First, these musical introductions.

Coleman Hawkins, 1935, in Holland:

Henry “Red” Allen, Buster Bailey, Hilton Jefferson, 1934:

Art Tatum, 1937:

Dear Paul,

I know you as the witty, beautifully-dressed, generous organizer of that jazz banquet called the San Diego Jazz Fest. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend this Thanksgiving banquet of sounds every year since 2010, and I’ve found it more rewarding than any turkey dinner.  And I like turkey.

This year, as you well know, the Fest will start on Wednesday, November 26, and go rollicking straight on through Sunday afternoon / early evening, November 30.

I gather that you created the schedule — the reason you are receiving this letter.

On any day or night during that the 26th through the 30th, multiple opportunities for pleasure are bursting all around the listener or viewer.

I’m picking examples at random: at 4:00 on Friday, there’s a solo piano concert. At 3:30, three other bands are playing in separate rooms.  At 4:15, the same thing.

Now, a good number of “favorite bands and musicians” are performing at the SDJF.  I’ve been coming back to the schedule since it was created, always with a nearly-queasy feeling.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I must ask you in all seriousness, “Paul, are you trying to do us in through a surfeit of pleasure?”

I once read about an experiment conducted by researchers trying to analyze how people dealt with making choices. They assembled children around a table, empty cereal bowls in front of each.  The researchers offered the children two boxes of cereal from which they could choose.  They added another, different box of cereal.  And another.  And kept on increasing the number.  When there were a dozen boxes on the table, the children were sobbing.

I don’t need a tissue yet, but I understand this.

It’s not only the problem of choice-making.  (“If I go to see the Wildroot Sliders then I have to miss the Shearling Fleecers as well as not hearing Petite Priscilla and her Clawfoot Tub Band!”).

For me it’s also the added problem of trying to video-record everything I and others pine for so that I can share it on JAZZ LIVES.

True, I do now have two cameras and could bring two tripods, but where is the Second Assistant Cameraperson for this blog?  No fame, no health benefits, perhaps only a free breakfast. References and prior experience a must.

Paul, I thought we were friends.

What have you got to say for yourself?  Look closely here.  Is that fair?



May your happiness increase!

3 responses to “I WISH I WERE TWINS: AN OPEN LETTER TO PAUL DASPIT of the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (November 26-30, 2014)

  1. Michael,
    Attending SD Jazz Fest on the gentle pressure of Hal Smith since
    1991 -after meeting him in N.O- ., flying in from Europe for all these
    years, treasuring a 100 cassette tapes of those memorable festivals , getting you my perception of the SD Jazz Fest 2013 on video in SD last year: be assured, you got a bloodbrother .
    Do not blame Paul, in the old days there were twice as many venues
    as today all tickling the ears.
    See you in SD in november. The breakfast -Ham & Eggs- is on me.

    Frank Selman.

  2. Ah, Michael, life is full of choices. Now, there are choices that bring trouble, and there are choices that bring anything but trouble. For you, I hope the SDjazzfest is the later, and may your worst problems be deciding which performance to record. Weather forecast for San Diego for the festival is high of 64 degrees and lows of 54 degrees for the five days NOv 26-30. No need to bring your sou’westers.

  3. Don "Zoot" Conner

    Good luck on your fourthcoming trip.Heavy hitters on those three videos:Hawkins,Allen, and the one and only Art Tatum along with the photo of fifty second street, only wish i’d seen it live and in person. Thanks, Michael.

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