Archive | April, 2019

Invoke The Muse!: Music and Memory at “The Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam”

“The Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam”

Tuesday night, April 30, 6-8 pm at The Jazz Kitchen


I could do my autobiography with music. Songs of an era bring pictures to mind.

“Don’t Fence Me In” – I’m on a streetcar going from Broad Ripple to Tabernacle Church to play basketball in the Eighth Grade, and my School #80 pal Dickie Richardson is with me. Itchy Richardson goes to Broad Ripple and becomes a basketball star; I go to Shortridge and write about basketball for The Daily Echo.

“How High The Moon:” Les Paul and Mary Ford are doing their version of the song that stands for all high school romance, we’re “parking” at Crown Hill Cemetery, or buzzing the D-Vu, or playing the jukebox inside at Spencer’s drive-in.

“Here Comes the Sun” – I’m lying on the grass in the Boston Public Garden with my hippie friends, looking up through a green panorama of leaves of the tallest tree we could find to lie under, and this weekend Janis Joplin is coming to give a concert and the following Saturday Joni Mitchell is coming this is as close as you get to heaven.

The Gypsy Kings are playing “Volare” and I’m driving my ten-year-old God Daughter to Oleta River State Park in Miami for a weekend family retreat of The Coral Gables Congregational Church; whatever The Gypsy Kings play it seems like Miami.

I have always played songs to inspire stories that become novels or memoirs, and I’ve learned that music is now being used in therapy with people who have Alzheimers, and with autistic patients. That’s what we’ll explore at the next “Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam” at The Jazz Kitchen on April 30 with music by the fabulous saxophone player Sophie Faught and her band – Kenny Phelps on drums and Jesse Wittman on bass. We’ll also have Dr. Meganne Masko with her guitar, which she uses in therapy sessions. Dr. Masko teaches at IUPUI and is one of more than 200 music therapists in Indiana, working in hospice, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities, rehab centers and clinics.

My writer friend Susan Neville, Butler professor and prize-winning author of books that evoke readers’ memories, will also be with us for the new “Jam.”  I want to ask her what music she might have used to inspire her moving Indiana Winter, whose lyrical prose seems like it might very well be set to music. I will pass this idea on to my musician friend Tim Brickley, who composed a song for the movie of my novel Going All The Way. Who knows what creative projects and powers will be launched that night? The music of Sophie and her crew is bound to inspire you. It’s “The Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam” at The Jazz Kitchen, Tuesday night, April 30, 6-8 pm. $20 admission, $10 for students (all must be over 21.) As we used to say in the days when I lay on the grass of the Boston Public Garden and

looked up at sun while The Beatles played in my head: Be there or be square!

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield