So, I walked into Laughing Planet one day and noticed Frank Zappa pictures on the wall. Colorful pop art and I was blown away. I looked at the signature on the paintings and I investigated and realized that Joel Washington lived in Bloomington.
I approached Joel because I was in the middle of making a recording and I was thinking of cover art. I asked him if he would be interested in taking a photograph and making it into an artful portrait.
We became friends quickly and he does great work! It took him over a year to finish the painting because we would always get together and talk about so much stuff! I finally received this piece last year and I am so excited to share. He’s a marvelous artist and you can see a lot of his major works & samples of his various styles at the Indiana University Memorial Building.
A great weekend working with some fine young bassoon students in Canada. I spent this Saturday giving a master class and performing a recital with colleagues from the Montreal Symphony and students at the McGill University.
After two weeks spent in Puerto Rico, The International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico (ICOPR) completed 8 concerts, several master classes, and reached out to many students, young children, and adults with disabilities.
The local community we visited appeared fascinated because they had never seen classical music instruments before. At rehearsal breaks the children would be paraded around the orchestra to look at our instruments. It was funny and it was almost as if we were, “animals in a zoo”. They were delighted and in many cases the students came up and touched the instruments. It was sweet!
We also had a chance to see the developments after Hurricane Maria. The people were so kind and warm. We heard stories of people without phone and electricity for seven months! Some people had to sleep in their cars at night. The only thing they had was a car and gas. No phone and no computer for that long! (Maybe that would be good?) The gift of music to the Puerto Rico community was really appreciated.
Throughout the weeks the principal players of the orchestra were giving master classes to the young aspiring musicians of Puerto Rico at each city we performed in.
On the odd off day, we visited beaches throughout the territory of Puerto Rico. There was a gorgeous surfing resort town called Rincón where we saw some super interesting waves. Some of us rented paddle boards, enjoyed the beach, and enjoyed the local dives. The visit inspired me to think I may want to move here for part of the year.