“Call out the Mommies”

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Everyone has one.

No one would be here without a mommy!

Remember your mom this Mother’s Day and thank her!

An original song performed live by Susan LaVelle and Matt Dorland.

Of course, not everyone has had a great experience in childhood. Some mommies don’t live up to our expectations. Some fail the expectations that we have a right to expect, as children. However, it still must be said that if you were born and are alive, a woman went through the whole entire 9-month process of bearing you, then giving birth to you with the physical duress that comes with childbirth. That is just by itself, an amazing feat of selflessness.

Very few of us have only that act to thank our mothers for, but even so, just that act shows a terrific commitment of a woman’s time, health, and effort.

This mother’s perspective:

I am a mom and wrote the lyrics of this song when my kids were all between the ages of about 12 and 6. I knew how much work it was myself, with four kids of my own. But I also knew other moms that didn’t have the support of a good dad to help them. Aside from the actual effort and labor of bearing and giving birth, many moms carry that larger load of care for children and also, their aging parents.

These actions are done out of love and actually makes these women into super heroes. Not the characters-of-comic-books type of super heroes, but super heroes of character. Not perfect, but givers, who out of love and the duty of responsible maturity sacrifice their own wishes to meet the needs of those who are dependent upon them. Who but mommies could better define what it means to be a mature adult?

I found this definition of the word, “maturity” : “Maturity is not a matter of age, but instead, of how you choose to respond and react to various life situations. It is essentially a level of mental development or wisdom that has a bearing on all areas of an individual’s life, right from their conduct to their relationship with others.” * The process of motherhood is a crash course in developing this kind of maturity.

The song, “Call Out the Mommies” was written to call out for recognition this frequently overlooked group of women without whom, no one would exist.

When I entered mommy-hood, I had no clue what was ahead of me and might have been scared off if I had, but along with most mommies out there, I feel like my children are the best thing about life. I made my mommie a grandmommie and I know that also was the best part of her life.

Susan LaVelle

Mommies become grammas: Two grammas holding baby in hospital.
Two mommies now grammas: holding grandbaby in the hospital.



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.

“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!