Category Archives: Newsletters

5 New Videos, Radio Interview, November Newsletter

November 2012

Dear Friends,

We’ve survived a $2 billion election cycle and two major storms (counting the nor’easter for those of us here in the, er, nor’east). I know some of our readers have just now had electricity restored to their homes. Despite all these events, this Fall has been one of the most exhilarating seasons of my career. My recent string of high profile performances was effectively wrapped up for the time being by my appearance with the USAF Airmen of Note in D.C. late last month. However, the momentum continues, and big developments for mid-late 2013 are taking shape. No need to wait for instant gratification, though — scroll down for a trove of links to new live videos and photos I just posted of some of this Fall’s activities. I’m also pleased to announce my selection as Artist of the Month on a New York state Jazz radio show.  Pictured above is a moment from my guest appearance my Sonagi Project on 10/19.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – WICB 91.7FM Jazz Radio. I’ve been selected as artist of the month at WICB at Ithaca College. This will involve airplay of both music (already playing) and a phone interview (air date TBA). The Mulberry Street album has already been in rotation, and I haven’t been given a schedule for future plays. Feel free to give it a try — the particular show is called “Jazz Impressions” and runs weekdays from 12-1pm at or at 91.7FM in Western NY.


(Date TBD): Performance by Airmen of Note. Premiere of my commissioned composition as part of Sammy Nestico award. Washington, D.C. Most likely Summer 2013. Details forthcoming. Meanwhile, I’ll be happily hard at work composing for this top-notch band.

(Date TBD): Lecture/performance.  To culminate my composer residency at Flushing Town Hall, administered by Exploring the Metropolis, I’ll present a lecture/performance that is still taking shape. This will occur in most likely Spring or Summer 2013. Details will develop pending grant applications among other factors.  Speaking of this residency, I have logged a number of hours there now, either on the piri, trombone, or meditating.  It’s hard to stay off my piano-crutch, but so far I’ve still resisted.

Nanaori: Project Hansori with Soh Daiko at Locating the Sacred Festival 9-16-12. Our epic closing piece that I arranged just for this occasion, combining the potent forces of both ensembles, against all voices of reason:

Yuudachi: Jeff Fairbanks with Soh Daiko at Locating the Sacred Festival 9-16-12. A shortened piece that serves as a collaboration between the taiko ensemble and myself on trombone:

Cho Hon: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. My favorite of this collaboration, this piece leaves plenty of room for solo trombone (and duo with vocal) expression:

Nine Beat: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. Fun with rhythm:

Janggu Samba: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. The upbeat, encore number:


Sonagi Project (10/19, 10/21). I wrote at length last month about how much I enjoyed collaborating with Chang JaeHyo and his Korean percussion ensemble Sonagi Project. Their month-long tour of the Northeastern US included several stops at Flushing Town Hall, coinciding with my composer residency there. Performing with them was a thrill, not just because of the level of collective music making, but also the freedom and spontaneity Sonagi Project allows. For instance, we used no sheet music, and all my melodies were improvised. I joined them at Town Hall 10/19 and also the well-known Brooklyn music spot Barbes on 10/21.

Korean Culture Forum, 10/17. Flushing Town Hall. I was honored to speak on this panel about Korean music and its possibilities for the future, along with some heavy-weight arts leaders like Robert Baron of NY State Council on the Arts, and Rachel Cooper of the Asia Society, among others. An unlikely (absent) star of the evening was Gangnam Style performer Psy, whom moderator Kim Hae Joo explained has given a breakthrough for exporting Korean culture to the world via his much-watched video and song.

Airmen of Note, 10/26. Pun alert (I couldn’t help it): It was a real highlight to barnstorm Washington, D.C. for several days, working with the Air Force’s premier Jazz band (that branch’s top guns). At the concert I was presented with the Sammy Nestico Award, a proud moment in my career; a real lift. Then, with myself in the cockpit, we took off with Mulberry Street part II, the piece they had chosen for the award. Dogfights between brass and reeds were executed with an almost laser-guided precision, with rhythm section ready in the wings. During his solo the lead alto really turned on the afterburner, with the pianist pulling chords left and right, the bass diving through his range, the guitarist just flying, and the drummer dropping bombs in all the appropriate places. I tell you, the heat-seeking audience needed look no further.  After the show a squadron of us strafed a local joint to cool our jets. It was fun to hang with these (tom)cats as well as L.A. trombonist Andy Martin, who was the featured guest soloist that night. Looking forward to my commission, I’m ready to aim high and shoot for the sky!


