“Music’s dubious riffs.”


During our annual concert, my high school’s jazz ensemble was playing before a packhouse of parents, students political dignitaries. We played several pieces that excited the whole audience who stood to applaud our performances.

Our final piece was always my favorite as the first chair trumpet began their solo riff followed by the dueling solo by the first chair Alto Saxophonist answering back.

The music teacher and our conductor Mr. Bransome began smiling when the entire horn section placed their instruments on their stands and began snapping their fingers to the beat.

The rest of the woodwinds did likewise, and for the first time in my four years in the jazz band, Mr. Bransome began swaying to the music as he conducted our group.


I was so emotionally excited and moved by what I was seeing, as the entire ensemble began swaying from side to side and snapping their fingers. I closed my eyes and started snapping my fingers and dancing to the music also.

There was a moment or two when I remember hearing only the two soloists dueling, and fortunately, I open my eyes to see everyone staring at me including Mr. Bransome who had a weird wide-eyed look on his face.

It was then I realized my dubious mesmerizing loss of concentration, I forgot to keep the beat as the drummer. That moment was by far my blackest day as a band member.

I quickly continued with keeping the beat, and Mr. Bransome smiled, and we finished the set. 🙂


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