Morning Star Newsletter – March 2015

Welcome to The Morning Star…
the occasionally updated newsletter of the Peter Mayer Group

Hello friends and neighbors!

I’ve been giving you the silent treatment in terms of keeping in touch since Christmas… and for some of you that might be a welcome personal contribution to stemming the daily flood of emails, tweets and other 21stcentury flotsam and jetsam that floats around our boat. No worries, I’ve made up a bunch of excuses, some of which are true, and most are just an indication that I’m enjoying some time in Nashville with family, two dogs, two cats and too many guitars to play all at one time. But… that’s why I’m finishing touches on my home studio as we speak, so I can overdub and underpay myself to my hearts content.I got cabin fever enough in early January to call Beth Estes and tell her I needed to get out on the road quick… and she, along with some wonderful friends, set up seven shows that were unique and fun. They were the “Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants” tour style house concerts with just Brendan and myself, along with intimate settings and great crowds enjoying some music together. We started in Bristol, TN, with our friends Keith and Kalonn Roberts. We played to an intimate gathering of friends at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant. While in Bristol, we got the special added bonus of going to the Bristol Motor Speedway there and took a few laps around the track!!! Thank you Kalonn for arranging this for us!
 We moved on to Spartanburg, SC, where we had a chance to connect after way too long with our friends Dave and Sharon Pittman and long distance travelers Rich and Deb Peterson, that made the trip up from Jacksonville, FL. Next was Charlotte, NC, where we played the beautiful Christ Lutheran Church that was hosting a Lutheran regional conference. Then on to a Superbowl weekend in the Richmond, VA, area where we stayed with our friends David and MaryAnn Howell. We played in Ashland, and then also at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church in the city. What a fabulous city Richmond is with award winning restaurants and rich in historical sights as well.We traveled on to Louisville, KY, to play a house concert for our good friend April Davenport, adding Zeb Briskovich on bass.  It was a FROZEN night in Louisville, but a warm fire of music and friends made it a perfect night to ignore the weather. Our final stop was Wilmette, IL, just outside of Chicago,  where our friend Catherine Inserra invited us to play Trinity United Methodist Church (The church that was featured in “Home Alone”) to close out the tour. This was a benefit show. Thanks to all of you friends and fans who joined us and made these nights a success.

Demonthon Charity Event!!!

Make a Difference for Children and families!I’ve spent many hours of my life on my guitar doing what Duane Allman recommended when asked how he learned to play slide guitar; “play ‘till you can stand it.” I consider myself lucky to be doing what I love, and privileged to tell people I have thousands of friends and family that have somehow come together because of the power of music. Watching many of you giving of your time to make difference in the world has inspired me; my daughter India is one of those among you. She is executive director of “DemonTHON” at De Paul University in Chicago. Hundreds of students will get together on April 24th to dance for 24 hours straight!! Why?? Here’s India’s letter to her friends about DemonTHON:
Hello friends and family,I hope this note finds you well! As you may know, for the past three years I have been involved in a student run organization called DemonTHON at DePaul University. DemonTHON is a yearlong fundraising effort culminating in a 24-hour Dance Marathon where we stand for kids at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Yes, we stand. We stand for 24 hours in solidarity with the families and children who do not get a break from their illness. We stand to bring students together for one cause. We stand to make miracles.DemonTHON is part of the larger Dance Marathon Movement, which is now hosted at over 250 schools nation wide. Dance Marathon is the fastest growing program within The Children’s Miracle Network, and has raised over $62 million dollars For The Kids. In just four years, DemonTHON has raised $468,064.11, breaking the first and second year records for fundraising and ranking 17th in the nation after our third year.  Lurie Children’s Hospital is the largest pediatric provider in the region, and DemonTHON strives to offer emotional and financial support to families in need. We are proud to work closely with Lurie’s so that every dollar stays local.This is my fourth and final year participating in DemnTHON. I am also acting as the Executive Director for the organization, which is comprised of 40 committee members. This has been a challenging and wonderful experience, and I look forward to our Big Event in April.I hope that you will consider making a donation to this worthy cause. All donations are tax deductible, and our fundraising efforts will be revealed at DemonTHON’s Big Event on April 24, 2015. Miracle families from Lurie Children’s Hospital will be cheering us on throughout these 24 hours, and that is all we could ask for. We believe that a group of college students can make a difference. We believe in making miracles. Join us in our dance of joy. Thank you for your time.

Love and blessings For The Kids,
India Mayer

Here’s a video of Demonthon’s work.

