Tag Archives: jazz entertainer

Finding Venus Goes Vinyl and Touring

It was a miracle that I made it, after the lawyer, who appeared to be driving drunk and driving like a maniac, hit me so hard I flew twenty-eight feet with a severed leg. I landed on my nose. My name is… I’m not sure. I mean, I don’t know. I reside in the physical form of a woman named, Venus. There was an accident. A green Mazda and an eighteen-year-old on a ten-speed bike. It was a miracle that I became a human being again. And it took more than all the king’s horses to do so. Mama and Papa didn’t know what to do, so they decided to do what they knew best. The show must go on, they said, and left for a tour of America.”

This is how the Finding Venus album begins, accompanied by a tango of joyously gorgeous cello and grand piano. Adding deeply expressed vocals that range from lonely despair, longing and fury to humorous introspection and sensual awakening, we are taken on a quest to find identity, love and meaning. A quest that takes us all the way into the Nevada desert, in serial killer territory, in a desperate attempt to find the one person who made sense to us. A quest that forces us to face our deepest fears, admit our deepest longings and let go of what we love the most, so that we can, in turn, return to and realize who we really are.

“This is art. High art. It is also a compassionate, realistic study of what unsolved mysteries can do to a human life. How do we let go? How do we say goodbye when we can’t? How do we move on? How do we smile again? We find Venus.”
A.J. Llewellyn

As many of you already know, Finding Venus is my way of sharing my own incredible, but true, story of hope and transformation. It was, indeed, a miracle that I made it. I mean, recovering from the horrible accident that crushed my body and sent my brain into the land of deep confusion and indescribable pain was one thing. Making sense of the scattered pieces of memory that gradually was presented to me, was another story.

To be honest, I am still trying to make sense of it. And, in this making-sense-of-it process, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to express what I have experienced in such a deliciously musical format and with such incredible musicians and actors. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being part of this journey, as listener and co-conspirator, as mentor, supporter, friend, ally and fan! I could not have done any of this without you. It is my deepest prayer and desire that this story will help and inspire those who are struggling with issues related to trauma, identity, recovery and the loss of a loved one.

The Jazz-, blues-, pop- and cabaret arrangements on this album are brilliantly executed by bass players Abraham Laboriel and Jennifer Leitham, drummers Mark Schulman and Chris Wabich, pianist Tom Zink, guitarist Julian Coryell and cellists Irina Chirkova, Carter Dewberry and Elisa Herbig. The voices of Mama, Papa and Stefanie are beautifully expressed by J’Nae Fincannon, Gary Imhoff and Aina O’Kane. Katisse Buckingham flavours the album throughout with his poignant, sultry, lavish and energetic sax, flute, beat box and synth programming. And phenomenal sound engineers Tom Zink, Bob Rice, Leslie Chew, Tony Shogren and Jan Erik Kongshaug makes us all sound awesome!

The Finding Venus album is now available as a Limited Edition 2 LP white Vinyl, as well as CD, Downloads and Streaming at www.carolinewaters.com

The Finding Venus Tour 2019 is happening in Sweden, Norway, UK, USA and Canada, starting next week!!! Amazing cellist, Ruti Celli, is joining us on the first leg of the tour and others will join as we proceed. Concert dates will be posted as they are confirmed at www.carolinewaters.com/calendar

If you like what you hear, purchase the album, buy tickets for our shows and share with others you think might resonate! Also let us know where you want us to perform next. Click here to make contact or to join the VIP email list.

Love Always, Caroline

Overcoming Procrastination and Finding Venus

Roughly seven years after the birth of the idea to create a musical, based on chapters from the novel-eh-thriller-memoir that took a half a lifetime to dare to write, I am finally ready to release the double album, Finding Venus.

I am both excited and absolutely terrified. Not that the album itself is so dangerous. But the emotional content that is attached to each of the songs, brings up a world of issues for me. They remind me of times in my life where I have felt utterly powerless or deathly buried afraid or wanting to kill myself.

The songs, in themselves, are tremendously empowering, full of hope and strength and courage and humor and powerful expressions. Yet, for me, they bring up all the hidden passages of what it took for me to overcome the fear and pain and uncertainty of the trauma I lived through.

In addition to working hard to have it all come together, the book, the musical and the album, I must confess that procrastination techniques have been at play. Techniques such as, nitpicking, delaying making a decision, constantly debating the pros and cons of each decision made, beating up on myself for not being slim enough to present it, etc.

