Spring Break Recap and Hermeto Pascoal at SFJazz

I’m still re-acclimating to the Central Time Zone after being in California for only 3 days, and I’ve been back for 5. Jet lag is real (and maybe I'm just bad at sleeping). Since I still feel like a total zombie, this post will be on the shorter side. But, I had a very musical spring break last week!

On Monday I went to my friend Lauren’s DMA trombone recital and a Brazilian jazz show at Jazz Central, which featured three of my friends, both very fun and inspiring. On Tuesday I ran around packing and planning for my trip to San Francisco, and managed to find time for starting my 100 Day Project (more about that below).

I had a great time in the Bay Area, but it was certainly a whirlwind. I landed on Wednesday and went straight to Half Moon Bay to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins, then headed to Oakland to meet friends from California Brazil Camp for dinner on Thursday. I stayed with one of them that night, in her lovely little house with a piano. We did some jamming that night, and went for a walk in the beautiful Mountain View Cemetery on Friday morning, between thunderstorms.

Then, I went to another Brazil Camp friend’s house to rehearse for a show that we have here in Minneapolis in August, at the National Flute Association Convention. From there I headed to yet another Brazil Camp friend’s house to drop off my bags and head to the Hermeto Pascoal concert at SFJazz (the main reason for my trip). I got to stay in his studio with a Steinway grand piano, too! (Piano lodgings are pretty sweet.)

 Piano lodgings #1 and #2!

Piano lodgings #1 and #2!

To say that the concert was amazing would be an understatement. It’s really clear that all of them have played together so much that they almost have a psychic synergy. The core group was made up of piano, woodwinds, drum set, auxiliary percussion (including squeaky animal toys), and Hermeto on various instruments (including a teapot filled with water, and an animal’s horn - Hermeto believes in everything and anything being musical!) Jovino Santos Neto, who used to be the pianist in Hermeto’s Grupo, was a guest and played on most songs, and guest appearances by Rebecca Kleinmann on flute and Claudia Villela singing were also great. The joy was palpable, and Hermeto is as playful and spontaneous as ever, even though he’s 80! This video is a really good example of the spirit of Hermeto.

I had a great time reconnecting with friends from Brazil Camp (one of my pianist friends was sitting next to me, by total coincidence - so fun!), and am so grateful that I got to go to this concert.

On Tuesday last week I also started a 100 Day Project: 100 Days of Writing Music. Every day from April 4 until July 12, people around the world are undertaking various creative projects for 100 days. I've been wanting to get a better composing habit going, so I'm going to write 8 measures of music every day, post it on my Instagram with the hashtag #100daysofwritingmusic.

Today is day 10, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Even when really tired or otherwise occupied, I’m glad to have this commitment to creativity, and some interesting things are already happening.

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I’ll be recording these and uploading to my SoundCloud page soon, and also will be putting up video on Instagram Stories - follow me here to keep up! 

Also, if you're doing a 100 Day Project, let me know, and post a link in the comments!

Rebecca Hass

Pianist and composer