The first time I met Buddy Rich

 

As Seen on The Music's Over (but the song lives on)

"The first time I meet Buddy Rich was when my dad, Dick Kastel was playing with the Harry James Band. My father had moved us from Mesquite, TX to Las Vegas, where he would be joining the group. They were going to Disneyland to play on one of the stages and my dad brought my sister, Linda and me along with him. My mom couldn’t go because my youngest sister, Crystal, was less than a year old.

We stayed at the Rip Van Winkle Motel across from Disneyland. All the band members went swimming in the pool along with my sister and me. Buddy was funny, always joking with all the guys, picking us up out of the water and throwing us back in the pool. We would hold our noses to keep the water out. We had so much fun that day. Then at night we went to Disneyland with Dad. We got to go on some of the rides, but mostly we watched the band set up and practice before the performance that night. Lots of people sat or stood around to watch the band. The stars were shining in the sky and the music went everywhere in the open air.

I’ll never forget that trip to Disneyland with the Harry James Band and Buddy Rich."

 

Sandy Kastel, Recording Artist and Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths 'Detours'


 

It's All About The Music

It’s All About The Music
Written by Sandy Kastel

 

"It's all about the music," I told him as we sat in the Starbucks in Franklin, TN. "This time I want to record 'my' songs. Don't get me wrong. I love singing the standards I grew up listening to." I paused to take a sip of my chai tea.

The room was filled with people in meetings, on their computers, making deals and writing songs or screenplays. Behind the counter the employees were taking orders, making coffee and dishing out delectable sugary confections, hustling to keep the line moving. "Are you willing to get songs from other writers?"

He stirred his grande latte with the stir stick, then licked it with his tongue, his cigarette resting on the edge of the ashtray. I couldn't believe they hadn't enforced the no smoking policy here, yet. "I'm open to it as long as there are some of mine on the album." I was no dummy. I knew what he meant. Was I going to insist on putting only my original songs on the album? Of course, not. That would be a deal breaker and I knew it. So I kept the door open. I wanted to work with him. He was well respected in the industry and I knew in my heart he would be good for me.

"Alright," he said. "When do you want to get started?" He finished off the last bit of his coffee and put the cap back on the cup, gathering up the wrapping from his apple crumb dessert. "I'm ready!" I closed my day-timer and got my purse off the back of my chair.

"Well, okay, let's talk tomorrow and schedule a meeting for next week." With that we both stood and walked towards the door. I thanked the guy behind the counter as we walked past. As I looked around the room I felt an extra bounce in my walk. Finally, I was going to get the chance for my songs to be heard.

This is an excerpt from one of my stories in an upcoming book. Another one of my stories is featured in Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths, an inspirational book with stories from 26 authors. It was a great experience being part of a group project, especially working with Judi Moreo, award-winning motivational speaker and author of 9 books, who brought us all together. I look forward to working with her again.

Sandy Kastel, Recording Artist and Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths

Life in the First Draft

http://lifeinthefirstdraft.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-funky-little-writer-habits-by-judi.html

Thank you, Judi for this article and for being our inspiration.  I enjoyed being part of Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths.

I love your article, Judi!  I keep notes, too, all the time.  The only difference is that my files aren't alphabetized like yours.  So, if it's alright by you, I will 'borrow' that idea from you.


Songwriters also keep notes.  We keep titles and ideas, lines we hear in conversations in restaurants or elevators, any idea, any word, photo or visual, anything at all that might be useful to us someday in the future.  That's why we end up with files full of little pieces of paper.


Every so often I go through the notes and put them into my computer onto a list of ideas.  I have been keeping ideas on the computer since 1990.

Unfortunately, the first computer I put them on was old and I saved all my files on a floppy disk, which later I couldn't read on the newer computers.

I like the idea of 'stand alone' chapters or stories, too.  I am discovering that more and more as I write.

In my office I have my sculptures on pedestals and I brought my grand piano in, also.  This way, if I get an idea for a song I can just walk over and play it.

I love to have everything nearby so I can go from one thing to another.  My artwork, music and writing all feed each other, even my dreams.  I have written several songs from ideas in my dreams.

Even my sculptures have inspired my dreams or visa versa.  During the process of sculpting my Egyptian Princess I wrote down my dream one morning and it was eight pages long!  It was the story of her and her brother and it started when they were children.

