In my life I have been around some amazing people and heard their stories. This man, Olivier Messiaen and a personal friend of his, Jean Langlais befriended me on a performance trip to Europe in the eighties I made. The “Quartet for the End of Time” was a piece I had heard and thought it to be way outside my boundaries both on technical and artistic aspects. However, when I heard his and Jean’s story, they inspired me to move beyond my self-imposed boxes and explore different realities in interpretation and performance.
I was not aware of the life history of Olivier but I found out as he shared with me about the conditions around the composing of the Quartet and that sharing was so powerful to me that I made a decision to tackle that work. At the same time, there was another influence in my life, a young artist named Marshall Fine, who saw the potential in me and pushed me to look outside my personal boundaries and become the artist that was trapped inside me.
There is another work that is performed a lot by Charles-Marie Widor, one of the mentors of Olivier, the Widor Toccatta. It’s a powerful, fantastic work and every time I hear it here in Houston, I go to a different place mentally and remember.
Today, as I am preparing these pieces again, I feel very blessed to be surrounded not only with memories but with amazing artists and composers. Paul Pellay, Don Freund, Marshall Fine, John Bell, William Shumann, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Rutter, William Matthias, John Williams and the list is endless it seems.
Well, back to work now and finish my first book and on to the concert stage again. I have too much to share still and without the music in my life as a way to express myself and speak from my soul, I feel empty.
Have a great day!
Today I am listening to spotify, some of my recordings and those of friends I have worked with around the world. Being an artist is a treasure I hold dearly in my life and apply artistic aspects to everything I do. My canvas is sound at times and I love painting with sound. Music is my primary language and an escape from a rather hectic world.
I am in my easy chair with Ms. Ethel on my lap and the Duker vying for attention at my feet. These are our kids as we call them and all rescue animals that just showed up on our doorstep.
The music today is taking me back to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues, culture, Memphis in May, The outstanding Memphis Symphony and Germantown. It is also the home of the Rendevous and Interstate BBQ of food network fame.
I have an interesting history with these establishments both musically and in the kitchen. Heck, I grew up there and love the taste and feel of the city! We have cooked side by side at many events across the Memphis/Shelby County area to the joy of many!
Enough of that about me and on to my reasons for sharing today.
There is a lot going on around the world right now. Mr. Paul Pellay is having a composition of his premiered by a highly capable Violinist. Paul and I go back decades and he is married to a great violist, Michelle Pellay-Walker that I consider my sister from another mother. This performance is taking place in Jolly Old England.
“At the violin, a day of rigour and joy. Bach in the morning then this. I am proud to have studied, and premiered, literally, hours of solo violin music by the extraordinary Paul Pellay, and this latest is absolutely engrossing-here’s the score, at what I call ‘base 1’ technical work. The groundwork in place, the notes in the hands and the brain, and now the real work begins. Here’s a Spotify link to Paul’s extraordinary ‘Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness’. Violinists, what are you waiting for?”
On the other side of the world, the the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Justin Smith, Director of Choirs at Maryhurst University is preparing from the summer.
Stay Tuned! Things are heating up here in Houston also! But for today, I am relaxing before the weekend when Jody and I celebrate our 16th anniversary of being together. We were officially MARRIED in November of 2014. We are having a casual at home BBQ where Tennessee meets Texas! 16 years ago, on April 1, I arrived in Houston to begin a life with Jody Turner. It’s been an up and downhill roller coaster ride but we are still together these 16 years later!
We would like to cordially invite you to our home on Sunday, April 3, 2016 for a Tennessee meets Texas BBQ in honor of this decade plus of being together. A lot has happened in these years and it’s time to celebrate.
Stop by for good times, good friends, good food and some all out fun!
Please pardon the house as it is now a DYI project that will be ongoing for a bit. I am also taking the liberty of creating videos of the work as it progresses along with recipes, exploring Jere’s kitchen and teaching videos for clarinet excellence.
If perchance, anyone would be considering an anniversary present, we need help on the renovations to the house!
We look forward to seeing everyone! Recipes and menus will be here later but today, I am having fun with our mischevious kids!
It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Japan and DC. Actually around the world! If you have never been to Japan, I feel for you. It’s a beautiful country full of life, vitality and culture.
The yearly excitement awaiting the announcement of Spring begins when the Cherry Blossoms begin their path to blooming and when they do, life stops for a space of time. The festivals are amazing, full of friendship and kinship.
I had the great joy, from the seventies as a young Marine to present day, of experiencing this rebirth of nature. It’s absolutely amazing!
To begin, here is a traditional performance of the Japanese Folk Song, “Sakura Sakura”. Relax, have a cup of green tea and perhaps some Umeboshi or a full plate of Oshinko, Japanese pickles along with a light addition of Poke or Ika Yaki!
By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Nippon Japanese Restaurant in Houston, Texas is my go to place here for the authentic experience! It’s now in the second generation of a traditional Japanese family owned restaurant here and it’s wonderful. If you are in Houston, be sure and stop by. Tell them Jere sent you. The Uni is fantastic as is the shashimi.