Thanks for reading,

Jeff Fairbanks

ASCAP Award, Shows this Week, and Eye/Ear Candy: Jeff Fairbanks October Newsletter

…or: “Folk Forum, Follow-ups, Photos, Flushing, Fairbanks’ Fan Fun for Fall”

October 2012

Dear Creative Music Lovers,

First, welcome to the many new fans who attended Temple of Memories, the concert of Project Hansori and Soh Daiko at Locating the Sacred festival last month (pictured here)! Scroll down or click here to hear a short but fun moment from that concert. This newsletter comes in the midst of a flurry of activity this Fall. Though I’m not sure if any readers live near my D.C. appearance next week, tomorrow and especially Friday are two local NYC appearances I’m very excited about. Also read on for a new award announcement, show follow-ups, and a link to an entertaining post about my former jail cell studio.

10/26/12: Jeff in D.C. with USAF Airmen of Note
8pm @ Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. Washington, D.C. Free.
730 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

I will lead the Air Force’s premier Jazz band on a performance of my original piece Mulberry Street, which won the 2012 Sammy Nestico Award (mentioned in September’s newsletter). A segment of the concert will be nationally broadcast later on NPR. Broadcast details are TBD, and it’s unclear whether my portion will be included on it. FYI, this is the venue hosting the “Rumble” between John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly on an earlier date this month, so the venue will be plenty warmed up for us.

10/17/12: Jeff panelist at Korean Culture Forum
Wednesday, October 17 @ 6-10pm. Suggested admission $10/ members free.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd Flushing, New York 11354

The Korean Culture Forum: Korean Traditional Music, Today, Tomorrow includes mini performance by Sonagi, resident Korean percussion ensemble while in tour in the U.S. I’ve been asked to appear as a a guest panelist on a discussion of the state of Korean music now and in the future. I hope to add to the discussion some insight from my experiences with fusing some of these traditions into my own music. It will be an honor to join some very notable colleagues tomorrow.  Friday I have the privilege to perform with Sonagi (see below).

10/19/12: Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall, with special guest Jeff Fairbanks
Friday, October 19 @ 8pm. $15/$10 members, students.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd Flushing, New York 11354

Almost every show I share in the newsletters is one where I am the band leader, whether it’s Project Hansori or Street Beat. However, this Friday is a unique chance to see me performer as a featured guest on another leader’s project. I’m thrilled to have been invited perform with Sonagi Project, the janggu-centered Korean percussion group, during their tour of the U.S. Sonagi is led by the visionary and innovative Chang Jae-Hyo, in a class of his own as an accomplished Pansori singer, ajaeng (bowed zither) player, as well as percussionist. It’s really been a musical high to work with Jae-Hyo and his group for several days earlier this month, preparing for our concert. I wish I could have a regular part of my shcedule doing this kind of music making. My portion of the concert will be about 25 minutes, and will involve just about all my Eastern and Western training and experience, including imitating the taepyeongso (double-reed instrument), Jazz inflection, and free improvisation, all within strict, complicated rhythm patterns. I love it!

This Fall has yielded a big harvest in terms of awards. Since learning of the USAF Sammy Nestico award in September, I just learned that I was given an ASCAP Plus Award as well. This award is meant to recognize my achievements of the last full year, 2011. Considering 2011 included my debut album release on a reputable New York label, several major grant awards, commissions and performances, it really was my career best year …until this one!


I figured the above headline would raise some eyebrows when I wrote this post on my website on Oct 1st. If you didn’t catch it then, read it here:


9/16/12 Locating the Sacred, presented by Asian American Arts Alliance

I love taking risks with creative music. That’s exactly what we did at the Locating the Sacred Festival, joining a Taiko ensemble (Soh Daiko) with a Jazz big band (Project Hansori). The sound of the two groups together was a wonderful success. I can say with some experience both positive and negative, that collaborating (between individuals, let alone bands) can be difficult, risky, scary, and the end product does not always work. That’s probably why it doesn’t happen often. But as I listened to our collaborative, closing piece I thought, “this sound is why I take these risks”. The same goes for our 45-minute Ives-ian sound collage, which made an acoustic effect better than I could have even imagined. And it’s hard to believe that the actual time rehearsing both full bands together as a unit was less than an hour! Thanks to the open-mindedness of the performers and the audiences who packed the floor (and the 2nd floor, basement, lobby, and stairways!). Everyone was willing to get out of their comfort zones to try something new, and that we did. And boy did it pay off.

