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Biomorphic Forms (Amy K Bormet, Alex Hamburger, Nicole Davis, Keith Butler Jr.) @ DC Fringe Festival (Near Baked and Wired in Georgetown) 12pm-4pm $FREE

July 18

No Trick Pony (Bormet, Settles, Butler) with Balance Duo (Detroit) @ Rhizome in Takoma Park $20

July 20

Keith Butler Group –Take 5 @ Smithsonian American Art Museum Kogod Courtyard $FREE

July 23

Amy K Bormet/Matt Dievendorf Group @ DC Fringe Festival (Near Baked and Wired in Georgetown) 12pm-4pm $FREE

August 12

Amy K Bormet’s Washington Women in Jazz @ The Parks at Walter Reed 6pm-8pm $FREE

April 26 12pm-1pm at Union Station – Free lunchtime concert sponsored by the Mayor’s Office with Amy K Bormet Trio (Corcoran Holt, CV Dashiell III)

April 29 Birdland at Chevy Chase Lake 11am Leigh Pilzer Startet, 12pm Amy K Bormet Trio

April 30 5th Annual DC Jazz Leaders Gala with Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation

May 3  Biomorphic Forms (Amy K Bormet, Alex Hamburger, Nicole Davis, Keith Butler Jr.) for Fringe Festival at the Duck Pond SW

May 4 7pm Biomorphic Forms at the Arts Club of DC $20-30 ticket includes wine and hors d’oeuvres.

May 18 7 and 9pm with Jessica Boykin-Settles at Blues Alley

May 19 6-9pm Washington Women in Jazz at the Canal Center in Alexandria

June 8 Duo show for Jazz at the Kramer with Jessica Boykin-Settles

July 18 No Trick Pony (Bormet, Keith Butler Jr., Brian Settles) at Rhizome DC with our friends from Michigan – Balance Duo!

August 12 Washington Women in Jazz at the Parks at Walter Reed

Amy sings with overlay of watercolor painting and lyrics

Jazz Pianist and Singer-Songwriter Amy K Bormet’s Tell Me What It’s Like Album Release Party at Blues Alley in Washington, DC

Strange Woman Records invites you to celebrate Amy K Bormet’s new release Tell Me What It’s Like  with her trio. Fresh off a two-week residency in St Croix, the trio will perform freewheeling, storytelling songs from her new album, and a few favorites from previous releases. Amy is the creator and director of Washington Women in Jazz, and will be joined by Karine Chapdelaine on bass, and Angel Bethea on drums.


Liner Notes:

There are many ways to get to know a person, but none like hearing someone sing and play their own music. Whether people aim to present themselves truthfully or not, the voice never lies. And Amy K Bormet’s latest project “Tell Me What It’s Like” lets us know what’s been on her mind these last two years.

“Tell Me What It’s Like” is a beautifully intimate and audacious solo project for voice and piano. The album gracefully beckons us with its opening composition “Homecoming”. Reassuring like familiar furniture Bormet serenades us into the living room of this sonic adventure. And then right away she brings us into what mistakes and missteps have been made in the song “My Dear Friend”. While upbeat on the surface Amy reveals the sadness and longing of lost friendship. Moaning the melody away, it’s clear there’s no coming back to where we started.

Memories linger yet again as Bormet unveils another level of vulnerability in the song “Otella”. Through breathy calls and quiet yells reminiscent of singers like Bjork, “Otella” delves into the truth and isolation of mental illness and more specifically suicide. “Muddy and opaque I wade in the water of old cedar lake” Amy sings these lyrics with a desperate insistence. Her playing also materializes differently than on other tracks. It is demanding yet fragile. Before the last refrain we hear the deep and low pounding of her piano playing that calls to greats such as Nina Simone before Amy gives the last iteration of the melody. But it is tired, more tired than it even started. This song echoes in the silence after it has left.

However, we are brought back to solid ground with “Hymn of Revelation”. Here Bormet reveals her R&B and Jazz inflections. There is a spunk and uplift that emerges as this song opens up in the solo section. Despite the refrain “there’ll be no peace”, we hear light on the horizon bringing a kind of hope. Change is here and maybe that is better than peace.

It’s a good time to slow down with “Tell Me What It’s Like”, the title track of the album, which feels like it resounds just south of Appalachian mountains and female country music trios before spilling into ”Song About Us”. Amy returns to our favorite piano bar as she then leads us into the world with the promise of love.

Bormet bookends this album with themes of liberation and isolation with the final composition “Jealous of The Birds”. With swirling parts Amy reminds the listener of possibility and expansion through a round of voices and soloing piano. It is a dance of birds and the potential dance of bodies longing to escape the trappings of home and the struggles therein. There is a palpable longing in the lyrics “migrating to different routes close together, free”. Carefully Bormet wraps the listener up in this one last musical blanket before releasing us into the messy, loving and painful truth of living.

– Pyeng Threadgill

Warren Shadd, drummer and nephew of Shirley Horn, asked me to perform a few songs for his Christmas FB series. I chose a couple of my original holiday hits, “Give me love at Christmas time”, and “Lonely New Year’s Day”. The first was born of my distaste for Christmas commercialism, and the second is a reflection on a balmy Los Angeles holiday I spent alone. Thanks to the wonderful Nicole Saphos for spending some time with these tunes, and adding lovely harmonies! Happy Holidays!

Great community hang on Capital Hill this past Saturday. Thank you to Herbert Scott, Aaron Myers, and the Capital Hill Jazz Foundation for hosting us. Always a pleasure to play with Tarus Mateen and Terence Arnett.