Long Light, Much Music

The Solstice Nears!

I remember a day in January when I accidentally slept until past noon. By the time I’d gotten up, eaten breakfast, cleaned up, brushed my teeth, and dressed for the day, it was getting dark.

We in the grey Northwest know how stifling the winter months can feel. That’s why we don’t take our summers for granted. The first day over sixty degrees, with the sun peeking through the clouds every few minutes, we’re outside soaking it in. We’re a humble, grateful people—nothing like those entitled Californians who just shrug at all this and speed off (recklessly, I might add) in their convertibles.

This morning I woke up to the bright sunlight in our new garden cottage (yes, it’s as story-book charming as it sounds) and thought, did I miss my alarm? Then my phone told me it was 6:08 a.m. Tonight, when I get off work at 10 pm, it will have just gotten dark. It’s all rather miraculous, isn’t it?

I hope this update finds you as blissed out on sunshine as I am.* I’ve got lots to announce, so let’s get right down to it. First of all, here are a couple upcoming shows. Let me know if you can make it!

1) Saturday, June 22 @ Skylark Cafe and Club

  • Good Bones / Jonas Myers (full band) / Wooden House

  • Doors at 8 pm; music 9 pm to 12 am

  • $8 / 21+

In college, I was in a band called Humans Being, led by a wildly gifted multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter named Bo. Our band split up but we both ended up in Seattle. When he reached out to me about sharing a bill with his new band Wooden House, I was instantly excited to make it happen. His friends in the band Good Bones will open up the evening at this grungy venue in the Delridge area. This will be a night of musical variety, with lots of styles represented on stage, but each band promises some good high-energy fun on one of the longest days of the year. I’m joined onstage by drummer Remy Morritt and bassist Moe Weisner. Come hang with us! Doors at 8, music at 9, I go on at 10.

2) Sunday, June 23 @ Vito’s

  • Solo piano

  • 6 pm to 9 pm

  • No cover / 21+

Vito’s has been open since 1953, and remains one of the best places to hear live jazz in the city. I’m excited for my first solo performance at this fine establishment. I hope you can join me! Feel free to make requests! No cover (though tips are always appreciated). Come for a drink or some great Italian food.

You can always find out what else is coming up by checking my calendar.

Three New Videos Out Today!

Back in April, a bunch of folks gathered in a living room on Capitol Hill. There were three musicians, two videographers, an audio engineer, and a handful of audience members. The idea was to try capturing the intimate vibe of a house concert on video. I’m thrilled with how they turned out.

They’re now up on my websiteFacebook, and YouTube. My hope is that these videos get shared far and wide, leading to more recognition, and thereby to bigger, better gigs. Want to help me out in a big way? Subscribe to my YouTube channel and share these videos with anyone you think might like them!

Big gratitude to the ultra-talented Kendall Rock for her videography work, to Jesse Field for recording and Brent Driscoll for mixing, to Remy Morritt for playing drums and Ryan Donnelly for playing bass. I am in awe of the talent of each of these individuals. They also all happen to be lovely people who are fun as hell to work with. I’ve linked to their websites in case you want to work with them too.

Are You House Concert Curious?

As you may have gathered, I am always seeking folks with living rooms who are willing to host house concerts. If you find yourself thinking, “as much as I’d love to host one, my space simply isn’t set up for it,” consider the following:

  • You don’t need a piano! I have an excellent keyboard and amplifier, and I’ve played many house concerts with it in the past

  • You don’t need a big living room! In fact, some of my favorite house shows are the super cozy and intimate ones where everyone is smushed in close together and you can practically taste the music

  • There are many musical options! Maybe you want solo piano improvisation, or maybe you’re more into my pop stuff, or maybe you want my jazz trio, or maybe you yourself are a musician and you want to throw something together with me for a one-time deal… I’m open to all these versions and more

  • It can cost you $0. Usually I ask guests to leave a donation, and we can certainly do BYO drinks and snacks. A couch and a few chairs are plenty for seating, especially if younger audience members sit on the floor–no need to rent any folding chairs

  • It can be as large or small a gathering as you like! Requiring RSVPs or ticketing the event through Brown Paper Tickets are ways to ensure that you know how many guests to expect, and you can limit the attendance at whatever number you wish!

I’m curious. Did this make you more likely to consider hosting in the future? What other questions or concerns do you have? I’m in the process of creating a page on my website dedicated to house concerts and would appreciate any feedback you have.

*Disclaimer

In the beginning of this email, I said I’d been feeling blissed out on sunshine, which is true—in certain moments. What’s also true is that life presents daily challenges. When I write these emails, I usually find myself steering toward an upbeat message, but I want to leave space for difficulty as well. I recently read a piece about how, paradoxically, spring can be the hardest time of year for those of us with depression. In fact, suicide rates are highest in late spring. The easy explanation is that people who experience depression feel especially isolated in spring, when they are surrounded by joy that they don’t get to participate in.

Thankfully, I’m not currently experiencing protracted depression (though I have been taking a medication that causes sudden, short bouts of depression). And I’m happy to report that, since my last message, my Crohn’s symptoms have waned (though some days are still not so great). Even so, I experience plenty of anxiety about the future. My illness is a big source of these feelings, as is our unfolding environmental crisis. Life can be overwhelming at times—even when you have the love of friends and family, a strong partnership, meaningful work, youth, a body that can take you on adventures, and you live in a relatively peaceful place. When I think of how much I still struggle even with all those sources of resilience, I am only more in awe of the strength of those who persist (and sometimes even manage to thrive) in the face of chaos, unthinkable loss, and repeated trauma.

Please know that I am holding space for everything not being perfect or even OK. I do hope you’ve been experiencing some of the sunny bliss of late spring, but it’s also OK if you haven’t. It’s OK if you’re going through some hard shit right now. I hope you have people in your life to help you process it—folks who don’t try to fix things for you, but just listen and affirm and support.

Perhaps we don’t know each other very well, or at all. Still, I invite you (as always) to reply to my messages however you like. If you want to join me in celebrating the miracle of the solstice and talk about how great you’re feeling, go ahead! If you want to complain, or get something off your chest, or just share a bit about something that really sucks, go ahead! Even just a “Hi Jonas!” is always nice to receive.

This is a two-way street. I remain ever grateful for the support you all send my way.