New Album, 2 Graduations,1 Wedding , oh my!

Hellooooo end of Summer!

I’ve had a crazy last few months…..  finished producing and recording the new album, had both kids graduate …my son from high school and my daughter from college.  My daughter got married at the end of June! Whew!  What a marvelous, exhausting ride planning a wedding can be. Two days after the wedding, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary!! Lots of big life events in a short few months. I’m really excited but a wee bit emotional about the empty nest. Our daughter  has already moved away and our son will be off to college next week!. Upcoming? CD release…Finally, I know! I’ve gotten great feedback from those that pre-ordered the album so I’m looking forward to the public release! For now here’s a few pics of my crazy few months. Soon I’ll be announcing the BIG CD release EVENT so stay tuned!!

A Million Kisses Album cover

Deanna and Drake Graduation

Deanna and Drake Graduation

Family Wedding pic

Family Wedding pic

Debbie and Derek 30 years!

Debbie and Derek 30 years!

Pre-Order my New Album Now!

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A Million Kisses….is almost complete! Join me in ushering this new music into the World. By PRE-ORDERING you’ll get bonus items,exclusive content and be on my private team through completion. And you’ll be getting some great romantic jazz into your ears!

This music is for you if you’ve ever known love and wanted to nurture it and make it last. It’s for you if you know that lasting love means hanging in there no matter what.
This project is dedicated to those who celebrate STAYING IN LOVE. I married my high school sweetheart and 29 years later, we’re still enjoying the journey of being in love, weathering storms and living our adventure together. And It’s possible for you too! This album celebrates and encourages couples on their journey of making love last.
So if you believe in the power of love and loving for a lifetime, please pre-order your copy today!

New CD in the works…..

Spring has sprung in TN! I have been busy working on my new CD A Million Kisses! So exciting to finally be making some progress with this record. I am kicking off a per-order-crowdfunding campaign very soon so stay tuned. In this process you will be able to see behind the making of the music …get cool stuff like an autographed CD, singing telegrams, hand written lyric sheets, a song written just for you or someone you love and you get to cast your vote on a few things like cover art and more! To make sure you get all the insider info join the Insiders newsletter at debbie cunningham Jazz.com

 

Marriage & Branding

Last night I was the featured vocalist at a regional Christian Women in Media event where I heard Mila Grigg from Moda Image Consulting speak on personal branding. Now branding is a hot topic in this age of digital media. What others think of your company or your product makes a difference in your company’s success. I’ve heard many people speak on branding over the years but this one resonated deeply with me. It got me thinking about marriage.  I know you are thinking, “huh?” but stay with me.  Mila said that you don’t own your brand, your customer does and what they say about you when you leave the room IS your brand. So let’s translate that to your marriage relationship. What if your marriage “brand” directly correlates to your relational success? What is your brand there? Would your spouse say you are kind, generous, loving, joyful, forgiving in your marriage or would the residue that remains when you leave the room be frustration, anger, bitterness, annoyance or sorrow? IF the way we carry ourselves within what we do for a living can truly make or break us, wouldn’t that same principle apply to our relationships? Specifically our marriages?

It nailed me. Too often the fragrance I leave in the room is not one that truly resonates with who I want to be as a wife. Juggling my family, career, volunteering at church, planning 2 weddings ( my daughter’s & my sister’s), being head of a local high school music board, running a household ie: laundry,cooking ,cleaning….can leave me frazzled, if not kept in balance. When it is out of balance it spills over into my marriage. Not pretty…Ugh.

Marriage isn’t easy. It takes intentional investment to maintain and grow a rich relationship. What do you want to be known for in life? More specifically, what do you want to be known for in your marriage?  I can tell you, what you are known for in your peripheral relationships can be way different than those close to you at home. You should ask your spouse or your kids. They’ll tell you the hard truth. They are the ones who see the good, bad and the ugly and love you anyway.  At home the real branding emerges. So what is your marriage brand? Is it what you want to be known for? If not, how might you change that today? Something to think about.

