INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
- WHO WE ARE: Get to know LLC Member Jodi Glass
- BOOK TALK: Join a book club meeting with local author Steven Manchester as he discusses his best-selling novel Ashes
- IT'S TIME for the children by LLC member Paul Marshall Wortman
- What a treat! All That Jazz: Highlights of LLC's summer concert featuring Clay Nordhill's jazz trio band written by Ruth Guyer Levy
WHO WE ARE
One goal of The Lark is to feature articles about LLC personalities, the people who make LLC such a successful organization.
I must start by thanking LLC for their invitation for me to share a bit about myself. I have great respect and admiration for the incredible LLC volunteers.
I am from New York, NY, having moved to Rhode Island in 1978 for my job as an Audiologist at what was The Meeting Street School in E. Providence (now Meeting Street, Providence). I worked there for 34 years. I also consulted at the Eleanor Slater Hospital for 30 years. I am a community activist, working against violence. I am the Coordinator of the Commission on Prejudice and Bias, working to educate law enforcement about how to identify hate crime and what to do about it. In the last several years of my 30 years in this role, this work has been expanded to community education.
My educational background includes a Doctorate in Audiology, with a minor in Music. I am a firm believer in the power of music to organize and communicate across cultures, while sharing difference and commonalities. I have formed several choruses in RI, beginning with the RI Feminist Chorus (1978-2002), which sang out on issues folks found (and still find) difficult to talk about. The most recent chorus I formed is Grace Note Singers, a hospice-inspired choir, singing people “over” on their journey. I was the first Audiologist in the country to become certified in Music and Memory, a national project that restores joy and coherence to the lives of elders struggling with forms of dementia.
In my efforts to work against violence against women, I brought both Take Back the Night (1979) and the Clothesline Project (1992) to RI. “Take Back the Night” is an international movement against violence against women in the home, workplace and community. It is expressed in a symbolic street march. RI had solid march participation from 1979 through the early 2000s, when colleges and universities began holding their own events. “The Clothesline Project” was started by a group of women artists/activists on Cape Cod in 1990, to bear witness to the victims and survivors of the war against women, both the casualties as well as the wounded. Using shirts as a medium of expression, the Clothesline seeks to hang society’s dirty laundry out for all to see. The shirts display a range of emotion, from pain to celebration, as they tell the story of violence against women.
In 2018, I began serving on the Board of Aldersbridge Communities, a nonprofit senior living provider offering affordable skilled nursing, rehabilitation, assisted living, and independent living for older adults. I am thrilled to share that shortly we’ll be announcing housing for LGBTQ+ Elders, the first in the state. Stay tuned!
I believe the first time I was introduced to LLC was about 10 years ago. I was asked to be a guest speaker for a class run by Roberta Richman and Nondas Voll. I discussed our efforts working against Hate Crime. Then I took the class and I was hooked!!! Soon I enrolled in totally different classes about Broadway and music led by Arthur Richter. During Covid, Nondas and I led a Zoom class on Criminal Justice Reform. Thank you to Becky Randolph for her amazing guidance on ZOOM.
I now serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee. As an LLC “newbie” I am loving getting to meet folks and see how LLC works. I highly recommend it!
Ashes by Steve Manchester
The Claire T. Carney Library Associates of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth would like to invite you to a book club meeting on Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 4 PM in the Grand Reading Room of the Claire T. Carney Library at UMass Dartmouth. Parking is available on campus in Lot 13. We will be discussing the national best-selling book, Ashes, by local author Steven Manchester.
How often have you attended a book club meeting and wondered what it would be like to discuss the book with its author? Here’s your chance. Steven Manchester will be discussing the book with the group.
Steven Manchester is the author of #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island. He also wrote national bestsellers, Ashes, the Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes. This fall, he will be releasing a new novel. A native of Westport, MA, he began his writing career after serving in Operation Desert Storm. He is married to his wife, Paula. Together, they have four children.
Come spend an afternoon discussing this fascinating novel that depicts estranged middle-aged brothers brought together by the final request of a cruel father who asked that they travel around the country to spread his ashes.
Ashes puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow a Q&A and book signing.
Spend an afternoon filled with good reading and good fun.
For further information, please contact Maria Sanguinetti at email@example.com.
for the children
It’s time after all the years for you to know
of the sorrow that our embrace did not show.
It’s time to say that there’s nothing above
our deepest heartfelt unconditional love.
