When Utah acoustic singer/songwriter Jen Hajj told me she attended the rival high school in my hometown, Tempe, Arizona, she became my instant friend. Her music brings back scenes of my life growing up in the raw southwest desert. A classically trained vocalist, Jen has branded folk music as her own. She's sprinkled her repertoire with other genres to create unique sounds and rhythms which tell stories and touch hearts. In the past few months, I have happened upon several of her performances.
The first full-length CD is a rite of passage for musicians who dare. Jen released her CD "I Of the Storm" wearing an up-do and a bright blue sequined top. I don't normally add fashion commentary, but ... "Wow!" With a full compliment of musicians behind her on stage and in the audience, Jen played her CD mix to a packed house. A compelling part of the evening came when Jen sat alone behind the piano for "Beautiful."
Jen sang Gandhi's thought-provoking words "Be the Change" as I entered the Red Butte exhibition area. "Conservation, some folks shudder when they hear the word, we're asked to do small things to save some silly bird" are words close to Jen's heart (she's Education Director of HawkWatch International). Diane's paintings exude a wildness vibe, so what songstress could paint a better backdrop than Jen, Utah's queen of the desert herself? Backdrop acoustic, yes ... shrinking violet, never. Jen attracted the attention of my guests, most particularly the young daughter of one of my friends. And like Jen, we were wearing dresses and Hanes in a sea of casual Friday denim.
The beautiful desert city Tucson was one of my childhood homes. The ride between Phoenix and Tucson flooded me with memories ... dozens of bugs splashed on the car window, cactus stands, roadrunners, Oracle, and Picacho Peak. Seeing the exit signs along I-10 was a vivid reconnection with my past. I spotted a lizard on the way to the front door of the Tucson Museum of Art.
Where you Take Me
Eye of the Storm
In the Pines
I am Home
In the Beginning
Water on the Wasteland
Reverbnation - Jen Hajj
Facebook Fan Page - Jen Hajj Music