I’ve long since been too impatient to sit in a classroom . . . call it a restless spirit or attention-deficit disorder. But there are a few Professors I know I can always learn from. One of them is James Dapogny, that barrelhouse / lyrical pianist, who shows us new ways in and out of the music — always lighting the way to pleasure without a hint of scholarly tedium. Professor Dapogny is Emeritus from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, so the only lessons I’ve gotten from him since 2004 have taken place in informal hot seminars held at the Jazz at Chautauqua party.
I know that to some readers of JAZZ LIVES, what is coming up might provoke a barely muffled sigh. “Is that fellow telling us AGAIN that there’s something to buy, somewhere to go, someone to hear? Doesn’t Michael know that the enterprises he urges us towards cost money, take time and effort.”
Yes, I know. And I wouldn’t suggest that you water the children’s milk or pay the credit card bill late. But the concert that is coming up on November 16, 2012, by James Dapogny and his East Coast Chicagoans will be special. If you buy a ticket online (see details here: DAPOGNY) it is $21.69. I don’t think that’s an intimidating sum. But, of course, the concert is held in Silver Spring, Maryland — which is out of reach for many people reading this post. All I can tell you is that I admire the Professor’s deep feeling for the music that I am willing to drive a nine-hour roundtrip to get there . . . rather than say to myself in five or ten years, “It was inconvenient but I wish I had gone.”
Enough hocking, as my people say. The concert is on a Friday; it begins at 7:30 and the site is the Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
And the Professor knows the value of collaborative learning, so this isn’t a solo lecture. He’ll be bringing fellow scholars: Randy Reinhart, Anita Thomas, David Sager, Brooks Tegler, Tommy Cecil, Scott Silbert, Craig Gildner. It’s open seating, so make your plans early — I believe the church is somewhat more cozy than Bill Graham’s Fillmore or Carnegie Hall.
I’ve bought my ticket. Come join me! And there’s no final exam: Professor Dapogny wants to elate us, not force us into little wooden desks. And he’s got phenomenal ratings on that wicked Rate My Professor. See for yourself.
May your happiness increase.