The summer knows…

The summer just keeps flying along…

Days never pass without something new I’ve learned about myself or this crazy business of music I’m immersed in.  I’ve been fortunate (as I always am) to play with such great musicians and to be surrounded by such honesty and creativity. The NWJCO had a few concerts, one especially worth noting was a great presentation we gave at UMASS Lowell for a group of high school students. We played to a nearly full house at Durgin Hall on campus and the students were on the edge of their seats listening and being open to all the sounds and insights the band offered.  Special thanks to young drummer extraordinaire Austin McMahon, percussionist Bertram Lehmann, and Tom Duprey for filling in for the usual suspects and really raising the bar for us all. I love this band and all the music we create, my only regret is it happens all too infrequently.

I had the privilege of being part of the fabric of a new recording by Pablo Ablanedo. We recorded in June at a beautiful studio in Springfield, MA. I’ve been a member of Pablo’s octet for many years now and feel privileged to be such an integral part of this ensemble. I have such admiration and respect for Pablo and his music and have looked forward to this recording that’s been in the planning stages for several years now. Kudos to Eric, Fernando, Franco, Bertram, Fernando B., Kelly, Phil, Greg and all for making Pablo’s music sing. Pablo was able to fund the project with a Kickstarter Campaign. Lots of work but nice to know there are people committed to making good music continue to dance in the air.

I’m organizing the 3rd Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival this year here in my hometown and am thrilled to again bring great music to my community. Ron Reid and Sunsteel will return bringing Ron’s steelpans and all that Calypso energy to the area. Guitarist Phil Sargent will bring a great quartet and I’m planning on a tribute to composers myself. I think Billy Strayhorn but not set in stone.  SO many who deserve the attention.

I often struggle with my place in the world of music (OK, not often, all the time….). I guess we all do in spite of our chosen path’s. As someone who loves to walk/paddle in the wilderness we are always met with an obstacle, (some large, some rather insignificant) that we have to address, so I guess the parallel in life is to be expected. One thing that always helps me navigate is literature and I’ve made a point of late to read more, especially poetry. My mother has always been a fan of E.E. Cummings work and she inscribed in the first collection she bought me, “An appetizer for the feast that is…” so I thought I’d share some poems that I constantly find inspiring, here’s the first:

since feeling is first

who pays any attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you;


wholly to be a fool

while Spring is in the world


my blood approves,

and kisses are a better fate

than wisdom

lady i swear by all flowers. don’t cry

-the best gesture of my brain is less than

your eyelids’ flutter which says


we are for each other:then

laugh,leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph


And death i think is no parenthesis


e.e cummings


enjoy the day, take a friend to a concert. or take a moment to watch the sunset.



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