Program notes: It’s never too late (what love have you left behind?)
By GWEN OREL
Program Notes: In the theater, program notes provide further background on the play at
Here’s the thing about music.
It’s for life.
Even when you’re mad at it, goodbye is never really truly goodbye. And that love often shows up early.
(Not only music, but theater, cooking, sports, love of insects… )
It’s always tempting to ask young artists whether they will be artists when they grow up.
The answer is always yes, whether they know it or not. See Tom Hall, executive director of Montclair Film. Who knew he was a teenage saxophonist? He was so serious he toured as a teenager, after beginning in elementary school. He speaks about the jazz scores in the films he curated with the Montclair Jazz Festival with warmth and a bit of longing. He hasn't really left it behind.
I’m always bowled over when I speak to a young woman like Violet Mujica, an accomplished trumpet player at 13. Will Violet play trumpet professionally? Who knows? But she’ll always be a musician. And on Saturday she'll play at the Montclair Jazz Festival.
Think back: what did you love when you were 5? 10? Is it in your life in some way?
I’d bet it is. And if it isn’t, bring it back. Not every girl who studies ballet becomes a ballerina. But dancers always find a way to dance. I knew a girl in college who’d been on track to be a ballerina until a stereo fell on her foot, separating a bone.
So, freshman year, she took African dance.
As a toddler, my nephew called the electric knife the “singing knife.” He loved music. He didn’t stick with his first instrument, but later he took up the bass guitar, and then the double bass. And now, as a college senior, he plays gigs.
I had to give up classical violin for many years, thanks to rheumatoid arthritis. When I started again, after a corrective surgery, I played Irish, not classical music. I love it, and run a website called New York Irish Arts to promote the music (among other Celtic things!). I’ll never be great, but I know and love what is. (And when I wasn't playing, I hosted a radio show in college. You never leave it behind, even when you think you do.)
At Catskills Irish Arts Week, which I attend every year, there are always adult beginners. And adults who’ve put their instruments down for a long time, and are just picking them up again. (And folks like mom, who was a classical pianist in college, and is now flirting with the penny whistle.)
Last Sunday, the Jazz Festival held a backyard concert at the DLV Lounge, featuring the Adult Community Big Band.
There’s a saying, that when you love something, let it go… I’d say, when you love something, it never lets you go.
Jazz House Kids offers adult classes in the fall.
What have you left behind? What are you waiting for?