Last minute details

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What to pack? What to leave home? What am I forgetting? What bills NEED to be paid before I leave? Who must I speak to before I leave for the airport?

Don't you love the last minute rush before a long trip? My thoughts focus on those things that I will need at the camp: manuscript paper, fake books, lead sheets, reeds, pencils, pens, books and magazines for the flight.

I've been in touch with some of the faculty and directors that I taught with at last year's camp:, like Lee Andrew Davison, an American jazz vocalist that now lives in Prague and stays very busy teaching and singing in the Czech Republic. Having moved from Boston around 10-15 years ago, Lee was a great help last year with the customs and language. I am looking forward to seeing him again. Also Rosta Fras (pronounced 'roshtya frawsh'), who lined up our gig this Friday in Prague, teaches jazz saxophone at the university level in the Czech Republic; he speaks English well and is a great player. He was a great help in the saxophone classes we led. It will be great to hear and play with these great players and teachers again.

Once in Frydlant, there are no mini-marts, and the primary mode of transportation is walking, or hitching a ride with one of the other faculty members like Lee, Rosta or Lubos, (pronounced 'loobowsh,' he's a terrific piano player). So I have to plan ahead to be sure I have everything I need for the next ten days.

It was interesting to lead a jazz workshop in a restaurant/bar. The Beseda ('besseda') restaurant is the camp's headquarters and main rehearsal/classroom space. And it seems as though everyone (even the younger, teenaged students) drink. There is no minimum drinking age like here in the US, and even 16-year-olds at the workshop were drinking beer and shots. This is quite a contrast to our jazz camps at Moravian ('July Jazz Getaway' and the 'Summer Youth Jazz Camp') which is held in Foy Hall, very formal and (needless to say) no alcohol is permitted.

By the way...the Czech language is very difficult!

Dr. Neil