THE SWEET SPOT
On April 15 fire ravished Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Images of Our Lady of Paris burning filled our screens last week. We often see fires burning other people’s forests or buildings. This was not the same. This was a safe place that we all shared and for almost a thousand years this beautiful building was a constant reminder that we as a people are OK. and we are capable of creating a peaceful and welcoming space that is filled with art and purpose and is itself a piece of art.
The Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt because we will always need safe harbors.
THE PERFECT PLACE
We need safe places. We need places where we feel embraced yet free. We need a place that is beautiful to our eyes, ears and nose. In sports it is called the sweet spot and in life I don’t know what it is called, but you know it when you find it. When I was a boy I had a tree branch that I could climb to where no one else could bother me. I was tall and farseeing when I was there. I have had places to paint like that later in life.
Artists need places like this. They need people around them that help them find their “sweet spot”
A SAFE PLACE
Last week was a holy week for many. Around the world people gathered together to find peace of mind. Families reunited in their homes and in their places of worship. We were forgiven, fed and comforted in familiar safe places. Monday of last week the Detroit Jazz Festival held their monthly jam session at the Dirty Dog. The club was jammed with players, fans and teachers. All night the door swung open for anyone and everyone. The place was full of good natured fellowship and jazz. No one was denied a chance to be heard. Everyone probably learned something. People moved about, took photographs or videos with their phones or professional cameras. I can safely say that all the photos and jazz came out pretty well. On Wednesday night Straight Ahead started a four day sold out gig at the Dirty Dog. This was certainly a testimony to their talent but something else was happening. Straight Ahead who has had a history of breaking the mold was playing to a crowd that likes to see molds broken in a place that welcomes innovators.
When I was a boy our family would sit by the radio after dinner and listen to the news of the world. My sister and I were then sent off to bed. World War II was raging and I would have dark images in my head as I fell off to sleep. I did have real heroes in my life and safe places to go. I knew that I was safe in my home and my school, and I thought of my parents and my teachers as heroic guides. The principal of our small grade school was a strong man with authority who had a gift of listening and understanding vulnerable students. He would spend time in our classroom and join us in our studies. We all got approval from this grand man when we worked hard, so we worked hard, and when we did, we felt good about ourselves. We were safe in that school. It was a near perfect place. I keep finding special places filled with special people. One of those places is the Dirty Dog Jazz Café
THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ
All are welcome as they come through the door and into the Dirty Dog. Artists, customers and staff will all be treated with respect when they are inside. This is a good place to be, surrounded by art and those people who embrace the arts and respect the artists.This is a place where you will not be judged as long as you don’t talk too loudly when the jazz is being played. There are no penalties for not knowing a lot about jazz or food. Mistakes are made. Silverware and notes are sometimes dropped, but there is an abundance of forgiveness, and opportunities to learn. This week the Dirty Dog will welcome Trunino Lowe’s band for a two day gig starting Wednesday. Trunino will have his first gig at the Dirty Dog. There probably isn’t a sweeter spot to have this happen.
April 24 – 25
The Trunino Lowe Quartet is comprised of four friends who love to play together. The quartet features Trunino Lowe on trumpet, Louis Jones III on drums, Jonathon S. Muir-Cotton on bass and Sequoia Snyder on keyboard. The band will be performing original music and standards. Trunino Lowe is a young up and coming trumpet player in Detroit. Serving as a composer, band leader, sideman and mentor at the age of 20, his passion for music shows on and off the band stand. He has played with some big names of Detroit such as Marion Hayden, Wendell Harrison, Rodney Whitaker, Sean Dobbins, Marcus Elliot, and more.
April 26 -27
WILLIE JONES III
Ever since 1997, when he moved to New York City from Los Angeles, his hometown, Willie Jones III has been one of the jazz capital’s most prominent drummers. Whether functioning as a savvy bandleader or high-profile sideman, Jones applies to every context an abiding musicality and a tonal personality that, as Wynton Marsalis puts it, is “ever tasteful,” marked by what pianist Eric Reed, his frequent collaborator, calls “a West Coast swagger in his swing, with a looseness that isn’t lackadaisical and an edge that isn’t overwhelming.”
Willie Jones III was born in a musical family in Los Angeles and now lives in Brooklyn NY.
He has played, toured, and recorded with Horace Silver, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, and Herbie Hancock. He played on Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy-winning album Hot House.