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Holiday Show Schedule — Dec. 8 thru Dec. 22

The big one is my holiday show on Friday, December 22 at Genghis Cohen in support of Hillsides Youth Moving On, featuring sets and/or appearances by Thee Holy Brothers (Marvin Etzioni and Willie Aron), Circe Link, Anny Celsi, The Hardship Letters, Joselyn & Don, Emile Porée, and yours truly, Jason Luckett.

Also these short appearances in chronological order starting…

…Friday, December 8, 6pm – Buena Park City Hall, Christmas Tree Lighting – Performing two songs to lead off the night. https://www.facebook.com/events/1742884312682642/

Saturday, December 9, 6pm – Rio to Babylon at LALA Holiday Open House and Bazaar – Performing a few songs to celebrate with my friends at Live Arts Los Angeles
https://www.facebook.com/events/1531859843598876/

Saturday, December 16, 3-5pm – Featured writer spot for Expressions LA – Studio City Library https://www.facebook.com/StudioCityLAPL/

Friday, December 22, 7pm – My Holiday Show @ Genghis Cohen https://www.facebook.com/events/1996830530588257/

I hope to see you soon!

And about the holiday show beneficiary…

Hillsides in Pasadena is an organization that works with foster kids, emancipated kids, and families in crisis. I decided to donate to them this holiday season for a number of reasons. I edit a podcast for All Saints Church in Pasadena and was listening to an interview with an amazing young woman who talked about wanting to give back to her community who came out of Hillsides, she seemed so self-aware and positive as she detailed a schedule of school and multiple jobs, including graveyard bicycle security shifts that would certainly put me in a sour mood. When she mentioned Hillsides, I remembered that I’d just done one of my children’s shows there a couple weeks ago, and had met really lovely, challenged kids. One was an eager, dutiful participant in our show, then came back later to visit while we were breaking down. Then he acted out in a way to draw negative attention. But that boy could be the girl who so inspired me in her interview in a few years. I’d like to help facilitate that. Also, they bring in artists monthly (with compensation) to present to the kids, (one of which was me!), so I think it would be great to give back after I’ve been doubly inspired and supported by the organization. And, lastly, kids in the system really need our help. The more love and resources we can share the stronger our investment in a future for all of us

Posted in Blog, News

“Together” from Nilsson Singalong

Posted in Blog, Live Video Archive, Video

25 Years


Incredible to think that it’s been 25 years since the verdict in the Rodney King trial set things off in Los Angeles. This was my response then, my attempt to understand. This dance was not meant for escape, but for confrontation of reality and for healing.

And in the struggle it’s good to laugh as we come together to fight oppression.

Peace.

 

      Tears to the Wind - Jason Luckett

Posted in Blog, Music

Loosely related quotes and musings on justice and Labi Siffre

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” — Desmond Tutu

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” ― Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, the Accident

“If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence

“The insistence that one should be “ethnic” is endemic, irritating and insulting.” Labi Siffre on the music business’ support of black British musicians. 

This may have nothing to do with anything for you, but please indulge me a moment as I try to bring you in. I’m just heading down an obsessive rabbit hole into Labi Siffre’s music. Apparently he’s kind of famous, but I’d never heard of him until a song, “Watch Me,” featured on the TV show “This is Us” caught my ear. Then I realized he was the guy who wrote one of my favorite 80’s songs, Madness’ “It Must Be Love.” When I was being told I was kind of like the new version or male version of whatever black acoustic guitar player someone had seen before as I started my career, I’m now surprised that I never heard his name. Maybe it was because of his attitude towards the music business was “The insistence that one should be “ethnic” is endemic, irritating and insulting,” and if people are trying to label you as the “black” anything, they’re not trying to align you with that sort of slippery resistant stance. I, however, would have loved to have been guided in his direction as a spiritual and musical forefather. Glad I’m discovering him now though.

I’m on the side of the undocumented, the lovers of love, the historically and enduringly oppressed. I feel no responsibility to be the representative of anyone. And I often love the opportunity to be the bridge that facilitates an opening to lovingly honest conversations between and within the communities which have nourished me and that can be as small as a simple friendship or romantic relationship. And in the end I’m grateful, even when it’s painful, for the challenges that plunge me deeper and ask me to reveal that which I might shelter.

Posted in Blog

La La Land

La La Land PosterLast summer I had the pleasure of being in a band with Ryan Gosling… Well, I mimed guitar for a scene in “La La Land” which opens on Friday in Los Angeles and New York, and nationwide on December 16.

Last night I saw the film for the first time at the dance and music team screening. First, that experience was great…I love dancers just as a culture! And the film itself is great! It really captures what film maker Damien Chazelle describes in a piece on his favorite musicals in Sunday’s LA Times, saying that musicals “favor emotions over logic. They’re not a literal reflection of life — they’re about how life feels.” Sure it’s only a slice of how some lives feel, but for me seeing streets I drive often, especially by the 101 and Vine, it felt like some joyous and heartbreaking aspects of my life as a performing artist in LA.

