This song and message is so important that we wanted to make sure you could easily find and share the link to our video on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

From Susan: I knew a day or two after the murder of George Floyd that I would write a song with the title, “Silence.” I knew that we all needed do our part to find a voice, not silence, in the wake of this horrible deed.

I just knew it, but was not ready to do so until I had better processed the happenings in Minneapolis and the additional video footage of unjust actions toward African Americans that began to surface in the months afterward. Everyone knew that George Floyd was not the first, but because passersby had recorded those 9 minutes, 29 seconds on their cell phones and began to share it on Social Media, this murder was captured and captured us.

At that point, we started to see videos surface of previous murders of innocent African Americans, some of which were more than a year old, where no one had been held accountable. The wrongness of this was so obvious, we can only hope that a true wave of accountability has been started; at least, the public has phones in hand to record and publish what they see.

We need a voice not silence.

The video footage at the George Floyd Memorial site at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, captured by Susan in December of 2020 as she walked to the site and filmed everything she saw there, shows chalk drawings and sayings, mementos and memorials from adults, families, and children. Much of what was found there that day was ephemeral, due to the elements of weather and time. The footage in this video is an unrepeatable moment in time, expressing the shock and grief of the neighborhood and world. But the video captured goes so beautifully with the song. 

We want to continue to reach others with this song. We have posted it on our streaming platforms (see links above), submitted it to the Tiny Desk Contest, and shared it on our Social Media sites and to our email list, the Just a Touch of Jazz Insiders.

Would you click through, watch, and listen to “Silence”?

Would you share it with your friends on Social media? https://youtu.be/X7wagwJGHmc?t=1868

We truly need a voice and not silence.

"We need a voice not silence" Lyrics from the original song, Silence by Just a Touch of Jazz's Susan LaVelle & Matt Dorland. Image of George Floyd taken by Susan LaVelle, Dec 2020.

Tips for Just a Touch of Jazz? Yes you can!

A tip for Just a Touch of Jazz? Matt and Susan's selfie in the golden mirror at Melody's Piano Bar, NYC

A gift via our secure donation page helps us make plans to record and release our original music. Set up convenient automatic monthly payments and you won’t have to think about it again! A monthly gift of $5 comes out to about 16 cents a day. That’s not a lot for most of us, but these gifts add up and help us cover the cost of recording, releasing, and distributing our music. Plus, extra benefits await those who choose a monthly automatic payment! You can use PayPal or most major credit cards, here.

Your credit card donation/tips for Just a Touch of Jazz will show as from “Stripe,” our secure credit card service, Don’t be surprised if you see “Stripe” on your credit card receipt. “Stripe” is one of the premier online credit card processors.

We have many original songs to record, release, and distribute and you can be a part of it! Are you part of our Just a Touch of Jazz Insiders’ Community? Subscribe now for updates, music, contests, and more that only our insiders get.

Thanks for believing in us and for your support! 💕 Susan & Matt

“It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”

It’s Wednesday! Your classic jazz groove for this week! Queen Ella and the Duke at the Cote d’Azur (Live at the Riviera)! Duke Ellington and Ella Fitgerald recorded live at the Jazz à Juan festival at Juan-les-Pins, on the French Riviera, between June 26 and July 29, 1966. Duke Ellington’s orchestra with one of Ella’s most brilliant scats! This song—and whole album—reminds you of why you love live music!

Check back every Wednesday for a new recommendation from Susan or Matt on a classic performance from jazz greats! You can also check for the video links on our Facebook page, so follow us there or search through our posts for past selections.

Previous selections

“Blue in Green” Miles Davis & Bill Evans

Classic Wednesday Jazz—when you feel “Blue in Green”; posted on FB July 20, 2022

Most people agree now that the song was written by Bill Evans. (Some controversy there, because Davis continued to say he wrote it.)

• Miles Davis – trumpet
• John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
• Bill Evans – piano
• Paul Chambers – double bass
• Jimmy Cobb – drums

“Blue in Green”

“In a Sentamental Mood” John Coltrane & Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – “In a Sentimental Mood” for the July 13, 2022 Wednesday Jazz Classic! Song composed by Ellington (piano), brought into modern jazz by Coltrane (tenor sax).

“In a Sentimental Mood”

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane is a jazz album by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane released in January 1963 on Impulse! Records. Ellington’s song had been a standard hit in his performances but this collaboration brought Ellington into a modern jazz quartet performing standards and some new songs outside of his typical big band framework.

