Thursday, June 24, 2010

Saturday Market #12: In Praise of Music Teachers

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A huge highlight of my Market day last week was watching the group billed as "The Keenan Dorn Experience." They ended up asking me to write "Old Soul" as the band name on the whiteboard, and that was an apt description as well. Keenan, up there in the red shirt, is fourteen years old and plays like he's more than twice that. He blazed through electric guitar classics from Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and original tunes too. And it was his first public performance. Judging from the way the crowd went wild after every song, I feel confident saying it was a big highlight for everybody who saw him.

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The gig was arranged by his guitar teacher, Geoffrey Mays, pictured here from an earlier gig. Geoffrey also lined up a stellar rhythm section with Mark Schneider on bass and Jason Palmer on drums. Keenan is one lucky guitar obsessed teen. That was a great way to start performing.

We are all lucky in Eugene. This town is filled with dedicated music teachers, both in public schools (though not enough positions are funded, in my opinion), and those who teach private and group lessons, and/or generally mentor young performers. Over the years we've been able to host student gigs for many of these music teachers and they are always, always a great treat.

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Last month we had students of Paul Safar and Olem Alves.

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On July 24 and August 14 at 2 PM we'll see the return of bands from Music's Edge Rock Camp, which is organized by Tim McLaughlin and includes great musicians like John Shipe and Zac Johnson among the instructor/mentors. Here are a couple of photos from last year's performance.

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They do a phenomenal job of getting kids to form a band, in some cases learn from scratch how to play instruments, learn several songs and perform them, all in one week. That boggles my mind, and makes me excited to see what they come up with this year.

To all the musicians out there who are passing your skills and love for music down to younger generations, thank you sincerely. You've given me many of my best Market Moments!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saturday Market #11: How Did It Get To Be Mid-June Already?

Some weeks my blog post springs into my head fully formed by the end of Saturday. This week, I've been combing my collection of Saturday pix for inspiration. The one that's really jumping out at me it this one from Teddy Wheeler's booth:

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That would be because I've spent good parts of the week updating and preparing... *drum roll please* ...Holiday Market applications to be sent to Market members early next month. I refuse to do the math on how many knitting days there are until the start of Holiday Market, but this week it does seem imminent.

Weren't we just popping our cute little heads up out of our respective shops, studios, living rooms and garages just a few minutes ago to get the Market up and running? It goes by so fast.

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Since this post is a bit random, I'll now give an appreciative shout out to the kids from Camas Ridge and their teacher David Adee. Their marimba music most definitely sent the blanket of gray rolling aside to reveal a perfectly clear blue sky that lasted the whole day long. Thanks kids! See why arts education in schools is so crucial? It benefits us all in ways we can't even anticipate!

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I seriously doubt the marimbas had anything to do with the appearance of Darth Vader plus a pair of Storm Troopers. I have no idea what prompted their walk through. I've learned not to question these things. As long as they keep their light sabers turned off, and universe menacing ways to themselves, they should scoop all the photo opps they can. It just adds a bit more fun to a sunny afternoon.

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And why yes, I did indeed mess with the appearance of the blog! There were these fancy new settings available and I just couldn't resist, I think it's a bit more "Us." Expect some tinkering now that it's simpler to do. But I'll try not to be too random about it.

That's enough randomness for this week, we'll see what happens this Saturday. See you there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saturday Market #10: It's A... Market!

Here's what popped into my head as I got to the Market on Saturday Morning from the office. It's a little bit like having a baby every week.

On Friday I was all ready, excited that the forecast was great and the stage lineup promised hours of fun music. I'd worked all week to be ready for the big day (this would be that delicious pre-natal nesting phase). Saturday morning rolled around and to be honest, I was feeling quite reluctant to rush out and Carpe the Diem. Sorta sleepy, kinda grumpy, downright cranky even. I was thinking "can't I just put this off a few hours?" (and this is quite like the onset of labor. Really... it's OK...  I'd be happy to put it off a while... can't I?).

But, I rounded that last corner and caught sight of how adorable it all is in its morning glory. Happy friends and neighbors started saying Good Morning, setting up their little store fronts, some for the first time ever. Richard Crandell was waiting at the stage with his mbira. Dave was ready to fill my cup with hot tea. It was our brand new, fresh, baby Market day ready to grow up into something beautiful and suddenly I was all ready to help it grow and be happy.

And it was a beautiful happy day, with warm sunny skies and great music from the likes of Opal Creek,
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the Traceys,
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Olem Alves & Inner Limits,
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and lots more.

As it turns out, I must have been tuned in to the Market network, as there was indeed a brand new Market baby born overnight on Friday. Shari's baby bump is now a beautiful baby girl, Lili, and Shari and Willy are blissful parents. Welcome to the family, Lili!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Saturday Market #9: Ben Fish & the Blues Busters

I'm surprised every Saturday by our good old Saturday Market. This past Saturday's best surprise was Ben Fish & the Blues Busters. Everything about their set was surprising. I do expect that high school kids can play well, and will make their parents and grandparents and friends in the audience happy. I don't automatically expect them to be completely organized, professional in their demeanor on and off stage, and to turn down when I ask them to. I especially don't expect that all day long everyone I see will tell me how much they loved them and please hire them back, and when I look at the Facebook page, I get the same story. What a delightful surprise! I'm also pleasantly surprised (though I should know better by now) that they already have a clip posted on YouTube. That allows me to make this a quick yet entertaining blog post.

Thanks Ben Fish and your band and all of your parents/roadies/fans, for such a nice surprise! Have a look here: