Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Chamber Music America Recipient

A few months ago Vita Muir, the Executive Director of Litchfield Performing Arts told me she was interested in applying for a Chamber Music America Grant. Of course, I was excited to take part of this journey but being that this was the first go at this illustrious grant, I felt that even if I wasn't selected the learning process would be a good lesson learned. It took almost a week of work, sitting down and discussing, writing, and of course...writing some more. We were confident and we sent it off with smiles and hopes. We new what we would present was a great project, but it was out of our hands. Vita believed in me and this project, and So did I.

Well a few months went by and here we are. A call came into the office (I happen to be in the office that day working on Jazz Camp) with the news. I was selected and was named a recipient for this year. I can't explain the joy I felt go through my body. I was calm yet felt euphoric.

What you guys need to understand is that I work so hard at this craft. It is no doubt my calling to be an artist. To write music and share it to the world, but this craft comes with a price. It's a daily struggle of figuring out who you are deep within, the day to day hustle of maintaining a career and with that the day to day expenses that come with living. Could I have been anything else in this world if I put my mind to it, Sure. I could have went to a great college, go on to get a degree in a field that may be a bit less stressful at times. But when you live the life I live, and understand how amazing it truly is and love what you do, I can't imagine "Working" a day in my life. I wake up excited and try to never let the stereotypes of what being a musician is affect the way I am as a person.

I submitted a number of years in a row before I was named an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers recipient. It was worth the effort, I represented the winners that year with a performance that I will never forget. Now being a recipient of Chamber Music America it simply continues to add fuel to the fire that is still a huge part of my life. The music I compose is from my mind and heart. It special to me because I am unique to this world. There is only one of me, and because there is only one of me, what I do in this world needs to be special. My goal is to leave a mark of positiveness in this world before I exit. It's just nice when other people give you props. It reminds you that what you and I are doing...is simply perfect to each his or her eyes.

I grew up as the Puerto Rican kid from the Bronx who was raised by a single mother. Their were never any excuses, never an easy way out, no money to help... She did her best the only way she knew how to and looking back that was amazing enough. Now that I'm the adult, It's simply my turn to continue....

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