Healing, through live music performances. Giving Music is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.
It’s too bad we don’t have a picture to show, because this is a story about a picture. And despite the stringent laws and rules about medical confidentiality in nursing homes, I doubt if the hero in this story would mind if we showed the picture in question. But we can’t, and after a career as a hospital social worker, I am forever tuned to follow those rules.
The Giving Music band had played a small nursing home in south Los Angeles, SOLA they call it now, with about 35 residents attending the performance. As usual, our singers went into the audience and encouraged residents to sing along. In the past we have discovered a lot of hidden talent, often professional entertainers that thought their stage life was over. Our job is to bring that memory back and let the talent show itself. We have had many successes with that.
At this SOLA facility, Clarence, our sax player, noticed a guy in a wheelchair mouthing the words to one of the songs. Clarence took the microphone out to the man and encouraged him to sing along. At first he was a little shy but then really got into it, belting out some fine blues. His smile told me this was a special moment for him and I was there to take pictures of it.
About a month later our band was playing a gig nearby the SOLA facility so I decided to use the opportunity to drop off the pictures I had taken. Clarence was with me.
When we pulled up to the curb in front of the nursing home Clarence had the pictures in his hand and as if by providence, the old singing bluesman was sitting in his wheelchair under the shade of a small tree.
“Look Clarence,” I said. “Isn’t that the guy you sang along with?”
“Yeah, it is. And look, his picture is right here on the top of the stack. It’s the one I was looking at.”
I got out of my truck and walked up to the man and showed him the picture of the smiling duet. He took the picture from me and held it to his heart; big tears were streaming down his face.
“You have no idea how much this means to me,” he sobbed. “I love you guys.”
I guess he did. When we returned last weekend to play there again, he was in the front row, smiling…
–Bob Lanz, L.C.S.W.
Robert Lanz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, recently retired after a long and distinguished career at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California. A former probation officer, U.S. Army Veteran and business owner, he brings a wealth of experience outside of the musical world.
As a former emergency room L.C.S.W. and native Angelino, Bob has experience working with many of the care facilities Giving Music is serving today. Bob’s insight into the inner workings of California’s health care system guides Giving Music in its mission.
Currently the leader and organist for the critically-acclaimed roots gospel band Little Faith (www.littlefaithmusic.com), Jack has performed and recorded with Carly Simon, Etta James, Dr. John, and Aaron Neville, among other major recording artists. A former broadcast executive at Miramax Films, he has also composed scores for feature films and television programs, including Disney’s “Arabian Knights”.
Born and raised in New York City, Robert has a background in high-tech contracting and video production businesses, as well as experience in law enforcement as a reserve lieutenant for the Pasadena Police Department. Once a writer for network TV and a regular columnist for a Los Angeles newspaper, he has since segued into law.
Vincent is a lifelong volunteer, contributing time and energies toward stewardship efforts that have resulted in positive and profound impact both locally and nationally. He is the Founder and National Director of the Holiday Caroling Festivities, now in its 45th year; is a former Founder and Director of the Save the Greyhound Project, and a School Consultative Board Member and Volunteer Substitute Teacher for St. Joseph the Worker Catholic School where he analyzed programs to maintain and grow attendance and secure funding for the private elementary school located in Los Angeles. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has had a very successful business career in sales and marketing of consumer products for Union Carbide Corporation, First Brands Corporation and the Clorox Company.
Scott Harber, CAS, has been a Production Sound Mixer for TV and Features in Los Angeles since 1991. Credits for 2017 include Transformers, Bosch for Amazon, Castle at ABC and Ballers for HBO. At one point in time he went to San Francisco State University where he got a B.A. in Broadcast Communications. His parents live in San Diego, he has a son at the University of Michigan, a daughter in high school, and a wife who keeps it all squared away.
Hailing from Miles Davis’ hometown, Cat is a professionally-trained IMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association)-award recipient for piano, flute and voice (5 octave range). She has performed in jazz, blues, cover, and rock bands at Sheraton Delfina, Miceli’s, Sheraton Pasadena, Liquid Zoo, Left Coast Wine Bar, Universal Bar & Grill, The Baked Potato and Charlie O’s with Conan O’Brien’s band featuring Mitch Forman, the Rainbow Room and Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill in Los Angeles, Melvyn’s in Palm Springs, and Chicago’s Navy Pier, Green Dolphin Street, Joe’s Be-Bop Emporium, Magnum’s, The Keg in Evanston, Willowbrook Ballroom, Famous Freddie’s Roadhouse, Sluggers-Wrigleyville, Lovell’s of Lake Forest, and other venues (weddings, art gallery events). She has a dance background in jazz, tap and ballet, with over 10 years of acting experience in stage/musical productions such as Mame (lead), Sound of Music (“Sister Sophia” and pit orchestra pianist), HMS Pinafore, The Elephant Man, Whose Life is It Anyway?, Ten Little Indians, Lo and Behold, Stage Door, and Web of Murder. Her style is swayed by soul, the blues, contemporary music, and musicals, and she considers Prince, Donna Summer, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee and Julie London as influences. She has decades of corporate work experience, with business and computer science degrees, and she is currently attending USC for her second master’s degree: in library and information science.
