You will find details of my upcoming performances at the top of the page and you can scroll down a bit to read more of my blog entries too. Thank you so much for your visit and support!
Upcoming Singing Performances
SHELDON FORREST, PIANO
165 Boulevard Montparnasse
“Debra’s performances are always a sheer delight!”
Thursday, Next date TBA, 2014
7:00 to 10:00 p.m. show
Location: Sausalito Cruising Club, 300 Napa Street Sausalito, CA 94965
Details: … The Sausalito Cruising Club presents a fabulous”CABARET NIGHT” featuring Bay Area Stars! The Supper Club Six.
The Supper Club Six (Marilyn Cooney,Dorothy Donnell, Kat Fitzgerald, Kathy Holly, Debra Mugnani and Bill Ramos) , Connie Ducey, The Blenders and Juli Stewart
And Special Guest Stars: TBA
Musicians: Dave Miotke, Piano and Chris Amberger, Bass
* Show includes Buffet Dinner Buffet which will be served at 6 p.m. and continues throughout the dinner hours. Show starts at 7 p.m.
* $25 Dollar cash at the door (Club members $20.00)
* No Host Bar
NOTE: This is a private club. All guest’s names must be emailed to: Kathy Holly firstname.lastname@example.org in advance. Large group tables are available. Must pay in advance for large group tables and arrive by 6:45 to claim. Call Kathy Holly 415.269.8699 to arrange for large groups. “A Holly Production” www.kathyholly.com -”Supper Club Six” SAUSALITO
I’m sipping a cup of candy-cane green tea and listening to Pandora’s holiday channel–a few moments of quiet time, which is quite a rare treat these days. Twinkling petals of early afternoon light dance around my room to the beat of the music. I’m feeling a delicious combination of sentimentality and gratitude. I think I must be having a holiday moment!
Why this overall positive outlook? I believe it’s the effect of two filters I’ve chosen to wear over my lenses this year; the “Stay Neutral” and the “Chop Wood Carry Water.” In other phases of my life, some of the events of this year would have had me spinning in panic and caused me immense anxiety.
Both of my parents took falls this year, Mom breaking a hip and Dad, a shoulder. I consistently reminded myself to continue to chop wood and carry water and not focus too strongly on either wanting positive outcomes or worrying too much about negative outcomes. In retrospect, although my parents’ injuries were extremely painful and caused them immense inconvenience, the gift of their having had them was that they created opportunities to look at how we children and grandchildren could better support them. I can see now that my parents are both stronger and healthier from the experience.
Singing has always been a wonderful refuge for me. Performing is also becoming one. Even though I often feel nervous the day of the performance, I’m always buoyed by the experience of being with all the other performers, interacting with our wonderful audience members and singing from my heart. Performing truly is good medicine!
Has your summer brought you a sense of renewal? I was recently pondering ways to maintain the wonderful sense of renewal that I feel after a long weekend or vacation once I’m back home. First of all we need to figure out what actually renews us. Each of us is unique and our needs change all the time. It isn’t always the things we read about doing or think we should do that offer the best renewal choice. For example, sometimes when I finally sit down to read a good book with a cup of tea, I realize that what my body and spirit really needs is to get outdoors and move. Other times, reading is just the ticket to the relaxation I needed.
I take a daily afternoon break and get out for some fresh air. I may not always be able to leave my desk at a scheduled lunch hour, but I don’t let that stop me from taking a refreshing break at some point in the afternoon even if it’s not until 3:30 or 4 p.m! Whether it’s a walk along the Embarcadero or Crissy Field, a visit to one of the many nearby farmers’ markets, or sitting quietly for a while in a nearby garden, I find I’m refreshed when I return.
I’ve also noticed that although some things are pretty tried and true, like taking a soothing hot bath after a particularly stressful day, its also very renewing to try something new. Recently, I caught on to the Chia seed craze and started adding the seeds to my morning juice and oddly have felt renewed by having found a new, healthy practice. Sometimes especially toward the end of a busy week, it’s tempting in the evening to just be a TV- watching couch potato but I’ve found that if I choose instead to spend a few minutes gardening, going for a walk in the neighborhood, practicing my songs or listening to some beautiful music, I feel more relaxed and also get a better night’s rest.
I’ve become a fan of a little application on the iphone called Lift. Lift allows you to track a list of habits you know give you a lift. If you like the feeling of checking things off a “To Do” list, Lift may be for you. I review it once or twice a day and it acts as a reminder to do things like walking to the farmers market, spending quality time connecting with a friend, taking an afternoon break, or taking three deep breaths. When I do check off the habits, I feel a little lift too. Similar to Facebook’s “likes”, other users on the app can give you props for completing your lift habits which is also fun and motivating.
“So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.” Swiss writer, Henri Frederique Amiel
April and May in Italy and France was a painful experience because I just kept having to pinch myself to see if I was really there or if I was in a wonderful dream! I planned the trip back in October and was initially going to be going alone. In January, a friend I’ve known since college decided to join me for the first two weeks in Italy and in February a mutual friend of our’s whom I’ve since middle school decided to join us too. We had such a fun time everywhere we went. We celebrated a birthday in Rome and threw our three coins in Trevi fountain too. I can’t say what I wished for of course but I just know it will come true! We had some beautiful weather some days and rain and hail that looked like snow on other days. We visited Saturnia, Sienna, Monterregione, San Gemingnano, Volterra, Solvano, Soldano, Pittignano, Lucca, Pietra Santo, Bologna and Milano. We ate dinner in the house my grandmother was raised in and lunch in the house my grandfather was raised in too.
