Declare, Decide and be Determined in 2024  

 December 2023

I am a huge Misty Copeland fan. Greg and I saw her perform at the Met in New York City in 2017. She inspires me, brings a voice to so many dancers of color, and lives in her own truth as a mother, wife, entrepreneur, and professional ballet dancer. 

As we all close out the year and reflect on the journey of 2023, I would like to share a quote from Mrs. Copeland that sends us a message for 2024 and beyond. 

“Decide what you want. Declare it to the world. See yourself winning. And remember that if you are persistent as well as patient, you can get whatever you seek.” Misty Copeland

Have a wonderful holiday season, and claim all of the marvelous joy awaiting you in 2024. 

Declare, Decide and be Determined! 

Improvise Life,



A Season of Growth: Your Best Creative Self  

October & November 2023

By definition, growth is “the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally or spiritually.”

When growing physically, a person may experience growing pains, discomfort, soreness, aches and tender muscles. And when pushing your body to its max through exercise, you may experience your personal max of physical excursion. Plainly stated, growth can be uncomfortable.

When growing mentally, the mindsets that you have had in the past, may not be the mindsets you need for your future. Thinking patterns, can have a domino effect. I have learned that how you think, affects your feelings, which can then affect your behaviors. How does your mental growth guide your actions, expectations and your outcomes? Growth and the development of healthy thoughts can influence your goals, how you monitor your progress and how you continue to go after what you want, although you may have setbacks. 

Spiritual growth is the anchor to it all. Rooted in your beliefs, your faith and the essence of who you are.  Spiritual growth can center you, bring you joy and peace and feed you, when nothing else can. 

This is a season of growth for many people. A season of change, development, evolution, faith, patience, kindness, perseverance, and triumph. Claim your season. Grow into this season of stepping into the next place in your life. Growth physically through physical wellness, mental growth through healthy thought patterns, and spiritual development is a trifecta of power. 

Smile, keep growing and use your power. It suits you! 

Improvise Life,



Quote of the Month  

September 2023

This month, I wanted to share my favorite arts education quote in support of National Arts in Education Week (September 11-17, 2023). I love the quote and the artist who spoke it!

“Education teaches students how to write their name; arts education teaches students how to find their signature.”

Renée Elise Goldsberry

Support arts education in your community.

Improvise Life,


It’s Time to Vote! 

August 2023

South X Southwest Conference & Festival is happening March 8-16, 2024 in Austin, TX, and JazzSpire submitted a proposal for consideration to present a workshop. The workshop is entitled Jazz: A Metaphor for How to Live Life Without Limits. This session is rooted in understanding the foundational elements of jazz music and how they can apply to having a growth mindset, and living life without limits. Jazz has no boundaries or limitations and represents what is possible when creative minds come together to unify and become one. Improvisation, swing, and ensemble cohesion are all critical elements of jazz, America's classical music. Jazz allows the performer(s) to dictate their musical path, trajectory and grow the music and create solutions on the spot, which can be a metaphor for how to live life without limits.

Takeaways from the Session:

1. Understand how jazz can be a metaphor for how to live life without boundaries.

2. Understand how jazz can grow your mindset and bring creative opportunities for development.

3. Understand how supporting jazz and the arts enriches our lives, communities, and American history.

As part of the SXSW proposal process, the public has a voice in what sessions are programmed for the 2024 event. As a result, community voting is now open through August 20, 2023. The public can vote, make comments, leave feedback, and give input regarding what sessions are selected and included in the 2024 program.

Click here to visit JazzSpire’s voting page. We hope to see you in Austin, TX in March 2024.

Improvise Life,

Greg & Samika

Advancing the Arts: African Proverbs Provide a Blueprint 

June & July 2023

(Double Header)

This month’s blog is a throwback. I wrote the article below for Americans for the Arts some years back. It’s has a message that still resonates with me today. I hope you enjoy it, and we look forward to seeing you on tour (for tour details, see the month of May’s post below).

I attended the 2019 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was amazing to be in a place with thousands of other arts supporters and enthusiasts. I was among artists, researchers, educators, community organizations, politicians, board members, and so many others. All of us came together to learn, share, network, and champion the cause of elevating the arts in our communities.

There was power in the sheer number of people who traveled from all over the country to be in attendance. All of us traveled individually—one by one, to come to one place for one reason: the arts. When we all came together, our singularity became overshadowed by our togetherness to beacon the arts, our progress, and each other. Our shared belief that the arts make our communities and country better was demonstrated by keynote speeches, artist performances, research dissemination, critical conversations, and meaningful collaborations.

