You Get More Beautiful
Such a beautiful song written and produced by one of the most wonderful people I know, Stuart Hoffman. Vocals by the extraordinary Daya Rawat. And, for good measure, here is Stuart's newest song, Love Today, one I had the good fortune to be the lyricist for.March 21, 2017
NEW RELEASE: Love Today!
You've heard of Lennon and McCartney. You've heard of Sonny and Cher. You've heard of Abbott and Costello. Now you're ready for Hoffman and Ditkoff and the world release of Love Today. Spread the good news. Forward it to your friends and, if you have any enemies, forward it to them, too. Love is the most powerful force in the world. Let it rip!
Song for Isabelle
Beautiful song. Steve Gilbert on guitar. Wendy Lewis on baby and vocals.October 18, 2016
Turn It Around
I nominate this wonderful song by Steve McPeters (with John Adorney) to be played at the inaugural ceremony of whoever is the next President of the United States.October 06, 2016
A World Awakens
Preview of A World Awakens, a wonderful new CD by John Adorney.October 03, 2016
James Taylor on the Secret of Life September 20, 2016
In Honor of the Amaroo Rain!
It's raining in Amaroo, right now, so here is a song to celebrate the rain and the source of love within us all. Exquisite new song and slide show by Stuart Hoffman and Jennifer Edwards. Vocals by Stephen Rivera.July 27, 2016
When the Rain Begins
Stuart Hoffman, Jennifer Edwards, and Stephen Rivera have joined their considerable forces to create an extraordinary anthem to love, hope, and possibility. Wow! When the Rain Begins is already a classic. Turn up the volume, turn off the news, take a deep breath, and enjoy.July 06, 2016
The Gospel of This Very Moment May 20, 2016
Chris & Daya in Montreal on May 22
Good news for music lovers in the Montreal area. Chris Mac Vittie and Daya Rawat will be performing, on May 22nd, 8:00 pm. LION DOR, 1676, rue Ontario est, Montreal (Quebec) H2L 1S7. The very talented Sonja Ball and Friends will open the evening with a set of their enchanting music.May 10, 2016
Even in Your Darkest Hour April 06, 2016
Freedom to Roam
Chris and Daya in Boulder: 11/28
"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together, go to the making of genius. Love, love, love. That is the soul of genius." -- Amadeus Mozart
If Mozart was alive today, I think he would be a big fan of Chris Mac Vittie and Daya Rawat -- not because Chris and Daya play classical music. They don't. But because their muse and Mozart's muse was probably the same. Or, if not the same, then at least played in the same band.
Other similarities? All three of them started their musical careers early in life. Mozart was writing and performing concertos at the age of four. Daya was singing in her cradle. And Chris? Why, just last year, at 37, he wrote the title song to their groundbreaking CD, The Envy of Stars.
Clearly, the music scene today is very much different than Mozart's in the 1700's. Patrons, now, are in much shorter supply. Wigs are out. Home studios are in. And the marketplace is way more cluttered. Back in the Mozart's time, there just weren't that many musicians on the scene. These days it's a totally different story. According to a recent MySpace survey, there are approximately eight million bands in the world. Last year, more than 141 million CDs were sold. That's a lot of competition for eyeballs and ears.
So why give a listen to Chris and Daya? What about their music is worthy of your precious attention?
For starters, their harmonies border on the divine -- as intricate as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and as evocative as Tony Bennett and whoever he happens to be singing with at the time. But even more than their exquisite harmonies, is the joy and feeling their music evokes.
Their hook? Life. As in live it to the fullest. As in let it rip. As in celebrate the very best of what a human being is -- or could be -- if only we allowed ourselves to tune in to what really matters.
Some reviewers of Chris and Daya's music characterize it as fusion -- the place where East meets West, country meets soul, and, yes, man meets woman. OK. I get it. True. But I think an even more accurate word for their genre is fission, the artful splitting of the atom -- in their case, the atom of love -- an act of creation that releases great amounts of heat and light: heat that warms the heart and light that illuminates the path.
