Keys to Happiness

Benny Green at Yoshi's Oakland, February 14th, 2012

A small chain of inspirational moments filled my life this past week. After a persistent, yet dismal, battle with the employment market for the past 8 months, my efforts finally paid off when I received a decidedly ideal job offer. In the course of celebration over the following few days, I heard that my absolute favorite living jazz pianist was playing at Yoshi’s in Oakland one show only, one night only. I immediately scored tickets for my girl and me to attend. Being a jazz piano player myself, I made sure to reserve the ideal seats–front row, right by Benny Green’s hands. Whenever I watch a true professional play up close, I always leave the show feeling inspired to be better and knowing that I can rise to a higher level with my own music.

During this show, I definitely did leave feeling inspired, but it was a different kind of inspiration. Certainly, his playing was phenomenal—even mind-blowing. But I went home, not concerned about trying to play like Benny, but rather with some of the images of the evening engrained in my head. I remember the colored lights reflecting off the edge of the piano keys—the yellows, blues and violets. I remember interacting with the artist on stage, because he could hear our cheers, comments and jokes spoken stage-side. It was a great night, and I wanted to somehow remember forever the feeling of all the show’s visuals.

The next day, I pulled a blank 28” x 32” canvas I had in the garage. Now I wouldn’t call myself a painter by any means. But I have always been competently artistic, with an eye for art. Using some acrylic paints, I created a small piece of what I saw that night in a very large scale. I’m very pleased with what materialized on the canvas. And I know that I’ll always have it on the wall to take me back to a good time in my life and to make me happy about the musical instrument I love and a painting that I made.

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