Now, that I have made the decision to move forward with the release, I realize the amount of fear that has been holding me back. I realize the kind of self doubt that I have carried with me for so long. In spite of the fact that I have been a great promoter of Vocal Freedom, I have held myself hostage, in a way, to my own fear.

The fear that I now have surrendered completely, in order to move forward with this release, is connected to a very old message, launched deeply within my younger self. This old message is about Not sharing personal stuff, about Always smiling to the camera, about Appearing strong and happy, even when I feel vulnerable or sad. Serendipitously, herein lies the core of the new message I wish to relay with my music and story:

Don’t be afraid to Be and Share who you are. There is tremendous power in opening to the inner wisdom of your being, allowing it to move you and expressing it powerfully in words, music and action.

All the songs for Finding Venus can now be enjoyed and purchased via www.carolinewaters.com and we’ll be super happy if you can make it to the Release Party at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood on May 4th.

From Workaholic to Finding Venus in West Hollywood

It’s been a while since my last post… and for that I am truly sorry. So much have happened and I haven’t been good at letting y’all know in any kind of timely fashion. Since my last post, I finished the concerts I had already scheduled for Spring and Summer in New York, Florida, Norway and Sweden. With flying colors, I might add, well, sort of, until my body said, “Stop!”

As some of you may know, I have been struggling with being a workaholic for most of my career. One of the problems with being a workaholic is that I often ignore the signals my body are giving me when it needs rest and rejuvenation. Long story short, I decided to take the rest of the summer off, completely, just to rejuvenate. And it has worked wonders for my well being and creativity.

I am now back in LA, working in a more sane tempo to finish my book and to come up with a plan for a new and improved album release for Finding Venus. Even though I finished recording the album already, I decided to put the release on hold until I got my body back in shape and a team in place to help me promote it, along with my story, in a most fabulous fashion.

If you’re in the hood, feel free to join me for a drink, a chat or just to listen to a super relaxed concert this coming Thursday at The Grafton on Sunset in West Hollywood. I’ll bring my guitar and some CDs and enjoy your company.

Caroline Waters LIVE at The Grafton on Sunset

Love Always,

From Personal to Global Rejuvenation

These past few months have passed me by like there’s no tomorrow. I’m in a daze from high speed living. It started with a decision to let go of the old and embrace the new and unknown. In the process that followed, I sold and gave away roughly eighty percent of my belongings. I also minimized my monthly expenses by moving in with a friend.

As a result, a tremendous amount of energy has been released to create a more vibrant bi-continental existence and I am receiving gifts beyond my wildest imagination. The Norwegian mini-tour of Finding Venus – The Musical, received rave reviews, I am in the process of expanding my musical territory in Sweden and a fall tour is brewing in California with amazing cellist, Elisa Herbig. (All shows will be posted at www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php)
Elisa Herbig and Caroline Waters in ConcertCurrent broadcasts are starkly contrasting the lightness and ease of my being. Angry, wounded, unforgiving people seem to be dominating the scene with their post traumatic stress behaviors and thirst for vengeance. Personally, I don’t think it works to overcome darkness with more darkness. The”eye for an eye” method will only serve to make us all blind.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could lay down our swords, forgive ourselves and each other, let go of our need to dominate, possess and control? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could meet those of us who suffer from post traumatic stress with patience, understanding, love and nurture, regardless of race, religion, sex, skin color or financial status?
Make Love Not War
Imagine a world where fellowship is more highly regarded than ownership, where respect for Mother Nature triumphs desire for money and where music and art is regarded as more important than the military. I am committed to making it happen. Who’s with me?

Benefitting Relief Efforts in Haiti

I must admit I feel mighty small in the face of such devastating news that we are receiving daily now from Haiti. Words escape me. I’m on emotional overload. I take it in and I take it on. What can I do?

The first thing that comes to mind is to use my talent the best I can to contribute in any way that I can. So, the upcoming concert at Herr Nilsen in Oslo will definitely benefit Haiti. Secondly, the products that I have for sale can also be useful, so I’ll have 25% of all CD sales go to Haiti as well.

Other than that, I believe that our thoughts, prayers and songs and living our lives in alignment with our calling creates great energy for the world at large. So, I will continue to express the song in my heart as powerfully and as joyously as I can with my words, music, teaching and performance.

