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Mike Babyak/Triple Fret / Blog

Ackowledgments and thanks for Sawyer Benefit

Well, the dust is cleared a bit, as is my head. I just wanted to thank everyone for their contributions to what I think was a very successful event. Thanks to: The band--E and Mike, wonderfully done, as always, making the music live and breathe; Kimock--some sort of supernatural being in a human body; Dave McCracken--the groovin-est B3 guy out there, making big beautiful sounds and raising the music to a whole new level; Hank Smith--his new career as a backup singer is off to a great start; Don Eason--thanks so much for the donation of that fat B3 for the evening, and the brave one-armed help with getting the thing on stage; Rich Saltz--for donating Kimock's backline for the evening and getting the word out to a whole lot of people; Danny Rosin--for his invaluable, experienced hand in organizing and promoting and help with the auctions; Scotty Brownell--not only for his overwhelming generosity in allowing us to hold the event at his club, but also for his support and advice on all sorts of aspects of the show; Robbi Cohn--for her support and very generous donation of the Kimock/Garcia print for the auction, which raised a nice sum; James Benson--for his help with the auction table and transportation after the show; Kitty Kinnin--for incredible support, using her radio time to promote the event; Rick Ramirez--again for a long, long radio spot allowing me to drone on and on; Rich Cox for the beautiful pics; All friends new and old--coming out and being so supportive; and of course, Scott and Ghezzi--for letting us do this for you, and for your long service and generosity to the community. I hope I didn't forget anybody?!

Memories of musical highlights: Muhlenberg's Egner Chapel

Thinking back on the most satisfying musical experiences I've ever had, I can name several very distinct performances I've been involved in. Two of these occurred at my undergrad school, Muhlenberg College. The first was the opportunity to play tanpuri (an easy drone instrument that anybody can play) for Ken Zuckerman, a sarod master who was a student of the late Ali Akbar Khan, and presently the director of the Ali Akbar Khan School in Switzerland. I can't recall the name of the table player, but do remember that he was a student of Zakir Hussein. We performed to a full house in Muhlenberg's beautiful Egner Chapel: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/studorgs/newman/images/egner-inside.jpg. Two and half hours of sheer bliss!

The second event was again in Egner Chapel, this time as part of the Christmas concert. I played classical guitar along with the school choir. The piece was "What Sweeter Music" by John Rutter. Again, a packed house and the incredible acoustics of the chapel made for a "peak" experience. Totally transported by it all. Here's a version by the King's College choir at Cambridge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ucVQSJunR4

More later...