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Open the Door
to Your Heart

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After a lifetime of writing and singing, and in honor of the exciting release of my album of original songs, Open the Door to Your Heart,  this website is launched.  It's been a long time coming.

I see songwriting and singing as media through which to share all the wonderful, amazing lessons that Life, in its unending beauty and surprise, eternally offers her Seekers of Truth. 

Some of the songs are meant to inspire deeper reflection; some are meant for comfort and healing.  All of them are about Transformation.

Although I wrote a few songs and pieces of music as a child, I started writing in earnest after I joined The Commune in 1970.  I had dropped out of college, searching, searching, trying to figure out how I was going to survive in an enormous and fast-moving world that did not care about me, a world in which I was quickly drowning.  When I stumbled on  The Brotherhood of the Spirit, a commune in Western Mass where drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and promiscuity were forbidden, I knew I had found respite, at least for a little while.  And then it hit me with blinding clarity---I could do anything I wanted to do, achieve anything I wanted to achieve.  And like a flash of lightning, I knew I wanted to write songs.

In the 70s and 80s, during and after my eight years in the Commune, I wrote singer-songwriter material.  I then spent a decade writing sacred choral music.  From 2004-2008 I studied vocal jazz at UMass Amherst.  It was that last experience that catapulted me into the next phase of my life: the gradual process of becoming a serious musician.

God is the Motivator of who I am.  I struggle up the mountain of self daily, sometimes sailing, sometimes catching my foot on a snag, learning more each day about how to stay in the Light, roll with the punches and avoid pitfalls as best I can!

 

 
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Open the Door to Your Heart

by Jacqueline Odess-Gillett

Open the Door to Your Heart features all original songs, recorded at Northfire Recording Studio in Amherst, Massachusetts, by engineer Angelo Quaglia in 2012.

We were extremely fortunate to have been able to enlist the help of Billy Arnold, drums; Charles Neville, saxophone; Miro Sprague, piano; and the late Dave Wertman on upright bass.

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Upcoming Shows

SEPTEMBER 4, 2017

Back in Action and Ready to Rock and Roll!

I've taken a rather long hiatus since January. Like many artists, I seem to be afflicted by a pattern of start, stop, determination and doubt. This usually takes the form of several months or, more recently, years, of concentrated effort, followed by several months of almost complete non-action. I tend to swing between the two poles of believing in the music and allowing myself to become distracted by doubts and thoughts (illusions, perhaps?) of the greater importance of other callings in life. The good news is that times of progress and fecundity seem to be becoming endowed with greater potency and drive, while periods of inactivity are, perhaps, getting shorter.

I returned to Massachusetts in March, to stand by the side of my dear cousins and Aunt Ettie, as she made her peaceful transition from this life to the next. Life was a whirlwind, involving the Illnesses of the North in Winter, my Aunt's passing, and beautiful but tumultuous family upheavals which are proving to be filled with many gifts, one of which is my awakening (as fully as currently possible) once again to my musical calling and destiny.

Look for tangible manifestations of this new level of consecration soon to be reflected in performances around the Northeast!

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News & Updates