I saw this quote on Instagram recently:
You will recognize your own path when you come upon it because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.
This certainly describes me in recent weeks, as I make plans for my 2018 project: 365 Days of Musical Women. Not only have I been unable to wait for the new year to begin, I now see that this journey actually started over 40 years ago. I traveled the country in the mid-seventies, babies in tow, interviewing black female instrumentalists. Though I didn't write the book I'd envisioned, I did publish several articles and went on to cofound two all-women's bands, Sojourner and Samana. I've engaged in musical activism and empowerment over the years.
At the urging of my wife, Zahra, and superwoman Ayana Contreras, I've gotten my treasure trove of interviews out of storage, vowing to finish what I started. Now, though, my only filter is gender - musical women. I'm open to whomever and wherever the journey takes me on this yearlong immersion.
So far this week I've been pouring over Best of 2017 lists and have listened to two albums that are favorites of many critics: Jaimie Branch's Fly or Die and Hear in Now's Not Living in Fear. Both are improvisational masterworks. Tonight I get to hear trumpeter Branch and cellist Tomeka Reid (of Hear in Now) at Chicago's Constellation, as they guest with Michael Zerang. I'm super excited.