Would love to hear from you if you want to comment below. And yes I’m open to the good, bad and the ugly because it matters. Please feel free to like, share this post too. 🙂

February & Intentional connecting

It’s February! The snow is falling here in middle TN which means no school today.  As a northern gal relocated to the south this always tickles me. 12 inches of snow in the North = 1 hour school delay LOL! Here, the city is shut down. But I get it…the roads are hilly and we don’t have the salt trucks and removal system that they have in the north. We seem to always get ice here too…usually beneath the layer of snow which makes the roads very treacherous. The 1 or 2 inches of snow  are beautiful though, glistening across the farm behind my house. Stillness.. I love those days that interrupt the busyness of life. We run here and there…going to work, PTO meetings, church meetings, grocery store….it can be a never ending cycle. Those of us that work from home don’t stop working on these days but I try to be present. Sitting by the window watching the snow fall while I drink my coffee at least.  Taking a few minutes to breathe ….Life is more than running here and there. God created a world and a life and people He wanted us to care for and embrace. We have families and friends and neighbors we barely see because we are rushing to or from somewhere. At least I have found that to be true in my own life. What about you? When is the last time you had a pause…to breathe, to connect with a friend or how about your spouse? Marriages fall apart quickly when we don’t connect. I see my husband every day but even we have to be intentional about pausing to connect together because life is busy and full. This is the week of Valentine’s Day. Sometimes we pause and have dinner or share a moment or bring flowers or candy for special days like Valentine’s but when was the last time you really connected intentionally with your spouse? Dinner and a movie at home? Game night? Trying a new hobby together? Trying a new restaurant or cooking together? It’s fun! In fact, what are the creative ways you connect with your spouse when life is busy? (outside of the bedroom)  I’d love to hear from you and maybe we’ll all learn to pause a bit more together!

Since it’s Valentine’s week and in the spirit of intentional connecting ….I will be giving away my romantic Jazz CD to one lucky commenter this week!

 

 

It’s a New Year!

By now we are 2 weeks into the new year- 2016! I’m still having to catch myself writing the date. January can be exciting because it is a time to reflect on the previous year and to look forward to what is in store or maybe what changes can be made. Perhaps 2015 was hard for you so 2016 means a fresh start! I had a very busy year in 2015. I think every year seems to get busier when you have a family.  I had exciting opportunities; Singing at Carnegie Hall, working with a vocal coach in NYC that I had been wanting to work with, working with some amazing musicians this year, streaming my first show on line,writing new songs for my upcoming record, having my family sing with me at my annual Christmas concert in TN ( that’s the pic above…I promise the purple hair IS from the stage lights!), turning 50, Celebrating my daughter’s engagement and spending time with extended family over the holidays!  There was lots of mundane too; the work of owning my own business, day in and day out of managing a household, cooking ,cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry (you didn’t think I get out of all that did you?)…chauffeuring kids when unexpectedly we were down to one vehicle with 4 schedules and jobs. We all learned to be more flexible in that season. I tore my rotator cuff several months ago and now I’m learning to delegate and ask for help…not my forte! Those are just the highlights that made for a crazy year. Whew! Some of this last year was difficult and  I’m glad to start fresh again. But I am so thankful for all of it, albeit, in hindsight. I learned a lot! Looking forward, I believe many exciting things  are coming THIS year just awaiting for us to uncover them. Michelangelo once said, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” 

What walls do you need to hew away in order for your best year to be revealed?  Maybe some things, habits and  over commitments need to go in order for you to live the life you desire. Perhaps to be less stressed? Healthier? More time for things that are priorities? Think about it and comment below what changes and or new habits you are planning to incorporate this year. I would love to hear from you and maybe you’ll inspire someone else. And remember to write 2016!

 

Live Streaming Show Dec 18Th!

Debbie singing Santa Baby to audience participant

So excited to share we are LIVE STREAMING the Christmas show! I will be doing a live broadcast on Concert Window which starts at 9:00pm EST on December 18. Wherever you are in the world, you can tune in!  It will happen at https://www.concertwindow.com/14295-debbie-cunningham.

WE have sold out of PreSale tickets but If you live in Nashville area and want to attend the live show, there will be tickets at the door. $20  Tickets booth will open at 7:15…show doors at 7:30. First come first serve on seating.  8pm show

Franklin Brentwood Arts Performance Hall  210 Gothic Ct   Franklin,TN 37067

Hope you can join me Live in Franklin or On line and share some great Christmas music and we will get you in that holiday spirit!!

Merry Christmas!!

-Debbie

Christmas Show Announced!

 

Debbie singing Santa Baby to audience participant

Debbie Cunningham and friends annual Swingin’ Christmas show is scheduled for

Friday December 18th, 2015!

