"The longest night of the year was brightened by Aviva and the Flying Penguins, performing for a packed house at Steve's Live Music in Sandy Springs. Aviva, performing as keyboardist, trumpeter, and lead vocalist, also writes the music and lyrics to all her songs. Having long admired Aviva's creativity, vocal virtuosity, and zany exuberance, I am somewhat perplexed that she is less well known than Lady Gaga.
Aviva's inspired lyrics and irresistible rhythms give her performances the feel of shamanic chanting or a sacred liturgy. A belly dancer in her ensemble regularly left the stage to take the movement deep into the crowd. The other musicians performed so smoothly that they were like the scaffolding on which Aviva stood: indispensable and humbly unobtrusive.
Perhaps the most transformative moment was the performance of "A Little Girl, a Little Love." Tissues were in short supply as numerous members of the audience were literally sobbing. This song is about the lifelong impact of child molestation, and while the song is heartbreaking, mournful, and angry, it is also an affirmation of the power of divine healing.
I felt lucky to find what might have been the last open seat, as 87 people on Facebook indicated that they were attending, I hadn't bought a ticket in advance, and arrived late. The crowd was remarkably diverse in terms of race and age. Though I missed the youthful openers Ali Doodle and Yoeshi Roberts, there were waves of complimenting comments on their talents and how they too were contemplating how to change this world for the better.
I have often heard that if people follow their hearts, they embody heaven on earth and create a kind of island of heaven that engulfs everyone around them. To everyone at Steve's Live Music on the night of the solstice, it was clear that Aviva has achieved this."
-Jed Brody, Local Writer, Emory Professor