It is solstice eve and I am dragging myself inside though it is still light in order to get a few businessy things done, like update the website! I tend to save these computer related tasks until the last minute, or many would call it procrastinate :-) In any case, the calendar is updated so you can see where I'll be playing some shows in the upcoming months. The first one, the July 15th houseconcert is almost sold out!
Some exciting news on the recording front, I am honored to be part of a children's CD called Beaver Celebration! The songs were written by Stephen Malcolm Anderson and recorded by Don Latarski. They brought in a handful of musicians to play and sing on the CD and it turned out splendidly in my humble opinion! It is streamable on all the various platforms. I am singing lead vocals on a few tracks and harmonies on a few more as well as some guitar. Super fun project with an aim to educate about the importance of beavers and their ability to enhance our watersheds, something critically important during these times of climate change!
I am happy to say that I am leading a class on the first Tuesday of every month at Eugene Yoga (South) called Bhakti Nidra: a guided meditation infused with live music. This practice is near and dear to my heart. Yoga Nidra is done while lying down and uses a series of body, breath, and awareness techniques as well as visualizations and intention setting. This gentle guided meditation takes you to the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, assisting you in quieting the mind, unwinding the nervous system, and experiencing profound restoration. My yoga nidra classes are unique in that they are infused with vocal, harmonium, and guitar music (surprise, surprise!) To attend, you need to pre-register through the link above and be sure to click on the “workshops” tab to find the class!
Looking forward to 2023! Excited about a new monthly series I will be teaching at Eugene Yoga (south) called Bhakti Nidra: a guided meditation infused with live music. First Tuesday of the month starting Jan. 3, 2023! Pre-register by clicking on the title above; attendance is limited!
Early Spring 2022
Waking up from a 2 year slumber... keep your ears peeled. Will be playing some indoor shows again soon, teaching yoga nidra, beginning work on a new album, and maybe even taking some new photos for the website :-)
Still teaching a weekly Yoga Nidra/Devotional Chanting class at Eugene Yoga (south location) every Wed. evening from 7-8:30 and really loving it! The class opens and closes with some devotional chanting on my harmonium, then some very mellow/easy movement, and lastly a 30-40 minute yoga nidra practice. If you're not familiar with this wonderful form of guided meditation, here is a link with my teacher, Kamini Desai, explaining what it's all about!
I'll be offering a 4 week series in April on Sunday evenings from 7-8:15 on Devotional Chanting and Sanskrit - here is a LINK to that class!
On the music front, keep an eye on the schedule for some more singer songwriter shows this year!
I am taking a little bit of time off from performing this year - officially on a sabbatical :-) What am I doing with myself? I recently completed a yoga nidra teacher training at a sweet little ashram in Florida, and soon I will be starting to teach a weekly class at Eugene Yoga! The class starts April 4th, and will happen every Wed. evening from 7-8:30 at the south location of Eugene Yoga. I will open and close the class with some devotional chanting with my harmonium, then some very mellow/easy movement, and finally a 30-40 minute yoga nidra practice. If you're not familiar with this wonderful form of guided meditation, here is a link with my teacher, Kamini Desai, explaining what it's all about! Happy spring and happy garden planting!
If you missed the Liaisons CD release last fall, we have some videos from the show that we're excited to finally post!! Filmed at the Jazz Station in Eugene on October 15, 2016 by Chris Casaceli and Kai Burley, the show features Tony Glausi on trumpet, Sean Peterson on bass/vocals, and me (Laura Kemp) on guitar/vocals. Here is "Fly Me to the Moon" - from there you can browse the other tunes!
Finally Finally, the new Liaisons recording is out and available on CD Baby!! I said I'd get it out before the BIG FIVE-O, which gives me a little over 2 months to spare :-) The release party is going to be in the early fall seeing as the band is scattering to various far flung corners of the world for the summer. To get your copy and listen to pieces of tracks, click on the link below! Thank you to Roka Walsh for putting such a beautiful package on it, and check out her art HERE!
Almost March 2016
Lots has happened since the last update! For one, WE MADE OUR GOAL FOR THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!!! So much gratitude to everyone who helped us make this new album possible. The Liaisons will have a new CD (first one with this group!) out soon. Expecting it back from the duplicators in a couple weeks, and then we'll post again and let everyone know it's ready! Stay tuned :-)
The Kickstarter Campaign for the Liaisons CD is up and running!!!! We only have until December 31st to meet our goal of $5000 to help fund our new jazz standards recording. We're over half way there, thanks to many generous folks who have already donated! Please check it out and consider donating to the project - we have all sorts of fun backer rewards (you can think of it as pre-buying your CD)! Watch the short video below for a history of who we are and why we're making this CD. Then click on this Kickstarter Campaign Link to donate to the project! Thank you!!!