In Paris, I spent two weeks with my friend Sandrine. I met Sandrine while vacationing here on the West Coast two years ago. She is a Parisian native and much like me here in San Francisco, lives a very full and rich life in the City of Lights. I took in almost every walking tour offerred in Paris and visited museums I’d never been to before like the Cluny Medeival Museum and The Montmartre Museum which had a very interesting exhibit about the Black Cat cabaret theater. One of the highlights of my time in Paris was being invited to perform on May 2nd at the Swan Bar in Montparnasse. It was very exciting to prepare for the event and the show itself was lots of fun! I spent a few days visiting old friends in Montpellier, in the South of France. One day we saw pink flamingos and had a delicious lunch by the Maguelone Cathedral on the Cote D’Azur. Another day we had a lovely time hiking around a medieval village called Sauve where R. Crumb lives.
The night before I left Paris, I attended a concert of jazz icon, Jon Hendricks with his talented daughters, Michelle and Aria Hendricks and scat improvisor virtuoso, Kevin Fitzgerald Burke, who just happens to be the son of Kat Fitzgerald, my dear friend and fellow Supper Club Six member.
I’m back in San Francisco now and looking forward to a June “busting out all over” with music, flowers and love!
|Dear friends, I don’t know how your month has gone but I know for me it’s been a mixture of moments of feeling super overwhelmed with not having enough time to do all that I’d like to do for the holidays and also many moments of happiness and joyful connection. When I practice the lyrics to the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, I sometimes jokingly exclaim to myself, “Not!” and at other times say, “Yes! It certainly is!
What are the true gifts of the season? For me they are spending time with some of the sweet people I have in my life, they are spending time with friends and loved ones and enjoying the sights, tastes and sounds of a magical time of year in a myriad of ways:
(marshmallows roasting on an open fire…)
What, to you, are the true gifts of this season? As I consider this question, I realize that for me, the season’s gifts are not about the striving for perfection in baking or decorations, it is mostly about time connecting with new or old friends and family. So as I go into the final stretch of 2012, I think I’m going to just lighten up on my unrealistic expectations for what I think I need to do, or would like to do and focus on enjoying the times I have with the people I care about and the rest will fall into place on its own, it always does.
THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 JEUDI, 9 MAI, 2013 PERFORMANCE AT 21:30, 10E
165 BOULEVARD DE MONTPARNASSE, METRO VAVIN, RER PORT ROYAL
SINGING SONGS FROM THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK AND BROADWAY
JULIEN DOUMENJOU on piano
San Francisco, September 28, 2012
I’ve just returned from a marvelous trip to Europe. I brought back many souvenirs, including a chest cold and a spirit ready for change. I’ve been resting up as much as possible since my return and as I do so the memories of what I visited have been ever present: cobblestoned streets, ripe tomatoes, delicious bread with olive oil, the Eiffel tower popping up everywhere in Paris, the swoosh of the Metro, the calm in Italian cities when everyone is at lunch, the effervescent Mediterranean sea sparkling off the Cinqueterre shores, the sounds of French women speaking to each other like a song, the sounds of Italians laughing and playing with each other in lifelong patterns of communication. Bakeries, butcher shops and the oh-so- delicious deli’s. Food plays such a big part in Mediteranean life.
I feel lucky to have maintained contact with cousins in Lucca, Italy and when we visited there I made sure to offer them a song or two which they appreciated mightily and one of my cousins, a trained tenor, returned the favor with a lovely, Italian accented, rendition of “I Did it My Way.”
When in Paris I visited the Swan Bar’s open mike and sang three songs including Autumn leaves half in French and half in English, The Nearness of You and Honeysuckle Rose. There was a fellow there who was able to make saxaphone sounds with his lips so I asked him to sit in on my performance. It was a lovely evening. I’m looking forward to a return trip to Paris and Italy within the year. I do not want to let another twenty years keep me from the places my spirit has always felt a deep kinship with. I’m looking forward to the unfolding of my art as I assimilate the experiences I had in these magnificent places this summer.
If you’d like to see some of my photographs from the trip, visit these hashtags on instagram: #silk_italy and #silk_paris.
"Debra, an enchanting chanteuse, delights audiences with playful and seductive performances of her charming repertoire." -- Bonita and Bill
"Savor the sultry fashionings of Debra's jazzy renditions of classic confections."-- Linda
"Debra is an amazing vocalist who has a special ability to connect with her audience. She brings passion and a bit of flair to every performance." -- Leslie and Michael.
"We enjoyed dinner at the Villa D'Este in San Francisco last night accompanied by a great show. They have a diverse troop with varied talent styles, each a treat. The best way to describe Debra's performance is a true reincarnation of one of my favorite singers, Clara Bow, the IT Girl, characterized as Betty Boop. She hit every note and stayed in perfect character. If you haven't yet, you have to experience this event, held every first Monday of the month at the Villa D'Este, a classic Italian family restaurant."
"Debra made Bob Sarlatte's surprise birthday party so wonderful! We all enjoyed her choice of music and songs. She really made the party a special occasion!" --Catherine Sarlatte
Debra Mugnani sings in a style that is both sophisticated and emotionally direct. Her interpretations of the Great American Songbook show a deep love and respect for the material while adding a delightful spark of personality. Debra’s influences are Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McCrae and Morgana King. A native of San Francisco, Debra has also been greatly influenced and inspired by vocalists and vocal instructors she has been fortunate enough to study with; Kitty Margolis, Faith Winthrop, Jesse Foster, Madeline Eastman and Dena De Rose.
"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."