A spoken word piece added to the fun of Showcase V where three singer/songwriters who have participated in the city’s weekly Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night series joined headliner William Eaton with Claudia Tulip and Ty for an original night of music and poetry.
Jen Vargas relishes in art forms of many kinds. She enjoys silk painting, batiking, oil pastel painting, writing poetry, composing music, singing, working on/fixing old cars and cooking, among a spectrum of many other passions and loves. She is a keen appreciator of nature and is currently a Biochemistry major (with medicinal chemistry emphasis) and working towards completing a bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University. Vargas works for the Metro Light Rail as a line controller. She will be releasing her first solo/raw and acoustic live album on May 1 called All These Fires. Vargas was born in Miami, Fla., as the first Cuban American generation in her family. She lives in Phoenix with her boxer, Zeus, and her boxer/pitt bull rescue, Chloe. Photo by Beatriz Kravitz. Profile
Bob McCarroll was born in Oshawa, Canada, raised in Scotland, and moved to America in his early teens. Music became his obsession at age 8 when he heard the early Beatles on the radio. Then, with his first guitar in hand at age 11, he took a few lessons, but mostly learned through self-study and friends. He played professionally before going to college and began working in Advertising & Design in 1978. He has owned the design firm, Virtual Pictures Company, since 1985. During the past 15 years, he has dedicated his free time to studying music more formally. He is currently finishing up his latest CD, “Now & Then” (2011), and has three CDs complete: “Secret Obsession” (2003), “In Your Dreams” (2008) and “That Old Feeling” (2010). Over the last five years, he has taken a passion to learning, playing and writing vocal compositions in the style of “The Great American Songbook.” Profile
Jessica Douglas always knew that music would be a part of her life, but she never guessed it would become her life. She grew up in Chandler with her mother, whose influence drew Douglas to love artists like The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, REO Speedwagon and The Beatles. As a child she had some piano lessons and later began playing on her own and experimenting. She did the same with percussion, practicing with textbooks set up as a make-shift drum set. Later in middle school, having been introduced to jazz by her father and falling in love with the sounds of John Coltrane, she started playing the tenor saxophone. She began teaching herself to play the guitar in high school. She spent three years in the Air Force Academy in Colorado and returned to Arizona in 2009 - a year that proved significant. “I was never sure what was pulling me towards the artist’s life I live now, but in that year an explosion of music began to reveal itself after so drastically changing direction,” she said. “That was when I found myself walking on a whim and alone into my first open mic, and meeting Walt Richardson. The following night I went to the very first Walk-in Wednesday Open Mic event at Tempe Center for The Arts. From there it has been a constant road towards my true self and true meaning in music and life. My music is about the pursuit of understanding, honesty, love and resonance with the world.” Profile
Marcus Wright (Dubline Rider) produced and hosted “Reggae Street,” a world music program that aired on several Phoenix radio stations, including KJZZ for more than two decades. He has worked in education with Arizona State University, as a television news reporter with then CBS channel 10, also a restaurateur (Likle Montego Jamaican Café) and as an actor and a voice over talent. Wright has self-published one collection of his poetry titled “Dubline Rider Purposeful and Prickly” in 2006. A second collection is being prepared for publication. Wright, a long-time Phoenix resident is a graduate of Phoenix College and Arizona State University. He has been a frequent performer at various open mike programs around the valley.
Wright’s “My Words Without Malice” is focused on his American life. Wright, a Jamaican immigrant, adds personal perspective to life through his writings. The “My Words Without Malice” program is a little like his once popular world music radio shows “Reggae Street” only driven by poetic stories and commentary instead of music. Wright pays tribute and injects parody and comedic touches in his writings about contemporary issues that have touched his life in America. He has been a keen observer and participant in what he calls “his American life’s journey” that continues to evolve. As he performs, the unmistakable patois dialect (what he calls “Jamaicanisms”) becomes part of his delivery. Sometimes a little reggae music is added for what Wright calls “roots effect.”
Performing with Marcus
Kenneth Caldwell was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and moved with his family to Chicago where he finished high school. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 and worked in engineering in Chicago. In 1970, Caldwell took a “sabbatical,” and traveled through Asia for almost a year and a half. He spent half of his life in Idaho Falls, raising two daughters, three sons and seven (for now) grandchildren. “Music has always been a part of me,” Caldwell said. “I have played in many different musical organizations, including country, bluegrass, West African dance, Reggae, swing and jazz (my preferred genre).”
Joining William Eaton
Claudia Tulip performs on silver and ethnic flutes and is classically trained, jazz influenced and world music inspired. She has written for ensembles, dance companies, theatre and video and has performed at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Estes Park Folk Festival and on Good Morning America. Recording credits include her flute album “Migrations” and albums by William Eaton, Chris Spheeris, Sharon Burch and Ani Williams. Tulip studied the nationally renowned children’s music program, Music Together with founder Ken Guilmartin and now directs her own center, Music Together of Scottsdale.
Ty has exhibited a prolific capacity in creating art. Whether she is making 50 sketches in a notebook, writing a novel, choreographing dance or writing songs, the muse seems to flow effortlessly. She is quiet and reserved, yet decisive and clear and weaves truth with uncanny observations, tempered with emotional sensitivity. Her debut CD “Standing On My Head” is a poetic journal recounting intimate revelations about love, life and relationships. Each song, performed with solo guitar and voice, reveals a world rich in metaphor, stark with simplicity and directness. Ty has headlined her own concerts, including appearances at the Old Town Center for the Arts, and has opened for Arizona legends Walt Richardson and Big Pete Pearson. She has toured the past two summers with four-time Grammy Finalist William Eaton, throughout the Southwest.