One person's thoughts may change the world
The following words are not mine, but, of a special person to me, my son, who went to Poland to participate in the Lotos Jazz festival with his ensemble at his school. These are powerful worlds from someone so young. This was special, not just for him but for me, because I get it. I play the trumpet, and I understand exactly what he is talking about here. I didn’t experience it with him, but I experienced through him, and enjoyed every word of this. Jazz help him understand the larger world around him. Jazz helped him see things and people he would have never experienced. Jazz is a musical revolution that continues to evolve touching the old, the young, you, me, and him. I never would have thought that could reach far into a former Soviet Bloc country, and add to the freedom of the land, to listen to any kind of music you wish. Jazz crosses all lines of differences, and allows you to see a person, and not a category, not color, not a cast, not economic value, but, the music and who’s playing it…and that my friends is true freedom.
This past week, a hand full of my jazz band members and I got the chance of a lifetime to fly half way across the world to Poland for little to nothing, play with some of the best players in their country, and explore for 10 whole days. On top of that we also had a chance to watch some of the greatest jazz performers in the world like Arturo Sandoval, Esmeralda, and Soweto kinch for free. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have this opportunity. Other people would killed to go overseas and introduce jazz which is my cultures music to people that have never even seen a black kid in person before. This whole experience has humbled me to the core, if you asked me if I could do this again I wouldn’t even think about my answers because I experienced beautiful things and met wonderful people that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It’s crazy how staying in a different country for only 10 day can make you fall in love with it.
First off Poland is beyond beautiful, we woke up to snow covered mountains and rolling hills and if you could get up early enough you could see the sun kiss the peak of the mountain at sunrise in the most beautiful way that it would make you stop and stare. Literally the first free time James and I had we sat on our little porch and looked at the beauty that was spread out before us. Also the architecture was so different and condensed that it was like living in a small well-kept maze filled with people and cars. The mixture of old and new gave a refreshing feel from my perception of what a city should look like. But during the evening that’s where it really got fun we went to see some amazing concerts from people that revolutionized jazz, I was introduced to new kinds of jazz that I’ve never even new was out there. For example Soweto’s performance was so different and unique that it broadened my knowledge of jazz and just listening to him made me a better player. Then there was Arturo Sandoval who could play the trumpet, piano, percussion, and even sing that was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
It’s funny how people make fun of jazz and band saying it’s for nerds or geeks and that only lame kids people a instrument but I got this amazing opportunity to travel and play in a whole other country all because I could play a lame instrument, in that case I’m happy to be a geek or a nerd because this was probably the best experience of my life.