<![CDATA[Jaclyn Guillou - Blog]]>Sun, 26 Jul 2015 04:05:53 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Power Of Intention ]]>Thu, 29 May 2014 18:54:59 GMT/blog/the-power-of-intention Three years ago when I was finishing up my first recording project, To The City, I was having lunch with one of my good friends, somebody that I consider a mentor. This gentleman is a wise person who works in the arts and lives his life with a great positive light shining around him. He often asks me questions that put me in deep contemplation. These are the kind of friends that I like to have.

I had been talking about my frustrations, mainly in regards to relationships both professional and personal. I was in a bit of a funk.  Also, I felt insecure and worried about what I was doing creatively and how my project would be perceived to others. On this particular day we were going back and forth between these two subjects and he began to tell me a story about when he decided to start living his life with good intention. I didn't really know what that meant at the time, probably because I was so blocked with emotion and negative energy from deep within. But after our chat I know that some of his story really lingered in my head and I began to think further about what that meant.

Through daily thoughts and my active pursuit to attain happiness in my career and my artistic self, which ultimately has led me to a happier daily life, I have narrowed it down to this:
  1. Project beautiful and positive thoughts about where you want to be in your life and where you are going. Visualize yourself in the place that you want to be.

  2. Expect nothing, yet have Requirements about what you absolutely need.

  3. Feel everything. Don't block out emotion. Recognize it, learn from it and use it to grow.

  4. Intention is the secret to happiness. If you know what you are doing and why you are doing with a true honest intention then you will feel inner peace.

  5. Create whatever you want. Don't get distracted by what you “think” you should be doing.

  6. Truthfulness in yourself will lead you to truthfulness in others.

I didn't "steal" any of these ideas from a book, this is merely a brief summary of my conversation with this friend and is something that I think about each and everyday, but recently I did come across a book called The Power Of Intention by Wayne Dyer and it made me wonder if this is the book my friend was referring to!

<![CDATA[Ben henriques cd release @ Cellar jazz club]]>Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:31:07 GMT/blog/ben-henriques-cd-release-cellar-jazz-clubPicture
Ben Henriques put on a stellar show this week at Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club. The venue was jam packed with musicians and friendly faces who seemed relaxed, enthused and completely engaged with the music from Henriques' new CD released by Chronograph Records entitled "Captain Awesome." 

His quintet featured beautiful solos by Dan Reynolds on the piano and magnetic playing by Tristan Paxton on guitar. They were supported by the powerhouse team of Jodi Proznick on bass and Jesse Cahill on drums. 

Henriques played tenor and soprano sax on this special album release concert and he certainly proved there is something awesome about his playing and his new music. I'd vote him to be captain anytime.

all photographs by Jaclyn Guillou

<![CDATA[The Other Side Of The Street]]>Sun, 07 Jul 2013 17:04:04 GMT/blog/the-other-side-of-the-streetPicture
My first exposure to jazz was in Vancouver at the jazz festival, checking out a live outdoor show in David Lam park. I didn't grow up listening to jazz nor did I have parents who were musicians or artists. I had little exposure to music actually, and if it wasn't for classical voice lessons and dance classes (I was a very committed competitive dancer of various disciplines), I wouldn't have listened to music at all. In fact, I wasn't even aware of many musical superstars like Led Zeppelin, Snoop Dog and Bjork until my grade 12 year in high school. So the day I stumbled upon live jazz at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival was a warranted excuse to jump into the language of music and truly begin to learn what this wide open genre has to offer.

Almost immediately I began to study jazz standards and listen to old recordings by the great singers Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Astrud Gilberto and Dinah Washington. These were the easiest to find and I'm certain they were a good first influence. My parents weren't into music and growing up I only had 3 records. At around 12 years old I bought a boombox and a few cds whenever I had saved up enough money from my chores. So yeah, music was sparce..

When I was a young adult, already a working professional artist, a musical theatre actress/singer/dancer, I was looking for something (anything) that had more meaning to me personally. I wanted things to be more complex, layered and have spiritual meaning. I enjoyed modern dramatic playwrights like Chekhov and Shaw but wasn't sure I had the courage to commit my life to acting. I have always been drawn to music because there were so many different aspects to it that I already knew. I wonder if I had actually just been waiting for my discovery of jazz all along?

