March 24th, 2021 was the 300th Anniversary of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. I’d been working on the Brandenburg for more than 45 years, and this celebration meant and means a lot to me.
The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZQbll6alKs
and downloaded here: https://digitalcommons.csumb.edu/brandenburg300_anniversary/18/
Barbara Rose Schuler wrote a wonderful article leading it up to the celebration that appeared in Voices of Monterey Bay, and independent news source with great journalists allowed to really write: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2021/03/22/bachanalia/
Text of the Closing Email
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a wonderful experience and a great show. I think we honored the Brandenburg Concertos, J.S. Bach, the Golden Record, our community, our great arts organizations, the musicians, artists and crew that brought such greatness into one place. We stand on mighty shoulders.
The website was viewed over 4,200 times by more than 1,500 people in over 30 countries.
Around 400 people viewed the Livestream, and it will continue to be available on CSUMB Digital Commons, and has been submitted at the request of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig when it learned it was the only celebration of the Brandenburg Concertos in the world.
We discovered the Brandenburg Concertos are the most played classical music in Monterey history.
The Earthling Project compositions have been heard 743 times on our website so far, launching the next round of music diplomacy with the Universe.
We discovered great stories about Alan Shepard, Mick Kapp, Carmel Bach Festival, Monterey and the Jazz Festival.
We learned a lot about the California Salinas Rodeo, both its history and its spirit, and have started a relationship between CSUMB and the Rodeo that I hope grows and flourishes over time.
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts brought us the music of great cultures both indigenous and immigrant, that are beautiful, poignant and rich in history. A highlight for me is the incredibly funky and beautiful music of Laos. Check it out: Bounseung Synanone, Lam Phu Tai , Suggested by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts
One of my most favorite parts has been learning about Palenke Arts. Juan Sanchez is putting all this vast range of musical spirit and greatness into the hands of our community’s children. Very, very impressive.
And I got to work with David Gordon and John Clayton again. I loved it the first time around, and I loved it again. I have learned so much from both of them. And John introduced us to Oscar Peterson’s wife, Kelly. Kelly’s chat with John about Oscar’s music was amazing. As a musician all these years, and listening to Oscar Peterson and wondering how any human beings could possibly play that well, and watching them chat about his music, was thrilling.
It was the close of a big circle for me. My very first music teacher was a guitar player who played with Oscar Peterson – Barney Kessel. I had broken my back a couple of months before, had been in bed for a few months, and my cousin gave me a bass guitar because he thought I could play it lying down, and persuaded his friend Barney to give me a couple of lessons. I’d been thumping (I had very limited range of motion) on the bass guitar doing strange things on it for a couple of weeks when Barney came to the house. I’ll never forget his sitting by the bed while I played, him rocking back and forth with his eyes closed saying, “Keep playing that.”
That happened 50 years ago this coming July. Thank you, Barney and Maury. This is the flower of that seed.
Thank you to all of you,