Monday, October 7, 2013

Mike Clark at Jimmy Mak's in Portland!

If you live in Portland, Oregon, or live anywhere near Portland, tomorrow night is a great opportunity to hear a legend: drummer Mike Clark is coming to PSU and Jimmy Mak's! From 2pm to 4pm, Clark will do a clinic in Lincoln Hall 47 for PSU jazz students, and then at 8pm, he will be performing at Jimmy Mak's in the Pearl district. The group will include your truly on piano, Nicole Glover on tenor saxophone, and Jon Lakey on upright bass. Although Clark is known as an Oakland School of Funk drumming extraordinaire, we are going to play mostly straight-ahead jazz and maybe throw in a few funkier tunes as we see fit.

This gig is important for a number of reasons. The first is that I am somewhat of a beginner at planning events like this. Bringing in a guest artist, regardless of whether they are well known or unknown, is a lot of work and organization, which of course takes me away from all of my principal responsibilities. This is kind of a test to see if this sort of thing can be a positive experience, because I'd like to do more in the future. Secondly, it's important because it gives two of my best students, Nicole Glover and Jon Lakey, a chance to grow through playing with one of the masters. This is the best way to learn as a jazz musician, and history proves this. Sure, an academic program can teach a lot of skills, but there is no substitute for the experience of being on the bandstand trying to hang with more experienced musicians. In my opinion, Portland and many other scenes need more integrated bands; young musicians can learn from the older cats, and the older cats can be inspired by the younger cats.

I hope to see you tomorrow! Please come and not only hear great music but support live musicians, both legendary and up-and-coming. If you aren't familiar with Mike Clark, here are some you tube clips which might pique your interest:

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