So, yes, I agree, keep those ideas and return to them often.

Thank you, Judi


Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths 'Detours'

Sandy Kastel Blog on Ruth Brown

Sandy Kastel Blog talks about meeting Ruth Brown on The Music's Over (but the songs live on)

March 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

 

When I met Ruth we were both appearing on the Dennis Bono Show. She was gracious and funny and I could tell she was ‘bawdy’ in her day. She was a special person and it was such a joy to listen to her sing even when she had to sit in the chair on stage due to weakness. I was happy that they did the tribute to her in Nashville, cause as she told the story she had been performed once when she was a lot younger.

Years later, after her show, a couple of women approached her for an autograph. They pulled out a cd that referenced her performances in Nashville. She said I never even knew that record had been made! Apparently it was made without her permission or knowledge and released in Europe. “That’s the way the music business goes”, she said, “You never know who’s making money off you even if it ain’t you!” Then she told me, “Keep singing. Do what you love and don’t worry about what anyone else does. Just keep doing what you love, ‘cuz that’s the only thing that really matters in the end.”

I saw Ruth perform a few more times after that at the Bootlegger. She sat in the chair most of the performance, but when she sang, the whole room knew who was in charge. We miss you, Ruth.

Sandy Kastel, Recording Artist and Author, Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths ‘Detours’

Sandy Kastel Blog: BrooWaHa

Sandy Kastel Blog: BrooWaHa 03 18 10

Judi Moreo has been a mentor in my life for a long time.  Her ‘You Are More Than Enough’ philosophy continues to be an inspiration for me and for others who are fortunate enough to have worked with her.

Judi has a talent for bringing out the best in people and helping them break through the barriers and negative voices that keep them from realizing their true potential.

When Judi asked me to submit a story for Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths, I was in the final stages of finishing my new album Indiana Rain and had several projects in various stages of completion, including two books of my own.

I knew in my heart what I wanted to write about and the series of events that occurred in the following months helped focus in on how to approach my subject.

By taking the time out from my other projects to write my story I discovered a new perspective.  The process helped me see my story in different way and then it suddenly came into view.  In fact, once I started writing I couldn't stop.

The act of writing a single chapter for another book turned into a writing frenzy for me, which opened my eyes and not only helped me find a voice as an author, but it led to the writing of another song that was added to my album.

It has been a rewarding experience and an honor to come together with Judi and on this incredible journey with a group of authors to share our stories. I have enjoyed being part of ‘Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths'.

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths ‘Detours’

http://www.broowaha.com/articles/6486/interview-literarily-speaking-with-motivational-author

Sandy Kastel Author Life Choices Book

Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths
The Strength of Women-Book

We all have challenges in our lives. Sometimes we don’t see them coming. Sometimes we invite them in. Some are bigger than others. Sometimes they come one right behind the other. Sometimes they show up all at once. Sometimes we have to make a choice in how we deal with these challenges.

This empowering collection of stories reminds us that we all have choices, and the choices we make are what determine the course of our lives. The authors of these stories are real people who have reached into the depths of their souls to share their inspiring journeys when navigating the difficult paths of their lives. These extraordinary people have persevered against the odds and made choices that enabled them to achieve successful lives. Through their experiences, we can find many important lessons to help us avoid wrong turns and blind alleys. Their stories show us that we can overcome our challenges and live more satisfying, passion filled lives.

"We live. We love. We explore. Our hearts are broken only to be mended again. We are devastated by life's tragedies and yet we survive."

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths 'Detours'


MORE ABOUT THE BOOK:
Messages of Hope from 26 Inspirational Authors

If you feel “stuck” in a situation that appears to be beyond your control, these stories will show you how others have coped with crisis and uncertainty, made tough choices and positive changes in order to find deeper meaning and satisfaction in their relationships and learned to live with purpose every day. Rarely do we find a book that addresses so many different challenges. Life Choices does this in a powerful and inspiring way. This book is about experiences, the people who lived them, and how they created successful lives. From values and self-fulfillment to legacy, this book offers new resources for people who have tough choices to make every day.

