Cory Featured In Mystery Novel!

Cory Featured In Mystery Novel!

One of my favorite past times that I’ve enjoyed through the years is reading books.  It’s fun getting caught up in a great book.  Especially when the author puts you right there amongst all the action.  With May being “Get Caught Reading a Book Month,” I thought I would briefly mention how neat it was to be featured in a mystery novel by Joyce Godwin Grubb titled, “Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries.”

From the Author
The Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries is a favorite, and the most current book I’ve written. I love it because the characters are so intense and, fluid as they move the plot at record speed. I was able to embed five mysteries to be solved within the novel, and the unique main plot and its way of trapping everyone in the web of conspiracy are done with humor and unexpected revelations.

The fact that the story takes place in some of my favorite locations; Nashville, New York, and the wonderful fictional town of Secret Springs, Arkansas makes my author’s pen skip a beat. I love the town and its mysteries and people. I enjoy that it reflects the true Arkansas nature of its people in that while they are hospitable, they do not embrace strangers into their inner circle easily. “What happens there, is buried there, and sometimes prematurely.”

The Matriarch, Marguerite McKenna is the epitome of what we all perceive to be the “in control and perfectly revered and renowned town monarch” by virtue of her wealth and power. Feared, resented and yet respected, she has ruled from her on high home for her entire adult life. When she summons Blaine Stryker, equally renowned in her own world as a Pulitzer Prize nominee, it is with trepidation that she is forced by the Matriarch to respond. The reader can smell the “blood and fear” as the words lead the scent of the hunt.

It is perhaps the men in the storyline who intrigue the reader as much as the heroine. Each has a role in her life that creates conflict and doubt between the men. There is no doubt that Walker Rhoades is a man’s man and sees the world as a federal agent; cut and dried, black and white. He views women, especially professional and independent women as burdens, threats and untrustworthy. Enter Blaine Styker. With her, all his negatives and doubts are magnified when he looks past the immediate problem of physical attraction to her, and see’s her ever-present and vigilant mystery man and companion, Cory Stryker.

The mysteries keep the reader moving at such a fast pace, that it is hard to catch your breath when you see the flames of attraction being fanned and you know the emotions are simmering. One doesn’t know if they want to turn the page and solve the mystery, or turn the page and experience the passion.

The humor, love, compassion, and spirit of the mysteries will forever brand in your hear they gut-wrenching experiences which drive these characters, and the immense sacrifice and unconditional love of Cory Stryker and all it means to be a “real man.

Family Time Back in New York

Family Time Back in New York

This last month I headed backed to New York to spend some time with my folks. Although, I got back this past Christmas; I had some vacation time coming to me I needed to use up, so I spent some time at home. What made this trip fun was being home for Mother’s Day!

I have to say; the weather was nice. At least to me! Not too hot or too cold. It felt just right. With this being the case, this gave me the opportunity to help get some things done around the house. Cleaning out the eves troughs, raking the lawn, and some other odds and ends to help get everything ready for summer.

Whether it was getting things done around the house, or watching some Yankees’ baseball with dad, it was fun being back home. Another thing we did as a family growing up was playing cards. And we did a lot of that this time around!

I also had a great time getting caught up with parishioners there at my mother’s church. The last Sunday before I left, I had the privilege of playing before the start of the service. This was fun. I just sat down and played whatever came to mind! And it turned out quite well.

I have to say it was great being back home in New York! Especially being on the water where this picture above was taken in the backyard. It’s those times when you’re separated by almost a thousand miles like I am that you come to appreciate and value the time you have when your with family and friends. And also how important family plays a role in our overall success and well-being in life.

 

How about you? What role does family play for you? Leave a comment below!

Audiosyncracy at Sea a BIG Success!

Audiosyncracy at Sea a BIG Success!

On Saturday the 9th, it was time to board the MSC Seaside, pictured here above.  And this was a massive ship with over 1,300 working on it and with 2,067 cabins for their passengers.   The ship is based out of Italy with its home port being in Miami.  It offers year round cruises to the Caribbean.

From Saturday evening until early Tuesday morning was spent cruising.  It was nice waking up early in the mornings and to be sitting out on my balcony reading a book and or just relaxing to some soft music. Sunday, Monday, and Thursday afternoons we had performances.  Joseph performed by himself on both Sunday and Thursday for a couple of hours.

