A Great Day In LA; Sunday, October 12,2008

Los Angeles is not only “The City Of The Angels”, but inhabits many of the world’s greatest Jazz Musicians. Some who’ve come from far away places and cultures, and decided LA was the place where they could achieve their goals, and enjoy the comforts of the beautiful weather and the good life that goes along with it. Not as expensive as New York City, (certainly not cheap) but many opportunities for those equipped with the talent and the perseverance to withstand the competition and the usual highs and lows of the music industry. This historical event was conceived and put together by a team of faculty and Jazz enthusiasts at the UCLA Jazz Department headed by two of the finest musicians in the world, guitarist, Kenny Burrell (who is the head of the Dept.) and Trumpeter/Teacher, Bobby Rodriguez. I was invited to be a part of the huge photo shoot (many) along with my close friend, guitarist, Barry Zweig. We also did a remote radio interview for the Jazz station KJAZZ (88.1FM) with Bubba Jackson, which was short and sweet. I’ll try to describe what the day was like.

Barry and I arrived at the UCLA Campus around 2 PM. After greeting many of our fellow musicians and singers, we were escorted into the remote KJAZZ studio, and waited for out turn, along with Composer, Lalo Schriffen and many others. If I start naming names, I’ll end up leaving lots of people out. ( I guess I’ll have to do this in installments). Quincy Jones, vocalist, Bill Henderson, singers, Pinky Winters, Barbara Morrison and Sandy Graham, Pianist, Art Hillary, guitarist, Grant Geissman, Bassist, Jim Hughart and so many guys I haven’t seen in a lot of years.

This fantastic event was inspired by the famous photo, “A Great Day In Harlem” by the magnicent photographer, Bill Claxton, who was scheduled to shoot this one, but died shortly before the event. There was food and drink and bands playing throughout the day. Barry and I didn’t get a chance to play, as we had to leave for an engagement at the famous LA Jazz club, “Charlie O’S”. I’ve been living in Los Angeles since December, 1965. It’s been terrific traveling the world with many bands, singers and entertainers ( I’m still doing it), but I don’t think I ever felt that much love and pride in one place as I did that day. Viva “A GREAT DAY IN LA’!! (More to follow in future Blogs).

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