We came together to advocate, connect, and support the power of the arts in America. I believe the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In those simple words, the proverb teaches us the blueprint for monumental progress. We can go further by unifying and aligning our common interests and goals. Power may come with greater numbers, but the unity of these numbers is what builds momentum. There is power in numbers and unity as we make progress together.

After the convention has concluded, and we go back to our individual communities, the work still continues, but how do we continue to build upon the synergy that is produced from coming together, at one time, in one place? How do we continue advancing the cause in our communities, and maintain the bridges we built during the convention?

Here are four curated strategies for advancing the arts.

1. Each One Teach One — African-American proverb

Each one of us has the ability to teach another person. Each one of us has the power to expand someone’s knowledge, and human experience, by sharing information and wisdom. As we take what we learn from various sources—webinars, colleagues, conferences and conventions, even life itself—and share this with one another, we open doors to whole new ways of elevating our work in the arts. As I have heard so many times in primary school classrooms: “Sharing is caring.” Share what you know and raise up another person. Extend the web of knowledge that connects all of us in the arts. Show a mentee the blueprints for how to build a successful arts program in a diverse community. Teach how to apply for the grants that secure funding and ensure arts integration educational experiences for students. Model how to forge a career in the arts and earn a paycheck by providing high-quality arts experiences to our communities. Together—each one, teach one.

2. When a Man Is Stung, He Doesn’t Destroy All Beehives — Kenyan proverb

Setbacks in progress sting. They may cause us to question the purpose of our efforts.

Although challenges and setbacks may occur, together we can encourage each other to keep trying. Don’t quit. Our work of elevating the arts in our communities is critical. Some ideas don’t work, although the intentions of the program or initiative were thoughtful and created for good. Rebranding or downscaling may have to be considered. Seek professional consultation and research other models of success when planning and implementing. At times, progress moves slowly or not at all. Though the sting of setbacks or failure can be discouraging, keep the momentum moving forward—all is not lost. Together, we can encourage each other to pick up the pieces and make a new puzzle.

3. If You Think You Are Too Small to Make a Difference, You Haven’t Spent a Night with a Mosquito — African proverb

One person can make a difference. One person can have a seismic effect that changes the lives of many. One.

4. Tomorrow Belongs to the People who Prepare For It Today — African proverb

Preparation. A critical element for sustainability as plans for today, tomorrow and beyond are strategized. Plan and prepare. Creating short term and long-term plans are essential for progress. Strategic planning uses the mapping of goals, strategies, and action steps to ensure a target is reached. Think it, see it, plan it, do it.

Together, we can reach more people, leverage resources, share best practices, and try our collective best to change more lives and better our communities. There is power in numbers and unity. The arts are valuable because of how they bring people together. Through the arts, we invest in what matters: people. All people.

Sticks in a Bundle Are Unbreakable — African proverb

Let’s stick together.

Improvise Life,



Savannah Blue Tour Time 

May 2023

We are beyond excited to be on the cusp of starting the very first Greg Satterthwaite Quartet - Savannah Blue album release tour in June 2023. The tour is funded through a South Arts Jazz Road Tour grant. Thanks to the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this tour is possible. As a 2023 Winter Jazz Road Tour recipient, Greg joins the ranks of other prestigious recipients such as Grammy winners Samara Joy, Sammy Figueroa, Marquis Hill, and Jason Marsalis to name a few. The tour is a celebration of the forth coming release of Greg’s sophomore album, Savannah Blue. The music performed on the tour will be a celebration of Greg’s heritage and Jamaican roots infused with jazz, in addition too hard hitting, swinging, and burnin’ original compositions. It is going to be a swinging good time. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating this tremendous moment.

June 21, 2023 - FREE

29th Annual African, African American, and Caribbean Studies Summer Institute

Palm Beach Lakes High School - West Palm Beach, FL

3505 Shiloh Drive West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Doors Open @ 5PM

Showtime: 5:30PM

Register to attend by clicking here.