We all have the power to help and inspire. I’d say, let’s move this world into a better place by aligning with the song in our hearts and by letting that song move us into action in whatever way feels the most natural to each and every one of us. And let us listen to each other, really listen, and see how and where we can contribute most effectively to the big chorus of love and consciousness expansion that propels us forward in this time-space reality.

Let us listen to the song of Haiti and contribute with our individual hearts and voices in whatever way it moves us. We can do a lot of good here. Let’s do it!

Here’s a video of me singing my song Little Angel, recorded live at TV Follo’s Christmas special in Norway. Little Angel can be found on my CD’s, Exposed and Venus Envy.

Love and Blessings, Caroline

Passionate Musings Become Reality!

My apologies for being somewhat delinquent in the blogging department… My excuse is that I have been passionately engaged in reinventing my audiovisual presentation to the world. And, today, I can proudly announce that my passionate musings have become reality.

The new Caroline Waters website was launched last night, showing video clips from concerts, films, music videos and the theatre, audio clips from every song on every CD I have made so far, a fabulous new store and much, much more.

And… the new CD, Being Totally Alive, will be released in concert Upstairs at Vitello’s in Studio City on September 23rd. Amazing musicians, cellist Carter Dewberry and floutist/ saxophonist Katisse Buckingham, will be joining us as well.

And soon, very soon, I’ll be back to tell more stories on the magic and power of Vocal Freedom.

Love and Blessings, Caroline

From Child Star Neurosis to Vocal Freedom.

Caroline and her mom

My mom told me that, in addition to being born with cross country skis on my feet, I came out singing. At the age of two, barely walking and talking, I staggered up on stage where my dad was performing and demanded to sing a song. He stared at me for a moment, uncertain what might come of such an unexpected proposal. At the time, he had no idea if I was able to remember the words to a whole song, much less perform one to a large audience. But he lifted me up on the piano and asked what song I wanted to sing. “Ba, Ba, Little Lamb,” I said and immediately turned my undivided attention on the audience in front of me. Much to his surprise, after he played a little introduction, I delivered the song with such determination, precision and gusto that everyone was convinced this was preplanned and well rehearsed. One thing lead to another and, before I could count to three (literally), I had become the youngest musical theater movie star and jazz singer in existence.

Caroline and her dad

My initial vocal training consisted mainly of standing at the farthest end of the orchard that made up the garden of my childhood existence, speaking and singing lines to my dad, who was standing at the top of the stairs, screaming on top of his lungs, “Louder! Louder! I need to hear you at the farthest row of the theater.” We didn’t use microphones back then, unless we were on TV, at a stadium or in a big concert hall, so loudness, projection and enunciation were important elements to consider. Dad, a legendary jazz entertainer, movie star and my stage partner for nearly two decades, taught me to perform with great strength and enthusiasm, as well as the art of comedic timing, bebop and scatting.

Naturally, growing up in such a highly vocal and competitive family added plenty of contrast to the more shy and sensitive sides to my personality, and it has taken many great life adventures to find balance between the two.

How I learned to open my heart and sing with greater passion

One of my most precious teachers and mentors in the art of vocal expression came into my life at eighteen. Anne Wiggins Brown was her name. She was the original Bess in Porgy and Bess, handpicked by George Gershwin himself. After nearly two decades of touring the world as one of the most celebrated opera singers of her time, she fell in love with a Norwegian and began teaching her unique methods to young and upcoming divas such as Liv Ullman, Karin Krog, Elisabeth Nordberg-Schulz and myself. Under Anne’s wings, I learned to open my heart and sing with greater passion and vulnerability than I ever imagined possible.

During this time, I had a bicycle accident that sent me flying into the light and back into a body that had been maimed and mangled to unrecognizable proportions, not to mention the glorious attributes that naturally follows when the brain gets thoroughly shaken. This put an immediate stop to my career as a musical theater actress and also my childhood dream to pursue a profession as a medical doctor. Anne Brown loved, supported and empowered me through this time with great patience, fierce determination and a relentless belief in my musical talent and vocal abilities. She insisted I practice at least three hours a day so that I could pass the entrance exam at Julliard with flying colors. She also refused to let me wallow in any kind of self pity or treat me as anything but what she envisioned to be my fullest potential . So, I practiced at least three hours a day, and I swear both my mental and physical recovery sped up amazingly as a result.

