A time to share

Monday, May 28, 2007

Jam Camp Weekend

I took off Friday afternoon and headed down Interstate 5 to Portland Oregon. Going to Harmonica Jam Camp. I had very mixed feelings about this. My younger brother passed away Wednesday morning. My older sister and Ted's wife were taking care of all the arrangements and I felt Ted would want me to go and get on with my living. I listened to music on the 3 hour drive and cried a couple of times during the road trip. It was good and healthy to cry for him. I will miss him a ton.
I arrived at the hotel at about 2:20. Camp began immediately at 3pm. Everyone there got right into harpin, harpin on a riff!

Our instructor, Jon Gindick had people drawin on the #2 hole right away.

I think all in all there were about 25 students and 8 instructors. We had jammers from as far away as Austrailia! Several from Canada too...
Mostly men but several ladies too.

It was a long weekend of blowin on a harp. Harp instruction and sleepless nights for this old boy!

I think everyone had a great time, I know I did.

I learned a lot of useful information. Mostly though for me, It all boils down to taking the guidance from several of the instructors
and working on what they taught. I don't know if I'm willing to at this point, but if I do, I know it will be extremely rewarding. Like my magic endeavors of the last three years. I realize that if I apply myself as diligently as I have magically, I will be a really excellent harmonica player.

The instructors were all incredible harmonica players. It was sweet just listening to them.
I was amazed at their competence, not only as players of the harp, but also as instructors. Their patience was really amazing.
I made some new friends and hopefully some of them will become lifelong

Besides being a fantastic harp player, Richard Sleigh played guitar and led an excellent course in "Open Harp Surgery" that I recorded with my video camera! How to repair and tweak your harmonica for optimum performance. It was a great learning experience.

Honestly I don't think I can do justice to the amount of information that was given out. I couldn't even attend many of the "classes" because of my level of playing, I was at a class elsewhere. Boy, I sure wish I could have been in two places at the same time. It was that good.
I didn't go down there with the best preparation I could have. Most of the "campers" were really into playing trhe harmonica and a lot of them play the guitar as well. They are so into it, like I have been into my magic. It was rather inspirational.
I hope I use and don't waste the value that was input into my life over the weekend.

Funny but I realized that to play harmonica you have to learn a different language. Just as in my magic, there is a language that makes the understanding of harmonica. There are names, like giants of the past. These names reminded me of my beginning days in magic when people would say names like Dai Vernon, Max Malini, Brother John Hamman, Alex Elmsley, Slydini, Blackstone, Fred Kaps and the list goes on and on and on... I knew none of these names when I first got interested in magic.
Names like Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Boy Williamson and on and on and on.
But the language. A whole other world! Ha ha ha...
I, IV, V chords, B7, 3rd this and 2nd that.... That's what I mean by not being prepared... Ah well, I had a blast and needed to have a blast!

Friday night after the structured portion of events, I made my way up to Jim DiIanni's room
for some more harp time as he played the guitar for a little bit of a private session with Bruce Bjornson, Jeff Brown and his wife Karen.
I left them at 1am.

I made a special friend in fellow camper Donaleen Kohn.!
She has been playing and taking lessons from her harmonica mentor David Lipkind for about three years. Donaleen plays real pretty music. David was one of the instructors during the camp. His harp playing is mind blowing.
I really enjoyed his ready and eager friendship. I hope to enhance it!


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