The Liaisons are getting ready to make an album!!! Finally, after playing together for almost 5 years, Sean and I decided it was high time for a jazz record. We're booked to go into the studio in late August and get started; hoping for a release date late fall! We'll be launching a kickstarter campaign very soon with all kinds of fun premiums for donating to the recording. Check back and sign up on the mailing list to get the updates. And for those of you who really only care about the garden update, scroll down and read the entry from June 2014 - I could have written that yesterday!
Almost December 2014
It's funny to read June's update - seems like ages ago that I was out watering the garden! Now there's an overgrown jungle out back, full of frost bitten blackened zinnias, sunflowers, squash, tomatoes, etc. with a random green kale giant poking it's head out through the chaos and baby cilantro volunteers everywhere. Hoping for some motivation to clean things up, but seem to have already turned my attention indoors, the writing bug creeping around under my skin. How grateful I am to live a life rich with so much abundance and creativity, and for those who share in the creative process with me!
Been a while since the update! Summer seems to be already in full swing, though it's not quite the Solstice. Watering the garden is already consuming more time than anticipated - why I plant enough food and flowers for a family of 12 I don't know, but it is lovely and we eat well around here!
On the gig front - it seems to be jazz, jazz, and more jazz this summer! Either in duo or trio formats (me, Sean Peterson on bass, and a rotating cast of sax players). If you like jazz standards and wine, we have quite a few shows coming up that feature both :-) There are a couple things booked with the Laura Kemp Trio, doing the folkie songwriter thing, as well as some shows with Narayani, the kirtan trio. I'm loving all of it and am so, so grateful for the wonderful people I play music with and the great fortune to get to live my dream of a life based around music.
As Steve Jobs put it: "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to FOLLOW YOUR HEART."
Wow, reading the garden update from May - it seems like just yesterday... I had some big plans back in May! Did get some chutney canned, pesto and tomato sauce frozen, and ate a lot of great summer meals. Garlic is in as well as lots of greens. Can't have too much kale!
Playing some fun gigs this fall - check the gigs page for those updates. Monthly kirtans with Narayani - every time I sing with these women I can't stop smiling :-) Some of the sweetest music I've ever played (and it's mostly in sanskrit!) The jazz has continued to grow and keep me entertained - adding new standards to the book (I love requests!) The Liaisons have a few things on the calendar, including the 11th Annual Cascadia Wildlands Wonderland Auction. Super fun event that's not to be missed! Wearing my songwriter hat a few times this fall as well. Nothing like variety!
It's been one of the most beautiful falls I can recall. Get out in the woods and take it all in while the leaves are still changing color and the sky is blue!
May (almost) 2013
As promised in the most recent email, the garden update, for those of you who are equally as obsessed with growing things... on the food front, peas are 3-4 feet tall (yes, they are in a greenhouse), kale, lettuce and various yummy greens abound. The cilantro is amazing this time of year and we've been making cilantro pesto - I like it much more than the traditional basil pesto. Super creamy, plus cilantro is REALLY good for you - something about how it helps carry the heavy metals out of your system. Not sure exactly how that goes, but it sure does taste good! Rhubarb and asparagus are cranking as well, the garlic is looking great and will be harvested early summer. We put in a few more elderberries (sambucus nigra) and I have plans to make my own medicinal tincture and syrup with them this fall. The plum tree is full of tiny tiny little beginnings of yellow plums which will become chutney late summer, apples are in bloom, nectarines have peach leaf curl but still look pretty good, cherries and pears and figs in the works, blueberries are full of blossoms as are the strawberries. And on the flower front - I bought 2 tree peonies this spring (then realized they really shouldn't be put in the ground til fall...) but in any case, I'm super excited about these amazing plants. One will make peachy colored flowers and the other purple. Greer's Gardens has quite a nice selection... Still many more veggies to put in and with the upcoming sunny days, hope to get some more seeds planted. Still a bit early to put out the tomatoes and peppers, so best to be patient and wait another month or so (unless you're putting them under a cloche or in the greenhouse!)
On the musical front - wearing many hats these days (as you may have read in the last email). There's the folk trio, the jazz trio, and the kirtan/devotional trio. All of which I am enjoying immensely! Check out the different tabs on the website for more information on each of those! Happy planting - and ALWAYS KEEP IT ORGANIC!!!!!!!
Wow, a new year and so many exciting things on the horizon! 2012 wrapped up nicely, with some Liaisons shows, a Laura Kemp trio show, and a solo benefit show for Beyond Toxics, all in early December. Then I headed off to the Sivananda Ashram in northern CA for a glorious 10 day yoga and meditation retreat. Santa even made an appearance on Christmas eve! Looking forward into the new year, I am excited to continue playing with my jazz trio, The Liaisons, as well as my folk trio, and adding some new tunes and a little more banjo into the mix. I'm also looking forward to a 5 month yoga teacher training that I'll be starting in March as well as singing and playing more kirtan on my harmonium and guitar. Some big plans for the garden as well, but I'll wait until the spring update for all that, as there is still frost on the ground. Happy new year!