If you are anywhere near Boulder, Colorado, on November 28th, you're in luck. Chris and Daya will be performing at the e-Town Hall on Spruce Street. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Concert starts at 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets here.October 12, 2015
An Evening of Extraordinary Music
If you are within driving distance of Asheville, NC and thinking of attending Chris Mac Vittie and Daya Rawat's concert on 10/16, here's the correct answer: GO! I had the pleasure of attending their NYC performance tonight and it was a total delight. Their voices are infused with joy, their harmonies are a magic carpet ride, and their lyrics pack a wallop. Plus, their stage presence is very entertaining. Chris and Daya are the kind of performers you will tell your grandchildren you saw before the word got out.
Doors open at 6:30 pm. The concert starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $25.
Chris and Daya's website
Preview their new CD
Check out their lyrics
Read more about Asheville
Chris and Daya in Atlanta on 10/17
Sneak preview in a radio station
Fun photos from past concerts
What's a concert promo without a Facebook page?
The Nicholas Brothers after seeing Chris and Daya
October 08, 2015
NYC concert photos: Matt Miller
Fuzzbee Morse In Da House!
Here is extraordinary review of Fuzzbee Morse's recently released CD -- Dreams and Other Living Things -- by Paul Zollo, Senior Editor of American Songwriter. Read it and leap. Then buy it and listen.
"Imagine, if you can, a collaboration between Hendrix and Steely Dan: complex but melodically visceral songs with ferocious electric guitar and flawlessly tight musicianship, and you get an approximation of the Fuzzbee Morse experience.
An astounding guitarist who has played with countless legends, from Bono to Lou Reed and beyond, he's a real-life guitar hero. He commands that edgy ferocity Hendrix embodied, and his solos throughout this album are revelations. Sometimes they are wildly fierce, other times touching that immaculate transcendence of the Santana realm, pure electric eloquence.
Fuzzbee also sings with the spirited soulful phrasing and tone of Hendrix, and brings us not one but two faithful Hendrix covers, "Voodoo Child" and "Angel." And while few singers can do Hendrix like Hendrix did Hendrix, and so wisely choose, like Sting did, to go in a whole other direction, Fuzzbee lights a Hendrix rocket and soars on it into the soul stratosphere.
But that's only part of the trip here. His own songwriting is sophisticated yet soulful. The man knows how to structure a song with stamina and poetry, such as the stunning supernova instrumental "Zonga!," which is as lyrical as a song with no lyrics can be. Or a song with words, like the great "It's Time To Go," which revolves around a killer chord vamp before unfolding with a pure funk perfection. It's a lesson in remarkable songwriting, with an ideal pre-chorus that explodes into the elevation chorus, punctuated by a horn section and then a great Fuzzbee/Hendrix riff. It really doesn't get better than this.
"Long As The Wind Blows" opens the show with beautiful Lennon-like melodics, a gentle melody set against counterpoint vocals, leading to a lovely chorus of sweet remembrance. "Brother Ray" is an elegy for Ray Charles and his world of soul, as Fuzzbee testifies to the lifelong impact: "I can't say where I'd be today without the one and only Brother Ray."
The closing "Underground Railroad" is a haunting and redemptive journey that starts with a promise of liberation, "someday I'm gonna walk on water." Suddenly we are on gospel ground, and with the great churchy authority of singers Lisa Frazier, Willie Chambers, Joe Chambers and Tyra Juliette, we are lifted from the earthbound to the spiritual river, rafting headlong towards the eternal ocean. It's an exalted conclusion to this musical feast.
By virtue of being Fuzzbee, he was able to put together a band of his friends who happen to be among the world's greatest musicians. The rhythm section throughout is Jerry Marotta on drums, Tony Levin on bass and David Sancious on piano and organ. Marotta also plays ocarina, rainstick, Omnichord and assorted percussion. Fuzzbee arranged and produced.
