It just occurred to me that I haven't updated my blog in awhile. As a matter of fact, my last entry was in February, and a lot has changed since then.
The Damselles & the TC4 finally released our much anticipated, first full length LP on August 6th, 2013, entitled, "Know How to Party." You can buy the digital album or a limited edition cd here:
Here is our awesome album cover art, photography & design by the great Sterling Andrews:
The release of the Richie West Band's first album, Last Two-Step in Texas, has been delayed due to lack of funds. It's 90% done being mixed, but we are still trying to save up for the mastering process. As most of you know, we started a kickstarter campaign in 2011 so that we could bring the band and a film crew back to my family reunion in Childress, Texas, to play my dad's songs for his relatives and visit his grave. I am very grateful to those who donated to our trip, and I am determined to fulfill your rewards, even if it takes me the rest of my life.
For those of you who are unaware of the Richie West Band, it is a country band I put together in order to honor the songs written by my late father. Here is a link to our kickstarter page, where you can find out more about the back story: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1259019086/last-two-step-in-texas
It's really important to me to get my dad's music into the world.
If you or anyone you know is interested in donating to the completion of this monumental tribute album to the songwriting talents of my father, the late Richard E. Westover, or Richie West, I am accepting donations of any size through Paypal. You may find me by my email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, while we are finishing up mixing the album and saving the funds for mastering, the Richie West Band has been performing every month in John Ennis's Country Western Show at the Trepany House! Here is a video from our show on June 6th, 2013:
It just so happens that we are having another show tomorrow, November 3rd, at 8pm! Here is the flyer for that show. We sincerely hope you can make it! If not, we host John Ennis's Country Western show the first Sunday of every month, so please join us on December 1st for our Country Christmas Show!
Last month was a very special time for me. I celebrated the turn of my third decade here on Planet Earth, and I had a show to celebrate. Here is a video clip of me performing a song I wrote called, "To Give You My Love," at my 30th birthday show at the Trepany House (courtesy of my nephew, E-Stro):
I also started a new Master's program this summer. Some of you know that I had started Boston University's Online Distance Program last year to try and earn my Master's degree in Music Education. Well, I wasn't exactly getting what I needed out of the program, so I quit that one and joined a different program in July, 2013. I am very proud to be a part of Longy School of Music of Bard College's MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) and Teacher Credentialing Program. I am a member of the second cohort of students to join this very new program, but I have to say that I am extremely excited and privileged to be a part of it. Our campus is at the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) in the Rampart district, and since our school has a partnership with the LA Phil, we get to mentor and teach the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). YOLA at HOLA is an El Sistema nucleo. El Sistema is a program created in Venezuela by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu to stimulate social change through music. LA Phil conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, went through this program, and now endorses YOLA at HOLA. Here is more info about Longy/Bard's MAT program:
You can learn more about El Sistema here: http://www.ted.com/talks/jose_abreu_on_kids_transformed_by_music.html
I feel really fortunate to be associated with the MAT students in my cohort. They are all amazingly talented and compassionate individuals who are excellent musicians and very competent and dedicated teachers. We are currently rehearsing for an MAT Chamber Orchestra concert together, for which I wrote an arrangement of the Italian aria, "O Mio Babbino Caro," from the opera, Gianni Schicchi, by Giacomo Puccini. Here is a recording of me singing my arrangement of the aria with the MAT orchestra:
And that should bring us up to date with what has been going on in my life in the last 9 months since I updated this thing! One new development in my personal life: Mike and I adopted a new dog last month. We found him roaming the streets of Pasadena with no tags, no collar, and no microchip. When no one responded to our Found Dog flyers, we brought him to the Pasadena Humane society, who put him in their online database. After a week of no one coming forth, we legally adopted him and named him Buster. Luckily, Buster gets along really well with our other 2 dogs, Pepper and Marley. We are very happy to welcome him into the Wescamillo clan!
Thanks for keeping up with me, people! I hope you enjoy some of the media I have provided! If you like anything you have heard or watched, please feel free to drop me a line! I always love to hear your input. I hope to see you at tomorrow night's Country Western show! Message me to get the password for 2 for 1 tickets!
Until next time, be good to each other, and yourselves.
Love & Grace,