Back, l-r John Gilbreath, Halynn Blanchard, Karen Caropepe, Front, l-r Maddy Horn, Rayna Mathis, Lucienne Grace. Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn
The first days of the new year can offer a rare sense of possibility. On the positive side, it’s a chance to consider opportunities outside of our everyday lives. To make new plans and promises. To begin again. To be better. To open it up, like when Thelonious Monk said, “The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.”
That’s great. But it’s never a true tabula rasa, especially for those of us who have stacked up some years behind us. So we have the additional, sometimes uncomfortable, opportunity to consider the progress of our past high-minded resolutions. I guess that’s why they tell us to write these things down and keep them in front of us. It can’t be a once-a-year thing.
I think that jazz offers a good context for the whole process. Jazz is supposed to be different each time out. It’s the sum of our skills and education expressed through the spirit of our humanity. And we’re all in the band; playing solo, but within the form, and in harmony with the greater ensemble. And always trying to be better. “Straight ahead and strive for tone,” as someone else said.
The brilliant live music and sense of community in our recent festival manifested a tangible feeling of finally coming out of the COVID loop. It felt good, and we hope it lasts. As we build back from the pandemic, we realize that we’ll never again take live music for granted. We’ve come a long way and have a long way to go.
Our commitment to serving our mission and the artists, educators, and audiences of this community, is unwavering. There is nothing but opportunity ahead, and we are the fortunate ones who get to pursue it together.
We appreciate your support over the years, especially through these recent trying times; and we share your hopes for a safer and more just future, for all people and for the world we share.
Amen. Happy New Year!
–John Gilbreath, Executive Director