Utterly amazing. An absolute masterpiece, and one which I hope others will invite into their lives. Given repeated listenings, the inherent beauty and dynamism of this dizzying collection becomes beautifully apparent, and like the greatest music, blooms ever better with each listening. An album for the ages."
Ummm... if you've gotten this far in the article and haven't yet downloaded Fuzzbee's new album, now's the time. Support the arts! Feed a musician. Listen to some awesome music.Chris and Daya Concert in New York City on October 11th
Chris Mac Vittie and Daya Rawat, two awesome musicians, will be performing at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, in New York City, on Sunday, October 11th, at 5:00 pm. Jazz guitarist, Larry Newcomb, will kick off the show. Doors open at 4:30 pm.August 11, 2015
Chris & Daya Concert in Hollywood, FL!
If you are anywhere near Hollywood, Florida on Saturday, August 29th, you are in for a treat. Chris MacVittie and Daya Rawat will be in concert at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, 1770 Monroe Street at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm. $20.
Chris and Daya are the real deal -- consummate musicians with a soulful presence and something meaningful to say. Inspiring. Uplifting. And memorable. After the show, Chris and Daya will be signing their new CD, The Envy of Stars.June 16, 2015
New CD from Daya & Chris on iTunes
May 16, 2015
Something to Sing About!
Each download is variably priced, depending on format, and includes a PDF of the lyrics. Other songs will be posted on the website as time goes by.February 15, 2015
Don't Worry. Be Happy! December 16, 2014
Happy Hannukah and Harmonies! November 14, 2014
Always Remembering You November 07, 2014
ALL OF US: A Wonderful Peace Project
I want to call your attention to ALL OF US -- an inspired music video project being developed by Cara Tower and friends to help forward the cause of peace on the planet. Cara is deep in crowdfunding mode now, trying her best to raise $3,500 to get the project off the ground.
Click here for more info about the project on GO FUND ME and to view a 4-minute video of Cara singing the song that inspired her efforts.
The text below is Cara's description of the project. If this moves you, please consider becoming a supporter of ALL OF US. Every little bit helps.
IN CARA'S OWN WORDS:
We're raising seed money towards the making of a music recording, video, and film.
Whats it about? We want this project to display the unifying message that we are all human beings first and foremost. Therefore, when we can place our politics and religious beliefs aside.
Our goal is to invite a musician, choir. and singers from each continent to participate.
This is a non-profit project. When you contribute to the production you become a collaborator. You will be informed of each expenditure and of each new development. This is a transparent project. You can write feedback. Each one of us who contributes will have their name and country of origin scroll in the ending credits. It is our hope that many people from many countries will have their names appear as a clear, collective statement that says, "We are simply united as people of the earth".
The ALL OF US project is an opportunity for everyone, everywhere to get involved with a creative unifying, collaborative effort. Together, we can bring awareness, through song, as we focus on the solution, not the problem.
The videos are demos of the "All Of Us" song so you can listen and read the lyrics. It's a song to be shared to help unite the focus of everyone, everywhere by helping us all to remember that we are human beings first and foremost. When we recognize this simple fact, it's easy to see that we have everything, fundamentally, in common, regardless of our circumstances, beliefs, religion, economics or demographic location.
There are two phases of the project.
The first phase is to raise support for the musical production. We'd like to record the basic tracks in a professional studio. We'd then like to invite a few singers and musicians to participate in the production from around the world via the internet. For example, a singer from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas -- and a Chinese harpist, Turkish percussionist etc.
The second phase is to compile, shoot, collect and/or borrow footage from film makers around the globe that shows people doing a variety of things in a variety of ways; getting married, protesting in the street, celebrating, laughing, fighting, painting, dancing, or even singing on this song!
When the project is complete you can download it and use it for your own initiatives, because it will belong to you. It will belong to All Of Us.
We launched this project on Sept. 22, 2014 -- the day after the International Day of Peace, not only because peace needs to be renewed everyday, but because it gives us a good head start so we can be ready to submit to the next Words of Peace Global cast on September 21, 2015.
