Heather Houston“Are you thirsty for a different message about water?” asks Heather Houston. The classically and jazz-trained Santa Cruz vocalist wants to offer one such message this Saturday at her album release party for Prayers for the Water at Kuumbwa.

Houston says that so much of environmentalism “can be so dry.” She hopes her album will “inspire people to create their own sacred relationship with water.” The nine tracks on the album will be performed as “an expression of deep gratitude, infused with prayers for all our life-giving waters around us.”

Houston didn’t set out to create an album about the drought. “I started creating the album and the message revealed itself as a prayer for water,” Houston says. “All of the songs were songs for water—for the rivers, oceans, tears—and they became the full album.”

Her deep love for water is infused throughout the album. “I sang all of the songs with so much devotion,” she says, “and my hope is that people will feel inspired by my relationship with water through the music.” Houston is putting her money where her mouth is, too—10 percent of album sale proceeds go to Save Our Shores, a nonprofit that stewards the Monterey Bay ecosystem.

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Houston’s album release party will resonate with the same prayerfulness as her new album, and she’ll be joined by multi-instrumentalist and producer Todd Boston, cellist Jami Sieber, pianist Tammy Hall, percussionist Kevin DiNoto, and global music choir Yala Lati. “We will be performing with all of our hearts, and with all of our devotion,” she says. The stage will be set with bowls of water from different various water bodies as they “sing their prayers for sacred water.”

The show starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Kuumbwa, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. 


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