Filled with wisdom and love, this book is a soothing companion for anyone searching for the courage to make a choice to change his or her circumstances. These authors and their stories prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that success belongs to everyone, no matter where they come from or what has happened to them. They are living proof that miracles can and do happen. You can be one of these people. You can navigate through difficult times and find your pathway to the life you choose to lead. Put the strength of others to work for you. Courage is not the absence of fear or pain. Courage is taking the steps to move through it.


TESTIMONIALS:

"This book is about ordinary people succeeding in extraordinary ways, turning tragedy into triumph, seizing the opportunity before it ceases to be one, getting up one more time than you fall. It is filled with creative ideas, strategy and inspiration in the form of life stories that just may strengthen your own resolve to follow the path of ‘Conquistador."

- Doc Blakely, CSP, CPAE, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker
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"Life Choices is a superb compilation of tales from people who overcame adversity and took control of their lives. The heartfelt stories prove once again what we can accomplish with prayer and a steadfast attitude to never give up."

- Peter Fogel, Speaker, Copywriter, Author
If Not Now... Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves
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"The choices you made and the choices you didn’t have brought you to this point. Since our lives truly are what our choices make them, we have a vital interest in making better choices. Let the compelling stories in this book expand your awareness and help you choose the right path for your life."

- Jim Cathcart, Founder, host of www.Motivation.tv,
Author of fifteen books, including: The Acorn Principle
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"These stories will fill a void of despair with the light of the lives that surround it. Stories of strength, courage and endless faith. Do not pass go; go directly to the cashier and buy it."

- Manuel Diotte, Motivational Teacher and Author
Happiness Is A Pair of Shorts
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"The choices we make along life’s journey can either strengthen or weaken our inner foundations in which all character is built. This book gives first hand accounts of how we are all capable of making those choices that fortify our inner foundations, making way for a fortress of character. I recommend it to all who want to know how to transform “every” life experience into the building tools for such worth while construction projects."

- John Michael Stuart, MSW, Author, Perfect Circles: Redefining Perfection
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"This book draws from human experience that is alternately beautiful, miraculous and uplifting ~ and often all three at once. If you have ever asked yourself can I do this ~ and doubted that you could ~ you must read this book. The people here are real; their stories will answer your question with clarity and force: yes you can!"

- Gail Cohen, Author, Thinking Outside The Lines, How To Reach Your Personal Best
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"WOW! What an awesome reminder of the unseen, quintessential power living inside us! Thank you for sharing your life changing stories with us—it is warm, true and inspirational. It has given me the courage to embrace my “weakness” and my story...for it has made me realize that actually it is my strength!! Life is a Gift! And we get to unwrap it every day—if we choose to...Please choose to!!"

- Marisa Wollheim, Director, Hospice in the West, Krugersdorp, South Africa
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"After reading the stories in “Life Choices” I was uplifted and encouraged. We all have challenges and circumstances in life that are overwhelming. However, we all have the ability to overcome the seemingly impossible of circumstances. By reading these stories you’ll be reminded of the inner strength we all possess and have the courage to evaluate your current situation and make a choice to follow the life you were meant to have."

- Peggy S. Vasquez, Certified Executive Administrative Professional (CEAP), Executive Assistant to the Laboratory Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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"At a time in our country when bleakness is prevalent, how uplifting to have a book which shares positive turning points in people’s lives. A most worthwhile read."

- Jack Sheehan, Author Quiet Kingmaker of Las Vegas; The Class of ’47; Skin City
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"In strange and uncertain times, such as those we now live in, you will find hope and encouragement in this wonderful book."

- Patricia Fripp, Past President, National Speakers Association, Author, Get What You Want
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"So many of us have had situations that befall us and need to take comfort from the stories of others. Life Choices is a comfort and source of support for anyone facing a challenge."

- Susan RoAne - Keynote speaker, Author of Face To Face: How To Reclaim The Personal Touch in A Digital World

 


Finding Inspiration: Listen to Your Dreams

Finding Inspiration: Listen to your Dreams

I always keep a pen and notebook by my bed so when I wake up in the morning I can capture ideas from my dreams. Here’s a perfect example.

