Monday, August 31, 2015

My Tribe



This blog’s been neglected for months now, mainly because there wasn’t much I felt like writing about and coincided with an acute case of who-gives-a-shit-what-I-think-anyway. Last month, I hauled my wife and trombone to Valencia, Spain, to hang with my sister and brother trombone players at the International Trombone Festival, put on every year by, not coincidentally, the International Trombone Association, of which I’m a member and a part of the staff of it’s quarterly Journal. (That could be the longest sentence I’ve ever written.) This festival has been held every summer since 1971 and I’ve been to three of them. The first was in New Orleans in 2005, which was particularly special, coming right before Katrina and I made it to Austin in 2010. For four days it’s all trombones, all the time and now I’ve got something to write about (though the jury’s still out on the gives-a-shit part)

For me, one of the perks, come to think of it the only perk, of being able to write for the Journal it’s that I get to freely associate, even if only by email or telephone, with some of the finest, most well-known trombone players in the world. At the festival this year I got to do that in person and (allow me to name-drop) my hang-mates included Abbie Conant, Branimir Slokar, Andrea Conti and Bart van Lier. If these names are unfamiliar, all I can say is that these folks are on bass clef Mt. Olympus.