8pm $20 Door

*$15 PreSale thru 12/12 Buy Here: http://dcjazzxmasshow.brownpapertickets.com

Location:

Franklin Brentwood Arts Performance Hall

210 Gothic Ct. Suite 200

Franklin, TN 37067

Limited tickets on Pre-Sale  BUY NOW!   http://dcjazzxmasshow.brownpapertickets.com

Join the Insider’s list to be first to hear news of shows & discounted tickets and free music !

 

 

My special 50th birthday gift….

    

So last week I turned 50! So strange….I still feel 25 on the inside. Of course I don’t know what fifty is supposed to feel like but right now it is feeling pretty good. My husband surprised me with the most thoughtful gift, Fifty conversations. Now before you men start hyperventilating and you ladies start salivating that my husband is a talker just breathe. HE didn’t plan on having 50 conversations with me …LOL! He’s too smart for that. He organized 50 people to call me, catch up and wish me a Happy Birthday for fifty days leading up to my 50th birthday. What an undertaking! And what a thoughtful gift….for me; His very relational wife, who loves to connect with people. 50 cards would have been cool but 50 conversations? I spoke to jr high, high school & college friends, my high school choir director, my elementary church choir director, my 4th grade teacher, far away family & friends I seldom see…it was lovely.

It was the most amazing gift I’ve ever received!

It got me thinking too about being a half a century old. All the things I have experienced, the people I have known, the cities where I’ve lived….I am so rich with friendships and memories, love and laughter. For this I am so very thankful! I am looking forward to the next fifty years; the people I will meet and the new friendships that will grow and the exciting adventures yet to be had! I mean Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until her 70’s! I have new experiences awaiting me and so do you! Next on the agenda is finishing my CD but after that who knows? And you? what new adventures are you dreaming of? Do tell….

Besides…there are perks to turning 50….like Not worrying what people think as you wear your birthday sash and embracing the gluten free French Silk Pie! Just sayin’…… 🙂

 

 

 

Carnegie Hall

  

As I sit here writing this post I am in the non-equity waiting room at the Actor’s  equity Building in New York City. I am here supporting a dear friend as she auditions. She is equity, so she is somewhere else. Ahh… The hierarchy of the biz. 🙂  I am also here working with a vocal coach. Training should never stop as we continue in our craft. Last month, when I posted, I was on my way to NYC to sing at Carnegie Hall! What an amazing experience it was to stand on that stage with my son ( and 100 other people) and sing Handel’s Messiah with the New York Chamber Orchestra. It truly was a moment I’ll never forget. The hall itself, beside being such an icon, is exquisite in design. The sound? You can hear a whispered note all the way to the balcony. Stunning!  We were fortunate enough to sit there and listen to another performance.

Definitely a bucket list experience!

Summer is…..

For me, the word SUMMER brings with it a host of descriptive words! Hot,sunny,fun,beach,friends, outdoors,BBQ….not getting up at 5:30 am. Most especially it equals MORE FAMILY TIME!  I absolutely love and value the time I have with my husband and kids. The older the kids get the less it seems we are together because they are creating lives of their own. So I’ll take what I can get. It’s nice to relax a bit in summer too. My kids love the ARTS as much as my husband and I do. Recently, we took a family vacation and ended it by seeing the show, NEWSIES at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. It was fun to attend as a family and discuss what we enjoyed about the show. Amazing cast that jumps, flips and taps their way through the entire night! We have a busy summer ahead but we will grab the fun & make memories together even if it is just family game night and homemade pizza. Sometimes you just have to seize the moment today because we don’t know how many moments we have.

What are you doing for YOUR Summer fun??? Comment below to share and you never know…just maybe you might inspire someone else to seize the moment! #HappySummer!!

What yoga taught me about life

A few months ago I started taking a Yoga class at our local recreation center. I’ve always avoided yoga. Just thought it wasn’t for me. As I am aging, however, I’ve noticed my joints are stiffer and I’m just not as flexible as I used to be. Thus the need for much more stretching. Several of my friends have started yoga and they found great health benefits from it.

The other reason….

