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Music teacher Ari Silberman puts out his 1st album, 'Beneath the Canopy'

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

By day, Ari Silberman of Los Angeles, Calif., is in his second semester of teacher training. But after school, the saxophonist and composer is jamming out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARI SILBERMAN'S "AUGMENTED BLUES")

DETROW: That was "Augmented Blues," the first single off Silberman's debut album, "Beneath The Canopy."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARI SILBERMAN'S "AUGMENTED BLUES")

ARI SILBERMAN: I was just writing a lot of music and playing a lot, and I had talked about my goals as a musician, which were to become a music teacher and also become a performing artist. So out of that goal, my album "Beneath The Canopy" came together.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARI SILBERMAN's "AUGMENTED BLUES")

SILBERMAN: I'm just a guy playing music and the last year, I have been doing my student teaching, which I've just loved 'cause I've gotten to combine being in the classroom and teaching music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARI SILBERMAN'S "BENEATH THE CANOPY")

SILBERMAN: That is the song "Beneath The Canopy." When I came up with the title of the album and the title of this song, I was absolutely imagining the imagery of trees and a forest. It's a bit more of modern harmony and a modern melody. It was the last song that I actually wrote to complete all the songs on the album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MEDITATION FOR THE TURNING OF THE YEAR")

SILBERMAN: Then my heart be open to every broken spirit - to those who try my patience, to those I have wronged and hurt.

That is a piece of mine and a poem titled "Meditation For The Turning Of The Year." The poem that you hear me speaking was translated from Hebrew, and it was translated by my mom's father - my papa, Rabbi Harvey Fields. And that's a very important piece to me. So being able to include that poem on my album is a way of acknowledging him and a way of acknowledging my family and my spirituality as a Jewish person.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IF THE MOON TURNS GREEN")

ERIN BENTLAGE: (Singing) If the moon turns green and shadows get up and walk around, clouds come tumbling to the ground.

SILBERMAN: "If The Moon Turns Green" features the amazing singer Erin Bentlage. And I just fell in love with this song from Billie Holiday's recording. And when I was thinking of songs to put on this album, I definitely resonate with love songs and ballads.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IF THE MOON TURNS GREEN")

BENTLAGE: (Singing) If the stars turn blue and willows that we've begin to seen. When it changes into spring.

SILBERMAN: I feel very supported by my friends and family who have come to my shows and supported this album from the very beginning and are now seeing it all the way through. I feel like it's a token of my gratitude for them supporting me. And I've told all my students that I have released my very first album, and now that the album is out, I'm just really happy and grateful to share it with friends and family and new people.

DETROW: That was Ari Silberman. He's training to become a music teacher in Los Angeles, Calif., and his debut album, "Beneath The Canopy," is out now.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARI SILBERMAN'S "A DETERMINED RAY OF SUN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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