Thriving (so far) in my big life while Quarantining

It has been a time of learning, living at a slower pace, and appreciation for life itself. Between the portuguese studies, yoga, walks, playing waltzes and guitar lessons, I am making the most of every moment while holding near folks that are on the frontlines and those not as fortunate. The virus is surging again and the weather is turning cold and rainy, shifting us to more indoor activity. I have good food, warm clothing, dry shelter, loved ones and music in my life, and for these things I am grateful.

Noteworthy happenings

Hello friends! We are oh-so-slowly inching toward spring, and to maintain sanity of late, I have been turning on all the lights and dancing the samba through the rooms of my house to blaring Brazilian Carnaval music. This simple act has proven to be a powerful antidote to the winter doldrums, because, like magic, the sun always comes out (in my heart, at least). Since the new year began, I have been a part of many delightful and satisfying performance opportunities: the dazzling Masquerade Ball XII, a successful Climate Change Fundraiser, a plethora of shows for Seniors (including a Winter Ball), and dancer Denise’s fabulous 70th birthday party blow-out. Sending a heartfelt shout out to my supremely talented musical cohorts, the warm, wonderful local dance community as well as the organizers and volunteers who breathe life into these enjoyable events. Last but certainly not least, thanks to all of you for your continued support of live music! Keep Clam and I sincerely hope to see you soon (Valentine’s Day, perhaps?). Best wishes and warm hugs, Dina (photo credit: Peter Shaw)

Valse Café Orchestra

We played for a swing dance at the Century Ballroom recently as a benefit for the Folklife Festival, and it was not only a success but a fantastic gig! The band swung pretty hard, and the dancers were delighted.

That was one swinging band!

Small World

Today was a first. After playing 3 gigs with Marco deCarvalho this week, I struck out on my own for the Juanita Farmer’s Market. Since those Brazilian tunes were already under my fingers, I began to play, and soon noticed a woman singing along in Portuguese on every song. She was also pointing her cell phone my way. I thought she was making a video, but instead she had called her dad in São Paulo whom I could see on her screen. He was also singing along, and was later joined by her uncle. Her name is Raquel, she plays flute, and said I’d inspired her to go home and practice.