For several years now I’ve tried with doctors and nutritionists to lose weight. It has been a frustrating process. The verdict? I’m way overstressed. Really? What do I have to be stressed about. I’m happily married, 2 great kids. I think just the balance of life, raising kids, working, building a career as an artist, running my own entertainment company oh and…cooking, cleaning, laundry, volunteering at school & church. I guess I do have a lot on my plate! Taking Yoga has been  great exercise for me but also a great opportunity for me to be mindful of self-care. Something we women seem to forget about too easily. Between working,caring for our families and our homes, volunteering, we can be overloaded on a daily basis. Taking the time to be in class was a huge shift for me to slow down for my health’s sake. Our instructor is a lovely, gentle woman who  reminds us to take things slowly and listen to our bodies via what hurts and what does not. We will make progress as we continue. Hurting ourselves to prove something doesn’t accomplish anything. First class, I  was reminded of this all important lesson though, not just in yoga but in life. It’s this: “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHERE YOU ARE. Be gentle with yourself, not allowing your ego or judgement to come in play. There are no Yoga police.”  Hmm…although I’ve heard that in a million ways over the years, I’ve never adopted it for myself. Learning to stop judging myself, especially as I am aging has been an eye opener.  Life changes and we change. Life gets crazy sometimes and everything we always did may not get done this week, month or even this year. Focus on what is important.

LIFE can be challenging…..give yourself a break. Done is better than perfect. Mistakes are okay. It means you are trying. Give your best to everything you do and forget about comparison. Truly, it just delays progress. You have to start from somewhere and where you currently are… is just fine.    🙂

 

 

Unexpected Holiday

  HAPPY WINTER!  So sometimes life…er…nature gives you an unexpected holiday. I am writing from day 3 of a mandatory standstill if you will. 2 inches of Ice covered by 1 inch of snow makes for treacherous roads here in the south. Especially because we don’t have the kind of snow removal that northern states have. So no school this week and many businesses closed. The kids are just slightly excited in my neighborhood as they laugh and frolic in the snow. You don’t have to tell them to seize the day! My 16 yr old went sledding one day. He’s just glad to be able to sleep in for a change! I know it’s probably stressful for some of the moms who have kids bouncing off the walls. I have adult friends who are bouncing off the walls too. They are used to a fast pace…running and doing. Me too, but I LIKE the slow down. I am seeking to not run so fast through each day and be more present with those around me. Now that I’m fast approaching an empty nest…at least it feels that way when your baby is driving and is never home…. I am learning to appreciate these moments just a wee bit more. They fly by so quickly. So if you get an unexpected slow down sometime soon, take a breath, forget the housework for a few and play with those kids of yours, have a snowball fight, or a pool /beach day (depending where you live!) or watch a funny movie with your spouse. Life is too short to ignore these moments. We have to stop living to work,work work. If we don’t, we will miss these precious people in our lives. So if life gives you an  unexpected holiday, you should take it....when you’re 80 you’ll be glad you did!

 

CD SALE & Chocolate Fondue Recipe for Valentine’s Day!

It’s February my friends….

And what do we think of in February? Valentine’s Day! Romantic music, food, flowers, chocolates! So I thought I’d give you a great recipe for the Chocolate part of the evening below but what about that music ?

Ok for romantic music  you can go to debbiecunninghamjazz.com and click FREE SONGS button and get 3 tunes from my CD- The Rest of Your Life for your romantic evening.

Need a gift  or want the whole Romantic Jazz CD? ( think ex: Diana Krall/Michael Buble)

then go here  to buy. Reg $15 it’s on Sale for $10! for the next week!

Now for that Chocolate Fondue Recipe!

EASY CHOCOLATE FONDUE

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
Assorted poundcake, plain cookies and fruit of your choice: strawberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple- all cut into bite sized chunks

1.Place Chocolate in a glass bowl and put aside.

2.Heat Cream on medium heat in saucepan until hot but not boiling. Stir continually.    (*If using microwave: Heat cream in glass bowl for 30-40 seconds on high)

3. Pour hot cream over Chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth

Place cake and fruit pieces on a serving dish and  Chocolate Fondue in a beautiful serving bowl.  Ladle the fondue onto individual serving plates for your guests. Yummy!

Lastly, you’ll have to supply the last ingredient….LOVE! Happy Valentine’s  my friends!

XO

Debbie

 

 

Happy 2015!!

Happy New Year! 

        Lots of exciting things happening in 2015 here at Debbie Cunningham Jazz. How about you? Check back each month for updates to shows, travel, photos from the road and an occasional recipe from my gluten free findings!   My schedule is filling up with interviews, performing at private events, teaching/speaking engagements and of course songwriting and recording. To keep updated  and to get the INSIDERS SCOOP, please join my newsletter sent out twice monthly…. and it will include free song downloads and lots of personal behind the music updates which I don’t share on my blog! Join here

 

Last Chance tickets for Christmas show in Franklin this Friday!