Have another idea? It's your project too! Together, let's see what legs it might grow. Peace will come from each of us.
Peace is the responsibility of individuals, not nations. If not now, then when? If not us, then who?
I hope you will join us on the ALL OF US project and that you will make it your own by contributing and helping us spread the word.
Thank you! Cara Tower and the ALL OF US Team.
LYRICS TO THE SONG
We come from the same universe
We live in the same world
We shoulder the same sorrow
We turn with the same sky
We sleep by the same moon
We stand under the same sun,
It Shines on everyone...
Everyone of us
We're all of us.
We swim the same sea
We breathe the same breath
We quench the same thirst
We feel the same pain
We long for the same love
We dream under the same stars
Venus and Mars
Everyone of us
We're all of us.
Everyone of us is touched by time
Not one of us is born to be unkind
Behind the cruel divide
When anger takes it's side
As strange as it may seem
We're all on the same team.
We warm by the same fire
We cradle the same heart
We bleed the same blood
We seek the same peace
We follow the same light
We dream under the same stars
Venus and Mars
We stand under the same sun
It shines on everyone
Everyone of us
We're all of us
Everyone of us,
We're all of us.
New Music from Daya and Stuart
In the spring of 2012, Daya Rawat (vocals) and Stuart Hoffman (piano) spent several hours in Stuart's LA studio rehearsing for a TPRF benefit concert in Germany.
Neither of these two extraordinary musicians had any intention of releasing anything from that rehearsal, but after recently listening to a recording of the music they made that day, the two of them realized they had captured something very special.
So they decided to create an EP (extended play) on BandCamp -- and release it to their fans and the rest of the known universe.
The EP includes: "You Gave Me the Key," "This Is My Paradise," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", and "What A Wonderful World."
Click here to download now. The cost? $10. Less than two capuccinos and a muffin, but the effect will last a whole lot longer. You're in for quite a treat.October 25, 2014
Fuzzbee's New CD!
See that guy with his head on my shoulder? That's Fuzzbee -- Fuzzbee Morse, world class multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, Flying Fannoli Brother, raconteur, comedian, kibbitzer, and bundle of love.
In 1978 we were roommates. In an ashram. In Denver -- both of us having the same teacher, love of baseball, and propensity to laugh for very little reason at all. Our room was about the size of a jail cell. A very small jail cell. On many a night I would awaken around 2:00 am and see Fuzzbee on the floor, hunched over some scraps of paper, pen in hand, feverishly writing.
"Ditty", he would call to me, "what rhymes with ocean...?" (or 'tunnel'... or 'whisper' ... or whatever word he had just written down for a song that would later become part of the soundtrack of my 30's).
Half-asleep, I'd call out something or other and Fuzzbee, flashlight in hand, eyes on fire, would chuckle and find a way to work it into the song.
It was clear to me, even then, that he was a master musician -- him having already jammed with Frank Zappa (at 15!), Jean Luc Ponty, Joe Zawinul, and a number of other greats.
But sharing that blissful little room with him 36 years ago, I had no idea he would go on to play with the likes of Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Richie Havens, Aaron Neville, Ric Ocasek, Willie Chambers, Dave Grohl, Karla Bonoff, Daniel Lanois, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, David Sancious, and many other musical icons of our generation.
Those of us who were friends with Fuzzbee back then, always thought fame and fortune were just around the corner for him. How could they not -- him being such a monster musician? In a logical world, that's exactly how it would have played out. But this is not a logical world, clearly demonstrated by the fact that Fuzzbee, for a while in his 20's, had to work in a cement factory and later, dress up once in a chicken outfit outside some low-rent, fast food restaurant, to make his daily bread.
Dues. That boy was paying dues.
But now, with the long-awaited release of his breakthrough debut CD, Dreams and Other Living Things, a stellar collaboration with Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, and David Sancious -- those dues are beginning to bear some major fruit.
