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Observations from the Weekend

A few observations this past weekend...
  • One of the most moving funeral services I have ever attended and played piano at was that of Ms. Virginia Hitchcock of Chattanooga, TN this past Saturday. This one hit close for a few reasons 1) She was a very faithful member of the church 2) She was really precious to my parents 3) The delight she brought to our church. A mother of six, she was classy, stylish, sweet, and could throw down in the kitchen! As a kid I remember how people would rave about her red velvet cakes. In fact, hers was the very first red velvet cake I ever had. 
  • She graduated from Howard High School in 1958. Several of her classmates were present and they gave a resolution to the family. Graduating in '58 means she witnessed segregation, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and the disenfranchisement of African Americans to an unreal degree in her lifetime. And yet, living to witness our nation's first African-American President. I wish I could have spoke with her more to document her experiences, thoughts, and perspectives of witnessing both blacks not having the right to vote all the way to a black man holding our Nation's highest honor. Mrs. Virginia was lifelong educator, as well.
  • After the funeral, the Community Fellowship Church family stayed back and served Ms. Virginia's family. We cooked, served food, and cleaned up afterwards. After all the work was done and everyone had cleared out, I remember walking out of Taylor Funeral Home at around 3:30 p.m. behind my parents. Moma and Daddy walked out side by side, like they usually do. Daddy had just gave the eulogy to one of the sweetest mothers CFC has ever known. My parents really, truly loved Ms. Virginia and I thought to myself how just two hours ago they had last seen her at rest in her earthly suit and how tough that may be. But, then I am reminded of the fact that we will see her again in Heaven. 
  • To Mrs. Virginia's family, I am praying for you!
  • I played piano at 4 services this weekend. Yes, 4. That includes leading praise & worship at one, two in Chattanooga, two in Dalton. I lead praise and worship at one service and sang my version of this song
  • All of this music and ministry leads me to one critical revelation: serving is extremely rewarding. When you are at your lowest, emptiest, and most clueless point- serve. When you feel pride and haughtiness setting in your heart- serve. It is humbling and there is no better way to invest your life. In fact, we look like Jesus when serve. Not to obtain righteousness, but to show Christ's love and compassion just how He did for us by laying down His life on the Cross. That's love. 
  • Shout out to the CFC Improv Chorale who banded together to sing at two services this weekend! You know who you are and thank you so much! I love ya'll and your commitment to the LORD is what helps me stay focused and grounded! 


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The Synth Sounds

I am excited to share that my first jazz project is nearing completion. (Also why this is my first post this month).

Other than piano, you can definitely expect to hear sounds of 1980's and 1990's-era synthesizers filtered throughout the upcoming album.

I admire the newer sounds we have today, but none of them quite replicate the original, synth-led sounds of 80's and 90's music.

In my opinion, 80's and 90's sounds present the perfect crossover of analog and digital mixes that were limitless in use and expression.

It is no wonder that modern synthesizers today still draw inspiration from 80's and 90's technology. It was simply some of the most innovative audio machinery ever created.

No shame here. Expect 80's and 90's vibes to come your way in my upcoming project.

Stay Tuned!!!

A pile of my module racks from the 80's and 90's used and simulated on my upcoming jazz album.

CFC Youth Day

CFC Youth Day was nothing short of remarkable.

Children, teenagers, young adults (my generation) sang, danced, praised, and worshiped God with passion, love, joy, energy, and sincerity.

We led, both, the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM services and the LORD ministered through us in His own powerful way.

I am very grateful to have preached at the 10:00 AM service. (Came from 2 Timothy 1:7).

Something amazing happens when we move ourselves out of the way and allow the LORD to communicate His Word through us. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. And when you summarize the meaning He brings to life, you realize that all the of the glory belongs to Him.

The reality of God's presence gives life, and everything we involve ourselves in, brand new meaning.

God's awesomeness was displayed in a monumental way today. A flame was kindled in our youth and the church as a whole.

Today was special.

Big thanks to everyone who helped make today such a great success, you know who you are!



Last night, the very last night of our NYC vacation, my parents and I attended a jazz show at the legendary Birdland.

GRAMMY nominated jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson was in the house.

Before I go any further, I must give kudos to Allyson and her band consisting of Miro Sprague (piano & Rhodes), Jeff Johnson (upright & electric bass), and Jerome Jennings (drums). They were great!

Allyson's clear voice and the band's musical prowess made for a top-quality performance. There is no room to doubt: everyone on the stage last night were professionals.

Being at Birdland is an experience, if anything, because of its rich history in providing a venue in entertainment-rich Manhattan for jazz artists and musicians.

This is the same Birdland that George Shearing wrote "Lullabye of Birdland" about and artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse, Mel Torme, Erroll Garner, and Nikki Yanofsky later sang …