What a Great Week!

What a Great Week!

This week I was the University of Northern Colorado Symphony Orchestra, David Thomas Bailey, Brandi Shearer, and Grace Potter. I was elected an alternate delegate to our county Democratic Convention. I stepped out of my safe little sandbox to join a group of architects who maintain a far broader view of the world than I have. I wrote a code generation template preprocessor – twice. I was able to take advice from my son. I’m winning overall against the cold I’m fighting. I started a diet. I managed to unwind myself when I got overly stressed out.

Check out your local music scene. I don’t spend enough time with our two college music departments at Colorado State University and UNC. The UNC concert featured a Frank Zappa orchestral piece called G-Spot Tornado. That was followed by Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto #1 played by Joseph Miller – a doctoral candidate at UNC. This piece was written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. It is both technically demanding and calls for the deepest spirit as I think this is what Shostakovich wanted showcase in his friend Rostropovich. My favorite movement is definitely the cadenza which is a very long solo that draws scattered cadenza-esque themes together as it approaches the end and the orchestra fills in below the cellist. Both it and the Zappa piece show feel amazingly modern while remaining largely tonal. And what better way to follow these pieces after intermission than a brilliant performance of Beethoven’s 5th?

David Thomas Bailey played during the happy hour of the inaugural Denver IASA event. He was fabulous. Loud enough to be appreciated, but in the background as we met each other. Definitely catch him in Denver if you’re a jazz fan.

The Grace Potter concert was scheduled for Friday, but weather along the way held her up. They rescheduled at the Bluebird on Saturday and it was fun to visit the theatre with a friend who had been watching movies there around the time I was born. I didn’t even know who the opening act was, and Brandi Shearer just blew me away. Check her out.

Then Grace Potter came on. One of the pals still gets carded although he’s in his thirties and is active in the music scene. He said I was younger than the average age which is way not true. But it was a pretty mixed crowd. I was down near the front dancing to those wild rock and roll tunes. So you can imagine me fearing for my nose as the guy in front threw his head around, with a nice bespectacled cool engineer dude on one side and one of the young pals we’d brought on the other. But even with the modern horrid mixing habit of drowning the vocals there is just little like the passion and talent of Grace Potter backed by three amazing musicians. The held to no boundaries doing both a solo acappella gospel tune and a drum only number with all four of them on the kit.

I may talk another time about how good it is for me to step into places that make me and my .NET skills feel rather a small part of the picture. Or about how stressful Friday was as I realized the preprocessor I had written was fundamentally flawed. Or colds, or diets, or unwinding.

It’s so easy to postpone what’s going on around you, particularly the high school and college performances in your area. And to be overwhelmed by the number of artists, most of which you’ve never heard of, that play the bars and restaurants within a 100 miles of you. But don’t miss out on all that great music and whatever moves you – rocking in a sea of people you don’t know or jiving to good jazz in a comfy chair.

Speaking of that – Hot Club Nouveau is slowing down. They’ll be at Dazzle in Denver on Feb. 27, March 16, and April 23. They’ll bet at the Savoy in Fort Collins this Friday and next Saturday. They’re at the 303 in Casper on May 3, but that’s all they’ve got posted and they’ll be splitting up as Colorado loses James and London gains him. So, if you live in the area and haven’t seen their unique style of gypsy jazz don’t postpone it any longer.


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