First of all, Oooh Baby is a likely candidate to become an anthem for lovers everywhere, background vocals provided by Daya Rawat. And Brother Ray, an homage to Ray Charles, doesn't just hit the ball out of the park, it transports the park to a place Fuzzbee's growing fan base would like to take a one-way trip to. Jimi Hendrix? You miss Jimi Hendrix? Here's your VooDoo Child fix -- the fourth cut out of 10 on this brilliant debut album.
Every track on this album rocks. And rolls, too.
Want to sample the CD? Click here for an iTunes preview. Want to download it? Click here for BandCamp. Or here for CD Baby. Of course, you could choose not to click, but that would be your loss. And besides, it will only take you three minutes to download.July 10, 2014
Matisyahu ONE DAY
This Matisyahu video was one of the most popular ones shown in last year's PeaceCast livestream. If you know of others with the same kind of uplifting peace-themed message, please email the link to the good folks of PeaceCast who are in the process of reviewing hundreds of videos and picking the best for their September 21st livestream. It will take you less than three minutes to submit your link to PeaceCast.March 24, 2014
Barry Ollman's New CD. Wow!
All I can say is WOW! Barry Ollman's new CD, "What'll It Be?" is absolutely fantastic. Compelling lyrics, wonderful melodies, voice like warm honey, and a feeling that makes me want to hug Barry and everyone he knows. Barry's music is a treasure and a half. PS: Graham Nash sings harmonies on Imogen's Lament.February 20, 2014
Real Elevator Music February 11, 2014
Happy November 11, 2013
Celebrate Life Events in London
Here's a 2-minute video that will give you a feeling for a cool, new music-themed initiative in London dedicated to bringing about positive change in communities. Inspired. Fun. Celebrational.October 17, 2013
One Coin Is All It Takes
Fabulous! Wow!October 11, 2013
The Woodstock Festival of Thanksgiving
A musician friend of mine is organizing the First Annual Woodstock Festival of Thanksgiving Concert on November 30th and is asking for people to send him "gratitude themed" JPGs for a slide show he is putting together for the event which is going to include the entire community and spark an international "gratitude movement." Got something to send him? Email it to Marc Black (Blackmkt1@aol.com)September 05, 2013
Brand New Day August 28, 2013
The Boy at the Gate
Brilliant new book by Danny Ellis, one of the most gifted songwriters and singers I have ever heard. I've listened to his 800 Voices more than 100 times and hear something new every time I play it.May 21, 2013
You Get More Beautiful
Daya singing Stuart Hoffman's "You Get More Beautiful" -- one of the many wonderful songs from Dance in the Dance. Great visuals in the accompanying slide show.March 10, 2013
Gotta love Kim O'Leary!November 29, 2012
New Music Video by Wendy Lewis July 15, 2012
Last Night Beyond Words in Woodstock
I wrote this piece last night at Karl Berger and Friends' awesome evening of gone beyond music in Woodstock. They opened a crack in time and space for those of us in the audience to enter. (The following piece is best read aloud).
I have a perfect seven-letter Scrabble word in my hand but nowhere to put it. It just doesn't fit.
The word is astounding, Olympian, holy, -- the perfect blend of consonant and vowel, but I just can't lay it down if you know what I mean.
So I'm sitting, amazed, struck dumb by my knowing -- like the time, as a young man, when I experienced such a cosmic revelation that I had to write it down -- which I did -- infinitely content for the moment at having expressed the secret of life, my own personal scripture needing no confused disciples to argue, years later, about what it meant -- me still ecstatic the next day, contemplating whether or not I should start my own religion or speed dial the Dalai Lama and read him what I wrote to claim my rightful seat in some exotic realm only 3,000 year-old Tibetan monks have ever heard about, but dare not speak, afraid their telling would dissipate this moment's sand mandala of love.
Yes, it was that kind of moment I was having -- or maybe it was having me -- so I grabbed my trusty notebook and opened, like a rose, to the page now home to my sudden revelation.