From many of the masterpieces of the koto house, Michio Miyagi is a musician that represents Japan, promotional video we produced this time “Sakura Variations” As the first step. This work is composed in Michio Miyagi is 1923, very as timeless classics even now about 90 years have passed since a popular work. To represent the Michio Miyagi of the music world, please watch a performance by the Miyagi Orchestra volunteers. In winter, the “Spring of the sea” as the 4th we plan to up the promotional video. Please stay tuned. Miyagi Soke Facebook: Facebook.Com/miyagimichio Twitter: Twitter.Com/miyagimichio Web: Www.Miyagikai.Gr.Jp
Ah, the inspiring music of the Koto! The Geisha Houses are still active and quite relaxing. Taking a stroll down the Ginza or in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a nice place to be also during this time.
Cherry trees of the Imperial Palace “dry street (dry as)” pass-through in the spring of introduction to the general public. Was for the first time published, about 75 connecting from Sakashita Gate Kitanomaru Park to near the dry Gate 0m. Inui street bloom 76 cherry trees, such as Yoshino cherry tree in the spring. Until now, New Year and the Emperor Reborn except for the general Sangha production date, generally was not able to pass through it is. Open to match the full bloom of the cherry blossoms will be the first time. Cherry Blossom In Imperial Palace (Tokyo) The Imperial Palace, Where Their Majesties The Emperor And Empress Reside, Is Situated In The Center Of Tokyo. The Palace Is Surrounded By A Water-Filled Moat And Tree-Covered Grounds Of Nature Within The Bustling Metropolitan City. In Commemoration Of Umbrella Kotobuki Of His Majesty The Emperor, Opening To The Public Is Performed According To Imperial Palace Inui Street In Spring. Inui Street Has 76 Cherry Trees And Is The Perfect Place For People To Experience The Beauty Of Nature.
In Japan, time progresses and for an updated version of this very traditional folk song, enjoy!
Rin ‘- Sakura Sakura ((Sakura Sakura)) Instrumental
I apologize for my absence as of late but I have been dealing with some health issues. Coming up is my take on Japanese Cuisine, Culture and my life there and here in the States. It’s wonderful being an artist and having the opportunity to travel the world as a performer and teacher.
I am sharing this today from my memoirs coming from my excellent past into my glorious present with the empowerment that if you have a dream, you can achieve it through work, dedication and perseverance! Mr. Robert Marcellus was the premier clarinetist in the world for a long space of time and someone that we young clarinetists based our abilities on. I believed that studying and working with him was not attainable and only a pipe dream for most of my young life. However, I finally took the chance with the obligatory lesson with this great master and was immediately embraced into his very interesting world.
From a young man, full of self-doubt and not thinking highly of my abilities, I achieved this part of my dream and treasure the time I spent with him and his wife.
Mr. Robert Marcellus or Dr. Bob
Hello! My name is Jere Kizer Douglas, better known as JK. This is the story of my life and world, how I’ve grown and come into being.
The title of this biography reflects what it is like to be a professional musician, playing in the pits, symphony orchestras and back up to major stars. I am of the ones you hear but probably never see or know.
Behind the Ligature was suggested by a dear friend and my Auntie Mame that I met in Houston, Mr. Lloyd Wassenich. Lloyd is a major theater buff and quite knowledgeable on not only that but other topics as well. He is a dear friend and we have been there for each other through sickness and in good health, therefore I consider him one of my brothers of choice.
Other people in my life include Mr. Don Johnson whom I grew up with in Memphis and let’s just say other places around the country. We met and became dear friends as young adults in the bars and denzions of Memphis and the MidSouth. Without him, I sometimes wonder if I would be here today.
Then there is Mr. Vance Reger, Dr. Marshall Fine, Mrs Michelle Pellay-Walker and Dr. Kelly Ker Van Hacklemann who have been around me for decades and I consider to be a part of my family of choice. All greatly talented artists and musicians. I treasure there friendships and closeness.
My family including my wonderful grandparents who fought over me and yet saw to it that I had a great foundation to build a life on. My mother, father and step mother who dealt with and overcame some major issue in their lives including acceptance and compassion with a gay son, grandchildren that are multi racial and a great sister who said one Christmas Eve as we were sitting in the snow while Papa was asleep on the couch, “Bubba, Reverand Jesse Jackson would be very proud of this family, it’s the whole Rainbow Coalition under one roof!”
To the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and all the great musical artists there that have an inspiration to me and a part of my development since childhood.
Last but not least, my life partner and spouse, Mr. Jody Turner. What a great adventure meeting you and taking that trip to Houston so many years ago. And to our unique little family group, the Ukitena Clan of Houston, Texas.
This work is dedicated to the gracious memory of Dr. Marshall Fine.
Without his wisdom and knowledge, I might not be here today.
Coming from an educational standpoint, it’s not necessarily the teacher’s complete responsibility to guide each and every student to the trough of knowledge and wisdom, that responsibility lies in the laps of the parents and families of the children also, perhaps more than the teachers themselves. My personal educational experiences are a more hands on approach than sitting in lectures about methodologies and pedagogy.
There is a very old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink!”Well, for me, I would drink, but I’m not a horse, I don’t think I am at least, but then, I had the want to know feeling about who and what I am and how I can impact myself and the world around me. There is a wonderful experience in my life, studying with a great mentor, perhaps an icon of artistry and intellect, Mr. Robert Marcellus.