I attended my first Jason Raso performance last night, and I can tell you it will not be my last. What a wonderful intimate evening with local Guelphite Bassist, Jason and his “Funktet”, http://riverrun.ca/whats-on/the-jason-raso-funktet/. They kicked off the Borealis Music Series at the River Run Centre last night to a full house of Jazz loving attendees.
My daughter Meaghan who was my date for the evening, is in grade 7 and just starting her musical journey. She chose the trumpet as an instrument to play in her music class. She was watching the 6 piece band playing and I knew she had her eye on the trumpet when she nudged me and whispered, “Mom could I get my own mouthpiece?” I gave her a hug and whispered back, “of course Meaghan!”, being that I played trumpet in the high school band I knew the importance of having something of your own in the musical instrument world. I secretly can’t wait for her to come home for the first time carrying thru the door her school loaner trumpet for the weekend.
Jason the bassist lead guitar player and his band, include a trumpet, keyboard, guitar, saxophone, and a drummer. They began their first set with the spotlight on the trumpet soloist. Band leader, Jason Raso began strumming along, slowly introducing all of the 6 piece “Funktet”. I had always wanted to attend one of Jason’s performance’s. He has been performing for crowds for over two decades and is very well-respected within the local community and is a very busy professional playing worldwide. Check out his website here, https://www.jasonrasomusic.com/.
Memories of my first live Jazz performances came flooding back during the night. My first real introduction to live Jazz was in Montreal nightclub, I will never forget the first time I sat and listened to a bluesy live jazz performer in a smokey club in Montreal. My mother’s love of Diana Washington & Ella Fitzgerald playing loudly in the background of my youth also helped to in grain the love of Jazz.
One of my favorite songs of the night titled Eviction, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DET6ZZf3NoY . He shared with the audience his inspiration for the writing of the song came from a photo he saw of a beautiful shiny expensive guitar sitting in a room of what looked to be someone who was down on their luck.
During this song I had visualized a troubled soul who had to choose to sell their instrument at a pawn shop just to survive. This image along with the haunting sounds of the band conjured up feelings of loss and sadness of long forgotten dreams. Oh, the power of music to paint such a vivid portrait of the human condition.
Later in the evening he dedicated a song to his father. Pointing him out in the audience he joked that the last time he had done that his father had excused himself to the facilities, the audience roared. These comments and others felt like you were part of his family and maybe sitting in his living room watching the live performance, which I am sure many of the attendees in this cozy venue would agree upon. If you ever get a chance to attend or listen to his music I highly recommend that you do so.