|Photo by: Casey Massena|
I have some news. I wanted to share this with you in a video but it was too emotional for me! In just 11 days, I'm packing up and leaving Missoula.
I only have two shows left, so I hope I can entertain you one more time before I make my exit.
I'm going to miss all of you so much, and want you to know how much I appreciate what you've done to encourage and inspire me to form my band, record my original songs, and perform locally.
I have three main reasons that I'm leaving.
First and foremost, my husband and I have earned our degrees which brought us out to Montana in the first place! We're really excited to start our next chapter, and just like every new chapter of our lives together so far, it all begins with a cross-country road trip.
Second, I have a serious problem with staying in one place. Actually, I don't think of it as a problem, more as a state of being. I have a gypsy spirit! Anyone who has known me for more than a few years knows that I don't stay in one place for too long. If it helps, you can think of my life as a very slow motion world-tour.
Third, it's time to be closer to family and some major cities where I can really spread my wings, making the East coast my destination of choice.
Missoula wisdom: I want everyone out there to know that when you go for any goal, you need to look around you for the people who truly care and want to see you succeed. Remain open to their advice, constructive criticism, and their offers to help you along the way. And remember to thank them in every way you can. Still, always remain true to yourself and your own vision.
I have some Missoula people to thank for my exponential growth. It certianly hasn't been a one-person project. I wish I had time to thank you all in person.
I want to thank Marie Pettit, a local musician who helped introduce me to the Montana jazz scene. Her friendliness and giving spirit gave me the courage to start up music again in a place that at the time was totally unfamiliar to me. Tommy Pertis was first to invite me on a Missoula stage, and would welcome me up by saying "If you haven't heard Laura sing yet, you're in for a treat"... which gave me a permanent goofy smile during my songs. Also thanks to Kyle Gillett who connected me with his band and did some really cool collaborations with me, opening the door for me to work with Soulaphone and Kung Fu Kongress, the coolest bands in town.
My gratitude to Sonja Grimmsmann who helped me define my goals for my music career in the Entertainment Management Program, and thereby became a catalyst for my first major music project, "Laura and The Salvation Blues", also thanks to Dom who volunteered time and energy to helping me hone my online presence. To the Montana Musicians and Artists Coalition who hosted my first performance, and for the members of Elevate Church who packed the house for it. It was an amazing start to my endeavor!
I want to thank my original band members of The Salvation Blues Christopher, Andrew, Alyssa, and Jordan who patiently worked through my original songs when they were still in their infancy to bring them to life in a big way. Thank you to Youa Vang , Megan Jae Riggs , and Jake England for your incredible portait photography, Amanda Peterson for the great live band shots, some of which are still my band member's profile pics.
Thank you to Bruce who runs Daly Jazz for bringing world-class jazz acts to Missoula, and allowing me to volunteer. To my vocal jazz mentor Eden Atwood whose work with me has already been mentioned on this blog a time or two.
I hold deep admiration for Alyssa McLean, who served as a living example of how to incorporate a great passion and talent with faith and humility in music.
Also thanks to Keaton Wilson, whose piano accompaniment and interest in my original music kept my musical wheels turning even in the face of my temporary setbacks.
These Missoula people helped make my pursuit of music here a success in my mind.
There are many others I haven't listed here, and others still who may not live in Missoula but are always important to my growth.
I believe it's never too early or too late to thank someone for their impact on you.
I will miss you all, I promise to visit again and I hope we can have a renuinion of sorts someday.
Please stay in touch, I'm excited for what's to come. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.
With love and gratitude,