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December, 2004 - Nr. 12

 

The Editor
Santa's Gift
Knecht Kaufrecht
Vorsicht Satire!
Toronto Connection
Drummer of Different Beat
From The Locker Room
Dear Mom
Music Transport
Remembrance in Kitchener
K-W & Beyond
KWS's New Board
Dick reports...
Narrenzunft Karneval
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehŲrt?
Health Newsletter
Winter Magic
COC's La Boheme
First Night Toronto
German TV
LaserIce Fest
Pearls of Passion
Toronto Labour Council

Music Transport

by Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Chick Corea autographs CD  [photo: Nicolle Crellin]I have been a Chick Corea fan for a very long time, dating back to my years as a student and freshly married wife in Germany, but did not meet him until a few years ago when he played the Music Palace in Toronto. In the audience I was surrounded by nearly all musicians. I wondered why they all turned out and asked as many as I could for a reason. I was told: "Are you kidding? He IS the master, the Beethoven of our times! We come to listen learn and steal!" And I thought to myself: and obviously to admireÖ!!!!!

Yes, that is what it was that was standing in the room, permeating every nook and cranny, admiration. That is all I could do too. I was almost in awe when someone took me backstage to meet him in his dressing room.

I do not get star struck easily, but was smitten by his unassuming nature, his total disinterest in being interesting. All he cared about was the communication of what had caught his attention and he wanted to share it to his best ability with other musicians and with an audience. He lets others into his universe through his music, and the inner sanctum is amazing to those that can understand what he is all about.

He was recently back in Toronto on tour for his newest album To the Stars, written by way of inspiration through an L. Ron Hubbard book by the same name, which tells a science fiction story with a unique relevance, even today.

Both book and CD are fabulous, each for its own reason. The realization of this project "is a dream come true" for him, he said. And I believe him. He has never been better in his interpretation of the spiritual nature of man and his conquest of all there is to know and create. To me it appeared as though he was playing, even toying with the keyboards with more ease than ever before. The melodies soared and wove their way through galaxies of time, transporting an adoring audience into unknown quarters of their own personal universes.

David HayesThis certainly was true for a group of young students from Rosedale Heights School Of The Arts, an inner city high school that was transformed largely by music, as David Hayes, the Head of the Performing Arts Department explained to me, when I visited him in his school.

The school was well known for loosing a lot of kids too early and too fast to drugs, crime and violence. Transforming the school into something these kids would like to hang around in long enough to make a better-informed decision became his lifeís passion. Starting with a revamped music program, that turned a fairly average curriculum with 6 kids participating into a jazzy affair he could catch their interest with and hold it long enough to play a few cords: If you want out of the vicious circle you can take advantage of the school and its program, use and develop your talents, make something out of yourself, become a somebody, butÖ butÖ well, but you can only be in my program if you do NOT do drugs!

Needless to say the program is now packed with kids who have had some extraordinary experiences due to the imaginative support from an extraordinary teacher. There has not been any violence in 15 years in the school, and walking through the halls one does not feel hallowed at all, but rather in the middle of life, creative and exciting. There is art everywhere, expressive, innovative, some of it extraordinary!

A gate to a different futureAs the only of now 4 schools in Toronto for artistically talented children, Rosedale Heights is truly an equalizer and the only school that does not require the kids to audition. All a kid has to have is a dream, a dream strong enough to be willing to hang tough and stick around, and be willing to work hard. The focus is on the performing and visual arts. Being in that school is a most interesting experience.

The concert was sponsored for a bunch of jazz interested students by the "Inner City Angels". Mr. Hayes had the students write to the organization about their experience in regards to the concert. They describe what happened better than I could. Here are their letters:

Chick Corea...What a Show

Jake Sherman

When I heard I was getting free Chick Corea tickets, I didnít really know what to expect. I mean, I had heard the name, I knew he was a big piano player, but I had never really Heard any of his music, other than a live recording with him and Herbie Hancock. That didnít give me a real taste though. Little did I know I was about to see one of the best Shows I had ever seen. I am a huge music fan, and my interests range from playing to listening to writing and everything in between. I am heavily influenced by many artists, constantly looking for new things to incorporate in music that I play, or new bands to listen. I love going to concerts, and have been to many jazz concerts in Toronto. I am especially interested in jazz piano. I have seen Herbie Hancock, John Arpin, and Bill Charlap. I walked into the theatre and was amazed at the seats we had, we even got a mini-workshop from John Arpin and free drinks, I was blown away. Then we went in, and the show just got me. All of these musicians were so good, and they were all major influences on me. When I see musicians with that talent, it just makes me crave to play music and to play like them. I would like to thank the inner city angels for allowing me to see that show. Without the organization I would have never been able to see it, and it really changed my views on music. It also introduced me to John Arpin, who I saw a couple weeks later at the St. Lawrence Center, courtesy of the inner city angels. I am a total supporter of the organization and I believe it is an extremely generous and kind idea.

Id like to thank the inner city angels for getting me tickets to a concert where I walked out speechless, not able to say anything, not able to describe how amazing it was, and changing my views on jazz music.

My name is Hayley Bums, Iím in grade 11, and I recently went to go see the Chick Corea Concert at Massey Hall. I was so impressed by the concert and so grateful that I had the chance to experience it. I love Massey as a venue, and we had such great seats that allowed us to see every aspect of the concert. Each musician was incredibly talented as individuals, and when they came together it was phenomenal. Each solo inspired me and by the end I was speechless, please continue this program that you am running because without it I would not have had this chance. The Chick Corea concert was the best concert I have ever been to. It was unforgettable!

Dear Inner-city Angles, my name is Tedros Wosik and I am a student of David Hayes who received one of the tickets to see Chick Corea at Massey Hall. I would like to express y personal thanks for allowing me to see that amazing concert which changed my view of musicianship and allowed me to experience the music of these incredibly skilled musicians.

The show began with John Arpinís introduction and piano playing which was very good and an introduction to Chick Coreaís music. The show was about to begin. Chick Corea is someone whose music I have followed for many years and continue to enjoy to this day. The combination of his piano, the bass, guitar and drums together blew the audience away, myself included. After a standing ovation, Chick Corea returned to play a final song.

I thank you for allowing me to view this show as well as providing tickets for John Arpinís concert soon after. I would also like to express my thanks to your organization for allowing many other young people to experience other high quality performances out of your gratuity.

My name is Simone Zucker and I am fortunate to receive a concert ticket for Chick Corea. This concert was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I had never heard this genre of music before and it blew me away. Chick Corea and the Elektric Band are very talented musicians and they inspired me to continue playing music and trumpet. I was amazed how well the group played together and how tight they were. I am very thankful for this experience and I hope to have many more in the future.

Chickís Electric Band performs at Massey Hall

On Wednesday, Nov 3, I was lucky enough to have the privilege of seeing 12 time Grammy award winner Chick Corea and Ďs band play my favorite venue in Toronto Massey Hall. The band was unbelievable they put on a show like nothing else. To open they performed their new album which is full of technical rampages and deep, solid grooves that put everybody who attended in a state of shock. The set up was Chick Corea on keyboards, Frank Gambale on guitars, Eric Marienthal on sax, John Patitucci on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. They are some of the top musicians in the world today.

The concert blew us away. The group I went with were all musicians who look up to players like these guys all the time. We all caught different things about the performance; there was so much talent and great playing to watch. There was a connection between the musicians and the communication was beyond words. It proved they could play whatever they wanted to and make it sound great. When the concert was over we all found ourselves thinking how is it possible to be that good, we couldnít come up with an answer. We are all were grateful for the experience this concert gave us, we enjoyed immensely.

By Lowell Whitty

Zak ĎHummusí Miller

Chick Corea and the Elektric band
live at Massey Hail.

Seeing Chick Corea at Massey hall was absolutely amazing, Iíve always heard Chickís music and loved it, but I had not heard any of what he was doing recently up until the concert. I would say Chick Corea has definitely made an impact on the jazz world this time. The performance was absolutely phenomenal, it was mind blowing. The entire performance was so kickiní. Non-stop amazing music and action, throughout the entire performance. Every musician was on the ball and playing amazingly. Especially the guitar and saxophone, they were unbelievably tight together. The drummer was absolutely fantastic. Come to think of it, every single musician played unbelievably and stayed tight throughout. Chick Corea puts on quite the show and his new style is tight, creative and like something Iíd never heard before, and just might not hear ever again, unless of course he plays again, which Iíll be there for. Chick Coreaís cover of CTA, Chicago transit authority, was the best cover Iíd ever heard, what a twist on such a classic. He did it in his own very, very unique style and it came out as this ear opening, jaw dropping masterpiece. Personally Iím a gigantic lover of instrumental music, in fact I prefer it over vocals, because it speaks louder. And seeing Chick Corea in concert was as if I was read a bedtime story by a god. All in all, best concert of my life so far, and I just canít even begin to imagine what comes next. Something out of this world, thatís for sure. Thank you Chick Corea, thank you organizers, thank you "share the music", thank you to David Hayes and special thank you to the amazing person who gave Mr. Hayes the tickets.

