Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday Night Jazz Jam

Yvonne Coleman, a radio personality at invited me to sketch an evening honoring the Founder of the Monday Night Jazz Jam, the late pianist Billy Hall. After a fabulous four year run between Beluga's and the Grand Bohemian, "Jazz Jam" had  a Special Premier Night at Terrace 390, (390 N. Orange Ave), on the first floor of the Bank of America Building, Downtown. I arrived a bit late and the place was so packed, that I couldn't find a place to sit with a decent view of the musicians. I finally noticed a small table next to the keyboard player that had a donation jar. There was no cover, but donated tips would benefit The Steinway Piano Society for Underprivileged Youth. The jar was stuffed full of singles.

Numerous TOP Local and Internationally known Musicians and Vocalists performed. I knew the singer Jacqueline Jones because I had seen her perform at the Barack Obama campaign volunteer headquarters in Winter Park. Trumpet players, saxophone players and flute players stood on the side lines and periodically a player would step up to the mic for an improvised solo. Joseph Jevanni, at the keyboards, had his Intensity Productions business cards on the table. The evening of Jazz had the place jumping with some of the best of Central Florida blues and jazz. Yvonne stepped up to the mic to let everyone know that the owners of Terrace 390 were ecstatic about the amazing turn out, and that the Jazz Jam will be hosted there again on a regular basis. Specifics had yet to be worked out. The next one will be Monday, December 3rd at Terrace390.

On the walk back to my car, a guy on a bike shouted out to me, "Hey Bob!" as he biked by on the opposite side of the road."That was odd." I thought. "He must have mistaken me for someone else." A few minutes later, he biked up quickly behind me and dismounted. "Let me cut to the chase." He said as he walked beside me. "If you give me two dollars, I'll bike off and you will never have to see me again." There was some menace in his voice as he told me, "I've had to rob people in the past. We are all concerned about Democrats and Republicans but we don't help each other out."  He had the high ground since he could get away quickly on the bike. I decided it wouldn't be a good idea to pull out my wallet. Instead I found a fist full of change in a back pocket and I handed it over. I suppose I should have let him know my name wasn't Bob. I'm glad I didn't put all my change in the tip jar, since I needed it for safe passage to my car which was another half a block away.

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


Chere Force said...

Please - please - make sure you let the downtown police know what happened to you.
You'll save the next "Bob" from being shaked down. I've been enjoying downtown theater and music for years and have never had anything like that happen to me.
Please speak up so it gets nipped in the bud.

Thor said...

Done Chere.

Mary Walker Designs said...

It's official you get to go everywhere that is cool. Strange exchange with the bike rider lucky for you it ended peacefully. Thanks for sharing with SMWYG!