10/7 Street Beat at All Nite Soul fest
If Project Hansori took us an a spiritual journey at Locating the Sacred, Street Beat reminded us to have fun at All Nite Soul. In an event that started at 7pm (or 5:30 including the Jazz service), we startled awake die-hard but weary fans at St Peter’s Church at 1am by blasting How Great Thou Art from the balcony above and behind them. I think we caught them off-guard again when we re-entered at 2am, marching through the sanctuary and winding between pews to a Calypso beat. I’m laughing as I write. Good fun. The festival organizer himself called our performance “exciting and inspiring”.

10/13 Street Beat at All Saints Church Pumpkin Fair
Street Beat added a last minute public performance last weekend at this street fair in my neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens. Too bad I couldn’t get this newsletter out in time!

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Fairbanks


Nestico Award, NY Times, New Shows, ‘N’other News, Now

September 2012

Dear fellow music lovers,

Honestly I didn’t think I’d be writing for several months after August’s newsletter. However, things have happened – in a great way! …Street Beat has really taken off, picking up gigs and even the attention of the NY Times! …The giant Locating the Sacred festival is just over a week away, when Project Hansori makes its long-anticipated return to the stage. …I’ll make guest panelist appearance on a Korean music forum. …And to top it all off, fresh off the heels of my Con-Ed residency award, I was chosen exclusively for a major national composing award!  First, these upcoming appearances:

Sunday September 16, 2012 at 2pm
New York Buddhist Church
331-332 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10025

Next weekend!  This not-to-be-missed, epic collaboration of close to 30 musicians (Jazz and Taiko), playing independently in five different rooms at the same time will be unlike anything I’ve ever done. In fact, no one knows exactly what the full assembly will sound like until, well, when it happens. Check out the event page on the LTS website, and join the Facebook event page here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012.  Admission: $25.  *Update: our time slot = midnight*
St Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street New York, NY 10022

Street Beat is excited about our appearance at the 42nd annual All Nite Soul Festival.  Like all bands in this festival, we have a short, 15 minute slot.  Unlike the rest of the bands, though, this slot might be creatively split into multiple surprise entrances in impromptu physical locations.  You’ve been warned.  Did I mention the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is opening this?  Of course, they start five hours before us — but hey, staying that whole time is the best opportunity to show what a die-hard fan you are!  And then, if you choose, you can stay until 4am or so when the whole festival closes.  It is “All Nite” Soul after all.

Wednesday, October 17 @ 6-10pm. Suggested admission $10/ members free.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd Flushing, New York 11354

The Korean Culture Forum: Korean Traditional Music, Today, Tomorrow includes mini performance by Sonagi, resident Korean percussion ensemble while in tour in the U.S. I’ve been asked to appear as a a guest panelist on a discussion of the state of Korean music now and in the future. I hope to add to the discussion some insight from my experiences with fusing some of these traditions into my own music.

8pm @ Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. Washington, D.C.  Free.
730 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

This performance is in conjunction with the major announcement just below.  I’m guest conducting my original piece Mulberry Street with the Airmen of Note on one of their Jazz Heritage Series concerts. Portions of these are nationally broadcast on NPR, though it’s unclear whether are not my portion will be. Nonetheless this will be quite an honor to appear with the top Jazz band in the Air Force. I’ll have more info as it becomes available.

I’ve just been named winner of the 2012 Sammy Nestico Award, hosted by the US Air Force’s premiere Jazz band, the “Airmen of Note”. There is only one winner each year for this national Jazz composer competition. The award comes with a commission to compose a new piece for the band to be premiered in 2013.  Each year during their Jazz Heritage series the band performs the piece by whom they chose the winning composer.  As I mentioned above, the band will perform Mulberry Street on October 26th in Washington, D.C.

