As I was driving out of Washington this afternoon, I was listening to an interview with the marvelous Trinidad-born, jazz musician, Etienne Charles, who is scheduled to perform at the DC Jazz Fest this month.
His rich music is, as described on his website, “at least four generations deep: his great-grandfather, Clement Monlouis, emigrated to Trinidad from the overseas French department of Martinique bringing his folk music to the village of Mayaro; the young trumpeter’s grandfather, Ralph Charles’ distinct cuatro style can be heard on the classic folk and calypso recordings of the Growling Tiger; and, Etienne’s father, Francis Charles, was a member of Phase II Pan Groove, one of Trinidad’s most progressive steel bands and one that Etienne himself would later join. Immersed in his father’s vast record collection, and suffused with the sounds of calypso, steel pan, and African Shango drumming, Etienne imbibed many of the influences that presently constitute the diverse colors of his harmonic palette.”
But, impressive as his musical heritage is, I was most struck when he commented on that heritage, saying, “The More You Live The More You Have To Express.”
How poignant, especially on this day when Queen Elizabeth, age 86, is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. Not too long ago, we noted in this blog just how much you and the Queen have in common.
Then, too, look at the stars participating in the Queen’s concert this evening: Sir Elton John, age 65; Sir Paul McCartney, age 70; and Dame Shirley Bassey, age 75, among many other “golden oldies.” Their performances, imbued with experience gleaned from the decades they have lived, were some of the most moving of their careers.
May we all live – and express our lives – as well!