Monday, March 30, 2015

Listening to a Living Legend




“Playing with me today is a living legend…”  I sat up in my seat.  Did Victor just get introduced by the bandleader as a living legend in front of this crowd of people?  I have known Victor Lewis for a number of years as part of our extended family.  Yes, I knew he was a jazz musician and a teacher.  We always manage to talk music and always planned to jam together.  This, however, was the first time that we actually saw him playing live.  I have always known the man first, so to hear that introduction…

I wonder if someone in the future will refer to me in such a high accolade.  I believe that at some point in our lives, we all begin to wonder what our legacy will be and how other people will perceive our lives and actions.  Yes, along with our friends, we are caught up at this point in our lives in providing for our family, making sure that we have a roof over our children’s heads, there is food on the table and clothes to wear.  From an initial point of view, we hope that the positive lessons we teach our children have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of those around them, and on to the next generation.  It is the lives of the people that we meet which we will not know what the impact on their lives will be and where our legacy will be seen.  Once we leave this planet, we all hope that our eulogies contain the words to express how we felt we touched the lives of those that we leave behind.

I thought about it as I was listening to the music.  What will my legacy be and will I be around to reach legendary status?  I looked on stage at the person sitting behind the drum set, completely focused and fully alive in the moment of creating jazz music.  That is someone doing something he loves.  In addition, as a teacher at the Mason Gross School of Music, there is the opportunity to give back to other potential musicians, teaching and encouraging them to follow their dreams and passions.  The message is universal, be consistent and persistent and have patience to reach your goals.  After the performance, a small crowd of aficionados gathered around this “living legend.”  It was great to see, however, to me, I still know him as just Victor.