the fearless beth lederman

I used to be a fire lookout on O’Leary Peak. I was a Forest Service employee for four years, musician Beth Lederman shares with me. My mom was the Woody Mountain Lookout for over ten years and my sister was the lookout on Mt. Ord.

You ‘looked’ for fires?

The fire lookout conversation leads to an interesting revelation …. I like to practice fearlessness, Beth comments.

I think of hand-stands. How do you ‘practice’ fearlessness? I ask.

…you know… walking in the dark.

I’d looked forward to meeting Beth Lederman for some time. And last Saturday I spent the afternoon photographing her.

My loves are Latin jazz, Brazilian jazz, straight ahead jazz, salsa and Latin music, swing, and anything else that grooves.  Among the various musicians she collaborates with, she also has a group she co-founded.  Novo Mundo was my band for a long time. We have a gig in April coming up, April 27th …Wine, WoMen and Jazz at the Az Culinary Institute. 

Beth plays keyboards and in fact can truly be called eclectic.

… back to fearlessness …

I practice being brave in front of audiences, in trying new things when I am improvising, in taking risks,  in playing with all kinds of bands – sometimes with people I have never met!. I try to just get up there on stage and help share the feeling of being strong, and confident, and tapped in to this bigger flow which is music/spirit/life.

I also practice doing things even though I am afraid…like taking on the job of being a Spanish teacher 3 years ago, or making mistakes when I speak in my non-native tongue, or sitting in at jam sessions.  …. you know … walking in “dark” places.

The afternoon goes smoothly. We get lots of great photos.  I’ve said this before, the performer is a natural in front of the camera.  She adds… experience has allot to do with it.

My hope with these shots, is that you get a glimpse of both Beth’s fluid nature, and  her grounded quality. It’s one great combination for a piano player/educator/woman.

For more about Beth Lederman, who’s been making music for over 20 years, visit → her website.

Note the → calendar because next weekend she’ll be performing at both the Mesa Arts Center (on Saturday March 10th) and at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts (March 11th).

Catch Beth live and while you’re at it pay attention to how she practices fearlessness.