BOTH OF MY NEW SINGLES ARE FINALISTS IN THE UK SONG CONTEST
The UK Song Contest is in its final stages of judging and I'm pleased to announce that 2 of my songs (and very recently released singles) are Finalists. "Turn The Van On," my homage to the wonderful music of Van Morrison is a Finalist in the Adult Contemporary category and my jazz and bossa nova-influenced reworking and expansion of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," is a Finalist in the Famous Songs category. The UK Song Contest receives thousands of entries from all over the globe, so it's an honor to have two songs being considered as category winners. Results will be announced sometime in January. It's up to fate (or more accurately, the judges) as to whether I will be an ecstatic winner or a gracious runner-up. You can hear previews of both of my songs on iTunes, Apple Music Amazon Music or by visiting my HearNow pages: http://jeffsaxon.hearnow.com/twinkle-twinkle-little-star and http://jeffsaxon.hearmenow.com/turn-the-van-on
'TURN THE VAN ON"--NEW MUSIC VIDEO AND SINGLE RELEASE
I've never been one to question "the muse" when it strikes and here's a case in point; a song and corresponding video celebrating one of my musical influences, Van Morrison. Click here to watch the music video for "Turn The Van On," but you can also find it and some of my other music videos by clicking onto the Music Videos tab. Feel free to share it, especially with any Van fans you know. The single is now available at various digital music vendors. Preview it by clicking here.
CONFESSIONS OF A PROFESSIONAL WHISTLER
Aside from playing uke and guitar, singing, writing, and producing songs, I have a skill that has kind of gone under the radar to a great extent: I'm a professional whistler! Back in the late 1990's when I was living in L.A., I was contracted to write a song for a short western called "The Stranger." And I decided it was a prime candidate to have a prominent whistle part in it. So I created a part and whistled it! It was well received by the producer and director of the film and turned out to be positive experience and great fun, too. And that project planted the seeds for me to selectively utilize whistling in a few songs on my albums, such as "Move With The Weather", "What Makes You Happy," and "Just The Thing To Put the Spring Back In You" (all of which are available from iTunes, Apple Music, etc.).
This year, however, I decided to get more proactive in putting myself out there as a professional whistler. So I created a listing on Airgigs (a great music services platform) and just recently i was contracted by NBC Sports to record a whistling part for a promo for the 2021 Ryder Cup. The spot was featured as a key component of the 100 Days To The Ryder Cup social media campaign for this prestigious international golf tournament, but you can check it out by clicking here. By the way, in case you're wondering what the whistling tie-in is with The Ryder Cup...this year's tournament will be played at Whistling Straits golf course in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. If you'd like to hear more of my whistling work, click here to listen to my 3 minute whistle "reel." )And if you or anyone you know who is looking for a whistle-based song or a melodic, crystal-clear professional whistler (for any style of music), please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (732) 239-8608
"ENSUEÑO" A FINALIST IN THE 2020 UK SONGWRITING CONTEST
One of my unreleased Latin tunes, "Ensueño " was among the finalists in the instrumental category of the 2020 UK Songwriting Contest, which received over 9.000 entries from 84 countries, I wrote this very uplifting and melodic-piece on ukulele at the beginning of 2020 and then hired 2 really fine musicians (a drummer and keyboardist) based in Argentina, to complete the rhythm section (which was all done through file sharing on Airgigs). You can hear a snippet of "Ensueño" by clicking here.
"OUTSIDE THE BOX" TV PILOT (FEATURING MY MUSIC) WINS BEST TV PILOT AWARDS AT 2 FILM FESTIVALS!
I' just received word from the production team of "Outside The Box" that the pilot for the sit-com that I provided all the music won Best TV Pilot awards at 2 film festivals: The Austin Indie Fest and The Studio City International Film and TV Festival. The news is a wonderful affirmation of the quality of the work and bode well for the future of the pilot and potential for the show to become a series.
My participation as music provider for the pilot began in early 2019 when I was hired to create and produce the show's theme song. The song was so well received that I was hired to do the rest of the music for the show. That was a fun, creative endeavor, as it allowed me to write in a variety of styles, including Americana, jazz, blues, and funk. I played all of the instruments and wrote and produced all the cues and songs. So it's quite gratifying knowing that my music is a signature element of the show, especially now that it's getting industry attention.
The twist to this show is that it's a dramatic comedy about a group of homeless people. I was dubious at first, as this seemed to be a controversial and perhaps insensitive pairing, especially considering how pervasive and troubling homelessness has become. But one of the "selling points" that won me over was that the producers told me they made contact with some homelessness organizations and gotten their encouragement. And the more I thought about it, I felt that a comedy actually might draw a broader viewing audience in and serve as a unique and formidable vehicle to increase awareness about this important issue. Time will tell.
And while I can't post the entire episode, I am, however, able to showcase some music-driven scenes here on my website.
Click the links below to check out YouTube videos of the"Outside The Box" pilot featuring my music:
Opening Scene: click here
Box and Urn Scene: click here
The Transformation Scene: click here
MUSIC VIDEO AND SINGLE RELEASE AVAILABLE NOW: "LOOKIN' FOR A UFO"
Initially I had no intentions of writing a COVID-19 themed song. Well, that changed when a title and a concept presented themselves a couple of months ago. Enter: "Lookin' For A UFO." To be honest, I wasn't sold on the notion of life on other planets and flying saucers swooping down to Earth and the like; at least not prior to the pandemic. Now, however, I'm more open to believing in such previously unthinkable propositions. And apparently there's a pretty sizable number of similar-minded people along with a recent wave of UFO news stories and films ("The Phenomenon" is one such documentary that's getting some attention and raising quite a few eyebrows).
The digital single of "Lookin' For A UFO" is available now. Click one of the following links to purchase the digital single: iTunes, Apple Music,
Click below to view the "Lookin' For A UFO" music video:
If you like it, please click the Like button and share the link. And may the force be with you...if you want it to be :-)
ONLINE UKE AND GUITAR LESSONS WITH JEFF AVAILABLE NOW ON ZOOM, FACETIME, AND SKYPE
Whether you're brand new to uke or guitar or you've been playing awhile and haven't seen the improvement you were hoping for, online lessons with Jeff will help get you on the right path. Lessons are customized to your goals, stylistic preference, and pace of learning. I play and teach just about every style except heavy metal, flamenco, and classical. All ages and skill levels welcome. Reasonable prices. Lesson times are based on our mutual availability. The best starting point is to send an email to me at email@example.com Let me know what days and times you're available (and please also include your time zone!) and when you would like to have your first lesson (please allow one week notice). Lesson payment can be made via Chase QuickPay or PayPal. To hear a montage of my guitar work, click here. To hear my uke playing, listen to "A Ukulele's All I Need" in my Video section here (and other tracks from The Ukulele Project on iTunes and Apple Music).