By Margit Resch
I need a birthday present for my husband. And what do you think I can give my daughter for her graduation? I am at a loss… Familiar anxieties? Well, how about a song? A song specifically tailored to a loved-one of yours—your wife, your baby-son, your father, a good friend. Would a song not make a great gift? Well, come and meet Erin Bode, a singer/songwriter, who will perform on Fripp Island on October 22. One of Erin’s many talents and ventures, aside from entertaining audiences all over the world with her music, is writing and composing songs made-to-order, personalized according to your specifications, a song just for you, dedicated to someone you love. Erin calls this venture of hers YourSong. When you hear Erin perform, you will quickly realize that she is a perfect medium for this unusual enterprise, and that she would create a great mellifluous gift for you, that will please the recipient for years to come. Listening to Erin in concert, you will be mesmerized, like all her audiences, by her alluring, irresistible voice, her expressive phrasing, her striking stage presence, her creative lyrics and beautiful melodies. You will be enthralled by her musical savvy, her ability to switch seamlessly from genre to genre, from jazz to folk to pop music, and her creative ways of mixing these styles to intriguing effect.
Erin Bode (Boh-dee) is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and grew up in a musical family in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. There, she was singing in a church choir. But in high school in St. Louis, she discovered and fell in love with jazz and big band music, and she learned to play the trumpet. She also enjoyed acting in the local theater. She earned a degree in music and foreign languages at Webster University in St. Louis, where she stayed after graduating to sing and play in local engagements and where, in 2001, she released her first, self-produced CD called Request. Her second CD, Don’t Take Your Time, produced in 2004 by Maxjazz, gave her national exposure. According to Ken Dryden, Erin “has frequently been compared by critics and jazz radio hosts to both Eva Cassidy and the young jazz superstar Norah Jones for her willingness to explore a wide range of material in a fresh, often subtle manner.”
Erin Bode’s musical partner at the concert on Fripp is Taylor Eigsti (Eye-gstee), an equally versatile and impressive composer, and a magnificent pianist. Taylor grew up in Menlo Park, California and was considered a prodigy not long after he started playing piano at age four. He has been performing, touring and recording for more than thirty years, not only with his own trio, but also with luminaries like Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Vanessa Williams, Sting, Marian McPartland, to name just a few. Lately Eigsti has been regularly touring with two-time Academy-Award-nominated composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard and with the Rolling Stones’ long-time vocalist Lisa Fischer. It’s not surprising that he has performed in countless premier venues all over the world such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, London’s Royal Festival Hall, and at jazz festivals in Istanbul, Singapore, Sydney, Stockholm and many more. He even gave a private performance for President Clinton.
Eigsti has released eight albums in the role of major musician and bandleader, and he has appeared in over sixty albums as a
sideman. He won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album with Tree Falls. He has also garnered three individual Grammy nominations for his work as a recording artist and composer, including Best Instrumental Composition and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. And he co-wrote a featured composition with Don Cheadle for the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the motion picture Miles Ahead (2017). Last year, he premiered in the Bay Area a large-ensemble work called Imagine Our Future, commissioned by the Hewlett Foundation, featuring Lisa Fischer on vocals and a 12-person band, which compositionally “crowd-sourced” over one-hundred musical and multimedia ideas submitted by youngsters from Northern California.
According to Variety Magazine, “Eigsti exudes fearlessness and joy, secure in the belief that he can make music with anyone.” Erin Bode is not just anyone. She and Taylor make an outstanding duo. Treat yourself to their gifts of music on Sunday, October 22 at 5:00 pm at the Fripp Island Community Centre, 205 Tarpon Boulevard. Attendees get a pass at the Fripp gate. Tickets at the door: adults $30, students free thanks to the Peg Gorham Memorial Fund.
Actually, you should consider becoming a member of Fripp Island Friends of Music. Membership gives you access to all five concerts, including the post-performance reception, where you meet the musicians while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared fresh by Harold’s Chef Services. It also helps fund FIFOM’s Music-in-the-Schools program. The basic FIFOM membership, $100, has not changed. It saves you $50 compared to the sum of five $30-tickets. FIFOM is supported by the SC Arts Commission. To become a member, text or call Vanessa Peñaherrera at (704) 807-0255 or email email@example.com. Go to frippfriendsofmusic.com for more information.