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Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Lizz Wright Shares Her Approach to Mindful Living While on Tour: ‘7 Habits of a Healthy Road Dawg'
(Published: March 16, 2016)


For Immediate Release                                                                                                
March 16, 2016


Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Lizz Wright Shares Her Approach to Mindful Living While on Tour: ‘7 Habits of a Healthy Road Dawg'

"Being a touring musician is an adventure and survival course in self management"

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Lizz Wright has shared detailed notes regarding her healthy lifestyle choices while on the road. By making mindful decisions regarding her exercise habits, food intake and spiritual reflection, she aims to share her ‘7 Habits of a Healthy Road Dawg', as seen below. Wright, currently on a worldwide tour and recently featured via NPR and on the cover of DownBeat Magazine, was interviewed about her acclaimed CD ‘Freedom & Surrender', as well as her body/mind-centric touring philosophy, here:



AXS / EXAMINER - Exclusive Q&A: Lizz Wright talks healthy touring and 'Freedom & Surrender'
By Laurie Fanelli 3/9/16
http://www.axs.com/exclus...

Lizz Wright is a captivating jazz vocalist who draws from a gospel background to find the soul in every song. Her latest album, Freedom & Surrender, once again finds the singer sharing rich and complicated emotions with the beauty in every aspect of her voice. AXS got a chance to ask Wright about her singing techniques, as well as some of her advice for staying in tip-top shape while touring on the road.
Laurie Fanelli (AXS): You have a beautiful and versatile voice, what drew you to jazz as your genre of choice?
Lizz Wright: Thank you! I discovered jazz when I was still in grade school from National Public Radio, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Show. I found that jazz, like gospel, involved a balanced relationship between form and improvisation. Gospel is, in my tradition, very communal. I found the musical fellowship between jazz musicians to be very similar to the call and response of bluesy 20th century gospel music. The refreshing difference for me was that jazz was intellectual and personal at once. It involved a lot of subject matter, but still had a thoughtful and reverent quality to it like the gospel music that I grew up hearing and singing. From my initial exposure to jazz, I felt that I had a window into the outside world and the spirit of the past.
LF: You are able to convey such rich emotions with your melodies, do you have anything special that you do - either in preparation for a show or on stage - to enhance your ability to connect to the heart of the music?
LW: I get quiet and think about how to use the songs for each concert. I sit and think about which songs I can carry better than others that night. I also write a new set list or adjust it based on what I feel from a place and its people. I think a little room for observation and reaction is important. The set list becomes my letter or message to those particular folks. These quirky little practices keep the work of performing authentic and fresh for myself and the band.
LF: What was one of the first songs that you remember wanting to sing professionally?
LW: "The Nearness of You." Nancy Wilson 's recording of it was a revelation for me. She made me care more about the sentiment than even her voice - which was phenomenal. "That's what a real woman sounds like," I thought. Suddenly, it became important to me to think about how the song and its delivery make people feel about life. That was the point.
LF: Freedom & Surrender is such a beautiful album, that has been celebrated by fans and critics, alike. Have you started thinking about a follow-up yet?
LW: Thanks! I look forward to getting back into the studio in December 2016. In and outside of my career, life has been presenting me with opportunities to share my relationship with land and with the American South, in particular. It has always been a sweet and rich place for me, loaded with great stories and music. I hope to find a way to share some of that with this next project.
LF: You recently shared some of your healthy habits that help you feel whole while you are on the road, including yoga, running and getting proper rest. You must be great at time management to accomplish your fitness and musical goals. Do you have any tips on getting the most out of a busy day? LW: Have good daily rituals of self nurturing that you always practice and also be creative about making the best of the present. If you're a traveler, there's something inspiring, informative or calming to do or see right under your nose. Find it. These things matter because we are remembered more for the quality of energy that we bring to what we do, even more than what we actually do.
LF: Can you share some of your favorite meals that you love to eat for energy on the road?
LW: Brown rice, young hardy greens, feta or goat cheese, olive oil - balsamic vinegar, baked poultry or fish, roasted sweet potato. I also drink fresh mint, ginger root, lemon and honey tea before most every show.
LF: You have a ton of tour dates in 2016 including festival appearances and intimate club gigs. Do you prefer playing in certain venues or is variety helpful in keeping things fresh?
LW: Variety is certainly great for keeping the band and show well rounded, though I prefer small theaters. They are intimate and acoustically treated. As a singer, the design of the hall and the quality of the gear become parts of your instrument for the night.
I enjoy the challenge of adapting to a variety of spaces.
**** Pick-up tickets to see Lizz Wright in spaces big and small in a city near you and click here to purchase a copy of her latest album, Freedom & Surrender. Keep reading AXS for more music news, reviews and tour announcements.


7 Habits of a Healthy Road Dawg - By Lizz Wright
Being a touring musician is an adventure and survival course in self
management. We are a band of nomads, presenting our hybrid of musical and
cultural traditions for the sheer joy of it, hoping to return home with
enough change to justify our next expedition.
This half of my life has its own set of practices and essentials that make
me feel whole.
At each venue I want to show up with the kind of energy that allows the show
to be a dynamic experience and a real time conversation with the audience.

YOGA
On a normal show day, I'm pulling a folded up version of myself off of a
plane or van and shuffling through a hotel room to deliver myself at the
back of a cold, black stage for sound check. The hall echoes with the work
of the band and crew, sometimes sounding more like a construction site than
concert venue. At such moments, I can feel the work of the many people
who've put the event together and their expectation for a memorable
experience.
This is when my red yoga mat, a closed door and a long plank pose are my
salvation.
My traveling practice (a Vinyasa-based cardio flow) is centered on improving
circulation by creating heat and grounding myself by carefully building
poses and deepening them with each repeated sequence.
A few cycles in and I can forgive a long day and have a good time.

RUNNING
I studied classical voice under Dr. Dwight Coleman at Georgia State
University. I remember him talking about going for a run on recital days
when he was in school.
He emphasized that running helps with vocal stamina and tone quality.
I also run because it keeps me calm. In high school, we had a passionate
choral instructor who would break out in nervous hives each time the choir
had a performance or competition. We'd rehearse beforehand and if we got too
excited she would cut us off and hiss, "Don't peak! Don't peak!" Took some
time for me to figure out what she meant, but there is, indeed, such a thing
as getting too excited before performances. Running helps with spilling a
bit of the joy so that I don't come out at the people like a firehose of
zeal. I always want to feel calm and brave enough to look at the people I'm
singing to.

PACING
In this traveler's life it makes sense to have a fast and slow version of
almost everything: exercise, eating, mental activity, writing, etc.
Sometimes a simple shift of pace is all I need to get back to feeling sane
after I've been rattled by worry or weariness.
I also try to do only 3 consecutive performances in a row before taking a
night off. Feels good to show up to play with real energy and attentiveness.
I've not been very convincing when I've tried to barrel through an
over-planned set from downbeat to encore.
Growing up in the church, I got a lot of notes for developing performance
experiences from watching skillful, charismatic preachers. My favorites were
always smart and confident, but still humble and intuitive enough to be
funny and personal.
As a child, I remember leaving a good service feeling like I'd been on a
great ride and spent time with my family.

OBSERVATION
Within a couple of miles of every concert hall or club one can usually find
a natural feature, some signature body of water or land that speaks of the
spirit of a place and it's people.
In Lillehammer, Norway it was the sapphire water of Lake Mjosa and the
clusters of white birch trees that dot its winding bank.
I wandered down the hill for a quick run before sound check. I'll never
forget the show that followed. There was a kinship with the people that had
nothing to do with anything that could have been read in a book. I could
feel their home. Sometimes a natural feature is replaced by a great collection of art or a remarkable feat of architecture. I love hunting for something to learn and connect to in every place.

REST
At the end of each day I do whatever I can to bring myself back to a sense
of trust, wonder and humor about life, so that I can sleep.
I'll read poetry, a geography magazine, folk tales, scripture or turn on a
movie that I know every line to. Sometimes the trick is calling my neighbor
to get a long, slow report on the weather, the animals, and any other
mountain news of the week or past 50 years, whatever comes to mind. Her
voice is one of my landmarks.
Once a week, I'll give my body a break by consuming only liquid or soft, raw
foods. The idea is to get the most nutrients with the least amount of work
exerted in breaking it down. It's usually a good day to be quiet. My mind
gets clear.