I am on stage with Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. We are rehearsing for a show and Brad Pitt runs into the theater, up the aisle and jumps on stage. “Do you need anything from the store?” He picks me up like I’m a rag doll and swings me around planting a big kiss on my lips. My face must be burning red because I can hardly breath! I look into his baby blues and melt when Tina brings me back to reality, “Alright, that's enough, you, two! I have to wait till I get home to get any.” Brad grins and my knees go weak. Whose wouldn't?

In this dream there is enough for the start of a story. It is being told in first person with a specific setting, the public figures (whose names would be changed) and a love interest. Let’s continue…

Reba pokes her head in from upstage. Her hair has grown out and she's wearing a top from her new line. "What's shaking, ladies? We gonna have some fun tonight?" Aretha leans back relaxing in her favorite red leather chair. "We've got all the basics covered. All we need to know is when you and Dolly are going to bring out the big guns.” In walks Dolly from stage right, her arms full of freshly baked goodies as we rush to help her. Once we settle in the green room, she looks around for her chair. "Well, how y'all doin'? I made my favorite recipe for double chocolate chip cookies. I sure hope you love eatin’ 'em as much as I love makin' 'em." The table is dwarfed now by the platters piled high with chocolate chip cookies, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. “This is my momma’s recipe for fried chicken. And honest to goodness, it’s the best fried chicken North of the Mason Dixon Line”. As everyone gathers around the table she throws her hands up in the air. “I may have overdone it a little, but I wanted to make sure you girls had a good home-cooked meal tonight. Now, who wants to say grace.”

The characters begin to develop as the roles they play in the story. Dreams are a hotbed of ideas when you pay attention. Even if you are not planning to write a story about the characters in your dreams, there may be elements that might be mined from the texture woven into your subconscious mind while you are sleeping. What is it they say? If you drill a ton of ore, you might find an ounce of gold? If you can find one nugget like that you can build upon it and soon you will have a gold mine! The important thing is to use the tool. It’s a gift so accept it and honor it. Over time you might find a whole new resource for your novels.

If you are diligent and patient you can watch it grow.
Now let’s get back to the dream…

Annie Lennox leans over and gives Dolly a big hug then Reba chirps in, “Come on you, two. We better hurry up before the fellas get here or there won’t be a leg to lick on.” They all laugh while dishing up their plates. As the other women are eating and talking, Dolly brings her plate over and sits next to me on the couch. “Hey, darlin', how you holdin' up?" she leans in close. "You're gonna do just fine, little lady. Don't you worry about a thing. You got your sisters here and we aren't gonna let you get in any trouble. Besides, we're just here to have fun!"

I’m getting reassurance from a woman who created an image for the world to see that has made her a fortune and she is one of the smartest business woman who used her image wisely to get what she wanted so that she was the one running her own career.

"20 minutes to show time, Ladies.” “Thats our cue,” Annie says as she jumps to her feet, sleek and slim in her jumpsuit. We take a few minutes to finish up and form a circle. As we join hands Aretha turns her head skyward. "God, thank you for bringing us all together for this special event and welcome our sister into our circle of love. Give her strength to trust in you, again. Shine your light on her as she makes her debut. Praise the Lord. Amen!” We all chime in. "Let’ go have fun!

"...and now, Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give a warm welcome to our next performer direct from broadway…” I don’t hear the rest of it. My stomach is turning summersaults. I shake it off, listen to the rhythm of the music. The curtain goes up and I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what I love!

That's what every day is like when I am writing and performing. When the ideas come and I can let them come out and capture the essence of it, watching the idea grow from an idea and take shoe over time till it finally is ready to be heard. Then it has a life of its own. I've done my part. Then I have to just let go and see what happens with it. You give it room to grow. You nurture it. Just like a child, an idea is a mysterious creature, full of life, but you don't know how it will develop. I do my best to stay out of my way and be open to the process instead trying to make anything happen or conform to my rules. Then it can really blossom. That's how I write.

Sometimes I just get a couple of words or a picture. For me these images mean something special. To you they might represent a totally different sceneraio.

Here we have a story in a setting with two of my idols, plus a love interest.