June 23 -24, 2023

Good Times Jazz Bar and Restaurant - Savannah, GA

107 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401

(912) 236-2226

8:00PM - 11:00PM

Call for reservations or visit:

June 30, 2023

The Velvet Note

4075 Old Milton Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30005

Shows: 7:30PM & 9:30PM

For tickets, visit:

Improvise Life,



Jazz Appreciation Month 

April 2023

Bold, intellectual, ground breaking, original, phenomenal, and profound. This is jazz. The genre of music centered around improvisation and rooted in the history of the black American experience. Jazz, a cultural influencer that shaped and molded the trajectory of modern music and musicians of today. Amazing, historic, and a part of the American musical story. Created by people of the African diaspora, rich in creativity, jazz is a treasure to be celebrated, honored and heard all over the world. Because of its importance, jazz is taught in schools and educational institutions all over the world. Jazz matters, and it is relevant, so that is why it is important that we celebrate the intelligent and brilliant creators that influenced the world. In 2001, the Smithsonian Museum of American History founded Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). So in honor of the legends, giants, ground breakers, and monumental figures of jazz, people all over the world will be cherishing jazz and the musicians that created it all month long. JazzSpire would like to say thank you to the jazz elders that came before us and today’s modern day pioneers. Thank you for sharing your gifts, courage and creativity.

Improvise Life,

Greg and Samika

Prepare for the YES! 

March 2023

We have heard many people say that the hurdles and challenges you may be facing today, are a part of the preparation for your destination tomorrow. At each stage of the journey, you are being prepared to rise above the difficulties, become a stronger you, and face obstacles that are preparing you for the next step. There are opportunities for growth and self-betterment in the valleys, the long climbs, and the discouraging moments. Sometimes, it’s about going through the process of becoming a better artist, creative leader, and problem solver, so that ultimately your artistry manifests opportunities for you.  Opportunities to serve others, opportunities to create more, opportunities to disseminate the artistic work of others, and opportunities to make your ambitions come to fruition.  This cultivation of skills, trial by fire preparation, and practice is molding you into the person who will be ready when the answer to what you want is - yes. So what happens when you ask for what you want, and you get it? Be prepared, stay in a mode self-development, and remember the lessons you have learned along the way. Because that thing that you asked for, is probably right around the corner. So, prepare for the yes and enjoy the moment when it comes.

Thank you, we appreciate you, and smile.

Celebrate Women’s History Month

Greg & Samika


Carry the Torch 

February 2023

Someone mentioned to me recently the phrase “carry the torch” in a conversation I was having about legacy and respecting the past contributions of others. For some reason, the phrase struck with me for a few moments, hours, then days. As I pondered on the words “carry the torch” and thought about its meaning, I began a Google search on what the words really meant and where the phrase came from.  I learned that the phrase is linked in its history to women singing songs about unrequited love, love not returned, or love not reciprocated. These songs became known as torch songs. Coincidentally, I thought about this month (February), the month that we as a nation collectively celebrate love. There are periods in our global history where so many artists, creators, inventors, and brilliant minds were not, loved, or embraced. Although they faced so many insurmountable challenges, they still forged forward by performed, painting, writing, dancing, and inspiring others through their artistry. This month’s blog is dedicated to artistic innovators that came before us and made monumental sacrifices so that creators and innovators would have a space in the creative market place today. My hope is that we, as a collective body of creators and supporters of the arts will “carry the torch” and pass on the legacy of past creative pioneers by keeping the arts alive. Making art available to everyone, everywhere. My hope is that we celebrate the artist’s of today, and “show them some love.”

10 Ways to “Show Some Love” to an artist:

Go see a live performance

Buy a work of art and share it on social media

Go to an art museum and take a friend

Go to a local school’s theatre and/or music performance or art exhibition

Donate to a national, regional, and/or local arts organization

Support arts education in your local community

Buy an album or merchandise from an artist

Take an art class from an artist

Watch documentaries on artists and their contributions to society

Volunteer at your local arts council, performing arts center or arts organization

Let us carry the torch together and preserve the legacy of artists that came before us.

Celebrate Black History Month



Happy New Year 

January 2023

The first month of the year is an opportunity for new beginnings, new aspirations, new journeys and new ideas. January is a time for starting over and having a fresh start. Out with the old, and in with the new. It is an exciting time, because everything in the year is in front of us. Opportunities, collaborations, milestones, and successes are on the horizon for us to enjoy. We anticipate the good and relish the time when those ground breaking moments will happen. JazzSpire wishes you a Happy New Year, filled with color, music, dancing, and laughter. Make 2023 an amazing, and unforgettable year.

Smile and wish someone a Happy New Year :)

Greg & Samika