FELLOWSHIP
On the road, the company you keep is the house you live in. My brothers (the
band members) are some of my favorite people on the planet. We eat together
before each show and spend a lot of time laughing. Nothing has to be funny,
necessarily. Its easy to laugh around people you understand.
There's a lot of musical chemistry  that comes from my friendships and
experiences with the crew. After years of paying dues and learning in
motion, I have a solid team and family that I admire and trust.

SELF GARDENING
One of the parts of home life that I miss most while on the road is
gardening. It helps me mark time and feel connected to the earth.
The only garden that I can nurture when I'm traveling is my own body.
Recently, I looked over at one of my beautiful friends and suddenly had a
fresh understanding of what self-care is really about: gratitude and
reverence.
"I want to stop treating my body like an old tractor," I said. "If I really
believed it was a temple I wouldn't be so hard on it."
Slowly, I'm adopting the same kind of reverence towards an afternoon at a
spa or one spent twisting my locks in the sun that I would feel for a day in
the dirt, growing food, medicine and ornamental flowers.
Ubuntu.


Upcoming Lizz Wright tour dates:
Apr 02    Cape Town Jazz Festival                        Cape Town, South
Apr 16    Rio Theatre                                                Santa Cruz, CA         
Apr 17    SF JAZZ Center Miner Auditorium          San Francisco, CA        
Apr 19    Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant              Minneapolis, MN     
Apr 20    SPACE                                                         Evanston, IL             
Apr 22    Koerner Hall                                              Toronto, Canada         
Apr 23    Festival Place                                            Sherwood Park, Canada        
Apr 28    Alter Oper                                                  Frankfurt, Germany        
Apr 30    Cheltenham Jazz Festival                       Cheltenham, United Kingdom        
Jun 25    Ridgefield Playhouse                               Ridgefield, CT         
Jun 26    Freihofer's Jazz Festival                          Saratoga Springs, NY        
Jun 27    Rochester Jazz Festival                          Rochester, NY
Jul 29     Shalin Liu                                                    Rockport, MA
Jul 30     City Winery                                                NYC
Jul 31     Newport Jazz Festival                              Newport, RI        


Sampling of recent tour coverage:
http://www.post-gazette.c...

http://triblive.com/aande...

http://magiccitybands.com...

http://www.pghcitypaper.c...

A recent NPR segment is here:
http://www.npr.org/sectio...

Biography:
Lizz Wright has been the recipient of nonstop critical acclaim and ever-increasing audiences ever since her Verve debut. Like so many vocal greats, Lizz began her singing in the church. For her it was a small church in Hahira, Georgia where her father served as musical director and where she soaked up the sounds of songs of faith. She was also surrounded by varied types of secular music at home especially jazz and soul. Wright moved to Atlanta in the late 90s to attend Georgia State University and began singing classical repertoire under Dr. Dwight Coleman. She also began singing jazz, both solo and as part of the popular local group In The Spirit. She made a name for herself in other parts of the country in 2002 as part of a touring concert tribute to Billie Holiday, where her poised, emotive performance stole the show.
A year later Wright was signed by Verve Records and worked with legendary jazz producer Tommy LiPuma on her debut album, Salt. It topped the contemporary jazz charts and became one of the most acclaimed albums of 2003, mixing standards with new material and styles ranging from Gospel to Soul to Jazz to Blues with ease. And her clear, deep voice and mature phrasing certainly belied her age (then 23).
Following Salt, Dreaming was both a critical and commercial success, and paved the way for 2008's The Orchard, another excellent CD that paired Wright with with producer Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, KD Lang, Norah Jones). It was followed by Fellowship, a more inspirational-focused released.
Over her four albums, Lizz Wright has demonstrated that she is a top notch songwriter and also has the interpretive skills to become a premier popular song stylist. She is a complete artist who has both talent and musical instincts well beyond her young age, and one whom I hope will continue to stretch her boundaries in the years to come. I believe she will and that twenty years from now we will be talking about Lizz Wright as one of the great popular singers of her generation.

More info, photos, etc:
http://aiartists.com/lizz...
Tour dates - http://lizzwright.net

http://lizzwright.net
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https://twitter.com/lizzw...



More Information: http://lizzwright.net


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