Monday, November 29, 2010

Feels so Good!

I've been feeling disconnected from friends and family lately, so on Monday night I decided I needed to treat myself to a sweet taste of jazz at the Grand Bohemian downtown (325 South Orange Avenue.) Jazz is performed every Monday night starting at 8pm, and there is no cover. A collection jar is kept out and any tips go towards the needy in the community. When I entered the bar, Yvonne Coleman, who organizes the jazz jams, gave me a warm welcoming hug. She is such an amazing champion of my work. Between sets she introduced me to the crowd. I ordered a Blue Moon and got to work.

The performers I sketched were Joey Pegram on the drums, Joseph Jebanni on the sax and Don Black on the keyboard. The spontaneous flowing riffs swept over me and caused the lines of my sketch to dance and vibrate. I didn't have to second guess or worry, the music allowed the lines to flow with simple spontaneous joy. Miss Jacqueline Jones got up to sing. As the sax screamed it's pleasure, her body vibrated electrically to the sound. Several minutes passed as the sax continued its joyous conversation. The crowd shouted back and Jacqueline shook harder. The place erupted. This was my first time seeing her perform and I wish I had caught her in a sketch. I am sure I will be seeing her again. Outside a firetruck pulled up in front of the hotel. Its red lights flashed in time to the music which flowed unhindered.

A performance of "Feels so Good" had me swaying to the beat my spirit lifted. Dr. Otto Gomez stepped in and livened the performance with his awesome trumpet playing. One of the final songs of the evening was, "This Masquerade." I was completely lost in the moment. I left after this set, my sketch complete. The beat stayed with me affecting my walk back to the truck. I didn't turn on the radio on the drive home, instead I hummed and tapped my foot to the beat that was stuck in my head and like a heart beat wouldn't stop. When life offers no resolutions, jazz is my anchor and joy.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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