I arrived at SPAH on Thursday night, and I had a very enjoyable jam almost immediately with Jon Gindick and a few other players (the first of two jams that night). Jon writes cool stuff, he puts down strong rhythms on the guitar, his harp work is unique and often very strong, and he has an infectious joy in making music. I think the latter is one reason why his Jam Camps are so inspiring to beginners–they feel his joy. I liked Jon’s performance of his thoughtful, funny song “when we die, we all come back as music” at the Open mic, too.

I heard Phil Caltabellotta play bebop on the chromatic harp for the first time at the Friday night jazz jam, and I was absolutely knocked out. The playing was completely in the idiom, fast, accurate, and swinging. I didn’t know then that Phil was going to get the Bernie Bray Player of the Year award from SPAH on Saturday night, but I’m not surprised that he did.

I’ll remember other bits and pieces as I go along, I’m sure, so stay tuned.