Friday, September 15, 2006

Man, MJF is only two days away!!!!

Monterey Jazz Festival is two days away!!!....and tomorrow we rehearse. Susan is cooking up some treats for the cats and we'll be playing at the Hope St Studios here in lovely Mountain View. Our house concert at Chateau Kalleen in Petaluma, CA was a great place to play. And a great way to warm up for MJF. John and Mariette were great hosts and many many thanks for letting us do our thing at your pad. By the way, my better half Susan catered the house concert and did a totally kick ass job. I didn't know that she could do that. She's had several offers since to recreate her endeavor but turned each one down. It's a tough gig catering. And a special thank you goes out to my friend Steve B for helping out in the vino dept. Let's see...we had around 40 people there total and we went thru 28 bottles of wine!!! Mission accomplished as far as I'm concerned. Good job all of you who made it. And no DUI's. Another round of applause please!!!! In regards to MJF...Check out for festival highlights. One of the tunes we're playing, "Silent Heart" was written by Ed Johnson and will feature Sebastien and I. Ed not only wrote the tune but took time to write the horn parts. Ed, you are the man. Thank you for all of your help my friend! Guitarist Sebastien Lanson flew all the way from Paris to join us. Thanks Dude!!! You always add so much and it's always great to have you here for the hang too. Special thanks to my friend Dr. Jeff Eaton for fitting me into his schedule at the last minute and more thanks to Dr. Carole Shimoda for tweaking me with her exquisite chiropratic skills. It takes to quote Hillary Clinton "It Takes A Village" for all of this to work. Leading a band is not a solitary effort. So many fine people contribute and in most cases, only the band leader gets or takes the credit. But I've been a sideman for so many years and I know that it's not the case. It does take a Village to make it happen and I am eternally grateful to everyone who lends his or her's talents to make it happen. It's a great feeling knowing that we all share in the experience. More to come very soon. Peace, John aka WorlBoy

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WorlBoy here....

Hi Friends, It's been awhile since my last post. It's definitely a time of reflection. My friend Scott Sorkin lost his Dad two weeks ago and I just received the disturbing news that a friend and a former student took his life last week. Boy, they weren't kidding when they said that it comes in groups of three's. Gilbert Shih was a nice cat. Took life a bit too seriously at times and needed to leave the planet in a quick way. He was one of my "cherries" during his tenure with me. I remember when my teacher and mentor John Coppola gave me free lessons because I lost my job at Whitney Band Instruments. My parents didn't have the dough to pay for my lessons and I got a job studying brass repair with James Galway's repair person, Bob Gilchrist. I lost my job because of the other apprentices cutting a few corners and wasn't able to pay for my lessons. I mentioned it to Johnny and he said, "Don't worry about the money, just sweep my porch and we're ok". He also said that if I did everything he told me to, I'd be a professional musician by the age of 16. I remember after the lessons I'd ask John what could I do for him and he'd just say "practice!". That I did and I played my first gig at the ripe age of 15 years young. I never forgot Johnny's generosity and since then, I have at least one "cherry" every school year. Gilbert was one of them as well as a student of Johnny's. He worked hard and was tough on himself if he didn't feel up to snuff. I remember telling him to be easy on yourself. I'd always use the analogy..."How much do you have in your bank of self esteem?....Everytime you get down on yourself, it's like punching a $20 outta the ATM of self esteem and you have to ask much you got in there?" Gilbert helped me with my record project. He meant a lot to me. I lost touch with him for awhile till his friends called me to tell me the news. I hope he finds a better place the next time around. I will miss you my friend. I will dedicate my performance to you at Monterey this year. Gilbert Shih 1978-2006 RIP