Unbeknownst to us, while Street Beat was performing in a massive funeral on 8/30/12 (under “Follow Ups” below), the NY Times’ renowned fashion photographer Bill Cunningham was on the scene covering it. For good reason. The 300-plus crowd at iconic Riverside Church in upper Manhattan created quite a public and fashionable spectacle when we led them on a celebratory, New Orleans-style ‘second line’ procession through the surrounding streets. Here’s a link to Cunningham’s photo collage and blurb about the event. Our pic is in the middle, second line (no pun intended) from bottom. Also, the photo atop of this letter was taken on site, immediately after this event.


8/18/12: Street Beat’s performance (pictured above) at the annual Fly New York kite flying festival, part of the NYC Parks Department’s Summer on the Hudson series, was a (pun alert) breeze. The perfect weather on this summer day felt like a cool October one, helping us enjoy the sun for our whole three hour engagement. Pier 70 on Manhattan’s West shore made a beautiful setting on the Hudson for the crowd, which probably approached 1000.

8/30/12: Referred to above, this was Street Beat’s appearance at the funeral of Lloyd Sherman at Riverside Church in Manhattan. Though it was a private event, it’s really worth mentioning here. Dr. Sherman’s family honored his expressed wish to be led on a New Orleans-style funeral procession, complete with a band celebrating his life with New Orleans Jazz. And celebrate they did. Joyful whoops and hollers followed our rhythmic renditions of hymns as the crowd of over 300 danced behind us through the streets. After we played “I’ll Fly Away” per the family’s request, I heard shouts of “That’s for you, Dad!”. I love being able to provide moments like this for people. Also, you might guess which song I picked for us to play as we rounded Riverside Drive on our way to the procession’s end at Riverside Church. How could I pick anything other than Down by the Riverside? The family approved.

I officially begin my Fall composer residency at Flushing Town Hall this month. In my last newsletter I mentioned being chosen for this opportunity from Exploring the Metropolis and sponsored by Con Edison. Now that this Fall has become much busier (which is good), the Hall will really become a refuge from all the commotion, to find my muse.

Francesca Han (PH pianist) has relocated for now to her native South Korea to pursue some tempting opportunities there. She has a busy Fall touring Korea and elsewhere in Asia, and just signed a deal with a Korean label for her next album. Not a bad move. However, Project Hansori and New York will miss her!

Linda Oh (PH bassist) continues to make waves through the Jazz world, now with a new release of her own on Greenleaf, appearances on other recordings, and tours with Dave Douglas and more.  See her website for details.

I hope to see our locals and any Washingtonians at one of these upcoming events.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Fairbanks

Jeff Fairbanks Summer News (Summer ’12)


Summer 2012

Dear Friends,

Much has developed since my Spring newsletter. Many exciting musical events are planned for this Fall and detailed here. …Project Hansori comes roaring back, teaming up with a Taiko drum group (that’s right!) for a mind-bending, conceptual performance at a brand new NYC Asian Arts festival. …I’ve launched a completely new band (pictured) of a small brass and drums format, with two upcoming appearances including the All Nite Soul fest. …I begin a Fall composer residency in September, for which I was recently selected.

Finally, I cannot omit the traumatic but also inspiring episode that has occupied my life between these letters. At the end of this letter I mention my young son’s freak accident in May and his amazing recovery since then. Though I usually keep these letters focused on musical happenings, any recent news involving me would be incomplete without mentioning this.

Sunday September 16, 2012 at 2pm
New York Buddhist Church
331-332 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10025

After more than year(!), an opportunity finally worth taking has presented itself for Project Hansori to perform. The Asian American Arts Alliance will present the group in a concert called Temple of Memories, as part of its Locating the Sacred festival which runs 12 days city-wide in Sept. The chosen venue is pretty unique, the New York Buddhist Church in the Upper West Side.  We will collaborate with the esteemed Taiko group Soh Daiko, on a program billed as an “all-immersive sonic environment” – or, as stated in my brother’s blog post, “intentional bleeding”. By the latter I mean the 25-or-so of us will split into multiple rooms and floors of the Buddhist church, playing different music simultaneously. Guests will freely wander through the building as in an art exhibit during this portion of the event. The concert will culminate in our combined forces performing as one for the finale. …So you could say it’s your typical, avante garde big-band-with-taiko kind of a show.

