I’m so excited to FINALLY share with you my musical work of the past few years. But I’m only releasing it to my new “Song of the Month” club members over a period of 9 months. It is my baby, after all.
I cannot express what a joy it has been to explore my music there and grow as a musician. Many thanks to the owner, Leora, for such an incredible run!
Project Overcome Fear
Remember my 2015 “Project Overcome Fear” video series on my Facebook page?
A few people asked me why I opted for Facebook over YouTube. YouTube now claims perpetual ownership of any content uploaded, so no.
Plus, this is Project Overcome Fear, not Project Exhibitionist. If you wanna see it, like my page. Likers gonna like.
I’m Finally Recording!
Thanks to all of you who contributed to my campaign to raise money for my album. Because I did not reach the minimum amount I needed for it to be worth offering the perks (daughter of an accountant), I took a few months to recalibrate.
In that process, the song list and theme changed to be more honest with the here and now. I’ve decided to separate this album from Convert Augustine. A lot has happened in one year, and I think now is the time to express it without tagging on to a much older story. We will begin December 18th!
Of course, if any of you who offered to help before still want to contribute financially, I won’t turn it down… 😉
Liturgical Psalm Project
In June of 2014, I gave myself a compositional and devotional challenge: to musically set every Responsorial Psalm on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for the entire 3-year Catholic liturgical cycle.This comes out to about 65 settings a year, so I figured I could use it as a means of personal prayer 1-2 times a week. I started mid-way through Year A, and I’m so amazed to say I just finished the entirety of Year B!
So into Advent of Year C and continuing the fruitful exercise. There’s something to be said for discipline on weeks I feel I have nothing, only to listen back a month later with understanding that I couldn’t hear it at the time, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
New Orleans Vocal Arts VOCE
One of the most surreal and ecstatic moments of this year was when I was accepted into the small ensemble of VOCE, a subset of the New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale. As Loyola Artists in Residence, NOVA Chorale is under the direction of conductor, Dr. Meg Frazier, whom every choral singer and conductor I’ve met aspires to be.
For those of you who don’t know, I am raising money to record the fully composed and orchestrated sequel album of Convert Augustine, I’m calling Consummate Augustine. It’s been done for a while. I just need to get it recorded. So guess what? I’m crowdfunding.
For those of you (super generous) who have already given THANK YOU! I only have another month to reach the minimal recording cost (for musicians, producer, studio, etc.) that will allow me to get started.
That means, if I don’t reach the minimum goal by May 17, those who are counting on receiving their chosen “perks” will not be able to receive them, and I will have to refund them. BUT, if we reach it early, I can start sending out the perks early…
I bit the bullet and started an IndieGogo Campaign with lots of stuff to buy to fund a new album (including presales of the actual album).
I will finally record this long-awaited sequel only if this campaign reaches its goal in the next 2 months. So check it out, and tell your generous friends ASAP!
Fridays at Pearl Wine Co.
Thanks to the generosity of the owner, in addition to my regular Friday-night residency at Pearl Wine Co. (8:30-10:30pm), firstFridays of the month now feature my Rhythmic Tricks.
We’ll still do my originals and arrangements every week, but the first Fridays bring a heavier version. Up-and-comer Brad Webb is the steady rock on drums, while we experiment with new sounds for the layers above him.
The 2nd week of Jazz Fest, Jason Isaac will be coming in from New York to sub for him while his old pal from Afroskull, Bill Richards, holds it down on bass.
Video Series on Facebook
Some of you are familiar with my aversion to cameras. To conquer my fear, I have launched a video series on Facebook. Once a month I put up a home video of me performing.
Thank you for such a wonderful year! I must say I am quite looking forward to getting serious this Advent season as I perform/compose more contemplative and sacred music. You can get the minute information on all of the performances (such as venue, date, time) on the Upcoming Events page.
Lessons and Carols
Sunday December 14th, at 3pm, come out to the Jesuit Church for Lessons and Carols. This is a traditional FREE event of the season (open to all), in which seasonal liturgical readings are matched to musical selections.
Christmas Midnight Mass
I am once again honored to have one of my compositions performed at Christmas Midnight mass at theNew Orleans Jesuit Church. I will also be singing with the choir. The music begins at 11:30pm on the 24th and goes into the wee hours once we can finally legitimately say, “Merry Christmas!”