It’s time after all the years for you to hear
of the enduring pain that we sadly bear.
It’s time to say that we view you with pride;
that we’ll always stand tall by your side.
It’s time after all the years for you to reflect
of the sad remorse for our distracted neglect.
It’s time to say if there’s a God in the sky
that you’re the brightest star in our eye.
Paul Marshall Wortman
July 10, 2022
WHAT A TREAT!: ALL THAT JAZZ
by Ruth Levy Guyer
The social hall at Temple Beth-El was filled with melodic tunes on Monday morning (July 25, 2022) as Clay Nordhill and his trio played jazz compositions of Charlie Parker, Billy Strayhorn, Irving Berlin, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and others.
Clay has been the instructor of the LLC summer jazz course for the past 5 years. (No) thanks to Covid, this was the first time this year that the 35 course members stepped out from behind their zoom screens to meet in person and to hear live music. If only every week could start off that mellifluously.
Clay was performing with one of his many guitars, a Gibson Arch from 1969 that was once played by a guitarist in Bob Seger’s rock band. Clay demonstrated how he uses the pedals to enhance and change and amplify the guitar sounds, producing reverb and delays. He had talked about these effects — as well as loopers, wahwahwah sounds, laser-like phaser sounds, and others — in class a few weeks earlier, but the in-person demonstration made those effects all come to life. Electrifying guitars had been vital for bringing guitars into the jazz world; up through the bebop era, guitars, which were all acoustic, were not included because they were not loud enough to be heard.
Mark, the drummer, described how the drum kit evolved: an assemblage of drums and cymbals of various sizes that, in marching bands, would have each been played by a different musician. He demonstrated how he uses each of his four limbs to produce the sounds and effects that he does. Mark is left-handed and, typically, left-handed drummers reverse the positions of their drums. But, because he learned to play drums through watching his drummer father and other right-handed drummers perform, Mark plays the way right-handed drummers do.
Clay had talked throughout the course about how melody, harmony, rhythm, form, improvisation, and style all figure into the beauty and uniqueness of jazz. During the concert, he pointed out what to listen for as the trio played explaining, for example, how sometimes players would introduce an unconventional time signature (say, 5/4) into a familiar piece. As the musicians then demonstrated that rhythm, we were able to follow it in their music more effectively.
A signature feature of jazz is improvisation. For those of us who only play jazz on our iPhones and computers and victrolas, how musicians interact and do this remains enigmatic. All three musicians talked about how they communicate, take chances while playing, and orchestrate a regrouping when a “mistake” has taken place. As to the concept of “mistakes,” Clay said that the more experienced musicians might actually make more mistakes than do beginners because they are willing to take more chances in their playing.
The bass player and singer of the trio, Sam, talked about his love for the upright bass and how there has to be a kind of merger of the instrument with the musician’s body; some performers physically drape themselves over their basses. The upright bass, unlike a bass guitar or other guitars, does not have marker frets, so positioning the left hand must be learned and then become intuitive and automatic — one of the wonders of muscle memory. Sam also talked about how he was always a singer from the time he was a small child, and how the way he learned to breathe while playing the tuba influenced his beautiful, breathy, melodic singing voice, which sounds so different from his speaking voice.
The performance ended with the classic 1938 tune “I’ll Be Seeing You in All the Old Familiar Places,” that we all know from Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra and other well-known crooners.
As for seeing one another in “old familiar places,” it is possible to hear Clay and this trio, as well as Clay with other invited musician friends, in one-hour Monday night concerts each week throughout the summer at 7:30 in Wakefield outdoors at the Contemporary Theater Company. Clay hosts his musician friends — drummers (including his own father), keyboardists, brass musicians, singers, other guitar players. The musicians showcase the full range of jazz styles —bebop, fusion, blues, ragtime, hard rock, funk. Some LLC members are turning into groupies of these performances, which is why Wakefield is becoming an old and familiar place; the concerts are always fantastic and the garden setting is serene.
A second “familiar place” where you will be able to see Clay perform (and thus support LLC’s terrific jazz instructor) will be at PPAC in the winter. From September to June, Clay will be touring with the Troika production of Annie, where he will play a range of guitars, the banjo, and the mandolin. Sam, too, has just been signed on to the tour because the music director of the production was looking for someone who played upright bass and tuba, and Sam does just that, as well as sing. Clay’s girlfriend Jen will also be on the tour as pianist and co-director of music.