Lee Durley is a well-known and highly respected jazz musician on the Monterey Peninsula. He arrived here in the 1970’s following an active career on the Las Vegas circuit. He has a versatile trade-mark smoky voice, that beguiles his listeners, backed up by an extensive knowledge of popular music history, refined when he was an announcer for the Carmel jazz station KRML.
Lee sang, both professionally and as a volunteer, at local assisted living facilities as early as the year 2000. But his residential care performances really took off in 2009, when he began working with another popular local singer, also another Las Vegas stage graduate, Ray Paul. They formed the duo, Brotherly Love. Last year demand for their brand of singing reached an all time high. They became regular performers at 17 residential facilities, and gave over 400 performances in just one year, to both assisted living and memory care residents. They know their special audience very well, and they are constantly honing and refreshing their repertoire.
I first met the Brotherly Love duo over four years ago, when they came, to sing at the Carmel facility where my mother was receiving memory care. Like many others, she was depressed and beginning to turn inward because of her dementia. When she heard them for the first time, singing familiar tunes in a familiar way, it was as if a fire was lit inside of her. She had been suffering from aphasia, difficulty remembering and saying words, yet she was able to sing along with some of the songs, even wave her usually inactive arms. That singing experience, gave her new confidence. The songs also brought back memories, for the words, the tunes, and for the times when the songs first became familiar to her. She and her fellow memory care residents always seemed to know when it was Friday, the day the singers were coming.
Following my mother’s death, in her memory, I have worked as a volunteer with Lee and Ray, and seen first hand what a miraculous impact their singing has on hundreds of people. I’m so glad Lee has recorded the favorites, so that many more can enjoy them. It is Lee’s goal to enhance the quality of life for those who are suffering the multiple losses brought on by Alzheimer”s and dementia. This DVD will be a very good start.
Pacific Grove, CA
- Till We Meet Again
- Lee Durley