I wrote “Roberto’s Cha Cha” back when I was musical director and pianist for “Burn the Floor”, a modern Broadway Ballroom Dance show. It’s a straight ahead Cha Cha beat with classical nylon guitar, piano and percussion.
I wrote this song back in 1994 after returning from a 14 week tour of South Korea (and Japan). During the tour we spent most of our time in Tongduchon, South Korea (Hello Camp Casey!) and played different military bases 6 nights a week to entertain the troops. The band was a Southern Rock band called “The Hardriders” that was playing U.S. military bases for MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation). Every night we played a different base, sometimes with two hour bus rides each way. It was a tough tour.
This song was released by Road Records on the CD “New Faces Volume Two”. The goal of this song was to create something that sounded like a retro jazz ballad. I remember this is one of the few recordings where I used an actual upright piano to play the keys parts. Normally I don’t use upright pianos because they’re always a tad out of tune, but that effect worked very well on this song to give it an authentic retro feel.
“Ballad of Dull Knife” is one of the first songs I wrote that ended up being on a released album (around 1995). It is about the Cheyenne chief Dull Knife (Morning Star) and the emotions I imagined he might have felt as his lands were being taken away.
So I earned a couple degrees: Bachelor of Professional Studies from Berklee College of Music and a Master in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (MALCM) from Colorado State University. I actually just finished these in the last couple years so I’m what they refer to as a “mature learner”. Was it worth it? In short, yes. Does anyone really care? Not really.
Both my degrees were earned online. One of the reasons I didn’t finish my degrees many years ago is that in my line of work you often get a call for a tour with a short window of prep time. If I was back in a brick and mortar school and I got the call for a gig then I would have had to turn the gig down (or drop out of school to do the tour). I didn’t want just any degree. I wanted a degree I felt proud of (or at least wasn’t embarrassed by). There is one well-known online university that I didn’t want to sign up with because every time I imagined writing down the name of the university, well, it was not a feeling of pride. No, I won’t mention that school name because I’m “nice”.
All shows SOLD OUT! Pray the Gay Away® the musical Nov. 8-24, 2019 at Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. I am thrilled at the overwhelming support and ticket demand for my fourth original full-length musical.
Thank you so much to our Pacific Northwest audiences for supporting this show and its mission. Its become bigger than we ever could have imagined. We are in a whirlwind with all the comments and social media buzz coming in. It’s overwhelmingly beautiful.
We do know one thing: audiences are hungry for the experience and message of this show. It is obvious that somehow this show needs to reach more people. We have confidence the people of the Pacific Northwest will find a way to make that happen. The Great People of the Pacific Northwest. You are the best!