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."

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Ragged Edge of Fatigue.

Man, I'm beat. To my socks.

I'm trying to figure out a way to give a sense of the musical and cultural life of New Orleans (my small corner of it anyway) without just posting a laundry list of events and gigs, but it's hard. Most of the year (I'm discovering), it's just not possible for me to see and do everything I want to.

So, I did manage to take one of my students to both the Bayou Steppers second-line parade and the scaled-down version of the Bayou St. John Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indian function last Sunday ( I've been encouraging my students to get out into the city and attend these events, but they often cite transportation difficulties, or concerns that they will be conspicuous in their caucasian-ness. Finally I just started saying, "look. I've got room in the car. Meet me in front of the music building and you can come with me"). On a similar note, I was again appearing with pianist Fredrick Sanders at Sweet Lorraine's a week ago friday (and again Saturday at a private party, with new-bassist-in-town Rob Kohler) when Fredrick's ex-piano student, Jon Cohen, dropped in, and was invited to sit in. A great experience for Jon, getting a chance to play with a world class rhythm section (bassist David Pulphus and drummer Julian Garcia). Hell, it was a great experience for me. I often feel like I'm in very fast company in New Orleans, and that I need to play my very best just to keep up.

Pursuant to that, I skipped most of French Quarter Fest this past weekend to spend time in the practise room tightening up the music for tonight's CD release (7:00p.m., Dixon Theater on the Tulane campus) with the Professors of Pleasure. Hard on the heels of that is a gig with John Dobry's band (really the Professors, but with Tulane jazz program grad Will Buckingham on bass, subbing for his teacher, Jim Markway) at the Hi-Ho Lounge on St. Claude avenue thursday April 17th. Then we'll be well stuck into various jazzfest gigs (including one on May 2nd with the Tulane Jazz Orchestra) , term-end concerts (April 29th for the Big Band, April 30th for the combos), and final exams. Then it'll be time to get ready to go on the road this summer with the Professors.

As my father used to say, "no rest for the wicked, and the righteous don't need any."

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