Reba pokes her head in from upstage. Her hair has grown out and she's wearing one of the tops from her new line. "What's shaking, ladies? We gonna have some fun tonight?" Aretha leans back relaxing in her favorite red leather chair. "We've got all the basics covered. All we need to know is when you and Dolly are going to bring out the big guns.” In walks Dolly from stage right, her arms full of freshly baked goodies as we rush to help her. Once we settle in the green room, she looks around for her chair. "Well, how y'all doin'? I made my favorite recipe for double chocolate chip cookies. I sure hope you love eatin’ 'em as much as I love makin' 'em." The table is dwarfed now by the platters piled high with chocolate chip cookies, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. “This is my momma’s recipe for fried chicken. And honest to goodness, it’s the best fried chicken North of the Mason Dixon Line”. As everyone gathers around table she says, “I may have overdone it a little, but I wanted to make sure you gals had a good home-cooked meal tonight. Now, let’s say grace.”

We have additional characters and from each there is a picture of their personality. As you can see these are pretty straight forward images. But that’s not the point. The point is that someone is sending you messages. You can study them, you can learn from them and you can use them as a writing tool. What is it they say? If you drill a ton of ore, you might find an ounce of gold? If you can find one nugget like that you can build upon it and soon you will have a gold mine! The important thing is to use the tool. It’s a gift so accept it and honor it. If you are diligent and patient you can watch it grow.

Sandy Kastel, Author
Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths ‘Detours’

Sandy Kastel & Friends Featured Artists

  

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONS

Albanian by decent and born in former Yugoslavia, Jole an award winning artist in his own right studied under internationally acclaimed abstract artist “Radovan Lale Djuric”.

Jole, left Yugoslavia in 1969 and traveled to Europe visiting Rome, Florence and Venice studying for 1 year with many of the famous artist of that period.

Las Vegas proved to be the birth place of a new style of abstract expression by Jole. Lale saw his new works and was surprised that he had found this unique style of abstract in the desert. Jole is known for his vibrant colors, generating excitement, mystery and passion.

“I express myself best on a large canvas, when the canvas starts to talk to me, I answer with my brush”.

For More Information On Purchasing Art Or Upcoming Shows Call ( 917-734-9421 )This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BIOGRAPHY                                                              
JOLE: Abstract  Impressionistic  Artist,
Media: Oil On Canvas:
Artist Jole: is one of today’s most collectable artist, known for his large canvases of Abstract Impressionistic Paintings, His painting sets ones eye in motion, searching, seeking and observing.  It takes a keen eye to find the subtle images, messages, and mystery which can be found in Jole’s Explosive Colors of Nature. His works reminds one of the famous Artist Monet.
 About the Artist  Jole:   Winning  his first kids art show at the age of 9 Jole captured an excellent portrait of President Kennedy and, continued winning more awards for landscapes, portraits and abstracts. In his teens he became a famous soccer player in his town believing that was his destiny, little did he know that art had already captured his soul and that one day he would become a famous Artist known for his Abstract Impressionistic Art.
Jole was Born in Yugoslavia, Albanian decent. His studies in Art began at a Local Art School in former Yugoslavia
He left Yugoslavia in1969 moving to Rome where he studied with many famous artist, in Florence and Venice, spending long hours in Europe visiting numerous museums and working with some of the best abstract impressionistic artist for 2 years.
Jole moved to the United Stated and made New York City his home for many years where he spent countless hours creating and learning new techniques, becoming a true Master of Abstract Impressionistic Art.  As Jole’s demands for his painting grew so did his creative eye capturing Explosive Vibrant Colors of Nature.
Gallery Exhibitions  Lale’s Space, Radwill Gallery, RdJ Gallery, and Lale’s Studio New York.
In 2000 Jole came to Las Vegas with the idea of retiring from painting not realizing that he would be starting a new explosive style of impressionistic art capturing the essence and beauty of the desert. In 2006 he made Las Vegas his permanent residence.
Artist Quote: I express myself best on a large canvas, refusing to give my paintings names allowing each person to see something different. I start the dialogue with my painting by saying, “You will be different” I then proceed to dress them in their finest clothing. My paintings are complete when my canvas says, “it is done”. This is my moment of detachment. I feel complimented when my client asks, “What is it?”

 

 

 

New Book Launch on January 31st!

Join us for the launching of our New Book Life Choices! In addition to speaking about my chapter I will be singing a few of my songs from my new album. Look forward to seeing you!
Sunday, January 31st, 11am-3pm at the
Palace Station Casino
2411 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas
(702) 367-2411

Sandy

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