Until now all readers probably know me solely through my big band, Project Hansori. That’s not going away by any means, as our Locating the Sacred show demonstrates. But I’d like to introduce you to my newest musical brainchild. I conceived Street Beat as a vehicle for the infectious brass-based music of various ethnic traditions: namely Gospel, Banda (Mexican brass genre), and Klezmer; as well as hints of New Orleans (“Dixieland”) and Caribbean.  It’s a five-piece group consisting of trumpet, alto sax, trombone, sousaphone, and drums. The instrumentation is intentionally mobile so that we can stroll or process while we play.   (“Street Beat” describes a generic beat drummers play between songs in a parade; it also fits well with our loose, fun vibe). This together with the festive music creates quite a fun atmosphere for musicians and fans alike.  Pictured above (L to R) are Mike Webster, Jason Wiseman, myself, Vin Scialla, and James Rodgers.

We played our first performance in May, at New York Presbyterian Church.  See videos from that concert on my YouTube channel.  Also you can hear tracks from our demo recording here (including Banda and Klezmer).  Here are two more upcoming shows:

Saturday, August 18 @ 11am-2pm
Riverside Park South on Pier I (park entrance at 68th street and Riverside Drive/ Pier at 70th street)

Street Beat will perform paired down as a brass trio for this waterfront festival on Manhattan’s West side. Though the music is not the focus of the event, it’s noteworthy as only our second gig, and any locals reading this would enjoy the Hudson views on the pier as well as the music.

Sunday, October 7, 2012, time TBD (late night)
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street New York, NY 10022

This famed all-night Jazz festival at St Peter’s Church (“The Jazz Church”) in midtown Manhattan has been running annually since it was started back in the 1960’s. This year it’s headlined by the top-tier Vanguard Orchestra, with whom we’re thrilled to share the stage. Street Beat will perform a Gospel set as our full quintet. Our starting time is TBD, so I’ll pass it on when it’s announced.

I’ve been selected for a three-month residency administered by Exploring the Metropolis and sponsored by Con-Edison. During September through November I will work on-site at Flushing Town Hall, to compose a new work. Of course I couldn’t just make it that simple, though. Rather than allow myself to work on the piano as normal, I restricted myself to only using the taepyeongso, a Korean double-reed instrument. Why would I do this? “Necessity is the mother of invention”. I believe composers like myself get so used to our composing tools (piano, computer, etc.), that our music starts to sound like something that just works well on those tools, rather than something reaches new musical territory. So I’m going to shed my piano-isms for some taepyeongso-isms, and see what happens. I think some interesting – or at least different! – music will come out of it. Oh, and one extra detail: I don’t actually play this instrument yet. I’ve been trying to understand more about East Asian music as a composer, and I think learning an instrument will really open up my ears to it.

A side note about a developing opportunity, I’ve advanced to the second round of applicants to Creative Capital‘s Performing Arts program. CC offers massive, ongoing support to the few projects they deem the most adventurous each grant cycle, and is predictably uber-competitive. I’m proud to have made the ‘short’ list of a few hundred, down from a few thousand. My proposal is something new and quite adventurous, so I’m keeping it under wraps until it’s either funded or ready to go public. We’ll see how the September deliberation goes…

As I wrote in previous letters, my injury last Summer (lost tooth, cut lip) prevented me from playing for two months. I was planning to highlight my return to playing by having two “loud” months this Fall, marking one year after my two “silent” months.

…That’s all dwarfed now by my son’s story of injury and recovery this Summer. Briefly, Kyle suffered traumatic brain injury in May after falling off our 2nd floor balcony. He’s lucky to be alive. But after miraculous surgery and recovery, involving two months of hospitalization, he’s now home and basically back to himself again. My whole family is overjoyed and thankful to God for such an amazing outcome, which we consider answered prayer. The whole story is too vast to bring up here, so for more info my brother Andy detailed the story well in his blog series, Adventures in Daddy Duty.  It’s also covered well by my wife Choi in the online network CaringBridge.

Needless to say, this episode has consumed my family since its start in mid-May. Together with my own injury earlier, this past year has had its share of health trials. But it’s been also been a year of incredible healing and bouncing back. I’m thrilled that this Fall is an opportunity to bounce back musically as well.


