Winning By Not Winning


Performing as a guest band at Monterey High School


A stage waiting for grace


The journey of 900 miles to Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival started with a single note a few months ago.  It was fabulous to be along on the ride and witness young people playing and singing their hearts out, gifting anyone who listened.  A truly unique offering from “our” (my community’s) ‘little band that could’ making it to the top 13 out of 130+ bands, since we are not a performing arts school or a school with over 1,000 students from which band directors can double up instruments for a big big BIG band sound.  The heights they rose to, thanks to their hard work and an incredible music teacher who inspires them to rise up is remarkable.  I’ll forever treasure the memory of being there to listen.

Official Monterey Next Gen Jazz Festival link

(In my humble opinion, the official recording sounds as if it’s inside a tin can, and ours was the only band not livestreamed due to technical complications.  The parent recordings sound more similar to me to what they sounded like live)



The little band that could did your community and yourselves proud!

Gotta love the “ba-na-na” version of their set sung with sleep deprivation on the midnight airport shuttle all the way home.  They asked the question, are there five stages of sleep deprivation just like five stages of grief?  Good question.

One of our stops along the way was a trip through the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I set a few phone vids to music (in order to block out background crowd noise).  I believe it’s a pipefish that sways like eel grass.  Pretty awesome little dudes!

I’m composing a letter to the editor of gratitude to all the donors who made it possible for me to come along on the ride as chaperone and for my daughter to have this once in a lifetime kind of experience.


Leaving San Fran

Mind blowing to hear off-the-charts educators, students, judges, pro musicians for 48 hours.  Terri Lyne Carrington was a favorite of all who heard her shared life wisdom about what it means to share your gift as a musician and that making live music is creating sacred space.

Not only are prominent women jazz musicians rare outside of singers, but it was noteworthy that “our” high school jazz band is made up of primarily young women, my young person among them.  Incredibly inspiring to hear Helen Sung, Ms. Carrington along with alto saxophonist Tia Fuller provide a clinic for students.

Terri Lyne Carrington Bio


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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