from.  Fear is transformative because if you use mindfulness mediation and then improvise using your experience and style it is a way better high than any drug or drink can give you.  It will also build your repertoire that will last a lifetime.  You will develop the chops to do the deep transformative work that leads you to freedom.  Eleanor Roosevelt said it best…Discipline of mind and body is one of the most difficult things one has to acquire, but in the long run it is a valuable ingredient of education and a tremendous bulwark in time of trouble. Certainly, it is essential in meeting defeats and recovering from disaster.

  1. Why put off tomorrow what you can do today.

That speaks to the everyday choices you make that will keep you in your groove.  Procrastination is good when you prioritize it in terms of staying in the moment.  It is very helpful to me when I look at the situation or the task and decide that I will not worry about that now, I will worry about that at 6 o’clock this evening when I am able to focus and meditate the best plan of action.  Scheduling specific times to worry, fear, etc. is the best way of living in the moment.

  1. Don’t Freeze UP.

It is harmful to practice avoiding to make a decision or take an action that you know you must make. It’s a good thing to trust your gut or intuition will tell you that it’s time to leave a toxic relationship or to go a different way. It is critical to set boundaries with your loved ones, friends and people in general. Be impeccable with your words and speak up when your integrity is breached at work or in your daily life.

     8.  You are responsible to control You and no one else.

The only thing we can truly control in our lives is breathing, walking, and sustain ourselves.  So leave the micromanaging and manipulating control to God or the Universe.  When I realized that being right, or manipulating a situation is so WRONG and not in my control I found that life is so joyous and liberating.  I know that my parental unit was deemed with that control thing when I was a child.  However, the flip side would be to empower me with the skills and swagger to act in the world on the foundation of  values and beliefs that benefit everyone and not just myself.  Letting go is powerful in that it resonates with harmony and brings about miracles.

  1. Sometimes we should use the Right to Remain Silent.

There is nothing worse in this world than a person who is full of unsolicited Advice.  When folks come up to me, whether they are friends, family or coworkers, the best thing I have learned to do is listen.  Not go into some diatribe about how it happened to me and what happened and just taking over the conversation.  Yes it is true, I is not about you all the time!

  1. When Fear has its way.

Fear isn’t just an uncomfortable feeling that holds you back from following your dreams, connecting with your true tribe, and serving out your life’s purpose.   It can serve as a trigger for stress responses in the body that can morph into disease and prevent the body’s ability to heal itself. Fear has had its way with me when I was just a little chick.  It played a major role in my paralysis and living with breast cancer.  Facing fear is what keeps my thrivin’ and most of all alive.

A Positive Magazine Meditation Relaxation Inspiration

10 Minute Guided Meditation to ease Anxiety, Worry, and Urgency | Soothing | instant Calm | POWERFUL!  Calm relaxing mediation 10 minute guided meditation video to help ease Anxiety, worry and the sense of urgency.

live life to the fullest quotes (2)

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


Running Riff Changes on A Religious Canvas ~ “Jazz is My Religion” by Ted Joans featuring Tom Deegan – Jazz Is My Religion – Original Mix

Handmade Museum Quality_Jazz Oil Paintings
Handmade Museum Quality_Jazz Oil Paintings

Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper unnamed feelings which from the substratum of our being to which we rarely penetrate for our lives are mostly constant. ~ T.S. Eliot

According to Wikipedia Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.   For a Chick of a Certain Age that speaks to Who I really am.  Folks who are different oftentimes create a separate world that is different from the world they actually live in to protect themselves.  What I have come to understand that religion is an integral part of culture.  American culture is an aggregation of different cultures and language.  Jazz has weathered the storms of racism and chauvinism for over a quarter of a century.  Religion and faith is what help one to survive through the roughest times.  I started reading “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse when I as eight years old, it awakened something in me that showed me that Words, spoken, sung or written and jazz are the loves of my life.  Peace  & Love Out Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

live life to the fullest quotes (2)

Jazz Is My Religion

by Ted Joans

JAZZ is my religion and it alone do I dig the jazz

clubs are my houses of worship and sometimes the concert halls

but some
holy places are too commercial (like churches) so I
don’t dig the
sermons there I buy jazz sides to dig in solitude Like
Harlem U.S.A. used used to be a jazz heaven where most of
the jazz
sermons were preached but now-a-days due to chacha
cha and
rotten rock ‘n’roll alotta good jazzmen have sold their
souls but jazz
is still my religion because I know and feel the message
it brings
like reverend Dizzy Gillespie/Brother Bird and
Armstrong/Minister Monk/ Deacon Miles Davis/ Rector
Priest Ellington/ His funkness Horace Silver/ and the great
John, John COLTRANE and Cecil Taylor They
Preach A Sermon
That Always Swings!!

