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A unique Father’s Day celebration

June 16, 2013

Most people celebrate Father’s Day with a barbecue and a party. We are going to do something different. I have invited my guitar teacher, Benjamin Gomez, over to see if we can work towards forming a family band. That’s right just like the Jackson Five. I mean, without all the creepy and abusive…oh, never mind. You know what I mean.

I have in mind a jazz group. My son Tyler (age 10) just started playing the tenor sax, but he loves it and he sounds like he has been playing for years. You would not believe he has only had one lesson. My other son Joseph (9) just started with the ukulele, but he walks around playing chords all day in the house. My son Jacob (15) is really good at the acoustic steel string guitar. My daughter Erica (18) is awesome at the violin. I can play, sort of, the double bass and the accordion, whichever we need. And Benjamin Gomez is literally a professional at the guitar. He plays and people’s jaws drop open. You can’t believe what sounds he can make come out of a classical guitar.

So, I figure the acoustic guitar and ukulele can provide the rhythm. The melody is the sax and violin. The ornamentation is the classical guitar. And I can either hold down the rhythm on the bass or provide chords on the accordion or just applaud and pay for it all, I guess. We have enough instruments with enough versatility to sound good playing almost anything if we can play it correctly. It’s not like I play the double bass, someone else plays bassoon, the third person plays a tuba, etc. This will provide all of us with some motivation to practice and a concrete goal. And here’s the good part: there’s no pressure. If we suck, it will be our little secret.

I realize that the ukulele, violin and accordion are not traditional jazz instruments. However, jazz is a pretty fluid and open art form in regards to instrumentation. Unlike, say, bluegrass, which has very traditional and rigid instrumentation requirements, jazz is a flexible enough concept to allow for innovative approaches. Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele master, has played jazz festivals. Richard Galliano has proved that the accordion can be a great instrument for playing jazz.

It’s a great opportunity for my lovely family to spend some quality time together. My instructor is getting paid to be there, so we know he will be patient. Tyler and Joseph are just little kids, so they can work at it for years if necessary. In eight years, they will still be in my band, and we will have had eight years to get better. I don’t have to spend a lot of effort assembling a band and bitching at them to practice together: we live together. I’m Dad. They have no choice. Come here, kids! And if that ends up being the line up, I think we could do a lot with the double bass, ukulele and tenor sax.

So, anyway, I will blog about how it went afterwards. I am excited and a little nervous. I want everyone to have a good time and want to continue doing it.


From → My children, My music

  1. Sounds like a awesome fathers day. Doing what u love together as a family. Patients will be a given tomorrow with everyone still learning and trying to play all together. U do have nothing but time to learn things to play together anyways. I’m looming forward to hearing u guys. It’s ur first round. U guys won’t suck, it’s called learning. :0) love you honey, and happy fathers day, you are a amazing father. I couldn’t ask for a better daddy to my children. U have stepped up and loved and adopted boys that their own father wasn’t caring or loving. You have really stepped up ur game with our three new additions. You take good care of all us, u are stable and loving. We are very blessed to have u in our lives. Giving the children a variety of experiences (including music), supporting their goals and dreams. Love you honey, kiss kiss…

  2. Georgann Greene permalink

    Sounds like a good idea! Dad

  3. Dittos to Michelle’s my sweet daughter’s
    Comment !!!! Love you all MORE than words can express !! So thankful for you being in our family!! I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful family!! God bless you all!! Happy Father’s Day son ! Love mom
    Ps maybe dad can jam with u guys again next week !! Be so nice, really enjoyed last time !!

  4. Georgann permalink

    I think the band will be a good unifying activity for the family. I sure had fun playing with the group when I was at your house. There is a perfect instrument for everyone. Playing in a band is priceless. Enjoy and good luck. I look forward to getting together with the band when I return in the fall.
    Love, Mom

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