Slice of Life: Jazz In The City

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

“When was the last time you were at a live concert?” I asked my father.

We were in line to an indoor jazz concert as part of our city’s weekend long Jazz Festival. Earlier, we had caught an outdoor show of Cuban/Brazilian Jazz. My father had to think. And he still came up blank. It had been a long time, made longer by the Pandemic.


“I don’t remember,” he replied, as we handed our vaccination cards to the attendant, along with our driver’s license, and then my wife, my father and I entered the renovated theater for a night held in honor and remembrance of jazz great Art Blakey. The legendary drummer and band leader died a number of years ago, but this show featured five of his players (plus two young superstars).

We sat down. We had fantastic seats.

“This place feels more crowded than I remember,” my wife remarked, through her mask, which was mandatory for everyone in attendance. I nodded, in agreement, and thought, everything these days feels more crowded. Even in the midst of certified vaccinated people, it still felt a little uneasy to be there, with my knee touching the stranger next to me.

Then the band started up and for two hours, we were transported into the landscape of jazz with exceptional players (they were amazing) and with stories of Blakey’s leadership and nurturing of countless young musicians over the decades.

And somehow, in the pandemic, we got lost in the music, if only for a little while.

Peace (on the stage),

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  1. They say that music is the language of the soul. It certainly gave you all the freedom to step beyond the boundaries of our ‘new normal’, if only for a while. I love that you all visited ‘the landscape of jazz’ that evening.

  2. Kevin, what a sweet slice of life. I know you are a music lover, and it must have been a special night to share with your father and wife. Lovely for the normality of it. Great to see so much care being taken to keep everyone safe too.

  3. I was subbing the other day for the senior class, whom I last taught as eighth graders. We were looking at some photos of them in middle school, and my overwhelming impression was how close together everyone was sitting in the photos!

    Glad you had fun at the concert!

  4. Kevin, it must have felt wonderful to listen to music even with masks on. Thanks for sharing. We still are nervous about indoor seating but want to do a few things to feel alive.

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