Here is this week’s Wednesday jazz classic! “I’ll See You in My Dreams” performed by Django Reinhardt, virtuoso guitarist in the “jazz manouche” vein. See this Wikipedia article for a deeper dive into Django Reinhardt and his music. Check back every Wednesday for a new recommendation from Susan or Matt on a classic performance from jazz greats! You can also check for the video links on our Facebook page, so follow us there! 

Ooh, Wednesday! Time for another classic jazz performance! Sarah Vaughan sings “Lullaby of Birdland.” While you are here, sign up for our Just a Touch of Jazz Insider’s emails to keep up with our music! Stay tuned for these posts for the weekly jazz classic sent right to your door, plus updates on our music, from Just a Touch of Jazz!

“Lullaby of Birdland” Composed by George Shearing, lyrics by George David Weiss
℗ A Verve Label Group Release; ℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc. Released on: 1954-12-01

Check back every Wednesday for a new recommendation from Susan or Matt on a classic performance from jazz greats! You can also check for the video links on our Facebook page, so follow us there! 

NYC and Minneapolis skylines with text Big Apple, Mini-Apple

A new way
to support our music?
“35 in 22”!

We want to present the opportunity to everyone to share in what we, Matt & Susan, can do with our original songs. Would you consider a one-time gift toward supporting the costs of recording and distributing our music? Would you join 35 like-minded Insiders in making a monthly gift in 2022?  

“35 in 22” is a fun way for Insiders to show support for us and our music through a monthly gift of $5 or more, by setting up a secure and automatic donation using PayPal, all major credit cards, Apple Pay, or other payment options via our secure Ko fi donation page.

All donations go directly to Matt & Susan toward the cost of things like studio recording and the distribution of our music. A small percentage, 2-3%, goes to the payment platform, i.e., credit card, PayPal, etc., but the rest directly to us.

Will you join with us as we record our original songs at a more professional level so that the beauty of Matt’s melodies and playing and Susan’s lyrics and vocals are better heard both by you our Insiders and others who don’t know about us yet?

Thanks in advance!!
And of course, surprises await for those who donate

Did you know we have a Facebook page? We’ve recently started sharing a weekly jazz song there every Wednesday. Check out our FB page and follow us to hear a recommendation from Susan or Matt on a classic Jazz performance we want to share!

For those who can’t see the most recent song on Facebook, here is a YouTube link for the beautiful “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing,” by Billy Strayhorn, one of Matt’s piano and compositional influences. You can find the song on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/ggmWs6T4iWQ

“A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” Billy Strayhorn

Stay tuned each Wednesday for a classic jazz performance recommended by Susan & Matt!

Previous selections:

“Armando’s Rhumba” Eliane Elias & Chick Corea

Jazz pianists Eliane Elias and Chick Corea perform “Armando’s Rhumba” from Eliane’s Grammy-winning album MIRROR MIRROR, recorded soon before Corea’s death. https://youtu.be/W99lDFeowpI

“West End Blues” Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five

Click button to hear “West End Blues” on YouTube

Provided to YouTube by Columbia/Legacy West End Blues · Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five The Essential Louis Armstrong ℗ Originally released 1928. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Released on: 1979-12-28 Producer: Unknown Trumpet, Vocal: Louis Armstrong Composer, Lyricist: Clarence Williams Banjo: Mancy Carr Composer, Lyricist: J. Oliver Drums: Zutty Singleton Piano: Earl Hines Clarinet: Jimmy Strong Trombone: Fred Robinson

“Music Brings Us Closer” An original song, written and performed, by Susan LaVelle & Matt Dorland

This is our second year for entering NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. Last year, if you recall, we entered our song, “Silence” and this year, we’ve entered another of our favorite original songs, “Music Brings Us Closer.” Both songs reflect our commitment to bettering the world through the power of music.

2022 Tiny Desk video for “Music Brings Us Closer”

“Music Brings Us Closer” is an original song that expresses the importance of music to people of all ages. This video and recording is from the Just a Touch of Jazz entry into NPR’s 2022 Tiny Desk Contest. The Tiny Desk Concert is open to anyone (US citizens only) who creates an original song, performs it and records it in a video that shows a desk.

You can find Just a Touch of Jazz’ lyric video for “Music Brings Us Closer” here, above, and also on the Tiny Desk website. While you are there, check out the other piano and vocal duos, singer/songwriters, and bands that shared original songs to the contest.

Stayed tuned for Just a Touch of Jazz’s 2023 entry sometime in March of 2023!