On Monday afternoon, however, myself, Gina Lenee’, Michele McLaughlin, and Joseph pictured here below all performed.  It was a lot of fun!  I think what made it unique was having four different pianists with four different styles and experiences to bring to the stage. This was the first time that Audiosyncracy had 4 solo pianists at once on one of their cruises and the first time having four performers to perform at one show.

Jamey Osbourne, who is the founder of Audiosyncracy couldn’t have been happier.  He was excited and just loved how everything turned out! We first landed at St. Maarten’s on Tuesday.  This was a beautiful island.  However, there’s still a lot of destruction left over by Hurricane Irma from last fall.  In touring the island, there were boats washed up on the shore and repairs being made to both homes and businesses. One of the highlights on the island was checking out Maho Beach.  This is where you have 747’s flying in over the beach and landing right there at the airport.  You can see how close they fly in with the picture that I took here below.

Wednesday, we docked at Puerto Rico.  This reminded me a lot of the French Quarter there in New Orleans.  The cobble stone streets, shops, etc.  For an excursion, I did check out Castillo San Cristobal, which is a famous fort there in the heart of downtown.  For lunch, many of us went to restaurant Barrachina.  This is where the very first Pina Colada was made!  Both the burger and the drink were delicious!

Thursday was spent traveling to the Bahamas.  At lunch time, a number of us went to the Teppanyaki restaurant on the ship.  This was an Asian cuisine.  It was awesome! Friday was spent on shore there in the Bahamas.  About 1:30 p.m. or so is when we started to get some showers.  These lasted for about 30 minutes.  Other than that, it was beautiful.  I checked out a distillery that makes rum and also went to the Queen’s Staircase, which is pictured here below The staircase is located in Fort Fincastle there in Nassau.

The 66 steps of this staircase was hewn out of solid limestone by slaves between 1793 and 1794.  Later the steps were named in honor of Queen Victoria. The talk for the cruise next year is that it might be Cuba with a couple of days spent there in Havana.  I would love to do another cruise!  How about you?  For more pictures, do check out the Audiosyncracy at Sea Fan Page on Facebook and pictures on my Instagram account.  You’ll see a picture of a sunrise taken from my personal balcony, along with a picture of me and Jack Daniels!

My cruise with Audiosyncracy and pianist Joseph Akins was a BIG success!  This was the first time for me to be in the Caribbean.  It was awesome! Prior to the cruise, I did spend a couple days at a friends condo there on Miami Beach.  Even though I had spent time in my earlier years performing in Florida, it was my first time in Miami.  I really enjoyed my morning walks up and down the board walk.  It was a great way to relax and unwind before I started my day.

Out of the Blue Songbook Review

Out of the Blue Songbook Review

When I first started working on my album, having a songbook in place for my songs was a goal I wanted to achieve. And a year later, after I released the album, it happened. There was a songbook in place for my fans to enjoy!

I think the one challenge I had when it came time to writing my songbook was waiting a year after I had recorded my album! When I started playing my music into the software, there were some subtle differences here and there on how I played it a year prior when it was recorded. So, when it came time for me to edit it, I listened to the recorded version to make sure everything was matching up. It was a lot of fun putting this together, and I hope it will be just as fun for both pianists and piano students alike to play it.

Below is a review that pianist and teacher Kathy Parsons from MainlyPiano.com did on my songbook.

“Out of the Blue is the companion songbook to Cory Lavine’s 2015 solo piano debut by the same name. All nine songs from the recording are included, transcribed by the composer himself. The book is spiral-bound and has full-color covers, front and back. The music is printed on a medium-weight paper stock that will stand up to many years of use and will still enable easy page turns. Most of these pieces are relatively easy and have a light, optimistic mood. Pianists at an intermediate/ upper-intermediate playing level should have little trouble learning this music. There are very few chords, so the notes are within the reach of an average-size hand. I did the proof-reading of the scores, making every effort to match the sheet music to the recordings as closely as possible. Expression and dynamics are clearly marked, including metronome settings and pedaling suggestions. The notation is roomy, clear, and easy-to-read. The book also includes a couple of photos of Cory, his bio, and the story behind the music. This is a really nice book, and I can easily recommend it to piano teachers for use with their students as well as piano enthusiasts looking for new music for themselves. The songs, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are listed below. The book is available as a printed book or an ebook, and the songs are also downloadable individually at corylavine.com. Recommended!”

