I’m bringing all my experience and it’s wisdom (or not) to another year. Like everyone else, my only limits are my own mistaken thoughts and beliefs. They are just a product of involuntary exposure to society’s flawed suggestions, along with my knee-jerk reactions to life’s challenges. Yes, I am innocent, and so are you. We should automatically forgive ourselves, but perhaps not forget our observations. Remembering can be useful as the new year stirs up much self-searching. Naturally, we want to evolve. I am currently working to discover and replace dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs with ideas that support the potential of who I really am. I believe we are all spiritual beings capable of living happy, healthy, loving, peaceful, abundant, and productive lives. I believe we can do and be anything we want, because we are a part of All That Is. I’ve been catching myself increasing momentum in an unwanted direction by telling painful stories from the past. Most of these tales seem to center around health. For example, when a friend tells me about a physical issue that I’ve had, my tendency is to let them know I understand by telling them about my experience with it. Together, we share a conversation that is focused on physical misery, instead of on our body’s amazing ability to heal itself… Uh oh, have I done it again? I certainly don’t mean to speak negative words over myself. It is my intention to stay in the present with an assumption of a positive future.
People said it looked like I was having fun, and that was so true. For me, nothing is more fun than performing, and last Saturday night was no exception. I had a funtastic time singin’ and swingin’ at Café Leila in Berkeley. The audience was super receptive, and seemed so happy that I wondered if fun can be contagious. Certainly, the venue was accommodating, the workers quite gracious, and the musicians absolutely exciting. It was a pleasure to meet and work with Keith Saunders who was innovative and entertaining on the keys. It has been a joy to work extensively over the years with Richard Saunders on the upright bass. He always holds us in a solid groove, and plays some intense solos with fingers that move so quickly they nearly blur. (Richard and Keith are not related.) I had been a bit apprehensive about adding so much new material, but it felt like the less familiar songs actually sparked my interest and creativity on stage. In fact, Richard claimed my performance was extra special, and of course I want to believe him (smile). Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the arranger has been working on my original, Be Yourself and Let Yourself Be, and it’s high time to get back to work on my inspirational album. I have a dream that these original tunes will touch the hearts of so many people with love and light, so I’m anxious to get back into the studio. I love the studio. It’s still a kind of live performance, which is still crazy fun even if the audience is a bit remote. Hummm…. Hopefully fun is still contagious when bought, streamed, or downloaded!
Adventures in music continue as my inspirational originals album moves along. Amidst recording sessions, mix-downs have begun. And next week, I’ll be turning over a finished piano/vocal to the arranger. Can’t wait to hear what he does with it… So Fun! Simultaneously, I’ve been editing the avalanche of videos generated by the jazz gig at Café Leila near the end of summer. It’s gratifying to see my work instead of just hearing it, although one has to be brave to watch themselves singing on stage. Never mind what I see, my videos are getting a huge response on Facebook and Instagram…. So Fun! Now, as if I wasn’t already having enough fun, Leila’s called and wants me back. The first show felt really good. It was wonderful to return to jazz again after a lengthy break to write the inspirational album, but I had worried about how rusty my vocals might be. Apparently singing jazz is like riding a bike: You never forget. We’re booked again for Café Leila in Berkeley on Sat. Nov. 2 from 6:30 to 9pm (no cover), with Keith Saunders on Keys, and Richard Saunders on Upright Bass. Since It’s Fall and I’m Havin’ a Ball, maybe I should try Autumn Leaves as a waltz… You guessed it: So Fun!
Hardly ever (almost never) get out to hear live music because I’m too busy making my own. It’s no secret that I have a deep passion for writing songs, recording, and singing professionally on stage. For some time now, I’ve been performing/recording inspirational originals. Suddenly, and out of nowhere, the jazz bug has bitten me again. I even booked a show at Café Leila in Berkeley. Okay then, had to go check out Leila’s. It’s a comfy, intimate place with friendly staff and excellent food. Best of all? I’d forgotten how much I enjoy live music, and being part of a happy crowd. Hope you’ll feel the same way when you come to see CYNTHIA BYTHELL & THE DIGGIN’ THE DOWNSIZE DUO REUNION SHOW, AUGUST 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 (no cover) at CAFE LEILA in BERKELEY (+1 (510) 525-7544) We’re going to have a lot of fun celebrating the release of our never before released album. You’ll love master guitarist Duncan James with groovin’ upright bassist Richard Saunders, and the light mix of jazz standards I’ll be singing. And, of course, the performance will include improvised solos by the guys and a bit of scat singing too. Looking forward to meeting you, and setting my jazz self loose again! (The album, Diggin’ The Downsize, is available now on CD Baby and Amazon. It’s a live session recorded in the studio during the time we worked a long run on The San Francisco Bay Champagne Brunch Cruise.)