Where’s the Winter Issue? I was just too busy and had to just let it go. What took up my so-called spare time? Since the Fall 2009 Legato, all those student CDs did get made and delivered, and Christmas is always a crazy busy time even without the CD project. Nevertheless, it was so well received I anticipate more student CDs burning next December.
Around Thanksgiving, I somehow hurt my right shoulder – it might have been wide-arm pushups. I’m still recovering from it. Massage Therapist Kevin Gleave gave me some great advice about healing, and his prediction of three months or more was right. Lots of pain, stiffness and trouble sleeping, but gradually getting better.
December gigs for the Flute & Guitar Duo with Francesca Anderson for Themis Computer (3 hours) and the Saratoga Country Club (5 hours) required extra practice. The Sacramento Guitar Society, of which I’m president, had a huge board meeting December 16th – lots of work to do in advance and to follow up. We put together a nine person board of directors, and we have been pursuing a number of programs for the group, including incorporation as a non-profit. Here’s the website: http://sacramentoguitarsociety.org/
January started with giving a solo guitar concert for the South Bay Guitar Society. It was in the beautiful glass dome at the San José City Hall. January ended with a recording workshop at Acoustic Guitar Magazine in San Anselmo. Then Francesca and I started practicing in earnest for our Feb. 27-28 duo concerts in Benicia and Novato.
On February 13th Alison and I hosted Mark Hanson here at the house for a fingerstyle guitar workshop. He taught Neil Young's "After the Goldrush" and JayUnger's "Ashoken Farewell." Much of February was hampered by a bad cold – you know, not quite the flu but pretty close – where you don’t shut down for a week but wish you could. Plus, in the weeks before the concerts, our Internet service started going out intermittently and my computer’s fan bit the dust (because of dust, I imagine!) and really messed up our momentum. We got a new router and modem and got the computer repaired. Then came all the setup and re-configuring, and we put that hassle to bed.
The looming concerts arrived as Francesca and I played in Benicia at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to benefit the Community Meal there – and the concert ended with a standing ovation, encore, and a chocolates and wine reception - nice! Between concerts we did a little recording with the amazing Jamie Bridges engineering at his A Room With A ViewStudios in Petaluma.
A real highlight for March was performing and teaching at the South Bay Guitar Society's 6th Annual Guitar Solo & Ensemble Festival at Independence High School in San José. I adjudicated performances by students players Uriel Matthew Enriquez, Isabelle Pichay, Paden Schmidt, Paul Wang, Nidhi Gandhi and Vishesh Gupta. Between morning and afternoon sessions I demonstrated handmade guitars with the same piece, "Registro" by Antonio Lauro, played on each guitar. Luthiers included Kenny Hill, Gil Carnal, Richard Prenkert, Phil Green and another I didn't get the name of. A great pleasure was hanging out with old friends Ben Zussman and Guy Cantwell.
Now all through January and February I’m going Dang, I’m not getting the Winter Legato out. At the Guitar Festival in March , my friends helped me recognize I was burning the candle at both ends and should slow down – so here is the “Winter-Spring” Legato.
With our host Gordon Rowland after our Sunday afternoon concert at GuitarWork in Novato, CA.
With our host Debi Hall after our Saturday night concert at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Benicia, CA.
Former student Nick Bartshe had been preparing last year for entrance exams on classical guitar at CSU Northridge, was accepted, and dropped by on a break from school.
Pictured above left to right, Glenn Powers, Jim Frank, Jim Rallens, Michael Threadgall, Herb Tanimoto, Mark Hanson, Casey Smith, Dean Waters, Valerie Versis, Daniel Roest. Not pictured, Frank Medza.
Among those buying CDs after the SBGS concert, below, was James Brodie, in the blue sweater. His jbclassicaldreams channel on YouTube provides performances of pieces in the Solo Guitar Playing Book One by Frederick Noad.
Reuniting with old friends Joe Rodriguez and Karen Park of the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs. They were a tremendous help when I and the other board members were growing the South Bay Guitar Society in the '90s.
Introducing his Signature Model spruce top guitar is renowned luthier Kenny Hill. Standing at right is my successor at SBGS, Jerry Snyder. Below, world-class Chilean guitarist and featured Festival artist Carlos Pérez was in the audience. I saw him and invited him to come up and play a tune. "I did not bring a guitar!" he said. "Oh, I think we can find one for you!" I said, and he took the Kenny Hill guitar I had played. He was "mind-blowingly" good. Photo credits John Liu.
Ben Zussman, left, is an outstanding guitarist and teacher in the South Bay and is standing with another terrific teaching artist, Guy Cantwell, who runs the guitar program for Cabrillo College in Aptos. We had just left the hall after the Carlos Perez Saturday night concert for the SBGS Festival.
My brothers Franklin, left, and Mark, right, and I reunite annually around this time of year. We were very fortunate to have perfect sailing weather here on Lake Tahoe, hosted by friends Jim and Gloria Hildinger.
If you're in the Folsom - El Dorado Hills area on the first Friday on the month, join me at the Folsom Borders Books and Music in the café, where I host the local open mic. All sorts of interesting talent shows up, and it feels like the community living room. Below, singer-songwriter Patrice Webb, of Georgetown, performs.
Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this award-winning documentary from director Sam Bozzo posits that we're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war. As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, corrupt governments, corporations and even private investors are scrambling to control it … which leaves everyday citizens fighting for a substance they need to survive.
This yummalicious pecan pie made from scratch for my birthday didn't last long! Thanks Alison!!