In “The City of Jazz,” one cannot turn around without encountering great legacy. Danny Barker speaks of the potency of Duke Ellington as if it was a force beyond the material world from which future generations will forever draw inspiration.

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Who can say where music lives? Being sound, it is matter and yet; music contains intangible qualities at its heart that compels ever to greatness in whatever the Jazz man, or Jazz woman, does.

Dear reader, on the eve of Edward 'Duke' Ellington's 110th birthday, I am chastened to say that I couldn't give to this posting the attention that I feel it deserves. (I have been feverishly preparing for the 4th Annual “Why Not Call It Music” Festival.)

There will be updates; I invite you to check back as the week unfolds and certainly by next week, there will be something here of interest to the Jazz Citizen.

I will close by stating my admiration for a man who has accomplished greatness in our time. This past week-end, at the 40th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Wynton Marsalis performed his own composition “Congo Square” on Friday, April 24th 2009. While I was not in attendance, the raves that followed were heard all over town. The following day, I did catch the first four pieces in Ellington's “New Orleans Suite” which the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra rendered potently and heartfully, under the direction of Wynton.

I could say so, so... much about Wynton – perhaps little of which would be considered relevant. One thing is undeniable, he has done and is doing what Danny said that he would do: “Carry on.”

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your continued support as I carry on with whatever I can do, with Danny as my guide.

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Peace & Pops,
Esquizito
Maison Musique, New Orleans
esquizito.com
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"Why not call it... music?" - Charlie Parker

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Comment by Esquizito on May 1, 2009 at 11:34am
I must add: What a joy it was. The moments spent with Maestro Pete Seeger... Minister Pete Seeger... Mystic-Seer Pete Seeger. We "prayed twice" the ancient words of the Ecclesiastes.

"To everything, turn, turn, turn...
There is a season, turn, turn, turn...
and a time to every purpose under heaven."

How much can you remember?

Pete also reminded us that: "This too, shall pass." Also the potency of the word: "Maybe."

In "Don't Say It Can't Be Done" (Pete's MLK inspired message) he included a reference to September 11th, 2001 - in the context of human survival.

"Don't say it can't be done!
The battle's just begun.
Take it from Dr. King... you can learn to sing... so put down the gun!

I don't remember him giving us a direct wish of Peace... in his bow (maybe his final at Jazz Fest.) Nevertheless, many in the field felt safe that day: Saturday, April 25th 2009, to throw skyward the "Peace sign" and the Peace sing.

Pete's sing.

Peace,
E.

p.s. Oh yes, we did sing "Happy Birthday." Actually, he turns 90 Years, come Sunday . (May 3, 2009)
Comment by Esquizito on May 1, 2009 at 11:02am
Comment by Esquizito on May 1, 2009 at 10:59am
Dear Reader,

Following Hugh Masekela's magical performance closing out Sunday, April 26th, 2009 Jazz Fest first week-end, I was given the following information by an attractive Caucasian woman in her mid-forties, in the form of a full-color, "glossy" pamphlet - very well designed, with the festival's logo across the top. It reads:

In New Orleans, Shell is sponsoring Jazz Fest.
In Nigeria, Shell sponsored torture and murder.
Next month, Shell goes on trial for its crimes.

You can see for yourself at: www.ShellJazzFest.com

"How many holes?"

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Peace,
E.

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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