Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back from CCMC, on to "Music She Wrote"

What a remarkable day I have had in my musical life. After staying up until 1 or 2 am this morning, I awoke suddenly at 7:30 this morning. I immediately performed libations, packed up the car, and was putting the case on the bass when Jamie Stillwell appeared looking somewhat groggy. We had promised each other to play one of her tunes together and here was the opportunity, so I took the cover back off of the bass, she brought out her guitar, and she taught me one of her tunes. I like her music; it is slightly quirky, yet accessible, and deceptively simple, but certainly not easy to play. I got to play with Jamie a little at camp, and really enjoyed it. There were many other musicians with whom I enjoyed making music, especially Julian Smedley, Steve Smith, Tony Marcus, Mike Wollenberg, Christine Olsen, to name just a few. I had a fantastic experience there teaching and playing. I had fourteen bass students between two classes, and they were all phenomenal students who really worked hard and improved noticeably throughout the week.
Check out the original recording with Johnny Mercer singing "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer...
When I arrived home from camp early this afternoon, I prepared for an afternoon rehearsal at my home studio for "Music She Wrote",  a benefit concert for Oakland Public Conservatory, involving some wonderful and dedicated musicians: Angela Wellman, vocals and trombone, Sandy Poindexter, Yehudit, and India Cooke on violins, and Branice McKenzie on vocals. Not present today were Jaz Sawyer, drummer currently in NYC and Victoria Theodore, keyboardist currently on tour with Stevie Wonder. We who were present at today's rehearsal each contributed a tune or two to the program. The music that we created today at rehearsal is exciting and is a product of the warm rapport shared by all of us., The music has a strong emphasis on improvisation in the structure, and there is a wide variety of styles. The first piece we played was a contribution from India Cooke, who teaches music at Mills College. It is a string quartet with three violins and bass, and just a wonderful piece of music that came together like magic when we played it together today. The concert is to be held at the new Piedmont Piano store on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland on Friday, July 30, at 8pm. Get your tickets now, there are only 100 seats for this very special concert presentation.

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