Friday, December 10, 2010

Wonderful Family

I traveled to Texas a few weeks back. When I knew I would be returning to my hometown I made a plan to try and play some of the music I play in Mexico for my family in Texas who have not had the chance to come to Mexico and hear me live. I was really most interested in playing for my Grandparents. Who are now to old to want to travel much of anywhere very far away. 

I contacted Terry, the outlaw chef and owner of Fred's Texas Cafe in Fort Worth Texas and asked if he had any place for the Texas edition of TUBA JAM to play. Terry is an old friend from back in my bike racing days and he said, "Yes."

I then contacted tenor sax player Gerald Burnham from Plano Texas. A few years back Gerry spent a year teaching in Guanajuato. We ran into each other on the street and during our conversation he mentioned that he played tenor and was looking for some guys to play with while he was in Mexico. Gerry is a wonderful musician and an even better person. We played many times throughout the year and I was fortunate enough to have Gerry play on the 1st TUBA JAM recording we made in 2008. Gerry is always up for just about anything and when I asked about playing at Fred's he said, "Count me in." I love this guy.

Now with a group named TUBA JAM you kind of need a tuba. I sent out an email to a few of the tuba professors around the DFW area. Don Little from North Texas responded that I should contact tubist and bassist De'Marcus Walker. In Don's words, "You won't be disappointed." He couldn't have been more correct.

I meet up with De'Marcus at North Texas the day before we were to play at Fred's. Interesting feelings as I walked through the halls of the school of music I first walked through as a freshman back in 1991. The halls still have the same smell. I love the way smells can instantly take you back. I walked into a room where I took music theory and ear training and found De'Marcus and his tuba. We ran through most of the tunes that we would play the next night. De'Marcus has a wonderful tuba sound and is plenty funky. It's great having a world class tuba player who also plays bass. I have a feeling I'll be able to say, "I knew De'Marcus back when....."

The next day a cold front blew in which I would normally not write about except that we would be playing outside at Fred's. It was a cold and windy night. And the whole evening I felt like playing the trumpet was about the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do. I felt as if I were in a cage match with an angry Mike Tyson. That's why I get the best cats I can, so they can rock out even when I can't figure out how to play the trumpet. Despite the cold temperature, De'Marcus and Gerry sounded just as good as I knew they would.
Gerry Burnham and De'Marcus Walker rockin' the house.
The cold temps didn't keep my family and friends away. Even though I was struggling with the trumpet the entire night, it was a treat to play for so much of my family and friends. Thanks to all those tough enough to brave a cold night. For those of you not brave enough to get out in the cold, my 88 and 86 year old Grandparents made it out and when my cousin Zac told them that he could take them home my Grandmother who was bundled up in blankets said, "I'm not ready to go". I have a wonderful family.

Thanks to Terry and everyone from Fred's. Thanks to the cats, Gerry and De'Marcus. I was my pleasure to share the stage with such talented, hard working nice guys.

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