Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jazz: the art of listening and living in the moment

Demetrius Nabors, Ryan Proch, Henry Rensch, and Ben Linstrom  (left to right)
I attended a jazz concert earlier in the week that was a capstone for my nephew's degree in percussion from the University of Michigan. As is the nature of jazz music, it was exciting to listen to the improvisation move among the players.  Members of the group included my nephew, Ben Linstrom on drums, Demetrius Nabors at the keyboard, Ryan Proch playing Saxophone and Henry Rensch on Bass.

Ben Linstrom at the drums
A TED video featuring vibraphonist Stefon Harris, "There are no mistakes on the bandstand", demonstrates how a seemingly discordant note can become part of a beautiful jazz melody.  The keys to making successful jazz music include knowing your instrument, listening carefully to others, focusing on the here and now, and taking turns; sharing the talents of others in the group.  Pretty good metaphor for life, isn't it?

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