One of the most significant things to happen to me this year was being accepted into New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale(or NOVA). This is an unsurpassed group of singers who would shame any musician in this city just being in their presence. My first concert with them is Sunday, December 21st, at 7:30pm, at Holy Name Church at Loyola University. I cannot wait to experience this. It will be unlike anything you have witnessed before. The live experience is inexplicable, butlisten to a bit here.
Old U.S. Mint Recap
My 6-piece ensemble’s taping at the Old U.S. Mint in November was such a success. Many thanks to those of you who came out! Your presence made all the difference. Here’s a little taste of the result.
Sarah Gromko Trio Every Friday
Of course, my jazz trio still plays every Friday from 8-10pm at Pearl Wine Co. Catch us in the last weeks of the year as we add more holiday tunes. You will always be able to hear my originals in the 2nd set, after we warm you up with some fun arrangements of jazz standards in the 1st. Remember, Christmas doesn’t START until December 25th, and continues to 12th Night, so don’t expect me to cut out the sacred stuff on the 26th… 😉
Hopefully I’ll see you before Christmas is through!
My full band will be taping live at the Old U.S. Mint on Saturday, November 8 from 8-9:30pm. I need you to come be a part of it: make some noise, and keep us upbeat.
My love for the early ’60s lounge movement will shine through my use of jazz harmony, syncopation, groove changes, and odd meters and phrasing.
It will be primarily my compositions (new stuff!) with a few of my signature arrangements to ground the listeners in a bit of the familiar.
With the help of Cori Walters and Brad Webb, our percussion section will be so groovy, your socks might fall off.
Joe Ashlar‘s extensive synth library will make up for the fact that we don’t have an orchestra to play with as the big budgets allowed back in the day. Don’t worry. It’s tasteful, and he’ll play some real piano.
If you haven’t heard Georgi Petrov yet, you will be searching him out after hearing him on this show. He and Trey Boudreaux (whom I play with every Friday) lay it down as if they were one.
Essentially, what I’m saying is this show will be really special. Come out and see for yourselves.
On the first night (and within walking distance) of French Quarter Fest, come eat dinner and listen to some original and intricately-arranged modern jazz right downtown at Little Gem Saloon. I FINALLY get to present my music in New Orleans with it’s intended instrumentation.
On the Classical Stage at St. Mary’s Chapel, we will be performing a preview of upcoming classical concert material, as well as reprising international folk pieces.
PearlFest 2014 (following Jazz Fest)
The first annual PearlFest is within walking distance from the Fairgrounds that hosts JazzFest. This is a perfect way to unwind before the late night shows, with an intimate, air-conditioned, seated, and audible atmosphere.
I will pay homage to the Great “Fitzgerald” Songbook, accompanied by my trio. I promise to “deliver an upper-echelon change of setting” (All About Jazz) from the heat and chaos of the outdoor festival.
“With listed influences ranging from Brahms to Dream Theatre, you expect something pretty quirky, and Gromko delivers, with a mix of jazz and folk pop.”
My New York band’s concept album, Convert Augustine, will be reprised and complemented with other, newer compositions in this pop/jazz fusion concert. Electric bass and guitar and polymetric rhythms set a solid foundation for some soaring vocals.
During normal times, I can be heard every Friday at Pearl Wine Co., but I hope to see you inside at one of these festival concerts!
Well, this has been a lovely month! Here are some cool things in the works:
I am being commissioned to compose a Psalm for Christmas Midnight mass at the New Orleans Jesuit Church. I submitted a few of my old liturgical pieces to the musical director for possible inclusion in our liturgy, and he asked me to compose a brand new piece for flute, two violins, cello, organ, soloist, and chorus!
If you haven’t seen the beauty or heard the acoustics in that place, you are certainly missing out. As Musical Director, Paul Wattingy, describes it, “you could turn on a vacuum cleaner, and it would sound beautiful in here.” Hopefully my music will sound a few notches better than that…
I am also in the planning stages for a new album. When I went through my music a few months ago, I saw I had 40 unrecorded originals! I’ve been performing some of them regularly, and I will probably write some new ones to fill out the theme. I’m especially excited to include a larger ensemble piece used as interludes throughout, much as I did with Merton’s Prayers on my first album.
I’m playing with a lot of new people, introducing our musical collaborations on each of my nights in my monthly residency at Pearl Wine Co. The next one is on November 9th (NEW TIME: 9-11pm) with Jenna McSwain on keys and Trey Boudreaux on bass.
I often forget about my music biz work for other musicians soon after I provide it, but thank goodness they don’t! I’m excited to now be working for Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Evan Christopher, author Jacob Mendelsohn, and a soon TBA Musicians’ Advocate.