Last chance to save $$ on Christmas show tickets. $15 through Thursday 12/18 after that $20 at door!
BUY HERE: http://debbiecunninghamjazzxmas.brownpapertickets.com

Friday Dec 19th, 7 pm

Franklin Brentwood Arts Performance Hall

210 Gothic Ct

Franklin,TN 37067

Christmas Show in Franklin,TN

Join Debbie Cunningham & Band for her first Holiday show in Franklin,TN!  Hear all your favorite Christmas tunes as she ushers you into the holidays in swingin’ style. This is one holiday party you don’t want to miss!

Fri. Dec 19, 2014  7pm  $20 gen admission door  ** PRESALE thru 12/12- $15 general admission /VIP experience $25

Buy Tickets HERE:

http://debbiecunninghamjazzxmas.bpt.me

 

 

A few Photos from the road! Summer 2014

These are just a few….I had the BEST time with so many of you this summer. I never laughed so hard or enjoyed myself more on stage than at these shows. Thanks to all who came out and shared your evening with me. Amazing!

Summer House concert 2014

Singing to her husband as a surprise for their 27th anniversary!

 

Reflections on Mid-Life

Mid-Life….I have been avoiding that term for a long time but truth is at 49 years of age, I’m probably more than mid-life! Although my plan is to be around a LONG time heheheh! 🙂 My kids are growing older…I have a sophomore in high school and a sophomore in college. My nest is emptying….my husband and I are looking at empty nest cars (ya know..thinking about the day when I’ll be trading in the mom-van but not quite there yet) and dreaming about traveling. Of course, that will be AFTER all those college bills are paid! Never-the-less….we are looking forward to new adventures in the next few years. It’s bittersweet though. We love family life and traveling with our kids and having their friends in & out of our house. Albeit, I’ll have to do a post on budget mindedly feeding all those friends this past summer… Especially those growing teenage boys, YIKES!

But I digress….I find mid-life interesting to say the least! Growing older in my physical body, while my mind feels so young. I know my 60 year old friends are rolling their eyes about now but truly in the 40’s wow…things start to not work like they used to! I used to see everything near and far. Now I can’t see in front of my nose without readers (sigh)… Cue “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenter’s. I recently heard someone say that in your 40’s you long for the body from your 30’s that you loathed in your 20’s! After childbirth….yeah I’m right there with them! Crazy how time changes our perspective, does it not?

The “working” title of my upcoming CD is called Love and Life but I’m thinking it’s time to add “mid” to that title. Really changes the whole perspective….what do you think?

Speaking of perspective……Wherever you are now, how has your perspective changed? What are you appreciating now that you once took for granted, perhaps? Would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below…..

15 years ago today I was at Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital waiting…..

   Reflections on Love & Life…..Today is June 25, 2014. 15 years ago, I was sitting in a waiting room at Vanderbilt Children’s hospital praying for the life of my 3 1/2  year old daughter. Would she live? She was having open heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart. One she could not live with and one, had we ignored, that would require a heart and lung transplant later. Whew! I still remember the day I received that news. I was 8 months pregnant with my son and on bed rest. I felt the weight of that news like a ton of bricks on my chest. She had the surgery 8 months after I gave birth. So the season of a newborn and no sleep was also fraught with the wonderings of what would happen in the future. Although we had an amazing cardiologist and amazing surgeon, nothing prepares you for the what ifs.… nothing prepares you for the feeling of powerlessness and hoping that doctors do know what they are doing. Even putting your child in the hands of an amazing, renowned doctor does not take that away. The only thing that sustained me was  faith in the God who created us  in the first place. That’s easy to say in hindsight, mind you. It was not easy. It was a day by day, moment by moment, sometimes second by second journey for months. Surgery day…June 25,1999 was the longest day of my life thus far. It seemed those hours of waiting were suspended in time and I couldn’t rush them no matter how hard I tried. I wouldn’t want to relive that season but I am thankful for what I learned about God, my faith, my marriage,my family and frankly, myself. So this is one reason why I am passionate about family life! All the career goals vanish in these moments. Although my career is important…my family is priority. What are you living for today? Having goals is absolutely necessary in life but don’t let them crowd out what is truly important- your relationships. I am thankful everyday  that my daughter came through the surgery fine and has grown into a beautiful young woman, inside and out!

