Jazz School News, Thoughts and Events.

Spider Saloff Pens Song Inspired by the Trayvon Martin Tragedy

Posted by David Bloom on Aug 1, 2013 9:31:00 PM

Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 1, 2013- The recent trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin has sparked a firestorm of media coverage and public reaction. For Spider Saloff, acclaimed jazz singer and vocal coach of more than a decade at Chicago's Bloom School of Jazz, the underlying issues of the tragedy are much more important.

Saloff is an award winning, internationally known actress, lyricist, and playwright. To her students, she's a beacon of talent and accomplishment, having performed everywhere from Chicago to St. Petersburg, Russia. In the wake of the tragedy, however, she is just another citizen, left with many questions.

 "I was moved and shaken by the tragic loss of this young man's life," Saloff said. The subsequent trial, along with a speech made by President Barack Obama in response to the verdict, solidified the gravity of the events in her mind.

 A telephone conversation with the school's founder, David Bloom, was the flashpoint for Saloff's lyrical musings. Bloom asked aloud, "Why Don’t you write a song about Travon?" The question stuck in Saloff's mind, manifesting itself in the song, "When You See Me."

 Speaking on why she wrote the song, Saloff is contemplative and somewhat optimistic. "How can we stop something like this from happening again? What can we do as people? Well, first, we have to see each other."

 Saloff's musical talents abound, but she also brings perspective on the tragic event. She hopes the song can inspire people to let go of their outdated, stereotypical views of each other, in order to learn the truth of who people are as individuals.

Music, as with the other fine arts, has a way of reaching people that surpasses the impact of mere rhetoric. Saloff wants to touch the hearts of all who hear "When You See Me." Her philosophy going forward is simple, yet profound. "We don't need to have episodes like this, if we can just see each other."