Thanks for a great Year

I wanted to take a moment and thank all of our Music Industry Weekend family for making 2011 a great year musically. You have all enriched my musical life in one way or another and I thank you.

Special thanks again to Chris Miller for helping launch or Scholarship fund (see previous post) and offering proceeds from the sale of prints like the one of me shown here.  If you find a special shot of yourself in the “Chris Miller Gallery” on Flickr, Chris could probably work up an art print of you as well.  Check out his gallery on Fine Art America

I just paid a visit (Sunday) to friends at the Grand Canyon Bah’i Conference in Phoenix.  Although I don’t attend the conference, I like to visit there to see old friends who do. This year it was good to see JB Eckl & Eric Dozier – a dynamic duo called “Moanin’ Sons“, who performed at the conference Saturday evening.  They sold their “Badasht Vol 1” CDs all day long.  JB says “Badasht Vol.2” will be available this week, so watch for it!

I also visited briefly with Yosi Mesbah who was serving in the bookstore.  After meeting Yosi, and hearing her wonderful songs at this year’s Music Inductry Weekend, it was delightful to see her again.  Sarah Danielle Taraz, who is a fine singer herself, was there also with her “Morse Code Spirit” jewelry.  And while we didn’t  see each other, I know drummer Michael Parker was there supporting his bride, Margueritte Sears (Granddaughter of Bill), with sales of “Stories from the Dawnbreakers” CDs.  Also lurking somewhere there was Eric Harper but I missed him somehow. Welcome to AZ Eric!

Others of you, scattered far and wide, have advised, inspired and entertained me throughout the year.

Loving greetings to Roz and Chuck Thrapp in California who celebrated Roz’s retirement from teaching with a road trip down the East coast. Chuck visited Chris Ruhe in Beacon NY and got to play and sing with the immortal Pete Seeger. Chris later sent me a nice photo of himself playing with Peter Yarrow (of Peter paul and Mary fame).

And kudos to Tyler Thompson of New Mexico who secured a spot in the 2011 world tour of “Up With People” and is, as far as I know, still out there performing.

Over in China, Elika Mahony has just released an album of instrumental piano pieces.  I think these will make for some great mood-setting before and during our devotional readings

Kelly Snook who has just toured India and China with internationally known, independent Grammy winner, Imogen Heap seems to be having the time of her life.  Kelly’s inspiring contribution to our weekend this year was much appreciated.

Speaking of China, and inspiration, hats off to producer Jarome Matthew and wife Felisha who are pioneering with a recording studio in Beijing.  Last December, they sufferd a great loss in a fire that destroyed their home and possesions and Jarome’s new studio.  But they perservered, and with the help of their friends there, emerged from the ashes this with a new, even better studio and high hopes for the future.

Also in China, is Mr. Kim Bowers, singer and founder of  “Workshop for the Arts”. Kim just opened what I believe is China’s first Tex-Mex Restaurant.  How’s THAT for PIONEERING!?

Other “survivors” among us are Russ Salton and his wife Roberta. They run a business in Gig Harbor, WA that was destroyed by an arsonist.  But they too are emerging victoriously from the ashes (with a SMILE!).

Robert Gillies continues to delight.  His most recent video, “Older” from his new album “Astronaut”  (which we heard at Bosch this tear, is a masterpiece of sweetness.  Robert’s currently in Scotland with girlfriend Rezal Martinez visiting Robert’s mother, Carolyn Fox, and a number of friends and relatives. They appear to having a great time!

Katharine Key has just started recording her second album with help from Andy Sperandeo.  She’s written a great BLOG piece called “what happens in the studio” that might help you explain to your fans why you can’t quickly answer the question: “when will the album be finished?”

It has been an eventful year and I’m looking forward to hearing of all your activities in the coming months. I’m getting ready for a show at Old Tucson Studios on March 17th called “Playing for Unity in Diversity” that will include several MIW alumni including Robert Gillies, Angela Owens, and Alan James.  I’m also preparing to launch some digital downloads using ideas I learned from producer Jon Rezin at our last weekend event. And most importantly, any day now, I will become a GrandPa.  Pretty cool.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers – Coordinator, Music Industry Weekend
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist