I hope this email finds you well as the summer draws to a close and a new season begins. Although the sun is still shining here in London, you can feel a slight autumnal chill creeping in. I'm not much for cold weather, and nor was Abram. One thing we never argued about was whether to put the heating on, it was one of those British idiosyncrasies that neither of us could understand. If it's cold, turn on the heating, right? Wrong!
We bonded over the numerous battles we had fought with this surprisingly stubborn mentality. We had both found that the majority of Brits seem to prefer to be cold rather than turn on their radiators. I am definitely an exception to the rule which led to our home being cosy and warm all the way through winter.
I will miss Abram's grumbles and complaints about the cold weather, his insistence on wearing his winter coat permanently, with a big scarf wrapped around his neck, hunched over his laptop writing his next piece of music. I will miss that and more.
It's almost exactly three months since Abram passed away. So much has happened, a trip to the States to say goodbye, a joyful memorial service in London to celebrate an incredible man and of course the most amazing support from you to kick start the Abram Wilson Foundation. Your involvement in this journey has helped me, his family and close friends more than you can imagine, so thank you.
So what's next you might ask? Well, first things first. I'm going to send out a message via Kickstarter to obtain your contact details so I can mail all the various goodies I promised you at the beginning of the campaign. Please don't ignore the message when it comes or you won't get your treats. I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks so won't be able to sort out delivery till October as I need to make sure everything is signed by Abram's band members and that could take a minute. I hope this is okay.
FAILED DONATIONS : (
Some folks' donations didn't go through. If this was the case and you would still like to donate then just drop me an email at email@example.com and we can sort something out. I can see the names, but unfortunately I can't contact you individually.
I'm in the process of doing several things at once, which includes registering the Abram Wilson Foundation as a charity. This is a pretty long and arduous process but we have set the wheels in motion so I'm pretty excited about that. More announcements to follow.
I've received the live recording of the Philippa music which took place at the Oxford Jazz Festival in April this year. I have to say, it was pretty cool listening to Abram talk to the audience before each tune, slowly revealing the life story of Philippa Schuyler. There are a few things that I'm waiting to hear back on before we can properly start moving forwards on the album release but the process is underway which is awesome!
THE JAZZ-THEATRE PIECE
And finally, the jazz-theatre piece inspired by Philippa Schuyler's life, what of that? I hear you ask. Well, the theatre director who Abram had started to work with earlier this year, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England (the English government) is currently in New York so I'm heading out to join her on 17th September for a week. We're basically planning to be holed up in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture where we'll be going through Philippa's archives - her music, her photos, her notes and many more things to develop the next stage of the piece.
We're also hoping to meet with some people who can help us form our new team, which will involve the very intimidating task of finding the right artists to take on Abram's music, lead the musicians, perform trumpet (jazz and classical) and act. We're pretty sure it will have to be more than one person to fill Abram's very big shoes, I'm not joking he was a size 11.5 in the UK.
So if you have any thoughts on people we should be checking out then please drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate this exciting trip to New York City I'm leaving you with one of the tunes from the Philippa Project, The Harlemites. This represents the community of Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. They knew about Philippa before she was even born and were committed to helping her succeed from the very beginning. Abram would always tell his audiences that this piece was about upliftment.
Have a lovely weekend.