I need to jot down observations on Django in June while still fresh in my mind. It was such a great experience for me, even better than last year's, in my opinion. I'd like to hear others' comments too.
First of all, props to Andrew Lawrence, the man with a vision who made it happen.
Things that stuck with me:
Lounging on the grass in the noonday sun next to a shady tree listening to Ensemble Zaiti jam, with attendees gathered around applauding: my definition of Heaven
Dennis Chang's class where we learned chord embellishments to improvising on Coquette.
Adrien Moignard's demonstrations of right hand strumming variations on bossa nova, funk, and swing rhythms
The ensemble labs, which more than anything else at DiJ helped in upgrading my performance and group/social skills
The jams in the off hours indoors and out, playing with new people, and hearing others including a number who had vastly improved since last year
Saturday night's concert of Ensemble Zaiti, to date arguably the best concert I've ever heard—despite the sound and feedback problems. I got hoarse from yelling for an encore, and wore out my pompe hand clapping.
The conversations around the table at meals and getting to know people I wouldn't have otherwise met
Meeting Robin Nolan, and his class on gypsy licks
Robin Nolan's concert, one of the most lyrical I've ever heard, plus the DiJ All Stars, with Matt Glazer cracking wise
Talking with Robin Saturday night at intermission outside Helen Hills Chapel, discovering what a friendly and unassuming guy he is. The man is a major artist.
Talking with Jean-Phillipe Watremez in John Keohane's van on my way home
I'm enormously grateful that this program exists. It has really opened up all kinds of new opportunities for me. I hope we will all stay in touch and foster community.
Again, Andrew, you the man.