Well I was challenged to do something!!!! And since I’m a lousy dancer, I decided I could play a few songs and share some music with friends. So I’m offering the following packages for sale to raise some money for kids. Will you please join me?!1)  Three House Concert packages – $ 2,500.00
• I’m offering three house concerts. An evening of music played in an intimate setting: living rooms, banquet rooms, or backyards with a select gathering of your invited friends. You are free to charge admission or donate it yourself as a gift in honor of someone you love. I will travel to your city for a minimum 90-minute concert for what I believe will be an unforgettable experience.
A few guidelines:
• Packages that are purchased must be paid in full by April 20th. Details at the link below.
• Audience size is limited to no more than 75 people but can be as few as you like.
• Venue must be suitable to accommodate number of guests for the performance.
Concerts must be in the contiguous United States or, if outside the 48 states, travel and scheduling logistics must be approved.
• Concert dates are contingent on Peter Mayer’s availability and must be booked to be performed before November 15, 2015.2) Three Online Guitar lesson packages: – $500.00
• This is a chance to work on your guitar playing, songwriting, or general musical skills with me on Skype or video conferencing. There are three packages and each includes three one-hour lessons. No worries if you are a beginner or intermediate player (if you’re a pro I’ll ask you for some tips!), we’ll get better acquainted with your guitar or the song you’re working on at whatever ability level you play.
A few guidelines:
• Packages that are purchased must be paid in full by April 20th.  Details at the link below.
• Winners must own or have access to a computer and necessary equipment for the lesson.
• Winners will be contacted prior to lesson for information on his/her skill level, desired area of study, and to double check on internet connection logistics.
• Times of lessons are contingent on Peter Mayer’s availability and must be booked to have all three lessons completed before November 15,  2015.3)  The first 50 people who donate $75.00, will receive an autographed copy of the upcoming Vinyl LP project, “Peter Mayer, Live in Amsterdam!”
Donations must be paid in full by April 20 and will be mailed to verified contributors upon our receipt of the finished product.Ok, there you go. Please go to the following link for information: http://littleflockmusic.com/demonthon2015/ .
And… just a reminder that these items are available for just FIVE WEEKS!! I’ll look forward to seeing you down the road at your own living room concert or learning your favorite song on guitar. And… I look forward to doing it knowing we made a difference for children and families dealing with serious illness.

If you don’t plan to bid on any of the auction items but would like to support this worthy cause with any amount, please follow the link to: India’s official fundraising page.

Peter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer shows in April!

Scott, Brendan and I have enjoyed touring our acoustic show on the east coast for the last three Septembers.  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform for our friends in South Florida!APRIL 2: Peter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer will be at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West. Doors open at 9:00 pm, Show begins at 9:30pm. Tickets are $25 and available through www.keystix.com APRIL 3: Peter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer will be at Shadowood Farm, 6220 SW Martin Highway, Palm City, FL 34990. Concert begins at 8:00 pm.  Tickets are $45 and nearly sold out for this intimate venue.  Please contact Megan Patrick at megantpatrick@gmail.com for ticket availability.

Weekend at Smokey Shadows Lodge!

May 1 and 2:  Come join us for a weekend of music in the North Carolina hills. Picture a quaint wooden lodge surrounded by friends old and new. Look out the front porch and see nature’s beauty all around you. Enjoy some great cuisine and shake off the tensions and conventions of everyday life.It has become a favorite tradition of ours to return each year to Maggie Valley for a weekend of performances at Bud and Ginger Shinn’s Smokey Shadows Lodge. In the lodge’s gathering space we set up in front of the fire place. Listeners gather on a couch, on seats, or get a birds eye view from the staircase leading to the second floor. It is comfortable, but close, warm and casual. There is no other event we do quite like this!! We usually make the nights musically different in some way; sometimes an acoustic evening, followed by an electric night with full on production provided by Chad Stewart and Stewart Sound. We play songs old and new and sometimes the set list is requested in part by you. I can go on and on about it, but you will just have to experience this if you haven’t had a chance to already. Make your reservations now for this wonderful weekend and we’ll see you there!!!    PMTickets for this music-filled weekend are extremely limited and will not be available at the door.  Advance purchase is necessary. Tickets are $110.00 per person and provides admission to both the Friday and Saturday shows which begin @ 7:30 PM. Doors open @ 6:30.  For more information contact Gail Weams at gweams@gmail.com  Gail is handling all ticket sales for this weekend event!This event will benefit Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreat Center providing cancer survivors the opportunity to attend a life changing retreat in WNC. This is in support of the friends of Gail & the Wicked Warriors who are cancer survivors and in remembrance of those they have personally lost, as well as countless others.  Proceeds will enable cancer survivors to participate in the retreats at no cost, focusing on living more fully and authentically  – mind, body and spirit until we can finally eradicate cancer.  Gail & the Wicked Warriors will offer a spectacular raffle during these shows with Annie’s Art, fine wines, other local artisans art, pottery, etc. and some very special Peter Mayer items.

