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How do you view others’ work?

Drummer Jeff Hamilton (left) and pianist Carl Sonny Leyland check out pianist Kris Tokarski

Drummer Jeff Hamilton (left) and pianist Carl Sonny Leyland consider pianist Kris Tokarski.

by Andy Scheer

During a performance by the Kris Tokarski Trio the opening day of the Evergreen Jazz Festival, who walked in and took a seat but Carl Sonny Leyland and Jeff Hamilton.

This was the first of many times I noticed acclaimed musicians listening to their colleagues.

Kris Tokarski is a rising star in the world of traditional jazz piano. His drummer, Hal Smith, is a legend. The two men who came to listen are also giants. Leyland is a master of boogie-woogie piano; Hamilton had replaced Smith in Leyland’s trio.

My thoughts went back to the summer of 2003 and a writers conference where I served on staff. The entire time as we drove to the faculty dinner, the two fiction teachers, Jack Cavanaugh and Francine Rivers, talked craft. They each wanted to know how the other approached certain tasks. Both were teachers and master craftsmen. But they also considered themselves students.

Both were teachers and master craftsmen. But they also considered themselves students.

Whether a musician or a writer, that’s the mark of a professional.

2 Comments

  1. I like to see this too Andy. I never want to quit learning.

  2. Caroline says:

    Wisdom from my mom… The day you stop learning is the day you start dying.

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