Yeah jazz is MY religion Jazz
is my story
it was my mom’s and pop’s and their moms and pops
from the days of Buddy Bolton who swung them blues to Charlie
Parker and
Ornette Coleman‘s extension of Bebop Yeah jazz is my
Jazz is unique musical religion the sermons spread
happiness and
joy to be able to dig and swing inside what a
wonderful feeling

jazz is/YEAH BOY!! JAZZ is my religion and dig this:
it wasn’t for
us to choose because they created it for a damn good
reason as a
weapon to battle our blues!JAZZ is my religion and its
international all the way JAZZ is just an Afro-American
and like us its here to stay So remember that JAZZ is
my religion
but it can be your religion too but JAZZ is a truth that is
black and blue Hallelujah I love JAZZ so Hallelujah I
dig JAZZ so

live laugh and love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


A Taste 4 Jazz ~ Remembering The Watts Riots ~ A Patch of Blue~Something Sweet~The Mack “Raw Vegan Pecan Pie” featuring Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival – A Patch Of Blue – Feat. James Moody

rose sepia

“Music at its best…is the grand archeology into and transfiguration of our guttural cry, the great human effort to grasp in time our deepest passions and yearnings as prisoners of time. Profound music leads us–beyond language–to the dark roots of our scream and the celestial heights of our silence. ” ― Cornel WestThe Cornel West Reader


A Patch of Blue was the first movie I went to and I felt every single emotion a child of 11 could feel.  I was changed.  It was the quiet before the storm.  It was a classic 1965 American drama film directed by Guy Green about the relationship between a black man, Gordon (played by Sidney Poitier), and a blind white female teenager, Selina (Elizabeth Hartman), and the problems that plague their relationship when they fall in love in a racially divided America. Made in 1965 against the backdrop of the growing civil rights movement, the film explores racism from the perspective of love is blind.  It was the first time I felt what love must be like for an eleven year old mixed little chick.  I selected a jazz song with Classical overtones because it reminds me of how I felt when I watch A Patch of Blue and listen to my father’s arrangement

The Watts Riots that dropped into American Life has many characteristics of the changes and call and response of jazz in the streets.  It was a very frightening time.  My heart felt as though  the flame from a candle was too hot. It flickered and danced over-a warm breeze, offering no respite from the heat. The soft gossamer wings of grace notes fluttered to and fro in the darkness, sprinkling dusty syncopated flurry of the notes become a circle of light. I struggled to resist, but still I was drawn in. And then there was a brightness with the heat becoming so intensified because now I had flown too close to the sun.  I became dazzled by the light, fried and melted from the heat and weary of my endeavors to stay airborne.  The heat … was stifling and overpowering.  The song was over and awaked me. I open my eyes, and I’m draped with a tremendous sense of hope and yet I feared it would never happen in my life time.  But like love and life we must feel pain and sorrow to unmask the joy that the universe has to give.  The saxophone is the riff of racial identity filled with licks and syncopation.  The French horns respond by filling the air with a sense of freedom and liberty.  It is a mood stirring redition as the point/counterpoint of American life is shadowed by the ever present hope that compassion will replace hate and violence against those that are different.  The sound and harmony breathes hope in the fact that the theme and melody speaks directly to our hearts.

So, I want to end on a decadently sweet and healthy note…. Peace & Love Out!  JBC 8-)* & ❤

Raw, Vegan Pecan Pie by Gena Hamshaw

Author Notes: An easy, forgiving, and absolutely delicious vegan spin on pecan pie. Creamy medjool dates and coconut oil perfectly approximate the flavor and richness of a traditional filling.

Gena's Pecan-Pie- Courtesy of Food52.com
Gena’s Pecan-Pie- Courtesy of Food52.com

Serves 8 to 10

For the crust

  • 3/4cups raw pecans
  • 3/4cups raw walnuts
  • 1/4teaspoon sea sat
  • 1/4cup shredded coconut
  • 1cup pitted medjool dates, packed

For the pie filling

  • 1 1/4cup medjool dates, tightly packed, pitted, and soaked in warm water for at least an hour
  • 1/2cup plus 3/4 cup raw pecans, divided
  • 1/4cup melted coconut oil
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon nutmeg
  • Big pinch sea salt
  1. To make the crust: Place the walnuts and pecans, sea salt, and coconut in a food processor and grind roughly. Add the dates and process until the mixture is thoroughly broken down and sticks together when you squeeze a bit in the palm of your hand. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of a pie plate (alternately, you can press it into a 9″ springform pan).
  2. Drain the dates, reserving the soak liquid. Transfer the dates to a high speed blender or powerful food processor. Add the 1/2 cup pecans, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and about 1/4 cup of the date-soaking water. Blend until the mixture is totally smooth.
  3. Pour the filling into the crust. Smooth the top over with an inverted spatula. Place in the fridge for at least four hours to set. Decorate the top with the 3/4 cup pecans, and continue to chill till ready to serve.