Actually getting this job lines up with that for me. This was actually my first “sidelining” gig. Sidelining is when they hire professional musicians to mime playing pre-recorded music for a film to ensure authenticity when you see the hands move, basically. So we’re playing the songs, it’s just not us that you hear on the soundtrack necessarily. My girlfriend had told me to submit to an agency for this sort of thing a while back and I thought, “What the heck?”

Anyway, I get the gig based on a a couple photos they’ve seen, I guess, and I’m called for wardrobe. I drive out to Burbank or somewhere, make a wrong turn and end up in a cemetery. I finally make it to the studio and I’m guided to a room with a couple look boards leaning against the wall. I’m alone, so I walk over to give them a closer look. I see John Legend and others in sort of neo-soul looking clothes. I think, “Okay, I get the look they’re going for….” Then I pull out the second board which was behind and see photos of A Flock of Seagulls. “Yikes! I’d hate to be those guys…”

“So we’re going for a sort of authentic 80s look….” says the costume director.

Probably only a few of you would know this, but when I was a young teenager, my band was booked to open for A Flock of Seagulls. We thought it was going to be our big break. KROQ was the sponsor. We had the posters. This was going to be our big break out of Irvine. Then, a week or two before the show, the venue closed and we weren’t rescheduled. A Flock of Seagulls is kryptonite.

But the shoot was good. Ryan Gosling was a good guy, joining us in trying to come up with ridiculous band names, all of which I’ve forgotten now. And I won’t give any spoilers, but I’m curious to hear your feedback on my “luck” after seeing the film.

And the feeling of heartbreak to triumph is seeing this film in a room filled with amazing talent, knowing that it’s getting Oscar buzz, and loving the finished product. It’s a nice result for fun work on a 100º summer’s day (which plays for spring in the film).

I’m very visible in the scene, early in the film, behind my sunglasses. And if you see the trailer, I’m visible at the very end — if you don’t blink… and you know I’m there!

Blink and you'll miss it, but this still is from the end of the trailer.

Blink and you’ll miss it, but this still is from the end of the trailer.

Posted in Blog, News

“Bird on a Wire” – Thank You, Leonard Cohen

It’s nice to hear all the different musicians sharing tributes today. Sometimes the best way to honor our heroes is to participate in the act that gave us the inspiration. This felt good. I’ve always listened to Leonard Cohen in times when I needed to be reminded that a contemplative world was possible, that we were free to experience life in intimate and liberating ways. He’s inspired me to write. A few of you have heard a song of mine called, “(Please Don’t Play) Hallelujah.” That was inspired by his pursuit of excellence, not as a diss to the song, but I wanted to shake people out of covering the obvious, and encourage people to write their own “Hallelujah.” I look forward to sharing that song on an upcoming release. But for now, here’s a moment from last night trying to engage and give gratitude to the gift of Leonard Cohen’s art. (I’d never sung it before other than to myself, so please excuse the mistakes…)

Posted in Blog, Music

Protected: Forbidden Folk Connection

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In the studio…

Singing and playing is the best part of it all. I miss doing regular shows here in LA. That involves more than just singing and playing, I guess, which explains my reluctance. And recording induces a similar fear of permanent impressions and failures. I didn’t realize until I decided to make this little video today how this song (with my recording struggles with it) was so appropriate for the moment. It makes me giggle at the perfect nuttiness of the universe. But it also makes me happy that the song is true, that music and my connection to playing and writing it is what keeps me going. It always seems to be there when I need it.

So take a look at my studio and listen to one of the songs I’ll be putting out when I feel like it’s ready.

Goodnight from LA.

Posted in Blog, Video

Podcast today!

Jason Hikes!I’m in Bar Harbor, enjoying my mom and Acadia National Park! Last week, though, Katie Mitchell interviewed me for the Standing “O” Project’s podcast. Standing “O” is a fair trade music streaming site that you may have heard about from “The Art of the Song” radio show, your music community or me (I was featured last year on “The Art of the Song.” It just went live today!

Listen here: https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/jasonluckett/ with a fan or free trial subscription. Fans can also listen on libsyn here: http://standingoproject.libsyn.com/jason-luckett-mid-week-coffee-break or on itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-song-standing-o-project/id707128897?mt=2

I haven’t listened to it yet, but I loved talking with Katie in my studio. I was just getting ready for the Harry Nilsson Birthday Concert (which went great — I had a string section, bass and drums accompany me on “The Wailing of the Willow” from Harry’s Aerial Ballet album), and working on some new stuff which you’ll be hearing about over the summer.

I hope you’re having a good summer. I find nature, exercise, and music are the best healers, so I’m grateful to be experiencing them all. Hope you’ll experience some of the same!

Posted in Blog, Music, News

Magic Trumps Reason for Tiny Desk

I filmed some friends at my studio for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest and decided to submit myself, too! I had a cold, but it turned out okay. I’m loving my new space as its possibilities unfold!

Posted in Blog, Video