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Women Who Play

I learned to play the piano as a young man. Never spent the time needed to be good, and the lack of talent held me back as well. I’ve started working more on my playing with the aid of an expert. I intend to, at the very least, satisfy myself. Years ago, life was unlimited in length. Now, you can see the end somewhere in the distance. Recent experience shows me that playing can serve me well to the end.

Years ago I heard Marian McPartland at Strathmore. It was her 88th birthday, so easy for me to remember since she was playing the 88’s (The number of keys on a piano). She was the only white woman in the famous photo A Great Day in Harlem (above) and her talent at the keyboard was enough to place her among jazz greats featured in that shot.

Last night, I took in Lenore Raphael at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club. She played a tribute concert for Oscar Peterson. Turns out that she wrote one of his songs. I searched the Internet and found she is 74. I don’t think I’ll be up to her standard by that age, but can’t hurt to try. Getting part way there would be great.

So, here’s to the women who play for showing the way.

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Jackson Coppley

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