By Deems Tsutakawa For The North American Post
Seattle has always enjoyed a vibrant music scene, one which I am proud to be a small part of. Many of my dear old musician friends still play gigs around town and are enjoying their golden years making quality music. The many decades of experience and paying dues in the night clubs, lounges, parties, conventions, and concerts have given us longtime performers a sense of professionalism and identity that cannot be learned overnight.
As of this writing, pianists like Primo Kim, Paul Richardson, Walt Wagner, Andy Mirkovich, and yours truly continue to punch out tunes on the 88s just like we did in the golden era of the Sixties and Seventies. The Sixties and Seventies were not only a great time for gigs but also for records and radio events. The jazz records of the day truly shaped the type of music we were making and set a high standard for composition and performances. The Eighties and Nineties were also real cool for smooth jazz radio and station events like after-work listener parties, jazz cruises, and summer concerts all around western Washington.
From time to time, there are people who ask me, “Why do musicians continue to play late in life?” The answer to this question is based on something that I read on social media by an old friend, sound engineer extraordinaire, Scott Spain. It is a phrase that I quoted in my 2016 article, “The Reason Why.”
Scott’s beautiful answer goes: “Musicians bring comfort, confidence, hard-won smiles, and laughter to people. The thought of losing this part of our soul is far too painful to even consider.”
This, my friends, is the reason why we will always continue to make great music as long as we are breathing.