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Monday, January 27, 2014

Music and its gifts!!

Dear friends reading this Blog,

I'm so grateful that every day I get to live my life, get to work on my dreams, get to spend time with people I love, and even if here and there life is tough, I always keep a smile on my face.
I'm definitely a lucky one. This doesn't mean that I didn't had to struggle at some point, that I don't get NO DAYS here and there: not everyday is a great one and just like everybody else to achieve something I have to work hard and sacrifice a few things.
But just the fact that I'm able to do it, is a reason to smile. I'm alive and I'm working hard for my dreams. That's great!!

Music as you know is my greatest joy. It makes me feel great. When I'm on stage I'm on seventh heaven. And I always feel so privileged and grateful to be able to bring all the emotions that music gives me to other people, and make them happy and emotional with me.

Last October, after my performance on the Red Carpet of the Columbus Day Parade for ABC Television, while having lunch in the beautiful building of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, I was talking to old and new friends. Always a great day of celebration.
I was somehow engaged in a conversation with an elegant gentleman, I will guess in his mid 60's. He was talking about an event he was involved with named "Change Begins Within".  The comedian Jerry Seinfeld was Master of Ceremonies and they were honoring actor Hugh Jackman and FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano, who I had the honor to meet several times.
This gentleman was so enthusiastic to talk about the event and most of all about what they were promoting: wellness!  There were many people around and a lot of noise. So we exchanged business cards and that was it.

Ed Schloeman speaking from his heart always with so much kindness
A few days later I saw his business card on my desk, and still thinking about the kindness and enthusiasm of that person I googled his name. I soon found out that Ed Schloeman, was a retired Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) from the New York Air National Guard and a Vietnam Marine Disabled Veteran (Sgt).  He was also the co-chair of an organization called Operation Warrior Wellness and they were associated with the David Lynch Foundation, which I had in the past heard about it, vaguely. A few days later I was doing a Concert in Queens, on November 10, on Veterans Day. So I called Ed and I invited him to come as my guest to the Concert.
He was so happy to be invited and he wrote me a few emails in the next days telling me how much he was looking forward to come to the Concert with his wife Judy.
Since it was Veterans Day,  the day of the Concert we paid tribute at the end of the Concert to all of them present in the room, singing together with the audience standing "God Bless America".
It was very special as you can imagine. Ed was standing tall smiling with pride and yet humbly. A real soldier I thought!!

After the concert I was caught up signing CDs and autographs and I did not had the chance to talk to Ed. But, as kind as Ed is, he emailed me right away to tell me how much he loved the Concert and the day after he called me. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

David Lynch, Donna Karan, Jerry Yellin, Bob Roth and Ed Schloeman
I had read in the mean time so much about the Operation Wellness Warriors and the David Lynch Foundation. How much this Transcendental Meditation technique could help reduce stress for the veterans and the first responders, abused women and children. Actually all of us, as all of us nowadays go true so much. It was am easy technique that was able to promote well being of the mind to everybody.

A few days after the Concert Ed invited me for lunch. To a wonderful Sushi place in Brooklyn. Ed was telling me how his life had changed after leaning TM. He shared with me so many details of his war memories. The stress and the despair he was going through before learning and discovering TM. He was telling me about his nightmares before, and how now, with 20 minutes TM a day, he was back in control of his life. I think nobody can really know what being in a war means, we can only try to imagine. But I was aware of the stress that the first responders go through and the PTS, Post Traumatic Stress,  being the daughter of a police officer.

I started to google who was doing TM. It was very interesting to discover that almost all my idols are meditating. Almost all the famous and successful people in the world we all love and admire are doing MT, to be more concentrated and less stressed.

Waves on the crest of the sea
Ed had told me something to describe what meditation can do, something that stayed with me and made me curious to learn it: he said that it is like we live everyday on the crest of the sea. All the stress of day to day , things to do and place to go, things we worry about, are like waves. We are all always busy with millions of things. We are all worry about thousands things. Stressed by thousand things.
But if we can get deep in the sea, deep inside ourselves, down there it is much waves there.....
Quiet deep down the sea
This got me to think about my own brain at night....I think that even when I'm sleeping I'm thinking about all the things I still need to do...sometimes I wake up still thinking about it.  Like it was in my dreams....maybe it sounds familiar to you too....

Ed gave me the greatest compliments I could ever receive. He said that during my Concerts ( he had at the time already saw two of my Concerts including my Christmas one in Staten Island) , he was so happy. He completely forgot where he was. He said "it was" like meditating. That was a great compliment: I was able to take him into the planet of love and peace.....I had accomplished my mission. I had touched his heart! And he had for sure touched mine!!

And it was decided. I wanted to be of help and be involved with this!!

So I will soon start to learn TM and with Ed, Operation Warriors Wellness and the David Lynch Foundations we will start to do benefit Concerts to collect funds to promote TM for the Veterans and the first responders of the FDNY and the NYPD.
My role will be to entertain and make all my audience dreaming of peace, love and romance and bring awareness about wellness, not only of the body but also of the mind and the soul.
Ed thinks I can be a great ambassador of it!!

We have a busy schedule of plans and things we want to accomplish with Ed and Operation Wellness Warriors. First event will be May 1st at the Hilton in Staten Island.
With FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano
We will have FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano as our speaker  and we will honor some great Italian Americans. And after the dinner and all I will entertain everybody with my Concert!!! The first of many all around the USA!!!

I'm so honored and happy to be able to help others with my music!! This is a blessing!! I'm so grateful to God for it!!

