Who is the Silver Surfer...In Us? 

The Silver Surfer was always the most intriguing of comic book figures to me.  He was a genuinely tragic character in a genre full of people with rough backstories.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking about him over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been encouraged by a friend to share my musings with you. 

For those who don’t know, the Silver Surfer was an ordinary man named Norrin Radd living on a world so advanced that its inhabitants needed nothing, feared nothing, did nothing.  Radd is discontent…

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The Rest of Steve Espinola 

Dear Musicfriends,


My interview with Steve Espinola, New York based songwriter and Wurlitzer repairman, went into three parts!

Part Two:  https://youtu.be/QA-lZbjxrs0

Part Three:  https://youtu.be/z08GJDvAlDI

And, if you missed part one...https://youtu.be/mOYtHL4o_aE


A complete playlist can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLloavO5rySxZs_x1GHUHAtz4MY8gIvJJ6


There are lots more interviews coming!  I'm eager to hear your comments!  Share them, please?







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The Horn, The Symphony and the Learning Process 

In this week's interview I talk with Darcy Hamlin, 3rd Horn for the Milwaukee Symphony, about her instrument, her orchestra, and the learning process. It's a phenomenal talk! Come join us!


Jazz and Religion 

There's a new interview up!

Jason Bivins is a jazz musician and religion professor at the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina.  We got together to chat about Jazz and religion, specifically around his book, Spirits Rejoice.  Watch it here!  https://youtu.be/asOaJEeJE68

The Time I Gave It All, Lost, and Took Home First Prize 

Just once in my life I pulled out all the stops, worked as hard as I possibly could, and held nothing back.  I created a book called Motherless Child.  It took me 17 years to get it right. 

As an act of faith, I entered the book into three competitions.  These were specifically for self-published books, and I believed that Motherless Child was worthy of entry, and that it just might win something.  For me, entering the book was the culmination of the “pull out all the stops and go for the goal line” effort…

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Something New - Interview! 

Dear Musicfriends,

I know, I haven't been blogging.

I was recently interviewed by Thrive Global Magazine on what playing jazz has taught me about surviving stressful times:  https://a.cl.ly/p9u5qv1w

I am also preparing something very new for The Grant Park Academy of the Arts.  I'll keep you posted on that as it develops. 

Finally, I've been interviewing people!  I'll share these interviews with you as I post them.  That'll be about one a week from now on, but at the moment there are quiet a lot you don't…

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Will Online Learning Replace In-Person Teaching? 

I wrote a science fiction novel called Motherless Child which takes place fifty years from now.  In it, all American students are taught online in huge online classrooms.  Given the impact of the Coronavirus on American life, is that a likely scenario for our future? 

This last month I and my teachers at the Grant Park Academy of the Arts had to move our in-person music lessons completely online.  Like many people, we began teaching via Zoom.  I suspect from now on we’ll always have to offer some kind of…

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The Beach Boys and the Big Picture 

A few nights ago I had a wonderful dream.  I was listening to the chorus of a Brian Wilson song that had never been written.  When I woke up, I was able to put it on paper, and I spent the morning recording it in the style of the Beach Boys with all the vocal parts. 

My family nearly went crazy listening to me.  They only heard me sing each individual line, sometimes falling badly out of tune, and they thought I was doing a terrible job.  It was only when I played them the finished product with all the lush…

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What Am I Doing? How Am I Doing? 

We’re fine.  We’re living together, my family, all 12 of us, in a big house.  We’re only going out when we need to. 

I have been doing lots of piano lessons online, so I’m not bored, really.  However, I do have more time during the day to consider my precarious state and to plan for getting out of it.  I can be relentless with such planning. 

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how effective my personal promotion has been on my website.  Periodically I revisit my presentation, my persona, my product…

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I Reserve the Right To Freak Out 

I’ve learned so many lessons from the crisis we’re in.  The horrible situation provides many gifts which are not horrible.  I’m greedily gathering them around myself. 

Monday night I hit a low point.  I crawled in my bed and pulled the covers up to my head.  When I had recovered myself enough, I called a friend of mine who is a crisis manager and I asked him for his advice on how to just *be* during all of this. 

He gave me this advice about how to manage a crisis. 

      1) You can only work with the

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