Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR Michigan Tour Diary — Day 14 April 24 Midland, Linden
Gave two Melodic Mastery jazz improvisation workshops today: a morning clinic at Herbert Henry Dow HS in Midland, and an afternoon session one hour south at Linden HS in Linden.
I love presenting these workshops at high schools and colleges around the country. It's such a pleasure to hear and meet so many talented young musicians, encourage them in their development as jazz soloists and ensemble players, and pass along some of what I've learned about music and life from Art Farmer.
Friday night is our final Michigan performance at the legendary Cliff Bell's in downtown Detroit. It's my first time at the celebrated venue, and I'm really looking forward to the show.
It's been one hell of a tour: In 2 weeks we did 13 gigs (4 performances, 9 workshops), covering over 3,000 miles throughout the state of Michigan.
With Sassy behind the wheel, we made it safely through snow, ice and rain, along many crocodile-cracked and pothole-laden roads, past big stands of scrubby winter oak, hickory, maple and pine trees, across icy bridges over rivers and muddy fields of grass and cattail, beside frozen grey lakes that stretched to the horizon.
We drove through dozens of picturesque towns and weary cities with names like Arcadia, Cadillac, Pontiac, Garfield, Gaylord, Inkster and Ypsilanti, each name proudly emblazoned on a water tower beside the lonesome road.
We saw wild turkeys, black crows, seagulls, nervous deer, fat squirrels, badgers, beavers, possums, all manner of roadkill, and curiously, dozens of giant wooden bears, carved by chainsaw.
We saw clapboard houses with green shutters and wrap around porches, antiques dealers, country stores, machinist shops, Christmas tree farms, trailer parks, modular homes, farmhouses and churches, ramshackle barns, silos, low stone walls, and lone brick chimneys where houses used to be.