I'm looking forward to share with you all about this new journey that music has brought into my life!!

I'm lucky and I'm grateful!!

And stay tuned for my next week BLOG.....first  Concert of the year : January 29th at the Piano Room of the Etcetera Etcetera! A special night!! Special guests in the audience!!

Love and baci,

For more about Operation Wellness Warriors
For more about the David Lynch Foundation

Don't forget to download the February month of the calendar :

PSW : valentineg14


PWS :  gvalentine14

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Heavenly harp and My Lullaby: what a start of the year!!

Ciao a tutti carissimi readers and friends,

How much joy can music bring? 2014 has just started and so far I love it!!I have so many Concerts coming up and so many projects to work on. It looks like it will be a busy year, but you know how much I love what I do: so the more the better!!

Picture Cover Giada Valenti

Thanks to the requests of many fans, my wonderful "Angels",  I have decided to release also in the USA my CD Cristina. The CD is a collection of songs I have wrote in Holland. It will be titled 'My Lullaby".

All the songs in the CD are very special to me. I wrote them several years ago and somehow are still so close to my heart! It was so nice to just realize that I'm still living happy and free, like in "Libera", still talking about love like in "Parliamo d'Amore" and following my dreams all the way like in "Come un Gabbiano"!! And wishing the same for everybody else like in  "Vivere Liberi".

I have decided to add to the new CD the two remixes of "Libera" and "Amore l'Amore" and a version of "Amore L'amore" done by the HitHouse. It is a mid-tempo ballad version of the song never  released before but that I always loved, as it has a romantic vibe about it!! Cannot wait for you to hear it!!

Gloria Galante

I always say that most of the people I love in my life, came to me through my music. And this is also the case with Gloria Galante. She's an incredible harpist. She was warming up the audience at my Christmas Concert in Newtown, PA last December.

I got to meet her after the Concert. There was a instant connection and while talking music we decided to make a Christmas CD together.

Harp and voice and of course other instruments to give different colors to the songs. Then and there a new music project was born. 

Trying Christmas songs with Gloria

And yesterday it was Christmas all over again, as I went to Gloria's studio to start working on  the CD. First decision to make of course: what to sing. So many beautiful Christmas songs to choose from. So we were trying them all!! 

Time really went so fast while we were drinking English tea and playing harp and singing.  

My first Harp lesson with Gloria

Besides having travelled the world as a musician, as a soloist and for big stars,  Gloria is also professor and creator of the WCU harp program and the director of the WCU College of the Visual and Performing Arts Harp ensemble. Since she knew the harp is my favorite instrument, she even gave me my first harp lesson!! She's so kind.....she said I'm a natural!! :-) Long way to go, but I would really love to learn to play it!! They call Gloria the "Heavenly Harpist" and I was for sure in Heaven!!

Playing the harp
Playing the harp
So much fun! What a beautiful instrument

Time really flew so fast!! Gloria and I were joined by her talented and sweet husband Fred. They are both incredible people calming,  positive and so talented and creative. 

Fred is also a very accomplish jazz musician and a sound engineer in Atlantic City, so it was so nice to talk, art, music, sound and so much more.

Dining at King George with Gloria, Fred and JJ

We ended the beautiful musical day, treated by Gloria and Fred to a delicious dinner at The Historic King George II Inn  on the Delaware River.

Music is really a gift from God. 

I left and drove back with JJ and we were both so happy and grateful for so much and now we had in our lists of things to be grateful for , also Gloria and Fred!!

So stay tuned for more BLOGS about this Christmas CD. It will be like a dream. I'm already looking forward for Christmas!!!

And next week I will share with you all about some other incredible projects I'm working on. One of them of course my project for PBS "From Venice With Love", my dream coming true and also my new project with the David Lynch Foundation and Operation Wellness Warriors. To be able to help other people with my music is a blessing and I cannot wait to start this adventure that will help others!

Love and baci,


For more about Gloria Galante

Wednesday, January 8, 2014



Dear readers and friends reading this Blog: Happy New Year to you all!

The new year has just started and somehow this makes all of us full of enthusiasm and ready to commit to work on things we want to do, things we want to change, places we want to go and dreams we want to make come true!

I too do it to every year, and somehow I tend to loose all of that enthusiasm after a while. I get busy with my day to day works and things to do and I forget about what I really had promise myself to do!! Not this year!

I'm committed to keep alive all my new year resolutions this time.

I'm committed to improve my life, to increase my personal grow, and finally make my big dream come true.
I want to loose the 15 pounds I keep saying I want to loose, to learn perfect Spanish, learn to meditate, go back to my yoga routine, finish all the songs I have written and never finished and finding the rest of the funding I need to film my PBS Special "From Venice With Love". This will allow me to live my dream, to bring my romantic music to many more people! All over the globe! When I'm on stage I feel at my best: I love to entertain and to touch people with my songs and stories. And the applause of my audience gives me the reasons why I love it so much: they give me back even more emotions that I give. And I think the world could use some romance!!

I'm so ready to see what this new year will bring committed to make it a beautiful one!!! One to remember!!
I have printed and put on my wall the list with all my Goals and Dreams for this new year and I'm so looking forward to make them all happen!

Stay tuned here and I will share my year journey with you!! I will take into my life, my dreams and my adventures .

Next Blog I will take you into the studio with incredible great harpist Gloria Galante as we will start work at our Christmas CD project together!!
And follow me on my Facebook and Twitter for my everyday adventures!!

Love and Baci,