Sunday, March 29, 2009

Raleigh, NC

Teen Band Night at the Cary (NC) Senior Center. You read that right. The idea of a 'Teen Band Night' seems innocuous and wholesome. When I was invited to attend by the family that was hosting me for my weekend gig in Raleigh, I thought it sounded like a fun way to pass the time while also supporting the 17 year old with whom I'd be sharing the refrigerator for the weekend. I was in town to serve as the artist in residence for Temple Beth Shalom - a warm, welcoming Reform congregation with a remarkably engaged membership and one of the most impressive Rabbis I have spent time with. His name is Ariel Edery and he was born and raised in Buenos Aires, then lived in Israel for 7 years followed by some time in Mexico, rabbinical school in Cincinnati, and a few years of Rabbinic work in Spain before settling with his beautiful and fiery wife Andrea and their three children in Cary, NC. I was picked up on Friday night from synagogue by my host Lisa and her younger (13 year old) son Alex and we made our way to the Cary Senior Center. I have seen performances in strange places in my life - puppet shows in unheated bars in the dead of winter in Brooklyn, NY come to mind - but Teen Band Night at a home for the aged may be the most incongruous I've ever encountered. There is nothing like hearing an angsty version of The Gourds' "Gin & Juice" while a gentleman passes by with his walker to get a soda out of the pop machine. Did he notice? Was his hearing impaired so that the music wasn't bothersome? Would someone who is hard of hearing digest the sounds of loud teenage band playing and decide that it was mere elevator music? These were the questions that ran through my head as I listened to the talented teen band 'Citizen' perform their nightcap - an interpretation of Stevie Wonder that the talented singer, Seth, and the virtuosic lead guitarist, Austin, put over so well that even the senior center staff stopped their tasks and tapped their feet. The rest of the weekend seemed anti-climactic compared to my Friday night experience. My saturday night performance of God of Our Fathers went well (thanks Rachel!), and the talkback was really exciting - lots of passionate discussion. And though my flight back to New York was cancelled and I missed a gig for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, I am grateful to have spent the time with the cool Cooper family who so generously hosted me all weekend - and gave me the gift of Teen Band Night. "These are the memories that stay with memories of diamond studded elephants."

1 comment:

  1. does this post count as 'the work i have to get done'?