For a musician, playing an instrument is like breathing. Not meaning that it's effortless, but that to play means to live. Even in retirement it is rare for a musician to completely give up playing unless they are forced to stop for physical reasons. Playing is an emotional outlet, a way to connect with people that transcends language. The ways to express one's self through music are numerous and most musicians don't limit themselves to a single genre. I've mentioned before that many KSO musicians moonlight in other groups. Tonight the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is giving a concert in the Bijou Theater. About half the musicians who will be on the stage also play in the KSO. Of course, the numbers are somewhat skewed because the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is using strings for this concert. I will be playing, along with several colleagues from the KSO string section. It's rare for string players to get to play along with a jazz orchestra and we're all excited to have the opportunity. The soloist for tonight's concert is vocalist Deborah Brown. Her voice is pure and her sound is absolutely effortless. I think I could listen to her all day. I have also been awed by KSO clarinetist Mark Tucker (playing saxophone) and trombonist Tom Lundberg. The mere thought of improvising makes me break into a cold sweat. I much prefer the security of notes on a page. They make it sound easy.
This is going to be an awesome concert. (I know I always say that, but it's true!) If you plan to buy a ticket at the door I advise you to get there early because Knoxville Jazz Orchestra concerts are quite popular and often sell out.