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.


The Sound I felt ~ RiffShots of 3 EZ PZ Ways to Finding Your Happy Place through Jazz Improv featuring Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival – Big Sur – 2007 – Remaster

Big Sur is My Happy Place Courtesy of cheezeburgerdotcom
Big Sur is My Happy Place Courtesy of cheezeburgerdotcom

Here are three mindfulness improvisation tips to self care that will leave bad habits in the dust and shed light into your life bringing you to your very special happy place.

Here is one of my Happiest Sounds from my childhood…

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. ~ Joseph Campbell

Mindfulness is your portal to being present in your daily life. For me jazz improv is my way of living creatively and not emotionally. When we live in the present it allows us to let go of the pain of the past and the worries or expectations of the future so we can focus on what we have now. It is not a matter of denial or I will be happy with a million bucks or all of my bills are paid because the price for living is that bills will always be there.  There will always be an expense for living.  Finding gratitude for the things we do, even the smallest thing gives me a sense of peace.  Worry over being able to meet our daily lives takes us out of ourselves and life then seems like an uphill battle and we lose sight of the present moment.  We get caught up and eventually will disappear from our lives.  Mindfulness gives you the choice of what to focus on and redirects the mind to stop letting the past shape and distort the future and loose the present moment.  You no longer dwell on things you cannot change and rely and react emotionally to them which can be quite exhausting. One of the biggest perks of mindfulness is that you can minimize anxiety and stress. Living in the moment and creatively brings more joy, clarity, wellness and energy.

 The best way to cultivate mindfulness is through meditation   So how can you do this?  Jazz improv allows you to  meditate so that you can be detached, a witness or an observer and releases you to explore ways that work for you.  Now it takes a whole lot of practice and finding a different perspective to help you to find your happy quiet space between those thoughts. You quiet your ego driven obsessive thinking, and start responding instinctively. Meditation allows you to relax and to listen to your inner spirit that will allow your thoughts to detach and flow. This is the Happy Place where you begin awakening and manifesting your dreams.  You are now in touch with who you really are; with what matters most to you as well as becomes your way of improvising on life  so you face adversity and the challenges in your daily routine imparting your own style.

Here are three mindfulness improvisation tips to self care that will leave bad habits in the dust and shed light into your life bringing you to your very special happy place.

#1 Improvise this: . Begin with fifteen minutes meditation twice a day. It’s great first thing in the morning and then again in the evening at the end of your day.   Here is one of my favorites.

Mindfulness Meditation – Quick 15 Min Stress Relief Version

If you want to fold it into your daily routine begin with eating a healthy, balanced diet that would include fresh organic food.  Or how about a walking meditation or yoga class to help you to connect with your body that helps you to center yourself, and find balance?   The benefits are a good night sleep that will rejuvenate and detoxify your mind and body.

#2 Improvise this: Taking Care of Yourself

Your objective would be to connect with those things that truly make you happy. Target that thing, place, or activity that creates space every day.  This is not negotiable and a top priority.  A total Ah Ha! Moment!

Block out time in your day—it is up to you whether it is five minutes or an hour.  Do something you love. Listen to music, read a good book, sit in silence by the water or a fire, or even try dancing in your bare feet in the living room. Give yourself a star on your calendar every time you do it. Believe me you will feel more inspired and creative.

#3 Improvise this: Get an Attitude of Gratitude

You can start by counting your blessings!  This lets you realize how good your life truly is and connects you with the abundance in your life.  I have found that it attracts more prosperity and is way more rewarding.. Surround yourself with what you think is beautiful, and be grateful for it in your home, your work space, your clothes, I think you get the picture.

 I love to take this time and combine it with my nightly 15 minute mindfulness meditation routine just before bed.  It is a perfect way to open your heart and to dream beautiful dreams.  Mind you, I am no spring chicken and that it does not happen overnight.  I am also a late bloomer so some folks get right away and then there are folks like me that work at it until it takes hold and opens your heart and life to the wonders and joy of life’s possibility.  Give it a go.  Peace and love out!  JBC 😎  & ❤

live laugh and love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.