Here we are living in a time none of us have ever lived before. This is a first.
Carefully planning a simple task: Should I go to the grocery store? If I do, should I sanitize my groceries, cans, bottles? Should I sanitize my mail? Should I sanitize my sanitizer?
It has become the new normal. It is the daily routine.
Teachers are learning a new way to teach with Zoom, Google Hang and Skype. This is the new normal.
Schools are empty. The new classroom for my wife, me and daughter is a screen with faces of classmates and students.
Musicians are reaching out online to keep the lights on. Some have had to learn about Venmo and PayPal.
This is the new normal.
Friends, we are in this together. We must keep a positive attitude. We must be nice. Most importantly, we need to be safe and smart. Abide. Do the distancing. We will get through to the other side of this. We can always reschedule events, parties, jazz festivals, church gatherings, etc. But we cannot reschedule a life. Once it is canceled, gig over.
This is a great time to do inventory of your music collection. This is a time to do an inventory of yourself. Ourselves. Let’s keep each other healthy and out of harms way. In the big picture, we only have each other.
We need to keep believing and live with hope.
Fred Domulot Jazz Pensacola “Give Peace and Hope a Chance”
This past week (Jan. 7-10), I was able to attend the Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans! And what a conference!
From the moment you walk in, you are deciding what clinic or concert do I go to? Tom Latenser and I took the Northwest Florida State College Jazz Ensemble to this event. The jazz ensemble played there the last time it was in New Orleans. This time we went to watch.
Here is a list of players we checked out: Dave Stryker, The Brubeck Brothers, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones, Chucho Valdes, Ricky Sebastian, Howard Levy, Victor Wooten, Matt Wilson, Rosana Eckert, Bria Skonberg, Terrell Stafford, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Johnny Vidacovich, Rick Margitza, Tom “Bones” Malone, Dave Liebman, Adam Nussbaum and Gene Perla.
Exhausted yet? Try being there!
Also, we got to see past Pensacola JazzFest artists Mike Pellera and Bob Sheppard. On a very cool note, we got to hear the great Navy Commodores with Pensacola native Steve Williams playing his next-to-last performance before his retirement.
This is a conference not to be missed if you can ever get to one. You will remember it always!
I’m a jazz fan! I love jazz! It’s the best music in the world! I can be part of this! I am part of it!
However … I’m not going to come to this event … because …
That’s not jazz! That’s just loud noise! If I do come … I’m leaving after the giveaways!
Friends, we put the events on for you. The musicians put the programs together for you. Maybe you are not fans of all of the selections. Maybe you just don’t know. Look, I get it, it’s not what they play in town at the other weekly events. We are not trying to be the usual weekly event. We are a monthly experience, trying to give you a different perspective of what jazz is about. Try it with an open mind and ear … find the music in it. It’s there … really.
Pensacola is a happening jazz town … .we can be part of it … really.
Jazz Pensacola and the Foo Foo Festival! Whew! What a weekend!
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 & 3, Jazz Pensacola sponsored the Jazz Stage with International Paper at the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. Holly Shelton with Bob Andrews and John Link….Nobius…..Isabelle Schrack Band….and Rhythm Express. What a great alternative! And a huge shout out to John Link for providing sound.
But, wait! Monday night! At Vinyl on Nov. 4, we held our Foo Foo Festival event featuring Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and opening act Village Brass. We had a great turnout! The bands were on fire! People could not stand still! Village Brass got it started, and then BBVD took it home!
Thanks to Foo Foo Festival! Thank you Alice Crann Good….Ali Hayes Egan….Dustin Bonifay…Paul Bruno…Carolyn Tokson…Dave Schmidt…John Eisinger…Tom Bell…and comrade John Link. It worked because of this team. I thank you!
Ever had a moment when everything you did was wrong? The feeling you had as a 10-year-old when getting the word you were not 100 percent in the school spelling bee…the first time you fell off the bike, post training wheels…the time you opened your lunchbox and realized you got your brother’s or sister’s awful food…the moment you realized the teachers just forgot (not intentionally) your ribbon of achievement.
They say that you can’t please everybody. Correct.
The same goes for jazz.
Dixieland is not everyone’s cup of tea. Smooth jazz is not for everyone..bebop…not for everyone…Latin jazz…not for everyone….fusion…forget that one. Fusion often causes the comment: ”That’s not our kind of music, too loud, you can’t dance to it!”
Truth is, music is music. I tell students to hear and find the music in every style. Imagine being a 10-year-old going to a buffet for the first time. You see all of this food. You taste it. Some stuff you like, love, adore…can’t get enough of it. Other stuff? Well, you tasted it, and in the future you skip over it. But at least you know what it tastes like.
Music can be like that. Just eat off of the menu. Save room for desert!
So friends, we hope you have enjoyed the smorgasbord of “jazz” that Jazz Pensacola has offered!
Try not to fight it. Sometimes, the fight just ain’t there.