This past Sunday, Kay and I enjoyed the beautiful drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Clemson, SC to Blowing Rock, NC. After doing a little antiquing along the way and encountering a lot of traffic on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we were close to being late for the Blowing Rock Jazz Society concert so we reverted to our old southern hippie, deadhead, gypsy ways and pulled over and changed clothes at an overlook. Dressed and ready, we then headed to the Meadowbrook Inn. I hope all the people passing by overlooked us.
The Meadowbrook Inn is a great host for these events, planning their menu to coincide with the theme of the concert. Sunday we celebrated Ocie Davis‘ New Orleans influence with some great seafood gumbo and Sonny Rollins’ tunes. We actually ended up being early enough to get a table for two right in front of the band. Close enough to reach out and touch, Ocie was playing the drums, Stephen Gordon on piano, Ryan Saranich on sax, and Ron Brendle on bass. We know Ocie from the South Carolina Jazz Festival held annually in Cheraw, but we met the other band members for the first time. Stephen grew up in Boston but his grand parents are from Chesterfield, SC. Ryan has toured with Justin Timberlake and performed with Victor Wooten. Ron plays a lot of dates with Mose Allison and we had fun carrying on about our Willie Weeks connections. My Willie is one of my students. His Willie has taken lessons from him. My Willie lives down the street from me. His Willie has played with Donny Hathaway and Eric Clapton.
We also enjoyed meeting Fred Germann. Fred is a drummer who started the Blowing Rock Jazz Society and the Hilton Head Jazz Society. We missed Andy Page this trip but it was nice to visit with Todd Wright.
Ocie Davis is the best drummer I have ever seen. He was headed to the New Orleans Jazz Festival from Blowing Rock. Here he is giving Kay a few pointers on the drums. Good luck in New Orleans, Ocie!
The Blowing Rock Jazz Society hosts a concert the second Sunday of every month, excluding December. Next up is Mike Holsteen who will be playing May 8th. Maybe we’ll see you there.