Thursday, December 24, 2009

HRI:UNArts Release: Rocked - Xmass 2009


This year's HRI:UNArts holiday message is "Focused on Progress by Bridging Unmet Needs to Untapped Resources in our communities." Please reach out to your family, friends, neighbors and front line service programs, define their unmet needs and be a part of solution oriented strategic planning and development of efforts that can help. Many times, just disclosure of a need can help those who have the resources, move them into action.

During this next year, the Humanitarian Resource Institute United Nations Arts Initiative, will be working to establish grassroots organizers to specifically target the scope of unmet needs in a community or region.... This means 3100 U.S. counties, 50 states and territories, 192 United Nations member countries. The arts community will be the source for intensive facilitation, communications initiatives, media events, and performances. More to come.

In contemplation of the years challenges ( and the motto "Work Hard, Play Hard," I arranged 7 high energy soundtracks in an album compilation entitled "Rocked" - Xmas 2009, available to radio stations on AirPlay Direct (tracks streaming online for all in continual play format).

Wishing you a blessed holiday season and happy new year,

Stephen Michael Apatow
Humanitarian Resource Institute
United Nations Arts Initiative
Twitter: unarts

"Amazing Grace" Is Renewed In Soulful Holiday Rendition On Native American Flute And Flugelhorn


San Francisco, CA - December 23, 2009 - The well-known classic "Amazing Grace" experienced a holiday makeover by visionary musicians Ann Licater and Jeff Oster. The San Francisco-based musicians collaborated to create a completely new rendition of one of the world's best-known songs. Unclassifiable as either Jazz, World, Christian or New Age music exactly, the track is finding a wide audience during its Holiday 2009 release as a 99-cent digital download exclusively on CDBaby ( ) and iTunes. (

Licater explains, "Jeff (Oster) and I were originally inspired to create this rendition of ‘Amazing Grace' for consideration in the 2009 presidential inauguration; to us the Native American flute represented the heart of the people and the Flugelhorn really conveyed the honor and heraldry of the occasion."

The song stayed in the artists' hearts and minds all year long, seeming to beckon for a Holiday release. Although the musicians are both working on producing their next albums, they felt compelled to share the song with the world this year, rather than hold it for inclusion on future albums. Hymns and holiday music traditionally receive a boost at the holidays, and at just 99 cents on, the download is priced right for sales during a recession-riddled holiday. The duo intends to employ a completely online "green marketing" approach to promoting the track, hoping fans will love it enough to pass it on to family and friends.

Jeff and Ann began their collaboration in 2007, when they noticed each other's music being reported by broadcasters worldwide. Tracks such as "Saturn Calling" (Oster's tribute to N.A.S.A.) and "Following the Call" (Licater's title track about pursuing artistic dreams) were being played back-to-back and in the same programming schedules on radio stations around the globe. When they eventually met on MySpace and discovered they both live in the San Francisco Bay Area, their real-time collaboration began.

Their curiosity prompted them to explore the question "Flugelhorn with Native American Flute…why not?" Their music styles, although divergent, have a connection of spirit through a common improvisational nature of playing. In fact, the arrangement of "Amazing Grace" emerged during improve in their initial joint concert, immediately striking them both as a meaningful musical gift.

Ever since their first meeting, they continue to perform together as guest artists at each other's concerts, such as the INAFA conference at the University of Wisconsin/Eau Claire.

Their digital release of "Amazing Grace" is being promoted to radio by KDM Promotions. Both Ann and Jeff's music is heard on NPR stations on shows like "Echoes" and "Hearts of Space," as well as on cable and internet radio stations worldwide.

About the Artists:
Ann Licater is a Native American and World Flutist. She is a former student of R. Carlos Nakai, a recording artist, featured performer at the World Flute Fest at Carnegie Hall, and a San Jose Chamber Orchestra soloist as a world flutist. She facilitates healing workshops for Kaiser Permanante Wellness Centers and holds an M.L.A. in Spirituality. Her CD "Following the Call," solo wood and clay flute music was nominated "Best Native American Album" and "Top Twelve Best Contemporary Instrumental Album" of 2007 in the NAR Lifestyle Music Awards. Ann's music is heard on NPR stations on the "Hearts of Space" syndicated show as well as on cable and radio stations world-wide.

Jeff Oster has been a Trumpet and Flugelhorn player for over 40 years. His music is described as "Miles Davis meets Enya." Jeff's albums "Released" and "True" each won "Album of the Year" by broadcasters who report their playlists to New Age Reporter in the NAR Lifestyle Music Awards. Jeff has collaborated with NASA and JPL to create music using radio transmissions of aural recordings from space. These can be heard on "Saturn Calling" from the award-winning "True" release. Oster's music is produced by Will Ackerman, GRAMMY®-winning guitarist and founder of Windham Hill Records. Jeff's music can be heard on NPR stations including "Echoes" syndicated program, as well as on cable, satellite and radio stations world-wide.