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There was just one more day remaining in 2023 when the Community Music Hangout gathered for the 41st edition. It was fabulous to squeeze in another day of communal jams in the park. We met under slate gray skies with a slight threat of rain. The piano was in particularly rough shape after a week of damp conditions; the notes were having a tough time resetting. Nevertheless, it was a great time to gather and play.
🎼 🎶 🎹 🎷
When I arrived, Joe was close in tow and we got set up together. Initially, the piano was very uncooperative. Played notes wouldn’t reset all the way to the “up” position and so it was very challenging to make music with Carly, our stalwart piano companion. Thankfully, Kyle showed up a few minutes later to take over the low end. With his support, we were able to start sending consistent vibrations through the piano.
😍 🌞 🌞 😍
Soon, Brian biked up and Alex joined as well. Alex is our newest regular to the hangout, and it’s been great seeing him join the ranks of Brian, Joe, Kyle, Sage, Nina, Zach and more! Welcome back; it’s always great to have another piano player around. And with that, we were off and rolling right along. The more we played, the more we vibrated that piano, the better the keys began to reset. She got better and better as the day went along until, towards the end, Alex was able to rip some really great, fast playing.
🤗 🥳 🎉 🌳
A little while later, Stan stopped by the hangout. We’ve seen him a number of times; he had some questions about playing without sheet music. Kyle gave him a nice study sheet pattern to build up the triads. Really great bit of rapid instruction from Kyle. Stan, we hope you come on back to the hangout in the future and show us what you’ve been working on. And that goes for everyone else, too. Come show us what you’ve been working on! After Stan walked on, Zach rolled up with his drums. Awesome!
😎 💻 🎹 😎
Later on, Alex was on keys and I was playing sax when I saw a young man with what certainly looked like an alto sax case to me. And it was! That fella was John and he was visiting from Florida; he brought his horn on his trip! He and his friends were on the way to another jam elsewhere in the city and they happened by the Hangout by happenstance. I invited them over and we jammed. John said it was his first time jamming out with others, but you wouldn’t have known it from his playing, which was excellent.
😍 🌞 🌞 😍
I asked John’s friends if any of them played or sang and one fella, Kainoa played drums. Zach was eager to share (which I loved) and Kainoa jumped on for a few songs. Great stuff! And I just love that we created this moment unexpectedly, outta nowhere. That’s what the Hangout is all about. Soon, Nina rolled up with her cello. Nice to see ya! And we had Kurt walk up and ask to sing Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were Here”. He did great! Lovely stuff all around.
😎 💻 🎹 😎
It was around 3:30 by the time we packed it in for the year. That makes 39 Community Music Hangouts in 2023. This was the year that the hangout took shape and took flight. We earned our first Hangout Regulars this year; we developed a rhythm section! We met a bunch of fun people who became real friends. And there’s so much more to come! I can’t wait for CMH #42 which will be Sunday, January 7th, 2024 at Carly i.e. the west piano at JFK and Stow Lake Drive from 11:30 until at least 2:30! See you there