This summer has been full of great musical memories. Below are a few photos from a few highlights over the last couple months.
Virginia Beach, VA
I am not much of a fan of busy beaches however I did get a chance to catch a beautiful sunrise, dolphins (on my last day there), and of course take in some good music.
Virginia Beach sunrise view from my hotel.
Poseidon at dusk. Virginia Beach
Moravian Falls, NC
What an enchanting place. I had planned on making a separate post for my time with Suzy and Kamran Yarai this past August however here are a few photos from my time there. I had the beautiful privilege of reuniting once again with the “East meets West” team to record a few songs for the television program that is broadcasted in Iran. Suzy and Kamran (and team) took such wonderful care of us that week. They exemplified the way to make musicians feel comfortable for a week of recording and making music. We stayed at a beautiful lodge with breathtaking views and were treated to homemade lunch and dinner (amazing Persian food!) every day. What a beautiful time of fellowship, music making, and worship.
Part of the view from the lodge. This was just a short distance from where we were recording.
Mohammed preparing breakfast. Mohammed is one of the musicians in the band (a couple of the songs we were performing are his original songs. Mohammed was born and raised in Iran and currently based out of Dallas, Texas) and volunteered himself to wake up early every morning to fix breakfast. This dude is a real gem.
Patio view at the lodge.
Talking with Don Potter. What an incredible musician and encouraging soul. Don is a legend in the music world with decades of experience and wisdom. His fingers truly tell a story when he is playing and he speaks with a gentle yet confident tone.
At the recording space… Suzy and Kamran’s home! What an honor.
Round table (or round floor) discussion; preparing for the band interviews.
Looking at Stephen Roach’s corner.
Maestro Luke Skaggs and the Afghanistan rebab. Luke… incredible musician.
Another view… and Cassie Campbell taking a sip of some go juice (coffee y’all).
The dinner table at the lodge. There is a song by Jason Upton called “Every table is an altar.” When I hear that song I am transfixed by the Holy Spirit and images/memories of times sitting or standing around a table with friends and family. This table… this table was alive that week. It was surrounded with laughs, tears, prayers, prophecies, silence, songs, great food (of course haha), dancing, and most of all… love. I was a bit overwhelmed with what this week had done for me. I was not expecting it. I was starting to get burned out. Surely I was looking forward to the time with these great people, but honestly I did not expect to have my heart that filled.That week gave me a better understanding of why Jesus broke the bread, and why it is written about the disciples going from house to house and “breaking bread.” A lot of beautiful “bread breaking” or fellowship happened at this table. In my opinion this table was a central piece of that week. The attention to detail and the love that went into it was breathtaking.
Michael Pritcher’s place. Great setup and excellently played/executed.
Ngoni and a custom drum I made… setting some ambiance.
Another beautiful view. Ahhh.
Below is a link to a small video clip ( taken from my iPhone) of me playing with the team.
New Instructional Videos
On my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/john5699 I have uploaded several new instructional videos.
61st FYC Grammy Submissions
This Grammy season (61st) I have a few submissions. If you are a Grammy voting member or know one it would be my honor for you to listen and consider the music.
Best Gospel Album: Morris Mingo “The Time of the Minstrel”
Best Folk Album: Eryn Jones Fuson “Trail of White”
Best R&B song: Desmond Myers, “VHS (Best Life Today)”
Best Childrens Music Album: Mister G “Fireflies”
A summer full of worship
This photo was taken by Katie Lyon at Grace Church in Southern Pines. The last couple months I have been blessed to help lead worship at several different churches in the region.
Recording with my friend Mister G.
I know I added this photo previously but here it is again. Mister G is a Latin Grammy winning Childrens music artist. Both he and his wife are also some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Such big hearts.
Here are a couple clips of the session via my Instagram feed.
New Music on the Way
This fall/winter I will be releasing my fourth album! Here is a clip of me working on some ideas for a new song.
last week I participated in an art show exhibiting some of my work and playing a little music with my friend Zach Pessagno.
I recently started working with a local high school (Pinecrest Highschool) marching band. I am helping to instruct the Pitt crew. I have already grown attached to them. Marching band is something new to me, however like most things I do, I have thrown myself into it and enjoying the challenge.
Yup, lots of great stuff this summer. It has been full of beautiful moments.