On tuesday we had a chance to sleep in and have a slow morning in Ann Arbor. We headed out to the van and begun to load up when Kellen realized that he had lost his ipod. This seems as a mundane occurence but not to a musician. If he had lost his girlfriend or been mugged for his wallet we would have told him to forget about it and move on. But no this was his ipod full of all his music! So we took the good part of an hour to search through the van and the parking lot, but found no ipod. We headed back to the UM music building and searched around the parking lot and in the building. We checked the lost and found. No ipod. We head back over to where we had parked the evening before and Kellen gets out of the van looks down on the ground and finds his ipod waiting for him on the tree lawn. This of course prompted a huge celebration in the middle of the street and made the 2hr delay of the departure of our 7 hr drive to Iowa City totally worth it. After our long drive that evening we were greeted by John and Beth Rapson with a wonderful homemade Thai curry, wonderful drink, and extremely pleasant company.
On Wednesday we woke up early and went over to West High School in Iowa City. The band directors there Rich and Rob Medd are long time friends of Mike and had us in to work with their program on our last tour in 2010. They have fantastic music department and great kids. We spent the morning doing a performance/clinic for their 9th and 10th graders and doing instrumental workshops. In the afternoon we worked with their wonderful student combo “Minimum Wage”. The combo was quite astounding. They had great feel and a real sense of the jazz language and it was a pleasure to work with them. In the evening we played a concert with “Minimum Wage” opening up for us. This was probably our best set of the tour yet.
On Thursday morning we woke up early, yet again and drove back up to Chicago. We had an afternoon clinic at Lyons High School on the west side of Chicago. We did a general performance/clinic for a 150 music students, worked with their jazz band. We then played a concert in the evening with the Lyons High School big band opening. Mike, Kellen, and I joined them on “Green Dolphin Street”. The kids once again were wonderful and we thank the band director Mark Dahl for having us in.
After our concert we rushed into Chicago to go to the Jazz Showcase and catch the late set. Mike’s long time friend and mentor Joe Lovano was beginning his week long stand there. Joe graciously had us as his guests and we had a great time enjoying this very hip club and digging on the fantastic music. Mike got some time to catch up with his friend and the rest of us got a chance to meet one of the legends of the music.