Sunday, March 3, 2013

Even In The City

During the last ten days Heather and I have attended a Kanun recital by Denise Gill-Gurtan. It was wonderful.

We had the opportunity to experience Paco Pena and his Flamenco Company. He is among the greatest living Flamenco guitarists in the world. He did not disappoint. It, too, was wonderful.

Saturday night we were to see The Al-Andalus Ensemble. My friends Rabbi James Stone Goodman and Michael Castro were going to open for them. The show was going to be held in a venue I'd never been to before. It seemed a perfect reason for a ride. Isabelle and I scouted it out on Saturday afternoon.

The venue was the Union Avenue Christian Church. There are some wonderful details on the exterior of the building.

But, I was more taken by a tree across the street from the Church.

That night Jim and Michael totally nailed their short set.

Their offering was full of soul. It wasn't so much a performance as their being what they were offering us.

Later the headliners came out and they, too, were excellent. That said, it seemed to be more of a  performance. There seemed more veils between them and us in the audience than there had been with any of the other groups or artists we'd experienced lately. Still wonderful, but...not so open.

It occurs to me what a blessing it is to live where I am able to hear such wonderful music. I'm still amazed a small town kid from Central Michigan finds himself living in the City. Often times I feel out of place and wonder how I got here. But, a string of musical experiences like we've had over the last two weeks makes my heart open and my soul smile.

This morning it was 19F/-7C when Isabelle and I left the condo to do our usual Sunday morning bagel run.

Ah, the memory of good music. A good stead to ride . Good Company all around. And, warm bagels. Simple pleasures. Life is good, even in the City.


  1. Beautiful pictures Keith. I wish I could hear your friends play it sounds like it was awesome!!!!

    1. Michael is a poet and Jim plays as he recites. Jim then did short pieces to emphasize certain things in Michael's poems. It was wonderful.

      Wished you could come to one of our gigs. We're playing Saturday night. Want to come. I can get you in free.

  2. Such beautiful music so close to home. Yes, you are lucky.

    That tree is gorgeous. I love seeing the large trees that have been able to grow naturally and aren't chopped on one side or the top because of the location. There is just something about them.

    1. The tree was such a surprise. It is in a very old part of town. That it hasn't been chopped and trimmed is amazing.

  3. I like to have my dictionary handy when I read this blog.

    I bet the kanun sounded lovely! I learned a new word today!

    I have thought before about the small town boy in big ol' STL enjoying everything that big old city has to offer. And apparently gliding through just fine.

    1. The Kanun was wonderful. Denise didn't have anything for me to link to and the others I listened to on YouTube weren't as good.

      And, as the song says, I get by with a little help from my friends.