Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let the music play (Part 1)

Wow! What a beginning to "Music Week." Just enjoyed a two day jazz festival at Saratoga Springs, NY. It is not for the faint-hearted: non-stop jazz on two stages, pretty much from noon until 10:30 both nights. The music was astonishing, deeply swinging, and life-giving.

My good friend Jeff Kellam was able to join me. It was his birthday weekend and we celebrated in style. He took all the pictures in the slideshow below, except one:

I found myself wondering: if I love events like this so much, how come it has been twenty years since I attended the last one? Hmm...

It was great to see - and hear - Donny McCaslin, a good friend and fellow Presbyterian. He is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist who has played in our church. One of the true up-and-coming musicians, he is also a wonderfully nice man. We enjoyed reconnecting after some years, and chatted about finding some opportunities to make music together.

And a side note to Susan Kelly, John and Connie Weiss: he attended last week's Montreat Worship and Music conference, mostly as spouse to the Rev. Sarah McCaslin and as dad to their two kids. "Loved the choral music!" he exclaimed. I asked if the staff asked him to sit in, and he said, "Um, no..." We have to work on that.

Another big highlight was the dedication of a star honoring Dave Brubeck in the "Walk of Fame" at the Saratoga performing arts center. Introduced by rousing music from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a large crowd celebrated Dave's great musical legacy, which included thirteen performances at this festival over the years.

His daughter Catherine was on hand, and it was good to chat with her for a bit. She heads a foundation that works with kids in Haiti, so we exchanged business cards and promised to keep in touch.

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