I remember being at that first festival and feeling the vibe from the crowd and the performers. It was this truly surreal moment for me and I liked how the artists truly engaged with large crowds in a personable way. I liked how when I heard jazz that I felt this insane yearning in my body to play along to their swinging beat.

I became one of those festival go-ers and would plan out my schedule well in advance so that I wouldn't miss a show. I liked to check out local artists and international musicians, basically anything that was available and anything that was appealing. I would write in my journal keeping notes on everything. I went to jazz, folk, hip hop, world and electronic music festivals. I took pictures and bought CDs. I made some great friends. I learned a lot.

In 2009 I had my first onstage festival experience. It was at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. My debut show was part of a competition and I was a lucky to be one of two recipients. And then this current year in 2013, for the first time, I played multiple jazz festival stages across Canada. I had a surreal moment performing in Vancouver and looking out into a huge crowd and saying out loud to myself and to them "Wow, this is crazy. I've always been one of you guys out there in the audience and now here I am touring around singing onstage, bringing the energy and spirit to the crowds." I never ever would have saw that coming.

These moments for me are always so gratifying and rewarding because it reminds me of how truly joyous it was that I began to follow this path. It found me. And I listened. I'm sure glad I did, because sometimes it's neat to see things from the other side of the street.

<![CDATA[the lifE of a keyboard: Broken D, Broken me]]>Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:49:11 GMT/blog/the-life-of-a-keyboard-broken-d-broken-meIn the spring of this year I took my piano player on tour to play a few duo shows in British Columbia. I was pretty stoked to be able to spend time with him and get into our music in a stripped down version of things. We have always played in a band and this was to be our first time in a duo format. I had some nice gigs lined up but unfortunately none of the venues had pianos so I packed up my handy 88 key Yamaha P-120 model keyboard and brought it with us on the tour. 

Previous experiences with my keyboard have been down right hilarious. And fun. It's a simple keyboard with really nice weighted keys and it has a few different options for sound effects. Sometimes I play it on gigs and kind of amaze myself that I can shlep it around town. It does take a few extra muscles to move it to and from gigs, but it ain't too bad. I have enjoyed the fairly true piano sound it has to offer, Bruno has played the strings patch on many occasions, and occasionally, I'm sure,  we have each taken our turn ripping up a few choruses with the choir patch on the keyboard. He's a real trouper of a musician to tour with and for a guy who has spent a huge portion of his life trying to understand the beautiful acoustic instrument, the piano, he is more than willing to make do and play a few gigs here or there with a keyboard if need be. 

You see, Bruno is not just a piano player, he is also a piano tuner. And a piano finder. He collects old pianos and putters away on them, making the rickety old keys sound more in tune and brings an unbelievable new life to these abandoned wooden creatures with a few turns of his tuning hammer. He loves the piano with all his heart and would defend/protect that instrument to end of the earth.

But sometimes things go wrong with keyboards. They are not pianos. Things can break. Especially on tour. And just because you know how to fix a real piano doesn't mean you are going to have the same solutions to fix a keyboard. It's made of plastic, not wood. It's like comparing grapefruits to raspberries. They are both fruit, and they are both a tasty treat, but boy oh boy are they different.

So, did something go wrong? Yes, it certainly did. On the very first gig of a 3 day tour the keyboard refused to play. But only certain notes. As the first set progressed Bruno seemed more stressed. I thought it was my music, or my singing, or my hair. But no, it wasn't me at all. It was Mr.Yamaha P-120. He was acting in a strange way and all of a sudden we had lost middle D. 

Middle D is next to middle C. If piano was a sport then middle C would be the home plate of baseball. A lot of what a piano player plays, especially for singers, is utilizes the notes right in this area. So basically, he had to avoid the D note which was a very unfamiliar procedure. Every time you played middle D it would get stuck and not release itself, therefore lingering on and on sustaining its sound. So you would have to manually take your finger and release the note after playing it. And of course, this was not the only note giving us trouble, there were other notes lower down on the board, but this was the hardest to deal with. Needless to say, the rest of the gig was kind of... ummm... frustrating and it proved to be challenging on either end.

Fortunately, our love for music is too strong and it is impossible to crush us with one misfortune. Just because we had a broken keyboard doesn't mean we didn't to try and fix it and continue to play. We played the rest of our gigs pressing on, hoping for relief. Yet, as broken as we both felt, because we had no middle D anymore, we played some interesting arrangements and really dug into the tunes. At the end of the day, the show must go on right?]]>