Viewing: Mindfulness - View All Posts

THAT COLD BLUE LIGHT 

The good news is more young people are coming to our concerts.
The bad news is most of them rarely look up from their phones and hand-held devices.

It saddens me to look out at them from the bandstand, to see them there in the audience, sitting in the darkness,
looking not to the stage but downward, their expressionless faces illuminated by cold blue light.

I want so badly for them to experience—truly and without distraction—the gift of a soulfully crafted melody.

I want to share with them the thing I love most: the pure emotional power of instrumental music,
without the need for lyrics, explication or visual spectacle.

Am I naive? In today's world, is it even possible?

ZERO HOUR 

Boise High School
October 17, 2014

Many high schools throughout the USA now expect students
who want to participate in jazz band to arrive before dawn—'zero hour'—
prior to the beginning of the actual school day. Is this reasonable?

Michigan Tour Diary — Day 3 

Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Michigan Tour Diary — Day 3
April 12 Traverse City MI

On a rainy Saturday night in the warehouse district of Traverse City, Michigan,
a killer jazz band plays classic film noir themes for a roomful of attentive, enthusiastic listeners.

The atmosphere is alive. Everyone feels it.
The musicians, audience, sound man, bartender, everyone.

The bandleader, a big, bespectacled, beret-wearing horn player,
looks around the room and smiles.

'This is it,' he thinks.

'It doesn't get any better than this.'

Photo by Myrna Jacobs

Michigan Tour Diary — Day 1 

Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Michigan Tour Diary — Day 1
April 10 Chandler AZ

Journey Proud.

That's what they call the feeling you get the night before a big trip,
when you're so keyed up, excited and anxious that you can hardly sleep.

Even after your bags are packed and all the preparations have been made,
the monkey mind just can't help itself. It frets, worries, makes lists, obsesses over minutia.

I get journey proud before every tour. This time is no different.
Sassy handles most of the travel details, and quite expertly.
But that just leaves me more time to fidget.

For the most part, what I feel is excitement. I love to travel, I love to perform, and it's time.
Because spring has arrived in the Lonesome Desert, and that means heat.
Hot heat. That 'get out of town if you know what's good for you' kind of heat.

Ever since moving to Phoenix from San Francisco a few years ago,
I've arranged for my annual touring schedule to start up just as the perfect weather ends.

It goes like this:

First, the Pyhrroloxia sings.
Then the pitchers arrive.
Then the mercury rises.
Then the boogie woogie flugelboy hits the road.

So tomorrow morning we fly to Michigan...where it's gonna be cool.

Look Again 

I've learned a lot from my years of watching Saturday morning cartoons.

For example, you think you know someone.

You think you know what their strengths and weaknesses are.
You think you know their character.
You think you know what they're capable of.

You get to know someone a little...a first impression.
You form an opinion about them and you carry it around with you for years.

You think you know all about that person—but you're dead wrong.

You don't know them at all.

You only saw what you wanted to see.
You only saw what you were ready to see.
And you only know what they wanted to show you.

First impressions are incomplete and quickly out of date.

To really know someone, you must update your perceptions of them continually.

Because people change. They evolve.
They experience pain and gain and loss and transformation.

As they're tested by the vicissitudes of life, they develop new powers and capabilities.

If you really want to see someone as they ARE, keep an open mind,
and take another look.

Remembering Grant Wolf 

Dmitri Matheny, age 17
1983 NAU Music Camp

Stumbling across this ridiculous photo today (31 years later), I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for GRANT WOLF, who somehow was able to see past the silly clothes and cocky attitude, and steer this kid onto the right path to a beautiful life in music. Wolf was an inspiring teacher and was one of the first adults to take my jazz aspirations seriously. His encouragement was profoundly important to me at a critical time in my development.
I wish he were here so I could thank him.

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