March, 11, 2017 - Today I spent the morning in a workshop at Northwestern University with the Fond du Lac High School Jazz Band from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin as they were traveling to perform at the Mundelein Invitational Jazz Festival. As I worked with the group, they reminded me of why I became an educator and why I enthusiastically continue to work with young people.
The group was attentive and respectful. They brought a level of seriousness and commitment that is rare in today's young musicians. And although many of them were not intending to study music at the next level, it appeared that all of them realized the importance of studying and performing the music of jazz greats like Count Basie and Duke Ellington and how it has impacted their lives in a positive way. Congratulations to Fond du Lac High School Jazz Band and Matt McVeigh (director). I look forward to seeing and hearing many great things from you!!!
March 11, 2017 - Tonight I performed at Catch 35 in Chicago, IL with the Eric Hochberg trio. Members of the ensemble included Eric Hochberg, Steve Million and Jeremy Kahn with an appearance by my good friend, Bernard Scavella. We performed mostly jazz standards and classics but most of all, the gig was a reminder to never take what you think you know for granted. Even if you think you know it well. To advance, you must be in perpetual learning mode which requires practice, performance and assessment!!!