Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Man it's hot here. It's forecast to go up to 99F tomorrow. It was 'only' 96F yesterday but the 'humidex' was at 110.When I first moved here I was told by the old hands that you do actually get used to it, and to a large extent that's true. In fact my metabolism now seems more or less permanently set to "Louisiana Optimum," which means my body has became very efficient at throwing off heat, but completely useless at retaining it, so that a couple of years ago when I was up in Vancouver to play jazzfest I found myself running around all bundled up in a sweatshirt and windbreaker because 19C felt cold. Everyone else was in shorts and t-shirts and thought I was stone crazy or had an iron deficiency or something.
Even though it's been ninety-ish pretty much every day for the last few weeks, yesterday was the first day it ever felt like "gawd this is fucking hoootttt!" 80F is a nice pleasant spring day here, and I'm usually okay up to about 90, as long as I stay out of the sun as much as possible. "Summer" in my hometown of Seattle, or Vancouver Canada, is usually around 72-75F (20ish C). That's winter here. Except for those rare days in December-January when it dips down to close to freezing (or even below). There's so much moisture in the air, and my metabolism is so unprepared, that I can't stand to be outside for any lenghth of time, no matter how warm I dress. My wife (who's originally from Ottawa) thinks this is hilarious. It'll be,like, 38F, and my teeth won't stop chattering and I'll have to take a hot bath to get my core temperature up.
I've always been a weenie about cold, but New Orleans has made it chronic.
Summer slows things down around here, but it doesn't stop them. I was out of town for Essence Fest, the big African-American music and culture festival sponsored by Essence magazine, but it was by all reports a major success. I did manage to peek in at Satchmo Summerfest, an event that was made particularly poignant by tributes to two prominent figures who have passed since last years event, clarinetist-educator Alvin Batiste and jazz historian Tad Jones. It felt particularly strange not having Tad around this year because he was always a kind of 'New Orleans social director' for out of town musicians and speakers, organizing excursions to obscure, out of the way neighborhood restaurants so the visiting firemen would see that great food in New Orleans isn't restricted to the White Linen set. In fact I realized I had met a number of this years conference attendees (like Dan Morgenstern and John Broven) in exactly this way, waiting in the bar at Liuzza's for a table.
Speaking of food, legendary Treme lunch spot Willie Mae's Scotch House has finally, finally re-opened, and Darlene and I and Tulane jazz history prof John Joyce jr. are headed over there this coming Wednesday. This joint is one of the great, closely held food secrets of New Orleans, and while I may very well post a report of the meal, I will absolutely not be a party to publishing the location of the restaurant. It's hard enough to get a table there without another invasion of out-of-town food trendoids like the one I mentioned in this post.http://vancouverjazz.com/jdoheny/2006_10_01_archive.html
If you want a meal at this place, come down and I'll take you there. But I ain't drawin nobody no maps. I'm selfish like that.

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