Posted tagged ‘chemotherapy’

Jazz and the Grammys

February 15, 2012

        I didn’t realize there wasn’t a jazz category in the Grammys. I’m no expert in the music biz, but it seems wrong to me that an American original art form that is now loved around the world doesn’t have a recognized category. Maybe I’m just all about underdogs; bluegrass doesn’t get the recognition I think it deserves either.

        Part of my practice routine is to play my mandolin at chemotherapy. Today’s selection was Duke Ellington’s “Take the “A” Train.” The other patients seem to dig jazz and bluegrass both, and it does me good to see ’em smile. Maybe neither style of music will end up as a mogul money machine, but with all of us doing what we can at a grassroots level, real music can’t be denied, and jazz is as real as bluegrass. Long live both genres.

        Correcton: I heard from Don Stirenburg, the great jazz mandolinist from Chicago and he said there was a jazz category, and also a classical, but he wished they would have these artists perform more on the show.  I agree with him. Thanks for catching this, Don. As far as mandolin jazz and chord melody work you won’t run across any better than Mr. Stirenburg.

Dr. B

Mandolin Christmas Music and Chemotherapy Infusions

December 7, 2011

       Today was an infusion day and at the request of some of the other patients I have gotten to know I took my mandolin and played Christmas music. I know it helps me and hope it helps them; they seemed to like it. I am the first patient ever there who has played the mandolin while getting an IV infusion. I’ve always believed there is some power in the music and the others seem to agree; at least it makes  a tough experience more tolerable.

        The mandolin Christmas book I work out of and recommend for players of all levels is Roland White’s. It is not too difficult and yet his liberal use of rich double stops makes it sound more complicated than what it is. So, thanks Roland for your help to make a group of patients happy today. You never know where all the mandolin will take you.

Dr. B