new year provides an opportunity for reflection
and resolve. Actually, that's me, much of the
time: thinking, pondering,
repositioning, considering, reconsidering ...
With each year, though, perhaps just a little more
sence of urgency, or desire, or expectation.
Still can't shake the conviction that I'm called
to continue to travel this on path, and
that's a good thing. May we all travel into 2011
with a sense of positive purpose. Okay, here goes
SUNDAY 1/23/11: 6pm
Joe performs in concert at
Church of the Nazarene, Capitol Heights,
Joy" - Improvisations on hymns and Christian song,
jazz and popular standards, classical themes, and
fun demonstrations, including Joe's "A.D.D.
Improvisation". Presented in conjunction with
Community of Hope Church of the Nazarene,
performs with the Shore
Jazz Trio at the Globe,
Ewart joins Mike McShane and Joe for an evening of
straight ahead jazz.
Joe performs at the Melwood Church
of the Nazarene, Upper Marlboro,
Joe is the featured performer for: "I'll
Be Seeing You - An evening of classic love
Joe performs for the Tri State Jazz
Society - in concert at the Porch Club,
first performance for TJJS: "Stride Piano: A
Continuing Legacy of Spontaneous Joy"
performs in concert at the Darlington Arts
Center, Garnet Valley, PA
Joe performs for the
monthly Coffeehouse series: "Spontaneous Joy". A
wholly improvised concert, from classical themes
to jazz standards, to entertaining demonstrations
of musical improvisation (including Joe's A.D.D.
Improv), and original music from "Stories Without
Joe is one
of the few people who I think really becomes "one"
with the piano. And definitely the only one I know
who does this.
-- speculation, of course, but I'm thinking, as I
listen to this, that the only guy with a bigger
grin on his face than me is Vince
You are so
good! I love all your work
tell you love what you are doing,,,You do it so
well! This is great and makes me smile,,,(I smile
when I'm happy and your fine work at the piano
makes me happy,) I smile a lot cause I listen to
you a lot!!
expression into jazz. I never heard such melodic
jazz in my life, your singing tone is
unbelievable. You bring refinement to jazz. You
are the Horowitz on jazz (to which I say: good
love how effortlessly you play. You can full on
play while watching the ball game at the same time
can't you? Come on... be honest!
for the Thoughtful Pianist|
lesson 1C: The Unique Challange for the
The invention of the
piano, now over 300 years ago, was motivated by a
desire to create a viable keyboard instrument (for
stage performance), with dynamic control from note
to note (the capability to gradually increase or
decrease volume over the course of a phrase). Most
every lyrical/melodic instrument has this
capability, which may be best represented by the
human voice. Whether in singing or in speaking,
deep expression can be conveyed through the rise
and fall of, not only pitch, but volume
(dynamics); the aggressive roar, the quieting
whisper, the frantic crescendo, the soothing
The innovation of the
piano was in the ability to control the volume of
each note by manipulating the velocity at which a
felt lined "hammer" is thrown toward a string (or
strings). The depression of a single piano key,
rather than simply triggering the pluck of a
string (harpsichord), of the release of air into a
pipe (organ), created the opportunity not only to
produce a musical note, but to control it's volume
(and, to some extent, the quality) of sound...
purpose of this lesson is to put playing the piano
in perspective by engaging not only the benefits
of the "new technology", but also the
(unintended?) consequence of it's application:
that, by design (and definition), the piano is now
a percussion instrument. Of course, a label only
really matters, in our endeavors, with regard to
it's meaning. Why care that the piano is a
percussion instrument? Because this defines
perhaps the greatest challenge in playing this
instrument, and is (at least, a big part of) the
reason why some find it nearly impossible to make
the piano actually sound good...
this is how Santa feels after Christmas. Perhaps
someone should help him get up. As we were
reminded in church today, this is the 9th day of
Christmas, but now, of course, our culture has
moved on. January 2, 2011 certainly suggests
that we look ahead, and not back. I'm
trying to learn a thrid way, though: to stand
(be) still. Okay, so I have a short attention
span, and it may be, at best, 2 minutes at a time.
That works - in fact, the briefest encounter with
stillness will unite us to the moment. And in the
moment, is eternity.
for the Thoughtful Pianist
Thanks for allowing me to continue to share
"my world" with you. Let's stay in
Blessings and awareness,