Beauty shows up

I have been feeling particularly blessed lately. It seems that everywhere I turn, beauty is showing up (perhaps more accurately, beauty is always there, and I’m just paying more attention), both in people and in new musical situations.

Here is just one example of where I found beauty in people and in music:

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to sub for the second time with the wonderful Westchester Jazz Orchestra, led by artistic director Mike Holober. Sadly, this concert, which was held at the Irvington Town Hall Theater, was the WJO’s last scheduled concert, as their executive director, Emily Tabin, was stepping down from her post.

When I first performed with the WJO back in February, I was impressed not only by the cohesiveness of the band and the adventurous arrangements and commissions, but by the sense of camaraderie- both within the ensemble and between the ensemble and the audience. This November concert was no different– in fact, it felt as if we were playing in a large living room, having an intimate musical exchange where everyone was listening. Before the second half began, Ms. Tabin was honored with a mayoral proclamation stating that November 16, 2013 was to be named “Emily Tabin Day.” She received a standing ovation, both from the audience as well as from the WJO. I really can’t describe in words the sense of love and gratefulness that was in the room. It was that intense.

All of the WJO members are stellar soloists. I was super happy to have a chance to play and hang with the great trumpet and flugelhorn player, Marvin Stamm (here’s a pic):

Post Westchester Jazz Orchestra concert with Marvin Stamm.

Post Westchester Jazz Orchestra concert with Marvin Stamm.

Marvin and I talked a lot about the upcoming JEN (Jazz Education Network) Conference taking place in Dallas in January. Both of our small groups will be performing at the conference– Marvin’s quartet will perform on Thurs, Jan 9 at 11 pm; my trio will perform on Fri, Jan 10 at 2 pm. Check out the entire JEN schedule here.

I am looking forward to new encounters with beauty and goodness, both on this Thanksgiving weekend that I’m spending with my family, in my daily life in New York, and in all of the upcoming musical experiences taking place in the next several months (by the way, check my calendar— especially for dates in Dallas and in North and South Carolina!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Me and Bethany

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