Jeff Fairbanks

World Premier Spring Fever (Spring ’12 Newsletter)

Spring 2012

Thanks for your ongoing interest in my musical journey.  My last letter was in December, and I like to write only when I have something truly newsworthy to say.  So I’m sure you’ll be interested to read about my several upcoming world premieres and other events.

April 29: 2pm at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Free. The West Point Jazz Knights (pictured) perform the world premiere of Cumberland Gap, the composition they commissioned me to write for them. It’s my foray into Bluegrass, rich with Americana, that I think dovetails with the diplomatic mission of this military band. Don’t expect anything like the Bluegrass you know, though! I’ll leave it at that. This smoking band is stacked full of alums of the top Jazz schools in the country.  MORE INFO

May 1: 1:30pm at Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY. Limited public lecture/recital. Violinist JongEun Lee performs the world premier of my Sanjo for Violin and Piano, which she commissioned for her doctoral recital. The three-movement work is based on four different Korean traditional songs and mimics the virtuosic instrumental genre called sanjo. Often the violin is employed as a geomungo (zither) or haegeum (fiddle), and the piano as janggu (barrel drum). The piece also incorporates Western contemporary classical and Jazz elements.  In a recent blog post I wrote in more detail about the experience of composing this.  MORE INFO

May 13: 2pm at New York Presbyterian Church, Long Island City, NY.  Free, open to public.  I’m organizing and leading a new brass band in a Gospel music concert for this date.  The band is trumpet (Jason Wiseman), sax (Mike Webster), sousaphone (James Rogers), drums (Vin Scialla), and of course, trombone (myself).  We’ll play timeless hymns in the energetic brass shout band tradition that I closely identify with.  I expect to write more about this exciting new band project as it develops.  MORE INFO

I had the pleasure of serving as an adjudicator for the Brass soloist finals competition at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) national conference here in NYC in late March. It was an honor to share the panel with brass giants Jeff Scott and Raymond Stewart. For two days we listened to the most talented brass players in the US at the high school and college levels. Some of them had memorized their entire programs, up to 40 minutes – a feat in itself. The musicality of the college level winner, a tubist, was astonishing.

I finally obtained a copy of the Mulberry Street review in the British magazine JazzWise. Giving the record 3 out of 4 (normally) stars, the editor adds, “East Asian music is among the fascinations of this US-based trombonist, big band composer, and arranger. Here he, subtly yet persuasively, draws from Korean/Chinese music for his contemporary jazz large ensemble writing.”

Speaking of this album, for any newcomers who haven’t yet checked out my big band Project Hansori or its debut album, here are links both to hear/see them at our band website, and to purchase the full or partial album on iTunes.

While we’re at it, old comers and newcomers alike will appreciate the new design of my personal website.

Check out these brand new records by trombonist John Yao (“In the Now”), his debut on the Innova label; and by now top-demand bassist Linda Oh (“Initial Here”), her second, on Dave Douglas’ label, Greenleaf. More veteran records are in the works by Francesca Han, Mike Webster, and a coming debut disc by Ryan Pate.

BRIDGING THE GAP (pun alert):
Chew on this… Many months after my mouth and face injury (given lip-service in my Sept-Oct newsletter), my trombone chops feel like 100% and I’m happily chompin’ at the bit. It turns out all my initial worries and teeth-gnashing of not being able to play again were all bark and no bite. We’ve silenced all that chatter. To be sure, though, it’s not all giggles and grins. Some scar tissue remains on my lip, probably permanently (somewhat biting news), and it’s still strange to play the horn with a “flipper” denture in my mouth. However, the latter will change, since on my 5/20 dental appointment my implant procedure will finally be done, nipped in the bud. On this date my wonderful dentist, a bona fide surgeon to whom I feel most indentured, will place a permanent pearly white on the titanium implant screw (a newfangled technology) that’s now sticking out of my 1-toothless gum. I should then be able to play freely, without distraction. So it is not I, but fate, who has the glass jaw, who bit off more than it could chew. And lest I forget my musical roots, the Philippines may be where I fell and tickled my ivory, but NYC is where I truly cut my teeth. And that makes me all smiles.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Fairbanks