George Essihos

April 1, 2017

georgeEssihosAtWoodwynn

I was very sad to hear today of the death of George Essihos on Wednesday.

I didn’t know about him, or his music, until just a few years ago. Since then, his performances and recordings have brought me a lot of joy and have helped me understand jazz, and perhaps a few other things, in a new way.

I feel honoured to have met him, and grateful that I got to hear him play on several occasions, including what I believe was his last public performance, in Mill Bay, early in 2015.

I guess you could say that once I discovered him, I made a point of getting to know him as best I could, and I’d like to think that in some way my family and I brought a bit of joy to his life as well, through the friendship we cultivated.

George visited us at the Peace Garden at Woodwynn Farms a few weeks before the official opening. Photos on this page show him with a glass-on-glass mosaic I had made, inspired by his performance of “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”

Like many others, I am wishing that there could be a chance to hear him play again.

 


Social media as the bandstand?

December 14, 2011

Stefon Harris, in this great TED video, explains how the bandstand is a place where you are alive in the moment. He says it’s best when it’s about responding to others — perceiving, and reacting to, what someone else is doing as an opportunity for moving forward. I think what he’s saying applies to much more than jazz (which is intriguing me more and more lately). Awareness and acceptance! The creative flow that happens when ideas are not imposed.

Social media has that potential. A river of thoughts flowing by, waiting for our reaction. Unedited. The opposite of a centralized, censored media source. What you say might change something. How you listen is important too because you are part of something big — not an outsider.

Some of the comments to the TED video include:

“What a great lesson on collaboratively learning!”

AND

“being open to new possibilities and allowing things to go where they may as new people and new ideas are brought into the equation”

AND

“Wynton Marsalis explains jazz as a democracy, each member has a say in what is being created, it is the fairest form of music. Bringing a jazz group in is just another way to teach democracy to the listeners, and what a wonderful way to do it! We must listen to each other in order to create a fluid that will inspire others, and ourselves! Tolerance, compromises, praise and criticism lead to a rounded, comfortable group where there is no fear of being bullied”

AND


“Listening, faith, creativity, cooperation, acceptance – gives the freedom, strength and courage to progress together into the unknown. Really beautiful!”

I agree!