Giordon Postorino

Article on Music

Everyday I get up from my bed, I have a shower, I brush my teeth all in preparation for one thing: School. I got to school to play music, study music, listen to music and occasionally on my spare time to even write music. It is what I love to do and also what I hope to be doing for a living when I am older. This palce that I speak of is called Rosedale Heights School of the Arts.

Ever since I was little Iíve always been musical in some kind of sense. Whether it be banging on a pot or pan or even flicking a glass in awe of the tone I was producing. Music penetrated into my mind as I got older and started listening to my own music and other peopleís music. I finally decided to pick up an instrument and try my luck at the "music" thing. As my first few attempts at making my own music failed I thought if music would ever be able to exist through my hands. I then found the guitar.

Through playing this instrument Iíve learned some lessons which I consider extremely valuable in any type of art. Patience was the first of which I learned to master. If something didnít sound right, Iíd practice until it did (I drove my family nuts and still do). I couldnít stand not knowing the correct way to play something and my lack of patience was usually the cause of that. The second lesson I learned was practicing. Although it may not seem like a lesson it embodies all the same elements of one. When I would practice my music or whatever I was working on, it would come through in my playing. My dad would hear my playing something really sloppily and heíd say "havenít been practicing, eh?" and I would always agree with him. The music even sounded different.

Out of all the things Iíve been taught in music and throughout my life, the only thing that has recurred the most has been to do what you love and NEVER STOP. I told my dad that this is what I want to do with my life and he had no doubts about it because he knew that it was something I loved to do. Whether it is music or something completely different, as long as you love to do it, then keep on doing it.

Giordon Postorino

Chick Corea and the Elektric Band

I took my seat in ominous space that is Massey Hall not knowing what I was about to experience. A plump man walked out and started to fiddle with knobs and buttons on his 3 different keyboards. After him, on be one the other musicians took the stage and were greeted with applause. Strange sounds started to emerge from the wall of speakers on either side of the stage creating much tension in the ears of its listeners. Then all was silent and the audience hushed in anxiousnessÖ

This is merely one part; one small fraction of what I was allowed to witness that night. Onstage, this band was creating sound that shook every personís musical foundations and you could tell by the sea of stunned faces. As members of the band (such as Frank Gambale for example) would slip into a solo, the applause afterwards would be colossal. Peopleís lives were changed in that room. You could look around and see it.

Many people donít have the opportunity to see something as earth shattering as a performance such as the one I have described. To in the same room as this group hearing them change my life was one of the most fulfilling feelings Iíve ever had. My gratitude goes out to all who helped to put me in that seat.

At the end of the concert, upon insistence of an audience in a whirlwind of emotional exhilaration and after a special performance there was an excited buzz in the air. Would he come out to meet his fans? Yes, he did! In a darkened theatre he stood and signed copies of his new CD "To The Stars" that was on sale in the basement together with Hubbardís book. What a deal! I managed to have my picture taken with him and Mike Crellin, whoís wife Nicole took the difficult shot in the dark, while I told him how I had sung bass, you heard me, for his wife Gail Moranís impromptu Gospel Choir in England at a variety show in a fabulous castle.

Earlier I had stolen moments of the concert from my lofty balcony seat without a flash, feeling deliciously illicit.

 

And yes, you might want to know the German connection in this venture? I was not the only one of German descent there. Among others I spotted Rosl Mallinger, keyboard player of the Harmonie Brass, Toronto!

Anyone who wants to know more about Chick and his projects, - he is working on a collaboration with his fans, an interactive kind of a project, - can go to his website and check it out under www.chickcorea.com. May you never be the same!

 

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