Louisville / Ann Arbor

July 30, 2012 at 3:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just when we think we’ve seen it all, people continually surprise us by their kindness and their love of the music.

We were connected with Shelley and Doug Finke through Bob Jacobsen, our Richmond contact. Doug is a great trombonist who has his own dixieland band – he told us that he took 30 years off from the trombone but recently got back into it and is playing quite a bit in the Louisville area and elsewhere. His wife is a jazz/popular song history buff and a Gershwin scholar of sorts. They had a beautiful brick house that seemed appropriately Kentucky-esque.

They were connected everywhere in the Louisville jazz  community and very conscientiously created a guest list of big “players” in the jazz scene and beyond. We had a couple of critics, a radio DJ, the head of the Louisville Jazz Society, and someone thinking about opening a club in the area.  The room was perfect for a concert and the piano was kept beautifully:

It’s fairly moving for me to see older musicians humble enough to step back and give younger guys like us a chance to play at their homes, like Doug did. He could’ve easily taken a different stance – “if I’m hosting a concert, it should be for me!” But he (and several other musicians we’ve encountered on this tour) was totally selfless and wanted to check out what us young people are doing; he was a huge advocate for us and we feel very appreciative.

Lucas was especially happy that Doug took him out to hit some balls afterwards – Lucas has been itching for some golf all tour long and finally got to play for a few minutes.

On the drive back, clouds streaked across the sky in an otherwordly dance. A black silhouette of trees cut into the reddened sky. All in all, Louisville treated us great.

Our favorite guestbook quote:

Wonderful music! Jeremy was so lyrical, Nancy’s voice was like warm rain on my face, and Lucas’ bass clarinet was bread with too much butter! Just the way bread is supposed to be.






Ann Arbor

In Ann Arbor, we performed at the Faber Institute. Randall and Nancy Faber have created the #1 piano pedagogy method in the US (if not the world?). Based in Ann Arbor, they purchased a former library building and turned it into a piano mecca – a place where they can test out their new methods and pieces, a place where students can go to learn, a place they sell their music, and a recital hall that hosts quite a few concerts.

















The piano was a beautiful 7-foot Steinway – with all love and respect to the other venues – easily the best thing I’ve played all tour. It sparkled, and made my job incredibly easy and fun. We had a great and varied audience – many teachers and workers from the Faber Institute came; a fan/friend of mine, Sameera came, and brought a friend; some future friends from Western Michigan University showed up. The crowd went wild for the music – in fact, they clapped so long after each song that I had to remind them that we had a lot of music we want to play! For an encore, we did “Honeysuckle Rose” very fast (probably too fast for Nancy to get all of the words in, but she survived).








Afterwards, the reception featured homemade cookies (my favorite thing in the world), and a photo opportunity with cutest-kid-in-the-world candidate Calvin:

We had a great time and hope to be back at the Faber Institute!

Our favorite guestbook quote:

We will be buying everything you make from now on!

P.S. Had no cash; saw concert; went to ATM; returned; bought CD. Beautiful stuff!

Leaving Ann Arbor, we rolled down the windows, and listened to the song that’s becoming our band’s anthem:


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