By the time I had mustered enough courage to break the umbilical cord to my immensely supportive, but controlling parents, and as my love for the more rebellious forms of music took precedence, in spite of wild protests from my opera loving mentor, I decided to bail on Julliard and instead embrace California and The Dick Grove School of Music with all my heart. The sudden disappearance of my dearest friend and soul sister Stefanie Stroh, and subsequent life changing adventure into serial killer territory that followed also played a major role in my decision making. Stefanie, originally from San Francisco, was last seen walking toward highway eighty in Winnemucca, Nevada. She was on the last leg of a journey that had taken her on a year long vision quest around the world and was expected home the next day. I figured going to music school in California would help serve my two main goals: To continue the search for Stefanie and to record an album to get her name and face widely distributed.

At Grove I was told to loosen up. “My God, you’re a machine,” they would say. “Your vocal delivery is flawless, but it’s like you’re not human, so we’re bored to tears.” I had spent so many years building my strength and perfecting my delivery, like a good little entertainment soldier, but was missing the most important element of all: I was lacking the ability to relate to and therefore communicate effectively with others. Growing up as a child star does nothing, I repeat, nothing, to develop healthy relationships with people your own age. And, the irony of it all is that relationship building is the main key to being a successful communicator.

My dad was an amazing communicator, which is what made him such a tremendously successful performer. He also had a semi-normal childhood. Well, normal for growing up during world war two and having his dad go to jail for printing an illegal anti-Hitler newsletter and refusing to send his sons to work for the Nazis. But, as amazing as he was in the art of communication and as well meaning as he was in his desire to allow and nurture my vocal expression and performance, I missed out on some of the development that had made him so great. Development that you only get from playing with kids your own age, and from forming bonds with those kids. I think parents, in their desire to bring out the best in you, sometimes forget that the best in you can only come when you’re allowed to make mistakes, a bunch of them, in relationship to other kids.

The benefit of making lots and lots of mistakes

Mike Campbell was the head of the Vocal Department at Grove. “Your job,” he said. “Your job at this school, as long as you are in my classes, is to make mistakes. The more the better.” I just stared at him in disbelief. “What on earth do you mean?” I asked. “Did you know,” he said, ” that when Whitney Houston records an album, the producer has her sing the song twenty five times, and then he puts together the worst takes he can find, so that she actually sounds like a human being.” I didn’t know if he was telling the truth about Whitney Houston, but I got the drift. And, slowly but surely, Grove School of Music, psychotherapy and the fact that I was living six thousand miles away from my motherland of great expectations allowed me, for the first time in my life, to make lots and lots of mistakes in community with kids my own age.

Then there was Sue Raney, Hall of Fame jazz singer, multiple Grammy award winner, divinely heartwarming and amazing Sue Raney. First time I saw her in concert, she had me crying after three notes. Her arm stretched out in solidarity, her heart beating in rhythm with every single heart in the room, her voice soft as a whisper, she was vulnerable, open. I was awestruck. Here was a singer who was both amazingly professional and totally vulnerable at the same time, with a voice that seemed to carry every single nuance of human emotion. Not just her voice, her entire being was singing, and I wanted to learn that! With the same generous and loving spirit as Anne Brown and Mike Campbell, Sue took me under her wing and taught me the art of heart communication through jazz performance. I swear I can see her smiling at me every single time I sing “The Shadow of Your Smile” or “Emily”, which she made famous.

Seth Riggs, vocal guru to more than one hundred Grammy award winners, including Annie Lennox, Madonna and Michael Jackson, taught me to connect my bridges and master the art of belting like Aretha Franklin. He was a big bear of a man, with a heart of gold (do you see a theme here?) and a great desire to empower his students to powerfully freeing their voices. Seth inspired me to reach for the highest level of excellence in my vocal performance, to practice like my life depended on it and to begin teaching others what I had learned so far.

Long story short, after graduation, I released my first album, entitled Compassion, with Stefanie’s picture on it, moved back to Norway and began to teach Vocal Freedom. As Compassion made its way up the charts, I made my way onto various TV shows about empowering women and children to their freedom of expression. It was a dream come true. The opportunity to continue the journey of my childhood adventure and at the same time have the uninhibited freedom of my emotions and convictions at my disposal seemed nothing less than a miracle to me. A miracle made possible by the amazing hearts of my mentors and of my ability and willingness to receive their gifts.

Needless to say, there’s more to this story than meets the eye in the moment, so stay tuned…

Musically and imperfectly yours!

Love and Blessings, Caroline