Join Me June 28, 2014 in Franklin,TN to relax and have some fun!!

  An evening of jazz standards, swing & warm bossa nova guitar……on June 28th,2014 / 7pm!   Franklin Brentwood Arts Performance Hall/ 210 Gothic Ct./Franklin, TN (cool springs-next to A-Game Sportsplex)

I’m so excited for this show! It has been 2 years since I did a concert in Franklin,TN and I’m thrilled to be back. My band for this show is AMAZING! Mark Sorrels, Larry Knight and Dave Dunseath have performed for a multitude of recording artists: Linda Ronstadt, Trace Adkins, Shelby Lynn just to name a few. These musicians are also great jazz players and all around great guys! They have a wide variety of musical experience and that adds to my styling of jazz very much. In the last few years I have been writing for the new CD and although it is still stylistically swing, bossa nova and blues….the lyric content is very much reflective of where I am coming from as a mid-life female, wife and mom living in the world today. I’m am really excited to do a few tunes from the new CD to whet your appetite.  Mostly, it will be an evening for you to kick back and relax for a while, whether you need a girl’s night out or date night with your sweetheart, it’ll be a fun show! We have 2 ticket tiers. We decided to add a VIP Pre-Concert wine,cheese,dessert reception before the show because sometimes you just want an event! VIP also includes photo ops  and preferred seating. Pre-Sale tickets $15 ($20 at door)/ $25 VIP.  For Tickets:: http://debbiecunninghamjazz.brownpapertickets.com

Surprising Fans on the road….

   

I love surprises…at least when I’m the one surprising! It is really fun to do something unexpected for someone that brings joy and happiness! It’s one of my favorite things in life. So when I got the chance to surprise a fan of mine who does so much for others, I just had to jump on the surprise wagon!!

Anita Outlaw is a fan…but even more than that, she has become a dear friend over the years. Until now, we had actually never met face to face. She is the Great Aunt of Parker…the young boy with Leukemia behind the Flat Parker project. Do You remember Flat Parker? A few years ago, my family was privileged to be the Tennessee hosts! Besides taking pictures with him in Nashville and Franklin, I had him in the studio with me too. Flat Parker traveled to all 50 states in the U.S. during one full year. Each family that hosted him took him to special sites in their city and then posted them to Facebook for the family and the page followers to view. It was the brain child of Anita’s son,Tracey, who wanted to DO something to give Parker’s family a diversion during this difficult time fighting leukemia. Parker has had more than 18 spinal taps,besides chemo etc. You know the drill of these diseases…it’s difficult on everyone. Flat Parker is now on a World Tour! He has visited the OLYMPICS, The GREAT WALL OF CHINA and The HOBBIT HOUSES of NEW ZEALAND! To Learn more, see amazing photos and even donate to the foundation go to www.flatparker.com  The stories and the sights are amazing! Flat Parker’s journey also serves as encouragement to many families fighting this disease. One family, sharing their story -affecting and connecting so many. Our stories matter! 

Ok…now back to surprises! I was on a trip to Cincinnati with my son’s show choir for their annual competition trip. I knew Anita was visiting her son and I called him to set up the surprise. He brought her by the hotel we were staying in because as a chaperone, I could not leave. You should have seen the look on her face when she walked in and I was standing there! It was a delight to both of us! Anita, her husband and son were all there. They got to hear the show choir sing too…in the pool! These kids sing anywhere!We talked for a LONG time and have a lovely visit.  This family has worked tirelessly with the Flat Parker hosts around the country and now around the world. Tracey Outlaw runs many marathons in honor of Parker and encourages this family and others to run the race and to finish strong. They are a blessing to many and I am so glad that my family and I got to be a part of their story.

Debbie Cunningham wins top honors in Mom Business competition


WOW!!!!! I just found out that I won the honor of start-up nations 100 leading moms in business competition!! I am 12th out of 100 women chosen from across the nation. WOOHOO!
I am so thrilled to win this award. Motherhood is a job I love and music is my passion. Receiving this award for balancing them both is a true honor and I hope an encouragement to other moms wanting to start their own companies while raising families.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for voting for me! I can only begin to express how much I appreciate the love and support of all my fans! I could not build this music business without YOU!

