Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Gift of Love - January 18, 2011

Musicians are pretty terrific people.  Ever since I met and became friends with
my favorite jazz singer, Sony Holland, I've gotten to know quite a few of them.
I jokingly call myself a "Shota Osaba groupie " ( well, maybe it's no joke since
I always try to hear his fabulous piano music whenever he accompanies a
vocalist and, through him, I've come to enjoy some of the Bay areas wonderful
performers - Margie Baker, Valeriana Quevedo, Anne O'Brien, Amanda King,
Kathy Holly, Lost Weekend, and several others.

Last week, I got an email about a benefit to be held last night for Jim Rothermel,
a fabulous reed player, who is a member of the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine
for the past 25 years.  I first heard Jim at a peformance of Lost Weekend,
a western swing group, for which both he and my friend, Shota, the pianist,
 perform.  I was just blown away by his talent.
Well, Jim, has leukemia and has been undergoing chemotherapy at Stanford.  He
has been accepted for a bone marrow transplant as soon as a donor can be
found.  His recovery will be long and tedious and he will probably not be able to
work for nearly a year following the procedure.  His fellow musicians proposed
last night musical event, with three groups, as a fund raiser to raise money to
help during that time.

What a joy it was to be there, with all these incredible jazz musicians, and share
in that outpouring of love and support.  I felt like I was taken back forty years to
the New Orleans of my youth, listening to the great jazz in the smoky bars ( but,
thankfully, there was NO smoke last night ) in the French Quarter.  There were
several great New Orleans songs, plus a couple of hours or other terrific music
by the group of which Jim is a member, the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine,
Pat Yankee and her Gentlemen of Jazz ( Shota Osabe was the gentleman at the
keyboards ), and others. 

"I Saw Her Standing There" from Shota's CD, "Happy Coat"

"Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" - the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine

"Why" - the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine


  1. Not my style, but how nice that you've gotten to know them!

  2. I loved the music in the French Quarter when I visited New Orleans in 1980, which is almost 40 years ago - well, 30 is almost 40 from my point of view.
    Wonderful to hear about musicians getting together to help one of their own, Carmen. That's love, alright.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Sharkbytes -
    What kind of music do you like? I enjoy different kinds from country to rock and roll to classical but I'm not into heavy metal or rap.

    Kay L.Davies -
    Growing up, of course, in the South, I loved country music and, even, gospel ( still do ) and, even before I got to New Orleans, my mother instilled in me a love of Dixieland jazz. Once in N. O., I added blues and zydeco. I like most types of jazz, though.

  4. Surely Mr. Rothermel was happy that night, I'm glad you attended and enjoyed the event. Thumbs up!

  5. I like attending musical events, it's relaxing.

  6. Hi Carmen, I am a music freak too and been blessed to be friends with many wonderfully talented nationally and internationally known musicians. I have also been blessed to live in a wonderful school district with award winning musical groups so at least twice a year I am treated to awesome free concerts. This spring my daughter's chorale group has been invited to sing at carnegie hall! A dream come true. So glad you enjoy music and have the opportunity to share it live, which is absolutely the best way to do it! All the best, Alex