Until the last few days only a few select people knew I was taking trumpet lessons. I wanted to feel confident I could master it in time and with practice before talking about my new adventure in learning.
After a few lessons, I leaked my secret to a couple more people, including my brother Dave Monette, a professional trumpet player and crafter of the best profession trumpets ever made.
Believe me, I had no idea what would happen next.
Dave told me that as soon as possible I needed to get exposed to a good trumpet sound so I would know what I was aiming for. Then he asked what kind of horn and mouthpiece I was playing. The answer: a student rental, which he called a "piece of crap". He said he would be sending me a Monette mouthpiece.
Next thing I knew Dave impulsively decided to fly from his home in Portland, Oregon to Kalamazoo and take me to the Wharton Center in East Lansing to hear Wynton Marsalis. This was Wynton's only Michigan gig for a while, and Dave felt we should not miss the opportunity for me to hear Wynton's great trumpet sound.
Wednesday morning Fedex delivered a Monette Trumpet. A little more than a new mouthpiece and about a million times better than my student rental.
Dave arrived later that afternoon and gave me a trumpet lesson I'll never forget. It wasn't a music lesson, it was a lesson in breathing and body mechanics. Dave works with many of the top trumpet players in the world and it was a lesson in what they do to get sweet music from their horns.
Then it was off to East Lansing. We arrived early enough to have a tasty dinner at India Palace. Highly recommended if you're in East Lansing. It was so delicious I've located a India food restaurant to try in Kalamazoo.
Although I know next to nothing about jazz, I do know a bit about music and totally enjoyed the entire performance.
During intermission, we went back stage where I got to meet Wynton and some of the band members.
Being an introvert, I thought this would be a bit overwhelming. It wasn't. The musicians all know and love Dave and extended that love to his sister with hugs and smiles. It was totally great. And then I got to go back to my seat and hear them play the second half of the concert including the world premiere of Wynton's new composition Two and 3.
Jenn asked if Wynton is as nice as he seems to be. The answer is YES.