EARLY SUMMER 2012
The new jazz trio has changed it's name - we decided that 3 on the Tree was too cumbersome and confusing - we were getting listed as 3 up a tree, 3 in a tree, etc. So, the new name is The Liaisons. And we have some fun shows coming up this summer, many of which sax player extraordinaire, Paul Biondi, will be playing with us! And the Laura Kemp Trio will be playing at the Oregon Country Fair this year, all 3 days - check the schedule for details. In the back 40, the strawberries are coming on like crazy and we're eating artichokes for dinner tonight. I love June!
Getting the gardening bug, even though there is still snow in the forecast - I just can't help myself. On the music front, my new all jazz standards duo, 3 on the Tree, has been getting out for some shows and receiving great feedback. That's me on guitar and vocals and Sean Peterson on upright bass and vocals. We've been having a rotating cast of horn/brass players sitting in with us which helps to keep us true to our name. Meanwhile, the Laura Kemp Trio has been staying busy with our folkie bluegrass sound and plan on being at some festivals this summer. Bring on the sunshine!
I've been having a blast these past couple months working with my trio: Jeremy Wegner on mandolin/vox, Sean Peterson on upright bass/vox, and your's truly. We'll be playing locally throughout the winter and then hoping to hit some festivals come summertime! Sean and I are also working on our jazz standards set and looking for a name for this new project. We'll be playing our first full night of all jazz at Territorial Winery in Eugene on Feb. 17th. If you have a standard you'd like us to work up for you, zap an email my way!
Home from an amazing trip to Europe. Spent two weeks hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc - a 110 mile trail that circumnavigates the highest peak in the alps and goes through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Then headed to Paris for my birthday! Carried my Tacoma Papoose guitar on my pack for the entire journey and will post some picks of me playing it at one of the high passes soon. (Yep, I should be endorsed by Tacoma guitars for that feat!) Excited to be home, eating from the garden once again, and looking forward to some fun shows this fall!
Finally got some videos up on youtube of the CD Release Show. Here's one of Bodhi Tree w/TR Kelley on baritone guitar and Paul Safar on harmonium. The entire first set is posted on you tube by song name and track order. We left a lot of the talking in for those of you who missed the show!
THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the CD release show at Unity of the Valley in Eugene. We had a packed house and a wonderful time - amazing energy that still has me smiling! I had some nice press and radio interviews for the show. You can listen to my live interview with Liz Wise on KLCC's Fresh Tracks!
Exciting news - my new recording, Bodhi Tree is finally done and ready to hit the streets - just in time for holiday gift shopping!
It was recorded in Nashville, TN during the May floods, produced by Nomad Ovunc, and features some of Nashville's finest backup musicians. Click on the CD cover to buy, listen to samples, and read more! The "official" CD release show will be on January 29th in Eugene at the Unity Church. Mark your calendars - more details to come!
Heading south to California for some shows with Mare Wakefield and Nomad, then back up to Oregon for more! The new CD is pretty much done besides the artwork/packaging - check back in the early fall for release dates. We're really excited about it!
It's almost May and once again I've turned into a gardening fanatic. Limiting the tomato plants to 10 this year but making up for it in greens!
All just in time for a trip to Nashville! I'll be spending most of May in the sunny south, back to the home of my alma mater. This time instead of studying math and german, I'll be recording my new CD, Bodhi Tree! I'm working with a wonderful engineer, Nomad Uvunc (who also happens to be the husband of my dear friend, Mare Wakefield, ex-Eugenian, now Nashvillian). We hope to get the bulk of it done while I'm there, with mixing and final touches wrapping up during the summer. I'll be playing a bunch of west coast shows with Mare and Nomad in late Aug./early Sept., so keep checking back for that tour schedule. I'm crossing my fingers I'll have the new CD in tow for that tour. And if you live in the Nashville area, I'll be playing a couple times while I'm there - check the shows page for that info.!
A heartfelt thank you to the readers of the Eugene Weekly for voting me as their favorite solo musical artist for 2009! Your votes are so appreciated and I am honored with the privilege. You can read the Weekly and see the rest of the “Best of Eugene” Awards HERE.
You can now hear Laura on Pandora! For you internet junkies, create your own “Laura Kemp Radio Station.” Click HERE to get started.
This is a monthly yoga nidra class I teach at Eugene Yoga. It is infused with guitar, harmonium, and singing, experienced while lying down using props and blankets to be comfortable while I take you through a series of body and breath awareness techniques to help you reach a deep state of relaxation. Bhakti in sanskrit means devotion and Nidra is sleep, so it is a yoga nidra class combined with the bhakti practice of music!
Pre-registration is required:
My friend Cassie got this rolling and I played in the park last year - it was super fun. Going to be playing with the trio this year - Jeremy Wegner on mandolin and Sean Peterson on bass! Bring your picnic dinner, a blanket, and we'll provide the tunes! Donations encouraged, we will be passing a hat!