Friday, July 27, 2007

Gratitude Ice Cream Social, Hiawatha Music Festival

Hello again,

Right now I feel like a new man. My wife Jody and I just got back from a wonderful trek up to my hometown of Marquette, MI. where we camped out at the Hiawatha Music Festival. It was great to see old friends, play some music, take a swim in Lake Superior, and just hang out in the beautiful weather. I was hosting a couple of workshops for the festival. One was on jam circle ediquitte, and the other was a percussion workshop. There were a lot of other people involved in the workshops, so I wasn't as involved as last year, which was fine with me. I made up for it by setting up a carpet in front of our tent and giving free tabla lessons to whoever wanted to sit. It was a great time. I am looking forward to going back in September for the big Indian/Experemental concert at Kaufman Auditorium.
In the meantime I will be playing lots of music with the Gratitude Steel band in August. Actually, before leaving for Marquette, I played with Gratitude at an Ice Cream Social somewhere in Oakland County. The Russell family was not on this one. They had other gigs elsewhere in the state, so I was with Guy Barker, Kelley, Anthony Tollson, and Lamar Woodall. We also had some Hawaiian dancers there to spice up the show a bit. Usually, when the family is on the gig, we play the music behind the dancers, but this time there were new dancers, and the band had not rehearsed with them, so they used their own music. This made for a very easy show for us. We played a couple of tunes and then the dancers came up and danced. We traded off for a couple of hours and then the show was over. It was a simple community gathering and was a lot of fun for everyone involved. I love being involved in anything that brings people in the same neigborhood together for music and fellowship. It seems a little too easy these days to be lost either on-line, on the phone, in the T.V. or in a car. It is good to get out and meet the people you live with every now and again. It reminds us all about how much we have in common.

Thanks for reading, and please come back soon!

John

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