From Start Up Nation Press release:
Franklin, TN – 5/07/14– From among contestants across the United States, Debbie Cunningham Music & Entertainment has been ranked 12th in StartupNation.com’s 2014 Top 100 Leading Moms in Business competition (www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business).
Hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast in the annual competition, and this year’s flurry of popular support of the 2014 Top 100 contestants was no exception. America has once again demonstrated its immense interest and supportiveness for moms building businesses as they also tend to their families.

Photos from the Road…..Sing-it-or-Bring-it Event

                        

LAST WEEK…..I had the great pleasure of singing for a fun event for local politicians…called Sing It or Bring It! The event was a lighthearted kick off to early voting. Local competing politicians came together for a night of either singing a song or bringing someone to perform for them. I was the “Bring -It” for local County Commissioner candidate, Sherri Clark. In fact, she and Todd Kaestner were the candidates who organized the event. A fun, entertaining evening was had by all at the historic Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork. So…on that note….let YOUR voice be heard in your next local election wherever you are …. get out and VOTE! 🙂

 

 

April showers & Spring flowers…..

The Biltmore Estate 201

Spring! It always comes after the bleak of winter. Maybe that’s why so many of us love spring. We are so excited to see  the beauty that comes from the cold, dreary gray of winter….at least we are here in TN! Have you been in a “winter” season lately? Life not turning out in the way you had hoped? Please be encouraged that after the winter there is always a spring. Keep hanging in there….working and waiting; tilling the soil and planting the seed. Eventually there will be a harvest if you are consistent to keep watering that work or dream of yours. Maybe even that relationship of yours? There will be a harvest in time 🙂

This picture was taken 2 years ago when we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I don’t believe I have ever seen more beautiful tulips! And so many!! Such a lovely display of springtime flowers. At my writing of this post- it’s Easter time! So here’s a little tip for all of you coloring Easter eggs...put 1 tsp of baking soda in the water when you boil the eggs and they will always peel easily! Sounds crazy but tried and true!

I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend……and Happy Spring!!

 

 

 

 

My Spotlight Feature on Allies

This week….I’ve been enjoying a little time with my kids! Daughter is home from college on her break and my son was just in his high school’s musical-Anything Goes. We had a few snow/ice days off school so movies, games ,hot chocolate and cookie baking were added to the schedule! It’s just nice to have them home. I LOVE being a mom!

I was recently interviewed by Gail Adkins from Allies in Biz.

It is a very cool all female entrepreneurial group here in Middle TN. You can check out the interview here and then for those of you ladies who are entrepreneurs,browse around their site! I am a member and it’s an awesome group of women supporting & encouraging each other in their varied businesses. Even if you are not in TN they are forming an online group, so check them out!

Think Spring!!

Photos from the road- Chocolate & Shopping show!

   Last weekend I spent Saturday performing at the Chocolate & Shopping Show….I thought I’d post some pics for you to enjoy. Even Forest Gump stopped by for a visit!!  I think we all had a good time and yes those ladies are wearing MY CHOCOLATE shirt! SO fun…..

  

 

 

 

 

  SO thankful to ALL who stopped by my booth and said hello. I appreciate all your love & support!

XO Debbie

5 Minute Chocolate Fondue & the Chocolate song…

Just in time for Valentine’s day….This week’s reflection of Love & Life features  my song :  Chocolate is a girl’s best friend. I decided to teach you how to make a yummy dessert in less than 5 minutes…for that sweetheart or sweet tooth of yours!  ENJOY!

 

 

 

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Reflections on Love & Life- An Interview about the new CD

REFLECTIONS on LOVE & LIFE…….

 

How would you describe your upcoming record?

 It’s romantic and fun. It celebrates marriage relationships and also being a  mid-life female.

How would you compare it to your last album?

Stylistically, it is similar. It’s soft jazz. This one is more danceable than the last one. The first was romantic mood or dinner music. You can samba, do the 2 step or waltz to this one. The last CD was all cover songs except one original.  This time, I wrote every song but still worked with the same jazz pianist for the arrangements. He’s brilliant.

 When did you start writing songs?

I’ve been writing songs since I was 12 years old. I didn’t do much with them. I didn’t know WHAT to do with them. Back then we didn’t have this global access via the Internet like we do now. My very first song was about an apple tree. LOL! Probably not much market there…

 How do you go about writing songs?

I don’t have a particular way, sometimes I get a melody first; sometimes I get a lyric. Chicken or the egg? It varies!

