Month: December, 2015


Having played my last set of Christmas music on Wednesday night, because the restaurant was closed on Christmas Eve and Day, I thought I was done with the holiday songs for at least another year.

So it surprised me that when I came into work on Saturday, there were still many guests asking for Christmas music.

I had always thought the twelve days of Christmas ended on Christmas Day itself, but apparently, many people justified their requests by telling me that the twelve days actually begin on that day, and last long into January.

On hindsight, I start to agree.

The spirit and the reason for the season shouldn’t end after just twelve days.

It should make all our days merry and bright, all the time.



I played the ceremony for a wedding this weekend.

The young couple selected several of their favorite Motown classics for key moments their service, the exchange of vows was written with great personal insight, and the small number of guests that attended made for a lovely, intimate occasion.

Everything went smoothly.

In spite of the fact that I had booked the event last minute and blind, did not meet the bride and groom until they flew in from LA the morning of their wedding, and therefore, had no opportunity to have the rehearsal I normally insist upon when contracted to play for such events.

I guess sometimes, life just happens, and happens perfectly, without the need for too much pre-conceived planning.


When a guest entered carrying a Gucci tote containing two miniature terriers poking their inbred heads out of their couture prison, and told the hostess that they were “service dogs,” we all stared, dumbfounded.

Nobody stopped him from being seated at his table with his family. He ate a full course dinner. Then toured the mansion with his pets.

Clearly, this flagrant disregard for health code standards irritated me. But I believed it was neither my place, nor my duty to mention it.

And management chose to ignore it as well, rather than cause a scene during a busy festive holiday Saturday.

It made me question though, what I like to call in the name of service.

If indeed some of my acts of charity or generosity have more self-serving intentions.

Or if I have committed a greater disservice to myself by lying about truths I choose not to see.


I think that when children tell Santa what they want from Christmas, Santa should listen, say something jolly, pose for a picture, and then send them away with well wishes.


What should not happen in this exchange is Santa giving the child a gift. A piece of candy, maybe. But definitely not a gift. Especially not a gift that makes noise, like say, a drum, a tambourine or a whistle-flute. Which is what this particular Santa was doing to irritate all the Christmas spirit out of me.


It’s really hard to play music about peace and goodwill to man when you want to strangle all the kids around you.


I was in the middle of Away in a Manger, wondering if the sweet baby Jesus could possibly even be asleep in middle of all this racket, when a little boy tugged on my sleeve.


“Do you remember me?” he asked.


He’s grown a lot in a year, but I remember. His favorite, most favorite Christmas song is Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.


So I pick him up, put him on the bench next to me and we become reacquainted.


Him on his little toy drum and me on my grand piano.


Sometimes, although the most joyful noise may not be the most pleasant, it is the most heartfelt and glowing.