Deanna in Bahia, Brazil!

Happy Easter, Passover, and spring!

In exactly one week, I’ll be flying to Brazil to spend eight weeks at the Sacatar Institute in Itaparica, Bahia. I’ve been preparing for this trip for months and it’s finally almost here.  And I’ve had the idea for my new Brazilian project, the Nossa Senhora Suite, for over ten years! My time in Bahia will be spent in visiting churches and candomblé terreiros and in meeting with women who are devotees of Nossa Senhora or Iemanjá.

If some of these words are unfamiliar to you- and they probably are- visit my New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) page to learn what they mean.

At Sacatar, I’ll be in community with five other selected artists from Brazil, the Sudan, the UK, and the US. Their disciplines include literature, performance art, video/photography, and visual art. Read a press release about the 2018 Sacatar Residency Fellows here.

There are two ways that you can support me in the beginnings of my Nossa Senhora Suite adventure. One is to simply follow- and share- my blog, where I’ll post photos and updates of my Brazil trip. The other is to make a tax-deductible contribution through NYFA to help me cover the upcoming costs of paying musicians for rehearsals, recording, and releasing the Nossa Senhora Suite as my seventh album. While this is a long-term project, there is also a long-term plan: the suite will be premiered in 2019 in NYC at Union Theological Seminary’s James Chapel, with an anticipated album release date of 2020.

I’ve received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to actually pay myself for the time I spend composing the music (which will begin to happen while I’m in Brazil). Your contribution will help me to continue the project after I return home in June. For different monetary amounts, you can receive various perks (see the buttons below), ranging from pre-orders of the album to having me compose an original song for you! Learn more about the Nossa Senhora Suite here at my NYFA page.


$12: Digital download of the Nossa Senhora Suite 


$25: Pre-order a signed Nossa Senhora Suite CD 

Continue reading

Posted in blog, news, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Deanna’s February newsletter

The beginning of 2018 has been filled with travel, performances, and a new choral commission!

Read/view my February e-news here.

For those of you who aren’t on my mailing list and would like to be, send me an email and I’ll add your address.

Posted in blog, news, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Here’s the fifth entry in my hymn history co-blog with author and activist, Pam McAllister.  We’re exploring the history of each of the hymns on Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns.

In this post, we look at the well-loved carol, “We Three Kings.” This is one of three arrangements on the album that were specifically written for instrumental jazz trio (the remaining ten of arrangements are meant for congregational singing). Sheet music for all 13 arrangements is available at my sheet music page.

Continue reading

Posted in blog, news, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment