There are many ways to read into ones personality. You can check out the clothes they wear, look at the books they read or watch how they interact with people. I think that two of the most common are to listen to their music and witness how they are perceived by family and friends. There is no doubt that LOVE is the common denominator when you are speaking of Carmen Lundy.
Carmen occupies quite a distinct category among the divas of jazz music. She knows and has played with the who’s who in the business, she has a large and loyal group of fans who adore her music, she has traveled and sang for many audiences around the world, she has a number of albums to her credit and yet still, she is a treasure whose name not everyone recognizes. It is almost like those of us who know her want to keep her to ourselves. But Carmen is a monster multi-talented singer, composer and artist that can’t be denied and if you don’t know, you better ask somebody!
For many of us jazz lovers here in Los Angeles, the Madrid Theater in Canoga Park is a relatively new venue for us. We were all greeted with warmth and there were several people on hand to seat us, serve us and pass out programs for the evening’s performance.
Carmen had an art gallery opening earlier this month and the walls of the Madrid were covered with her paintings. This was truly a celebration of the life, love, art, music and composition of Carmen Lundy.
Elisabeth Oei and Afrasia Productions have done a fine job hosting this event and did astronomical feat by bringing together a plethora of jazz talent. I mean, I have never seen a jazz program with so many of the top and in demand jazz artist, all in one place, at the same time, playing together for anything other than a benefit for a musician in need or paying musical respects to one of our many fallen jazz angels. Well, there is no sadness in the house today because this was certainly a benefit of love. Love and life long friendships of performers like Billy Childs, Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy, Steve Turre, Victor Lewis, Phil Upchurch, Kenny Davis, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Nathan East, Mark Shim, Mayra Casales, Robert Glasper and others to all came together to create new compositions and to play the Carmen Lundy Songbook.