Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Meet Art Bookout. Throughout the year, and especially around Christmastime, I have the opportunity to work with Art's jazz trio, bringing merriment into the corporate event world. Jazz does not necessarily equate with merriment, unless you are playing with Art. There are many things to like and appreciate about this guy. At the top, for me, is joy he brings to performance. From the downbeat, Art is the smiling-est guy I know (not an unhappy fellow otherwise, but there's just something about his polyrhythm induced grin that's contagious). It's this kind of connection that allows music to reach in all directions, touching both the engaged, and the unsuspecting. I don't know Art very well, apart from our "gigging". Sometimes, though, you don't need to know, in order to know. Art is one of those practical/sensible musicians, taking the Mister Holland road, as the band director at St Mark's High School in Wilmington, DE. When he talks about his kids (which is often), and their band trips, competitions, concerts, etc, I am reminded of the dedication of Paul Mayberry (my high school band director), and the impact he made on many of us, as we sought to find our way. Tomorrow night, I've one final holiday corporate event with Art (pictured above on the 18th floor of the PNC bank bldg. in Wilmington, DE). Looking forward to it, as always.

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