Watch Deanna’s recent (March 24) online solo concert HERE.
All donations (whether made before, during, or after the concert) will go towards a piano for Deanna in her new Pittsburgh home.
For the last six months, I’ve been living in “the city where jazz is love”—Mary Lou Williams’s hometown of Pittsburgh—after having spent twenty-three years of my life as a New Yorker. In addition to being in a new place, I’m also in a new stage of my life as a first-year doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve been busy: since arriving last August, I’ve recorded an all-Mary Lou Williams album at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and finished my forthcoming Williams biography.
But one of my biggest life changes happened three weeks ago: I bought my own house.
As a longtime Manhattan apartment dweller, I occasionally dreamed of a day when I could live in my own house, but never really thought it would be possible until I began visiting Pittsburgh two years ago after my first performance here in December 2018.
Deanna and her house.
The day after closing on my home, my mom drove in from upstate New York and feverishly painted my walls for five days. Friends helped get a washer and dryer through my too-narrow basement door, neighbors helped me shovel and gave me rock salt, and more friends lugged my heavy mattress and bed frame up the stairwell. I now see the beginnings of a home for myself.
But one thing is missing.
For the last six months, I haven’t had my piano—or, even, a piano. Yes, my 73-key Nord Electro is here, but a keyboard doesn’t have the hammers, felts, strings, and keys that respond to touch and emotion. Continue reading