For those of you that didn't know, I took a trip to New York for 5 days last week. While I'll go in depth as to the why's, who's, and how's in later posts, I wanted to quickly share one of my experiences that I had and won't forget. Before going out, I contacted as many friends and colleagues as I could. One of those is a great friend and guitarist with whom I did my undergrad. One of the things that makes this so memorable for me is that it was fairly unexpected. He called me up to say "Hey, some friends and I are going to see Bobby McFerrin in Central Park for FREE." Shwhat!?... I replied, "Awesome, see you there," and got ready to meet him. A little admission here: I have never liked Bobby McFerrin. Gasp! I know, right. How dare I? A jazz musician NOT enjoy the work of another jazz musician? A response to that question will be handled in a later post. But, I figured it would be a great way to hang out and see some good music (I said I didn't like, not that he wasn't good). The event series is called the Summer Stage. It presents free music on a first-come-first-serve basis in the middle of Central Park. There's beer, wine, over-priced food, tourists, New York hipsters, what's not to love? ONE catch: in order to get in, we got there about 2 and a half hours early, but we had our choice of seats and got to watch some Central Park LARPERS in the process. Music started and I was really enjoying the concert, the company, and the overall hang. Then, this happened:
This is a duet between Bobby and his daughter Madison titled "Mere Words", written by Bobby, and originally from his album Bang! Zoom (which I now own). It was one of those moments in music where your brain just stops. Everything stops. All the people around me faded away, I forgot that my butt hurt so bad from sitting on metal bleachers; it was transcendent.
I have to say that I'm now a huge Bobby McFerrin fan and this will become a treasured memory of this trip.