You may have come to this page from my blog, an ongoing journal of sorts in which I share my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. While I have not been blogging with any consistency in the last few years, I am now hard at work on two projects that are very special to me. The first is a one-man play about the life of Joe Williams. Actor/singer Keith David plays Joe and he is accompanied by a jazz ensemble. You will be hearing more about that soon. The second is a memoir about my life and relationship with my late husband, John Levy. (For info about John, click here.)
I am a published journalist and author, and began my writing career in the early 1980s by composing press releases and artist biographies for my public relations clients and providing promotional copy to record companies. By the late 1980s, I was a frequent contributor to Billboard magazine. That was before I took a detour to become a best- selling computer trade book author. After writing several books about computer programming, CD-ROMs, and building web sites, I turned to her attention back to my first love – music.
I have been described as a prolific chronicler of jazz luminaries. In addition to my work on the printed page, which includes liner notes for recordings by Oscar Peterson, Joe Williams, Jim Hall, The English Chamber Orchestra, and The London Symphony Orchestra, among others, I have worked as a writer and music/talent coordinator for television programs and jazz videos. My television and video credits include: talent coordinator for “Red, Hot & Cool,” a nationally syndicated television show hosted by Nancy Wilson; musical coordinator for the “George Shearing: Lullaby of Birdland” and “Joe Williams: A Song Is Born” videos produced live at the Paul Mason Winery; and writer for “Jim Hall: A Life In Progress,” a documentary produced by Rhapsody Films.
I guess by now you can call me a veteran music industry professional. My first exposure to music came at an early age. Encouraged by musical parents (my father was a professional jazz guitarist, my mother is a songwriter), I studied classical piano. In addition to several years of private instruction, I continued my studies at the Westchester and New England Conservatories where I also studied jazz and orchestration.
My professional industry experience began in the early 1970s. While in college, I booked artists for concerts and supervised stage and technical set-ups. During that same period I also trained as a disc-jockey/newscaster as WCUW-FM 91.3 in Worcester, MA. My radio experience was to prove useful twelve years later when I accepted an assignment to produce and host a half-hour jazz program for the American Radio Network.
In the mid- to late-70s, I worked for the President’s Office of the American Federation of Musicians and for both the Broadcast and Record Divisions of CBS, Inc. in New York. Throughout the 70s, I continued to freelance as a talent coordinator for music festivals and benefit concerts.
In 1979 I relocated to Los Angeles and in 1980 accepted a position with a personal management company – John Levy Enterprises, Inc. Shortly thereafter I opened her own PR company, called Public Relations Office Services. My roster included Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, Thad Jones, and Ramey Lewis, among others.
As the company expanded its services, I established subsidiaries under the banner of Devra Enterprises. The publicity company was renamed PROS PR, and two new companies were created. PROS Folios, a freelance writing service established in 1984, became a respected as a source of record industry profiles and liner notes for major record labels. Devra Entertainment, a talent coordination, personal management, special events and project production company came into being in 1986.
During this period, I not only served on the Los Angeles Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and on the craft committee that reviews record album liner notes for the Grammy Awards, but also designed undergraduate courses for a degree program in Music Business Studies for California State Polytechnic University in Pomona where I was a consultant and lecturer and for five years. I hold a Masters Degree in Educational Technology & Media.
I also developed a second area of expertise: computer technology. I have written a dozen trade books in this field, several of which have been translated into foreign languages. My experience in the computer field dates back to the early 1970s, the mainframe days, and the years of experience enabled me to become a skilled developmental and technical editor. In addition to editing projects for Microsoft Press, other freelance technology-related projects include computer software product documentation and specifications. Editorial projects for general business include promotional copy; advertorials; and corporate business plans, project proposals and industry reports.
Today, I my focus is on writing about the things I know and love.