Doug Perkins is a guitarist, composer, pop songwriter and is a partner/owner in the jazz guitar music education site www.jazzguitarsociety.com. Doug’s music is heard in television, film and advertising daily around the world everywhere from MadMen to SpongeBob Squarepants.
A specialist in jazz improvisation, Perkins has published several titled pieces for Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a graduate of the world famous Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, where he was named Outstanding Student of the Year. He later taught at the Institute and helped to develop its early curriculum.
Raised in Toledo, Ohio, Doug was lead guitarist for 50’s rockers “Johnny & The Hurricanes” for his first “road gig” out of high school, and has since performed and recorded with Alex Acuna, The Andrews Sisters, Robben Ford, The Coasters, Shelly Manne, The Platters, Justo Almario, and Tommy Walker, among many others. His years of experience and skills as a band leader and guitarist in all popular styles of music made him uniquely suited to guide Giving Music’s performance levels.
TRICIA COTTRELL Tricia Cottrell has been surrounded by music her entire life: her grandfather played the violin, her mother was a lifelong professional keyboard artist, and she is married to a professional musician. In her spare time, she occasionally gets an opportunity to play bluegrass music on her upright bass with her husband, their son and her grandchildren, which makes for a legacy of five generations of musicians in the family.
Her love of music led her to a position as the Executive Director of Merrymakers Association, a non-profit organization based in Omaha, Nebraska, which provides professional music to seniors where they live. She enjoyed leading that organization for almost four years. During her tenure she grew the mission by 22%.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Besides serving on the advisory board for Giving Music, she also gives her time to Habitat for Humanity, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
PERRY GOLDBERG Perry Goldberg is a founding partner of Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weatherwax, LLP. Mr. Goldberg was previously a partner for many years with Irell & Manella, LLP. He graduated in three years from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business), receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, summa cum laude, in 1990, graduating in the top 1% of his class. Mr. Goldberg graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1993, where he served as Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology.
Mr. Goldberg recently served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association. He has been selected by Los Angeles Magazine numerous times, including in its most recent survey, as a Southern California “Super Lawyer.” He is the co-author of numerous articles pertaining to intellectual property litigation and strategy, as well as an article entitled “E-mail And The Attorney-Client Privilege In California,” which was published in California Litigation. Mr. Goldberg is also the author of Mergers and the Federal Antitrust Laws: A Research Guide for Practitioners (William S. Hein, 1992).
DR. JENNIFER RAFEEDIE Dr. Jennifer Rafeedie is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the USC Keck School of Medicine. For the past 19 years, Dr. Rafeedie has been based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities where she provides clinical services to children and families, and serves as a clinical educator in the training of psychologists and physicians. Her areas of expertise include human development across the lifespan, the psychological impact of trauma, including child abuse and neglect, and the impact of chronic illness on quality of life. In addition to her work at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Rafeedie has volunteered many years serving the homeless population, and women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Dr. Rafeedie recognizes the role that music plays in enhancing quality of life and is self-identified as a Big Fan of Giving Music. In addition to her love of music, Dr. Rafeedie enjoys writing, river rafting, and watching her son play basketball.
PATTI MITSUI For over 25 years, Patti Mitsui has helped chart the careers of many of the biggest names in music and entertainment by handling marketing, public relations and branding for many of the best-selling CDs, DVDs, films books and pop culture products as a partner in the public relations firm, PRP. The names of the artists speak for themselves, among them: The Who, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, The Doors, Carole King and James Taylor, Jamie Foxx, The Stones, Curtis Mayfield, The Eagles, Alice Cooper, Linda Ronstadt, The Knack, and Fleetwood Mac.
Events, festivals, fund-raisers and concerts have also been PRP’s focus including Queen’s Halloween Madness in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Canada and Texas multi-day outdoor stadium festivals, national political conventions, and label and artist Grammy events. Corporate programs have been created for AFTRA, Westwood One, Dick Clark Productions, Hits Magazine, Warner-Chappel Music, Avalon Attractions, Rondor Music, Crown Publishing and record labels and imprints from A&M, Capitol, RCA, Island, Chrysalis, BMG, Rhino, Virgin, and Warner Bros. to Motown, Casablanca and Ode including their CEOs and top executives.
JONATHAN C. BALFUS Jonathan C. Balfus is a Senior Attorney in the Los Angeles office of Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP. A seasoned litigator with an emphasis in business and intellectual property, Mr. Balfus has extensive experience handling copyright, trademark, fair use, media and rights of publicity matters all over the country. He has also represented diverse clients in the television, radio, recording, merchandising and music publishing industries.
Mr. Balfus graduated with honors from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences (1985) and School of Law (1988). While at NYU Law, he clerked for New York Appellate Court Judge Frederick T. Santucci. He is a member of the State Bars of New York and California and is admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts in the Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California. Mr. Balfus is the author of Keep It To Yourself, an intellectual property column for non-lawyers published on the media and culture website PopDose (popdose.com).