I’m attempting to get my website up to date, share projects that have been released during the pandemic, and practice gratitude. Let’s see if I can do it all in this post, or at least kick things off as the first in a series of updates.
I first met Drea D’Nur at the Singing Nina fest that I produced in May, 2019. Her performance, along with my friends in Rootstock Republic, was nothing short of spellbinding. She truly encapsulated the spirit of Nina Simone, which was particularly impressive considering that her voice does not resemble Nina’s one bit. Anyway, we hit it off after that performance and proceeded to work together on subsequent stagings of Dear Nina in later 2019.
So, when Drea called and asked me to travel to Buffalo to mix her album release show, I was both honored and a little intimidated. She was entrusting me to convey and deliver her sound in a foreign venue. Oh, and it was an enormous show. Drea was the center piece at the piano, but was surrounded by electric and upright bass, drums, percussion, a horn section, keyboards, backup singers, poetry, and dancers.
The performance was a complete immersive experience. Even in writing this, I’m transported back to that night (I can’t believe it was earlier this year – somehow it feels both immediate but so far away). It was an icy night in Buffalo, but the theatre was ablaze. Drea is a commanding but giving performer, and she took all of us with her that night. Thankfully, we recorded the entire show. I took the files home to mix and master. Drea released everything as a live album several months ago, so this post is long overdue. I will say this: treat yourself to all 20 minutes of “Moongazing,” you won’t regret it.