 

  • Riding the Wind – Key of Bb (2 flats) – 7 pages

  • Give Thanks – Key of C (0 sharps or flats) – 6 pages

  • Andante – Key of C – 5 pages

  • Child’s Wish – Key of Bb – 5 pages

  • Out of the Blue – Key of C – 8 pages

  • Fly Away – Key of G (1 sharp) – 7 pages

  • New Day – Key of C – 4 pages

  • Little Dance – Key of Bb – 5 pages

  • Reminiscing – Key of Ab (4 flats) – 5 pages

The 2016 Enlightened Piano Radio Award Show

The 2016 Enlightened Piano Radio Award Show

In October 2015, the Enlightened Piano Radio award show took place at Carnegie Hall in New York, City. This year, however, was going to be different! It would be a show that no one would ever forget!

The award show this year took place on the Carnival Triumph cruise ship. It sailed from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico from October 6th-10th. A four-day cruise with weather that was absolutely gorgeous!

For myself, I had never been on a cruise ship before, much less play on one. It brought a whole new meaning to the definition of flow and expression as it relates to playing. The ship was moving one way, and I was playing another! It definitely was a unique experience!

PICTURED FROM BACK ROW  Helene Lorentzen, Lynn Tredeau, Jennifer Thomas, Cathy Oakes, Sherry Finzer. FRONT ROW Isadar Thibodeaux, Cory Lavine, Dan Chadburn, Tron Syversen, Christoph Pagel, Steve Rivera, Joseph Akins,  Judson Hurd, Atilla Gibson, Donovan Johnson

A couple of things that really made this trip special for me were first having family there. Mom and dad, who came down from New York, along with my cousin Debbie, who were there to support me. Debbie, who came from San Antonio, TX also had a friend who came with her. It was like having a family reunion! Again, this was not only a first time for me but also for my parents.

Second, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of getting to know more of not only my fellow pianists but also their families. During dinner, on deck, or while playing cards in the library. It was a lot of fun!

In talking about dinner, the food was excellent! Prior to the cruise, I was told from colleagues and friends, about all the food one could eat on a cruise! And they weren’t kidding! There was so much to choose from! I have to say though; I did really well by not indulging too much into the ice cream and all the good stuff!  

However, I enjoyed the steaks, seafood, some desserts, breakfast, and all the trimmings. Everything was delicious! When we landed in Cozumel, Mexico on Saturday the 8th, my family and I went for a horse and carriage ride and enjoyed the surroundings on the island. We were on shore from around 8AM and left around 4PM. The people were friendly, and we had a great time!

Regarding the award show, there were seven categories with the winners listed below. I would like to take the opportunity here to say “Congratulations” to the award winners.

 

2016 Enlightened Piano Radio Award Show

Best Solo Piano Album – Cathy Oakes

 Best Jazz Album – John Paris

Best Holiday Album – Lynn Tredeau

Best New Artist – Cory Lavine

Best Album with Instrumentation – Rebecca Harold

Album of the Year – Joseph Akins

Lifetime Achievement Award – Christoph Pagel

AWARD WINNERS  Lynn Tredeau, Cory Lavine, Christoph Pagel, Cathy Oakes and Joseph Akins. Not pictured: John Paris and Rebecca Harold

“It was quite an honor to not only be part of Enlightened Piano Radio’s Award show for 2016, but also to win Best New Artist. Really blessed with the support I’ve received from my fans. I would like to say, “Thank you” very much to my fans for this honor, and “Thank you” for making this a special part of not only my musical pursuits but also making this a memorable experience for both myself and my family.”  Cory Lavine

The award show in 2017 will be held here in Nashville, TN at the Grand Ole Opry House! It’ll be so much fun! I can’t wait! It’ll be fun to be the official tour guide!

Finally, a special thanks goes out to Program Director Donovan Johnson and Vice President and Artist Relations Director Cathy Oakes for their time, work, and effort for making EPR the success that it is today. And many thanks go out to EPR Board Members Judson Hurd, Louis Colaiannia, Attila Gibson, Rebecca Harold, and Darla Bower for their dedication and efforts in making shows like this happen around the world.

If you would be interested in learning more about Enlightened Piano Radio, the shows, and award shows, visit Enlightened Piano Radio.com. Once there, click on “Contact” for questions or answers you may have regarding its playlist, artists, concerts, etc. There are over 200 solo pianists from around the world. Do check it out and “Thank you” for your support.

 

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