Artist Member Karen Gordon
Last week I asked Karen Gordon for 10 minutes to talk about her life for this issue of our Newsletter. Karen is a woman on the go. Karen Gordon, The Empress of Cool, or, to me- the goddess of all things jazz, is a local musician, an event producer, a gig- manager, an Augusta Cheerleader, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a lover of gardens. The ten-minute chat turned into an hour on Friday afternoon as we talked about everything in the whole wide world and of course, Augusta.
I know Karen as a musician and a ‘booker’; she works with local venues and events that need live music added, most often Jazz bookings. I’m fairly certain Karen has to have her cell phone connected to a charging stick countless times each day, because she spends so much time on the phone she can’t possibly keep it charged. Karen’s office changes to wherever she is at any given moment… from a coffee shop downtown, to her car, to her mother’s back yard, to her home. Prior to March 13 (Friday the 13th), when the Augusta National postponed THE tournament, Karen was having her best year ever. Karen and her partner Kigwana “Kigg” Cherry were booking artists for a local hotel, creating events in unique spaces not typically known as music venues, and had a full week of Masters’ events booked and confirmed. “It was gonna Kill!” And then, the music died.
I asked Karen what she did in this unprecedented situation. First, she had to cancel everything. Everything. In March, we all thought we’d be back in business by May, at the latest. But things got real… real quick. Quarantine, shelter in place, no end in sight. The world… just.. ended. So, Karen went to her garden. She claims not to know much about plants, but she is planting. She is thinking. Karen said she feels so blessed to be surrounded by her family. For two weeks she didn’t think about music at all. She was in her creative “planting” phase. Then the planning started again. Karen and Kigg have a mission to support other creatives and bring our City more entertainment. They are back to big thinking, and planning, for the future. From little seeds, great ideas blossomed.
Last week, when the Augusta Cultural Arts Consortium launched the grants for Gig-Artists, Karen did a Facebook live event to educate local artists on the application. I happened to be on FB and jumped in to watch. Karen went over the application line-by-line and took questions during her live event. Since the launch, Karen has helped 4 artists fill in the application and has supplied all the artists she had booked for gigs with the needed cancellation documentation. We love you Karen and can’t say it enough.
Our ten-minute-turned-one-hour call came to an end when her son, Scooter, repeatedly called her to come inside. I love her closing thought: “I am blessed to find joy in the simplest things.” Amen. And yes, Karen, you can text me at 4am. I’m usually awake, too.