Tag Archives: jazz

Interlochen Day 5 (Chuck)

Four days.  That is the thought running through my head this evening. I cannot even to begin to adequately describe what I saw and heard this evening.

Tonight the various classes and small groups had a chance to show what they accomplished this week.  We had four days to prepare and present music that we first saw Monday.  Individuals from all across the country jelled into a group, from the Intermediate Clarinets – where several members first picked up their instruments a year or so ago – to the Advanced Jazz Band, that could rival any big band in the nation.

Every group was practically flawless, and every band member proud of what they accomplished.  The evening held a few surprises. The Conch Shell Class did a great job on “Amazing Grace” and who would have thought you could get melodic sounds out of shells like those heard on “Ain’t She Sweet”?

One of the highlights of the Advanced Big Band performance was watching Greg Pope, the drummer from our band in Canton reading the lead sheets. Greg played with some of the Motown greats when he was a youngster, but never learned to read music. Tonight, he was practically sight-reading.  Watching him this week was like watching a kid in a candy store. The week at Interlochen was a dream come true for him.

Tomorrow morning, the Intermediate and Advanced Bands will perform.  It will almost be like a graduation.   We’ll be playing music that we stumbled over Sunday night; that after Tuesday evening’s rehearsal we all walked away shaking our heads thinking we had only two more days to get it right.

Four Days!!!! Four days to accomplish something that most bands spend weeks or even months to perfect. We were strutting our stuff tonight, and we were all proud.

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Inspiration, Music and Aging, Personal Journey

From One Orchestra To Another …

It’s finally starting to seem like spring in Michigan, despite another snowstorm this week.  (No snow at 6am, 3 inches on the ground by 10am, but only a few patches here and there by dinnertime …)

This time of renewal has also seen a lot of musical activity. Continue reading

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Filed under Musicians of Note, Personal Journey

This and That: Music, Work, Life

First, the news.

Detroit Public Television LogoI have a new job and a new title.   Senior Vice President, Content and Community Engagement, at Detroit Public Television.   I’m working on plans to address DPTV’s five key issue areas:   Energy and Environment, Leadership, Arts & Culture, Health, and Kids/Education.   Continue reading

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Filed under Events and Calendar, Musicians of Note, Personal Journey

Steve Richko’s Final Performance

The statistics show many of you coming to the blog arrive as the result of a search for Steve Richko, the very talented jazz pianist who passed away unexpectedly last fall.  Thanks to Tim Hoy and Cliff Monear at the Steinway Piano Gallery of Detroit, Steve’s final performance has been captured on film.  This concert, featuring Steve, Cliff, and Tad Weed, took place just a few days before Steve’s death.   Continue reading

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Musicians of Note

Steve Richko: A Talent Gone Too Soon

Steve RichkoOne of the most truly gifted, unique piano players in Michigan is gone.

I first heard Steve Richko in the late spring, when he joined Tad Weed and Cliff Monear in a three-piano jazz extravaganza at the Steinway Gallery in Commerce Township.  Steve had an incredible ear and truly spoke to your soul from the keyboard. Continue reading

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Work and Music

There’s nothing that helps you change gears after a work day faster than playing some music.

If the day has been a tough one, music can console you.  If it’s been a good day, music can help you celebrate.  Sitting down at the keyboard for an hour or blowing a horn helps those built-up emotions and stresses get vented, and lets me face the rest of my life with more good cheer and calmness. Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiration

Learning from the Pros

Jazz Pianist Hank Jones will play and talk in the Jazz Tent 

Jazz Pianist Hank Jones will play and talk in the Jazz Tent

If you’ve ever had the chance to sit in on a master class, you can learn quite a lot to improve your own playing.   (Once you get past the point of being glad YOU aren’t the person whose playing is being critiqued in public!!) Continue reading

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Filed under Musicians of Note