For many of us, it's been a deeply troubling week. The day after the election, having barely slept, I was in a daze, unable to shake the feelings of dread and confusion and despair. How could this have happened? Where do we go from here?
Then, that night, I played keys in the house band at the Paragon jam session, like I do every Wednesday. It was pretty routine in terms of who showed up, how we sounded, etc. But I've never had an experience that reminded me so stunningly of the power of music. Such a simple thing, and yet so vital: to be with friends, doing something positive, creative, and cooperative. To participate in joyfulness in an inclusive space.
Here's the lesson I'm learning: now, more than ever, it's time to gather. It's time to communicate, to support, to co-create. It's time to welcome everyone. Perhaps most urgently this means supporting immigrants, people of color, LBGTQ folks, those with disabilities, low incomes, etc.—people to whom this election result says "you don't matter." But I also believe that it's crucial that this openness extend to everyone. Yes: including Trump supporters. Including the wealthy and the powerful. Including folks with views we might find ignorant or backwards. Millions of our brothers and sisters voted for this man; we ignore them at our own peril. We must engage with one other, even when it is frustrating and painful to do so. If we have the courage to show each other that pain, or anything else we're feeling, then we can begin to understand each other.
We start to heal when we find our common ground, and musical spaces are a powerful common ground.
I say all this not as a plug for my own gigs, but as a plug for live music in general. These gatherings are restorative, and that's just as true for me when I'm in the audience as it is when I'm performing. In that spirit, here are some of the times and places I'll be gathering with others to experience the power of music:
1) Every Wednesday - Jam with the Seattle Jazz Quartet @ Paragon
8:00 to 11:00 pm - 2125 Queen Anne Ave. N
My weekly home game. You never know who will show up: last time, we got to jam with Ray Price, who was at one time the drummer in the Oscar Peterson Trio!
2) Friday, November 18th - Queenside Castle @ Revolution Wine
8:00 to 10:00 pm - 518 E Pike St.
We'll be debuting an original, as well as an old classic that we've put some new lyrics to. And Revolution Wine is a great spot; we had a blast there last time.
3) Every Sunday - Jam with Max Holmberg and friends @ The Angry Beaver
9:00 pm to 12:00 am - 8412 Greenwood Ave. N
I was thrilled to get to play in the house band at The Angry Beaver last Sunday. Most weeks I go as a listener and a jammer. The level of the musicianship here is very high. People are super friendly. Magic happens on a regular basis. Oh yeah, and it's at a hockey bar, which is pretty hilarious.
4) Every Tuesday - Jam with Eric Verlinde and friends @ Owl N' Thistle
10:00 pm to 1:00 am - 808 Post Ave.
Another amazing jam, where some of Seattle's heaviest hitters can regularly be heard.
5) Sunday, December 4th - Solo Piano - Holiday Craft Sale @ the house I grew up in
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm - email me for the address if you're interested
My mom and our dear friend Emily have been running this annual craft sale for well over a decade now. It's a great time to get your holiday shopping done by supporting local artists and craftspersons, all while eating delicious food and letting me serenade you.
6) Friday, December 9th - Jonas Myers and Ev Stern @ Cork & Tap Wine and Beer
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm - 10116 NE 8th St., Bellevue (inside QFC)
Ev is a great bassist and one of my favorite people to play with. We'll try to express through our playing the absurdity of the fact that this gig is literally in a QFC.
Well friends, I would love to see you one of these evenings soon. I'd also love to hear from you: it's always a joy to get replies to my newsletter! Let me know how you're doing. Tell me about a song you've been loving. Tell me about a crazy experience you've had. Vent your frustrations. Challenge my position. Teach me something.
In This With You,