I had been checking in on the reservations for this night pretty frequently over the past week...I was hoping there would be a few people in the room to hear about all the wonderful projects taking place because of the Iguana Grant. Boy was I wrong...there wasn't a few people in the room, the place was overflowing with people. A wonderful, beautiful testament to this foundation and what Passim strives to bring the community all year round.
The night kicked off with videos from the folks who couldn't be in attendance. It was great to hear from afar about people's projects. Annie Lynch's struck a chord with me, because she is a dear friend and she panned the camera away to her beautiful new baby boy sleeping in his little rocker. I cannot wait to hear what she comes up with as a result of this grant. Her music has always been one of my favorites. I was also very taken by the Stray Birds video (partly because one of Maya's wonderful songs is covered as a part of our project) and their explanation of the recording process. Wanting to capture the live energy that they put forth night after night and stay true to their craft. Really great to hear from people even if they couldn't be there.
Once the "live" updates began, it was great to see so many friends awarded with these grants. Will Dailey and Mark Whitaker were up before my update. Will upgrading his studio to better suit the needs of the wonderful musicians who come through it and Mark working on his debut album (which is one of the records I am most anticipating this year local or otherwise). My little project was well received, though I forgot to mention that as a result of the grant and additional donations, we will be able to offer this project to the community for free download and free hardcopy for those who attend the release (also at Passim in July). I also forgot to mention we documented it on video and those will be rolling out as time allows Connor at Idlewilde to get a grasp on the hours of footage he has!
As the night rolled out I was immersed into what drives and inspires people. Alastair Moock and his recording of "medical rap" and children's songs. His inspiration, his daughter and her diagnosis of cancer (she is doing much better!). His performance was a truly uplifting and inspiring one. Dan Cloutier was another winner who really inspired me. He will be using his grant to record a coffeehouse show that he runs for people with special needs. He was joined on stage by two friends helping him belt out one of his songs. I don't think anyone in the whole room wasn't moved by the performance. People continued to talked about their projects, thanking Passim and those "secretive folks behind the Iguana curtain" over and over again throughout the night. Barnstar! followed up by Mark Erelli light up the stage and had people moving and shaking. Laura Cortese's performance was wonderful and I didn't catch her cello player's name (correction, Valerie Thompson), but watching her play is an absolute joy. You can tell that she adores performance and sharing music with people.
I left the club that night with a very full heart. No one tried to one up each other with their projects. We were all there because we wanted to share the special things that we have been gifted to complete as a result of this wonderful thing. So thank you Club Passim, thank you Iguana Fund, and thank you to all the wonderful people who shared their stories this evening. It was a memorable one that I won't soon be able to shake.