Circle Singing Workshop
with Janiece Jaffe
Blooming Spirit Retreat Center
Sunday, June 24
1 - 3 p.m.

"Sound has been used in healing practices among indigenous cultures throughout time," Janiece Jaffe says. "The premise of this work is that everything in the universe is in a state of vibration and that we are constantly changing."

Jaffe holds a bachelor's degree in vocal jazz performance from IU and has been a practicing Reiki master since 2000. She has completed national sound healing and vocal improv trainings and participated in circle singing workshops with Bobby McFerrin.

Jaffe is a member of the World Sound Healing Organization and the Sound Healers Association. In addition to her nationally lauded jazz CDs, she has recorded two albums for stress relief and meditation called The Lotus and The Rose and Heartones.

"The workshop was a blast!" says participant Marielle Abell. "My favorite part was creating soundscapes with multiple repeating parts. We went from sounding like pygmy rainforest creatures to wacky R&B. Whether or not you consider yourself a singer makes no difference in Janiece's workshops."

Abell also notes the venue of the workshop - a cedar yurt built by Andreas Weinrich, founder of Blooming Spirit Retreat Center. She says the "cedar-scented, sunny space is perfect for dancing, singing and meditating."

Weinrich adds, "For me, there is something incredibly empowering, joyful and healing in opening up my throat by improvised singing and chanting."

"Only $15, and much beautiful, easy, magical, vocal play occurs," says Nell Weatherwax, Improvisational Movement Theater artist. "I have taken several of these and always have a great time. No 'knowledge' of music is needed, just a love for singing and grooving with others vocally in a group. Janiece is an excellent facilitator and brings her own healing sensibilities to the table, as well as great exercises from her studies with Bobby McFerrin and others."

If you can't make the June 24 workshop, there are two more yet this summer: July 15 and August 12. Call 323-7660 for more information and directions to the retreat center, and to reserve your space. Pre-registration is required, and enrollment is limited.

Jaffe also offers sound healing for individuals in private sessions. This summer she is joined by fellow practitioner Taryn Goodman, who has a master's degree in sound healing.

Upcoming Janiece Jaffee jazz concerts

Monday, June 25, 8 p.m. at The Chatterbox, Indianapolis, with Monika Herzig
Friday, June 29, 8 p.m. at Players Pub, with Curtis Cantwell Jackson
Friday, July 13, 6:30 p.m. at IU Art Museum's Jazz in July concert series with Dan Sumner, Dave Bruker and Michael Beck
Thursday, August 9, 5:30-8 p.m., Jazz Fables at Bear's Place
Saturday, August 18, 6-9 p.m., Jazz Under the Stars, Bloomington High School North Benefit at Deer Park Manor, with Mark Buselli and the BHSN Jazz Band

First Fridays for GLBT

Each month, IU's student support office for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folk sponsors a "First Friday" at Bloomington Bagel Company on Dunn Street. Everyone is welcome. Come for "warm faces, a safe environment, and stimulating conversation" - not to mention wonderful coffee and baked goods.

"The first Friday deal is open to GLBT and allies - there are typically straight people there - and the food and drinks are provided free by BBC," says John Loveland, counseling intern for the GLBT Student Support Services.

Held from 7 to 9 p.m., the next two dates are July 6 and August 3. For more information e-mail Dan Coleman at .

Think Inclusive

Hand in hand - summer and our city's Parks and Rec. Bike rodeos, Super Euchre, solstice salads, Kundalini yoga, and music and movies under the stars.

What you may not know is the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department is devoted to an inclusive approach to culture and recreation. "Inclusion" is individuals with and without disabilities participating in activities together.

All City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation programs are inclusive for people with disabilities. In order for individuals with disabilities to participate as fully as possible, reasonable accommodations are provided. These accommodations are individual techniques and resources used to enhance participation without fundamentally altering the program.

"Inclusion makes it possible for individuals to choose from the vast array of programs offered by City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation," reads the department's Web site at

How to request an accommodation? When you register for an event or class, mark "yes" under the inclusive service section. At least two weeks notice prior to the registration deadline is required. In some cases reasonable accommodation may take longer. You will be asked to complete an inclusion questionnaire, and a coordinator will contact the participant to establish an individualized inclusion plan.

There are five ways to register for city parks/rec classes:

  • Unline at the Web address above;
  • In person at 401 N. Morton 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday;
  • By fax at 349-3705;
  • By "drop off" at City Hall in the box; or
  • By mail - Call 349-3700 to request your brochure, then send your form to Bloomington Parks and Recreation, 401 North Morton Street, Bloomington, IN, 47404.

    The Leisure Companion Program is a parks/rec service in which participants with disabilities are partnered with a volunteer companion who provides additional support during inclusive activities. The companion aids inclusion by supporting the individual during the activity, helping to ensure the dignity of the participant, creating an environment for success, encouraging independent participation, and being a supportive friend. To be partnered with a leisure companion, please follow the directions above for requesting an accommodation.

    For information about Friday evening socials, Buddy Ball Baseball and other opportunities, call the Inclusive Recreation Coordinator (who is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist) at 349-3718. The Inclusive Recreation Advisory Council meets on the second Thursday of every other month (April, June, August, etc.) from 7 to 8 p.m. at room 250 in City Hall - the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

    Melissa McReynolds can be reached at .