Not my revelation, mind you, as in mine -- not something I could claim as the one who had had it. No, I was simply the caretaker of the knowledge every jazz musician worth his weight in the spaces between notes understands before playing.
That's what I'm talking about -- the moment when the blind piano player, alone in a room with no hope of high tipping tourists getting past the bouncer, takes a very long breath and exhales.
It was precisely at this moment that I opened my notebook, curious to read that which the rhapsody of my soul was only preamble to.
I must say I was surprised at how little actually made it to the page. Most of it, like the first 64 years of my life or the entire universe, was empty space.
There were only a few words on that page, each one an orphan from a faraway land, the memory of caravans where no mirage abides, no grave robbers, no time, the place where madness and sanity are the very same thing and always have been.
"What did I write?" I wondered. What hieroglyph of my need to know had found its way through me in a blinding flash, last night's secret stash from a thousand gypsies dancing around the fire.
Four words. That's all there was. Four words -- none of them longer than four letters. One of them only two.
There it was -- my entire revelation, my night's escapade into the far reaches of knowing reduced to... just... four.... words -- like a stunned fan of Miles Davis backstage at the apocalypse with only enough time to say.... "Thanks, man... For everything."July 10, 2012
It's Hoffman Time on This Blog!
Ladies and gentleman, in case you didn't know it, that's a photo of Stuart Hoffman to your left. Stuart (along with Jennifer Edwards and Hannah Blake) produced Searchin' USA) -- one very cool video, methinks.
He also produced this cool invitation to Prem Rawat's North American tour, this one for Milan (along with others for Birmingham, Copenhagen, Munich, and Spain) and did the music for Dance in the Dance, with Daya and mucho other wonderful musicians (video editor: Fernando Garcia.)
But wait! There's more. Stuart is working on something to help get the word out about the Amaroo event in September. It should be done by July 23d or so. Stay tuned. You will see it here, first. Or maybe second or third.
Something Good April 15, 2012
Can You Hear It Being Played?
I have something to say to you
and it is this:
This gathering of souls,
Nothing else ever happens.
There is nowhere else to go.
Every flower, child,
breeze and breath
is saying the same thing:
This! Wake up! Sing!
There is no other possibility
or hope, my friends.
What you call future is a dream,
your well-intentioned scheme
to more thoroughly enjoy
what can only ever happen now.
There is nothing else to do,
nowhere else to go,
no one to come home to,
or if you are, shall we say,
no one to chant OM to.
You see (and you do!) this... is... it!
a chance like a leaf on a high branch,
to come undone, flutter down, land,
and there, at the root, find rest.
Let it fall to the place it can fall no further from!
And when, as you might, finally decide to speak,
announce your discovery of pure and perfect presence,
you will be struck dumb,
stunned like a child just before tears,
mute, like someone upon whose shoulder a butterfly has come.
Moved, but unmoving.
Proof, but unable to offer any.
The perfect fool.
It is into this space that music enters.
It is into this space that hearts become drums
and we hear -- do not listen to -- but hear... music!
Can you hear the molecules and the atoms within,
the sound which ties us to God,
that like an identical twin
knows exactly what we want to say?
It is into this space that music is made.
Can you hear it being played?
April 11, 2012
Joe and Eddie
Playing for Change
Great Eversound Concert on April 14th
Catch Daya Rawat, John Adorney, and a host of other awesome musicians at Eversound's 15th anniversary concert celebration at the Luke Theater in Santa Barbara, CA on April 14th.January 20, 2012
Longing for Long Beach on 1/29!
Turn up the volume! Go full screen! Here is a fun way that Stuart Hoffman, Jennifer Edwards, and Hannah Blake are getting the word out about Prem Rawat's upcoming Long Beach event on 1/29. Forward it to family and friends! Dance! Sing! Breathe! Do whatever it takes to get there on 1/29. And if you can't, watch it two weeks later here.December 25, 2011
Merry i-Christmas! December 10, 2011
Singing For Someone Else's Supper