Embrace Release Day

The day has come: Embrace is out now!

You can now hear the full album, download it to your heart’s delight, watch a short video teaser, order a CD, and even read some reviews…

Here are some quick links for fast action:
Stream it :::: Buy it :::: Reviews/Video/More Info

Embrace is an album born out of seeking. It’s been a living process as much as a musical one. Searching for ways to be more fully myself – embracing who I am and being cool with that, imperfections and all. And enjoying things more.

Musically, it’s been about digging into what I enjoy hearing on my own instrument, the vibraphone, and exploring ways that it can be the lead voice. A lot of that has come through embracing a wider range of influences, especially music from the griot tradition of Mali that has become some of my absolute favorite over the past decade.

As I embraced these possibilities, there was a surge of new material. “Forgive/Embrace” is based on a kora-inspired vibraphone line that came from studies of Toumani Diabate’s multi-threaded solo music; “Goddess” and “Folly of Progress” are inspired by Oumou Sangare’s strong voice, music, and social activism; “Ali” is dedicated to Ali Farka Toure and his hypnotic grooves. Embracing the inspiration that these artists have given me, I feel more connected with them. With these pieces I have written, I pay humble tribute to them, and to their forebears and broader traditions, of which I feel so fortunate to have heard a small part.

There is also the embrace of the shadows: difficult situations, emotions, and even unacknowledged parts of myself. Pieces such as “Find a Way” deal with negative external life circumstances, and the possibilities that are created when challenges are embraced, change and adaptation welcomed. Similarly, the creation of “Inner Child” was a healing process: the embrace of hurt parts of myself that I had previously ignored.

Childhood plays a strong role on the album for another reason too. I work with children every week teaching music lessons. I realized a while back that what is most important to me about it is helping them connect with their own creativity. As a result I started getting a lot more creative inspiration and joy from teaching. From there, the pieces “Hijinks and Wizardry” and “Mudita” (“sympathetic joy” in Pali) were born.

I couldn’t have made this album alone. I am forever grateful to the amazingLinda May Han Oh – who is currently on a world tour with Pat Metheny – and Tim Keiper – who just played on Saturday Night Live with David Byrne’s American Utopia – for their extraordinary musicianship and generosity of spirit. I feel so so fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this album with these incredible musicians. A huge thank you to producer extraordinaire Keith Witty, who played a big role encouraging me to make the album and helped so much throughout the process. And I want to say a special thank you to my partner Zaneta Sykes, without whom absolutely none of this would have happened.

I hope you enjoy the album! I’ll have more to share about the music here in the weeks to come.

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