 What things inspire you to write?

My observations of life, my relationships and the world around me inspire me to make a statement. Everything I write is not biographical. Sometimes it is just a response to a story a friend shares that touches me deeply.

 What’s a favorite lyric from one of the songs on your CD?

“Live the life that we dreamed of instead of throwing that dream away” It’s from Kiss and Make up. Sometimes we hold and internalize resentment over the tiniest of things, especially we females. Self included. I’m learning to let those things go more quickly- life is much more pleasant!

What’s a song of yours that has really touched people?

How much I love you- penned for my husband and recorded on my first record has been very well received. Chocolate on this upcoming CD is a close 2nd !  It’s about women and chocolate -what’s not to love?

If you could co-write with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Bryan Adams- he has a way with melodic & emotional/ lyrical connection that makes me swoon.  He’s still touring and I think he’s a fabulous artist as well as songwriter. After that, it would be Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The Great American songbook is filled with their songs and they are always a piece of artistic beauty.

Creative way to say I Love You

All about Love!

It’s almost February! I can hardly believe the first month of 2014 is gone. Alas… time flies when you are busy and having fun! It’s that special time of year when we celebrate romantic love! Romantic jazz is a perfect way to set the mood…so….want a creative way to say I LOVE YOU this year?  Gentlemen…a creative marriage proposal? Send me with a singing telegram!

I enjoy celebrating life…dinner with family, friends. Going out of my way to make my loved ones feel special is a joy. I was truly honored when a dear friend asked me to make her husband’s birthday special by delivering a singing telegram.

Singing to Archie

Here I am singing at his 50th birthday dinner party! Boy was he surprised….

I do a limited amount of private performances each year. Recently, I’ve been receiving so many requests for singing telegrams  I thought I would offer them in February in honor of Valentine’s month. Limited times available for Valentine’s day so book today!

If you are out of state -singing telephone grams are also available. Or you can fly me to your piece of the world…just sayin’

For more info, pricing send an inquiry to debbie@debbiecunninghamjazz.com

And the Winner is…..

Congrats to Phyllis Nichols and her mom … the winners of our Thankfulness contest!  Phyllis and her mom will be receiving the Chocolate truffles and music Gift package!

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their stories. It was fun to hear who you were

thankful for and why. As a thanks to ALL of you,

please go to http://www.reverbnation.com/debbiecunningham

and download your free songs. Including  a Christmas classic-O Holy Night.

 

 

 

 

Southern Snow Day= Mandatory slow down

southernsnowjan2016    I woke up yesterday to a Southern Snowfall in TN. It truly is beautiful although it wreaks havoc here in the South. I grew up in the North so I’m no stranger to those little white flakes that fly through the air with a beauty that is magical yet wreaks craziness on the ground. What I love about snow in the South is that it requires a mandatory slow-down for everyone. I mean…we got an inch and everything closes down. My Northern friends are laughing but here we seem to get a layer of ice under that lovely white blanket. Partner that will winding roads and Tennessee hills and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. SO we HAVE TO SLOW DOWN….in everything. In today’s society, we are racing at a ridiculous pace. I often tell people I am just trying to keep up with my own life. Sad but true. There’s always something that needs my attention..family,household chores, my music career and right now added to that is college audition process/paperwork and a wedding to plan! It takes discipline and intention for me to put on the brakes and breathe. I’m not always good at it but I’m learning. Because when I don’t slow down regularly, I pay for it eventually with my health and sanity.  The best thing about yesterday’s slow down was everyone’s work schedule cancelled, rehearsals were cancelled and we had a wonderful family dinner together and played a game for hours. We laughed so hard that we cried at times and it was wonderful. (FYI-the game is Awkward Family Photos and it is a  blast with teens and adults. And no I’m not getting paid to say that just love the game!) We had hot chocolate and cookies that I had stashed in the freezer for such a spontaneous moment as this. It was wonderful!!! As a mom who has a child graduating high school and going off to college, one graduating college, getting married and moving away…I will forever remember this mandatory slow down. It was a gift from an unexpected snowfall. And I received it with a grateful heart. When is the last time you slowed down? What would it mean to your family or marriage or personal health  to slow down for a breather? If it snows in your neck of the woods…I hope you will. And the next time you are baking cookies…stash a few in the freezer for an unexpected family moment. You’ll be glad you did! Remember to like,share and comment. I love to hear from you.