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.
Big kudos and a gynormous thank you to my band mates Hans Brehmer, Brian Kirk, Osama Afifi, and John Anderson for a fantastic evening celebrating our cd release with the folks @ Northwest Dance last night. I am deeply grateful for the love and support of our wonderful local dance community; you have enriched my life beyond measure. Special thanks to Dean Paton, Lilli Ann Carey, volunteers Lauri Miller, Cooper Moore, my family members Zora and Frank Blade, of course all of the dancers, and everyone else involved in making it hugely successful and loads of fun! See you on the dance floor!
I thought I’d share this photo which was taken at a “Victory Dance” in 1946 at the end of World War II (my parents are on the far left). It was a time of celebration, hope and promise. Many more dances would follow, as well as careers, marriages and children. While I was growing up, my parents would regularly have the neighbors over to “relax with a few highballs” before going over to the parish dance at our church’s social hall. They danced well into their eighties, and instilled a love of dancing in all 4 of us kids. Sooo, two weeks from today, on Saturday, May 18th, I would be delighted if you would help me celebrate the release of my new CD “Shall We Dance?”. This is a dream come true for me, and I am especially proud of the band’s cohesively beautiful, swinging sound. Big fun awaits you! Arrive early and take the free dance lesson or just show up to watch and listen, but if dancing is in your future, please save one for me! Your toe-tappin’ finger-snappin’ pal, Dina Blade
I am fortunate enough to be able to hone my “sound” every Sunday from 6 to 9pm around the corner from where I live at a cozy venue called Harissa Mediterranean Cuisine, playing guitar and singing mostly Brazilian songs of my choosing. Last week I was in the zone of bossa beauty when Del, who is one of my regular patrons, walked in. At 91, he is patient with the bossa nova, but his first love is the repertoire of American composers like Ellington, Porter and Hoagy Carmichael (a distant cousin). For the next hour and a half he requested songs from the Great American Songbook and I was happy to oblige, just as I do whenever the swing dancers show up. He left me a hefty tip, bought two cds, and went home happy, after which I went back to my happy place: my usual program of Jobim, Bonfa, Caymmi, and one of my idols, Rosa Passos. To be ready to shift gears at the drop of a hat, flexibility is the key.