How was your 2013???

I am simply thankful for everyday. So thankful that we are able to make choices in life and steer our lives in any direction we want. There is so much to discover, so much joy to experience. We are truly fortunate.

For me, 2013 was a very, very blessed and fun/positive year although also extremely difficult- battling ongoing health issues (4 pinched nerves, severe fatigue and thyroid issues- ALMOST all of which are no longer I am very happy to say) and ongoing heart brokenness from a previous relationship (which! I have no regrets of and am very certain that I will be made all the stronger and more loving as a result.) 2013 was also the first year where the largest number of people very close to me passed away. I am sure we all had many struggles this past year, I sincerely pray that they all can lead us to a more healthy and loving place, one that leads to ever unfolding joy as well. Even the hardships I feel are a gift. May we use the hardships to inform and propel us to unparalleled heights coated in love and compassion. I am so ready for 2014, very excited to say the least. I feel full of love and gratitude.

2013 saw me doing what I love in a couple countries- Brazil, Australia, Austria, and Germany. Wrote and premiered an original symphonic piece for Flute, Viola and Orchestra with the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra. Got sponsored by Yamaha and have been enjoying my new 5 string quite a lot. Was invited to perform with my group at the Melbourne Intl Jazz Festival which I featured members of Hiatus Kaiyote (one of my favorite new groups). Had a sublime time with my quintet at Dilla Day Detroit and played throughout the year with one of my best friends and favorite artists- Vardan Ovsepian. Other amazing concerts were what felt like a historic concert with my 10 piece ensemble featuring my favorite dj- JROCC- what a joy that was, and concerts throughout the year at The Blue Whale, my Bday concert with my 10 piece and special guests was ecstatic and the Project Bronzeville concert featuring me conducting a 23 piece orchestra celebrating the works of Ellington, Strayhorn, Charlie Parker and Gil Evans was absolutely amazing… Had another very joyous concert in Atlanta organized by my great friend and visionary- Kebbi Williams. That concert saw me writing for and conducting a 50 piece orchestra with the legendary Deantoni Parks (drums) and Oteil Burbridge (bass) plus an orchestra comprised of youth and professionals, including EIGHT tubists!

Wrote 25 orchestral arrangements and recorded all the parts for various new albums for artists like Flying Lotus, Seu Jorge, Marie Daulne, Kimbra, Matt Corby feat Lianne La Havas, and Mayer Hawthorne. Going through the ‘stems’ (the recordings of just what I put on people’s albums minus the other elements (vocals, keys, bass, etc..)) led to me producing ‘MAF Arrangements Vol. 1’ which I have just begun to send out all around the world. A link to purchase will be made in the following couple of days on my website.

And… a miracle happened on March 22nd, 2013- my nephew James Andrew Ward was born! He is the most joyous baby that I can ever remember meeting. What a gift he is!

Be safe out there everyone and thank you for being a part of my life! I cherish you!

I look forward to showing you my love and the love that I have for this wondrous thing called life.

Sincerely praying that your dreams (small and large) come true in this lifetime. May we all give them a chance. Let’s really go for it and surprise ourselves with what is possible!

Peace and love!!!!



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