I am an American singer, mostly of jazz, and a full-time music professor.
The ANAI initiative "Get Inspired By Archives" is a very interesting and inspiring project. Firstly, because I have been traveling to Italy for many years and have been excited to learn about the culture, food, customs, regions, history and people and, secondly, because I love to conduct research on my family’s roots. I have traveled to Ireland to research my mother’s ancestry and to Slovakia to research my father’s. Doing this research has helped me learn about some of my ancestors, my family and myself.
Mostly, creating and teaching music is very important to me. Being a musician and singer of jazz, which in the USA has dwindled in popularity but not, it seems, in Europe, I feel it is important to not only keep the music alive but also to see it evolve into new directions. In knowing the history, the musicians, the stories and the music, I am excited to teach young adults about music that they have never heard which, I hope, opens their ears and minds.
On a personal level, I am starting a project of arranging writing lyrics to Steve Prosser’s music (my former husband). It’s a way of keeping his music alive and, also, a way for me to work with him, posthumously. I will have a sabbatical in which to work on this project. Afterwards, I will make a recording that I will distribute on my own record label.
Thinking about the Get Inspired By Archives project makes me realize that all of these seemingly diverse interests and passions that I have all come together in the love of historical documents and records-whether they are sheets of music, foreign birth certificates, pages of written history, paintings or even recipes. All of it is relevant and connected in my life. This initiative brings to light the belief that it’s important to document all aspects of human activity, in whatever forms can be transmitted, for future generations to learn from and enjoy.