Vinyl Release Update!

As we mentioned last time, our upcoming vinyl release, “Live In Amsterdam” was recorded in Amsterdam, on October 3, 2013, while Jim and Brendan were with me in Europe, touring after our performance with Jimmy Buffett in Paris, France. We are working with a company who will offer us not only an LP, but will include access to the recording for your digital media player.  Stay tuned for exciting details on the new release!

Trip to Abu Dhabi:  Strings To The Community

Last month I had the chance to travel to a part of the world that I have never been.  I took a trip to the United Arab Emirates to take part in a program called “Strings to the Community.” My friend, Eric Hilgendorf, who spent some years close to me in Nashville, had grown up in Beirut, Lebanon, son of missionary parents like myself and has lived off and on a total of 32 years in the Mideast.  He is Associate Dean at New York University in Abu Dhabi, speaks fluent Arabic, and has an amazing gift for connecting people. Abu Dhabi is Capital City of the UAE. It’s a forward thinking city where amazing connections and innovations between cultures, business interests, and the arts seem to happen frequently. Eric assembled a team whose dream it was to bring together musicians from the East and West to talk to students, hold master classes, engage their different cultures, share their stylistic differences and commonalities, and finally to come together in a concert to close out the week.My son Brendan and I traveled together on the journey. After a 13 ½ hour flight and a day of jet lag, we hit the road with an opportunity to meet with Sheik Nahyan, the local education minister who has supported programs at NYU. The government leaders there in Abu Dhabi hold daily Majlis or forums where businesspeople bring concerns or proposals forward to be considered. Eric was there to invite/inform him of our “Strings To The Community” events.  We sat in a semi circle and one-by-one people were invited to come forward and talk one-on-one with him. We had brought a gift from Nashville to present to him, a Gretsch resonator acoustic guitar. When he saw it he asked me to “play something from Nashville.” Having no strap, I got on one knee and played one of my songs. It felt like something out of a movie. Everyone applauded and he invited us back to join him for lunch the next day.We began the week with a rehearsal/get aquainted session, at the beautiful NYU Abu Dhabi campus. The musicians were Sharine Tohamy, an Egyptian Oud player; an Italian guitarist, Enrico Santacatarina; Brendan and myself. During the following week we visited schools in the Abu Dhabi area, held master classes with the students and played concerts as well. We had an opportunity to go to Al Ain, an “oasis” city with a natural spring that is more inland toward the desert and played the Al Mezyad School. During the afternoon show, the students got up and started dancing and clapping. Some of the girls in traditional Arabic dress hesitated but asked the teachers if they could stand and clap along with the rest of the kids. They were given the go ahead and they all went crazy. The Principal’s wife remarked that for some of the female students, it could be the only time they would be free to experience a concert in this way.A highlight of the journey for me was the concert that closed out our week. It was held in an open courtyard of a beautiful house, on a perfect night under the stars.  We musicians took turns playing on each other’s songs.  Sherine Tohamy joined in on “Norwegian Wood” and “One and One Makes Three,” weaving lines on her Oud, an 11-stringed fretless instrument. Brendan and I learned a few of her original and traditional Arabic songs as well and jammed with Sherine on those. Near the end of our performance we asked if anyone had requests. Ahmed, the host of our concert asked for something by Neil Young. We played a few verses of “India” going into “Teach your Children” (not technically Neil Young, but close). Everybody sang along, and as the last note rang out, we looked up and saw a huge aircraft, Solar Impulse, directly above the stage. It is the aircraft that will attempt a record breaking solar flight around the world this month. It was a magical end to a journey I will never forget.
Copyright © 2015 Little Flock Music, LLC, All rights reserved.
 TOUR DATES:
Peter Mayer, Scott Kirby and Brendan Mayer:April 2 – Key West, FL
April 3 – Palm City, FL
May 1 – Maggie Valley, NC
May 2 – Maggie Valley, NCMore tour dates? Visit Peter’s website at PeterMayer.com!

Comments

  1. I enjoyed your reflections on your trip to the Middle East. It sounds like you made some great connections and had a wonderful time. Love you. Vickie

    clingermayer, victoria on April 27th, 2015

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