Among the many films being screened at the Tribeca Film Festival is a documentary story that unfolded right here in New York. It’s called “Once In a Lullaby” and tells the story of Staten Island’s most well known school choir – and their journey to perform at the 83rd annual Academy Awards. We’ll hear all about it from the film’s director, Jonathan Kalafer, and PS22 chorus teacher Gregg Breinberg.
Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?
Yogi: I can’t, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it’s wrong.
Interviewer: I don’t understand.
Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can’t understand it. It’s too complicated. That’s what’s so simple about it.
Interviewer: Do you understand it?
Yogi: No. That’s why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn’t know anything about it.
Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?
Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead. Some would kill for it.
Interviewer: What is syncopation?
Yogi: That’s when the note that you should hear now happens either before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don’t hear notes when they happen because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they’re the same as something different from those other kinds.
Interviewer: Now I really don’t understand.
Yogi: I haven’t taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.
1. “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, I hope it lands on a philosophy professor.” Stephen Colbert
2. Descartes walks into a pub. The bartender asks, “Will you have a beer?” Descartes answers, “I think not,” and he evaporates.
3. How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb? None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.
4. How many existentialists does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change the bulb and one to observe how the lightbulb symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of Cosmic Nothingness.
5. First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.
at The New York Times:
A Bucks county 7th grader is reaching out to would-be student musicians who don’t have the opportunity he has to learn to play an instrument.
His name is Aaron Albuck. He’s a member of the orchestra and jazz band at Charles Bohem Middle School in Lower Makefield Township. He has set his sights on a unique project for his upcoming spring Bar Mitzvah.
When Aaron needed to come up with a project for his Bar Mitzvah in March, he discovered Musicopia, a non-profit whose program, “Gift of Music” repairs and donates musical instruments to schools.
Albuck has been playing electrical and stand-up bass since he was 6 years old.
“When I play it’s just like everything, on the outside world, all the problems just goes away,” Albuck said. “It’s just you and playing. It’s just great.”
With the help of his parents and Musicopia, Aaron is producing a concert next month to raise money and collect instruments for students who need them.
“The admission is a suggested donation of 18$ or a musical donation; an accessory or musical instrument,” Albuck said, “and the money that’s raised can also help us go into schools we haven’t been able to work with in underserved areas that really need music education.”
Another person who said he just had to be a part of the program is Aaron’s bass teacher, renowned jazz musician Gerald Veasley. “I thought that Aaron, being so unselfish, was so unusual… and the fact that he enjoyed music so much and wanted to share that… I thought was very special.”
Veasley will be a special guest at Aaron’s concert next month. It’s set for Sunday afternoon, February 6th at Beth El Synagogue.
You can get more information about Musicopia by following the link to the charity’s website.