I attended a weekend workshop with Paul Winter of ‘Paul Winter Consort.’ He came out from his farm in Litchfield, Connecticut to the Rowe Center in Rowe, Massachusetts.


I realized when I arrived that I hadn’t even read the workshop description. I just saw that it was him and signed on back in March. I have his album ‘Common Ground’ from years ago.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4HydhsXYonLTg8Cn4uLNAvullwdhZTfx     That was all the information I needed to know time spent with him would be well spent.

As it turns out the workshop was mainly for those with little to no experience playing/performing music. And we created some of the most stirring music I’ve been a part of. And that’s because he entreated us to LISTEN. Listen and play. Play with abandon – knowing that no wrong notes exist.

There’s a wonderful license that comes with the assurety of no wrong notes.

It’s funny. Winter’s workshop reminded me of jam sessions our mom facilitated in our living room when friends and family came over. Percussion instruments galore.

I remember one evening a bunch of us were sitting in a circle. My older brother Andy’s best friend went into the kitchen and grabbed a cookbook. He chanted a Garbanzo Bean recipe and we played the backup music. A world premier.

Mom played one passage of one piece voraciously on the piano and sang with great vigor utterly off-key. But her voice was the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Her gregarious devotion and energy for humans relating led to world premier moments. Paul Winter, deeply versed in music, coaxed us into similar communion with his quiet confidence and trust in the human spirit.

Grateful for both presences.