Friday, April 16, 2010


The University of Akron Jazz Studies Program continued its Jazz Fest with the Joe Augustine Trio on Wednesday night at Stage Door. As always, this group is smooth, cool and jazz-sexy. There’s something very 1950’s about jazz piano accompanied by a base and drums. Jack Schantz once again came up on stage to join in a set or two. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting somewhere in the basement of a smoke-filled New York club listening to Nat Cole or Vince Guaraldi.

The event drew a larger crowd than the previous night so it was great to see so many there. Hooray for the University – they’ve done a bang up job putting this together.

Thursday night the Akron Library presented a talk in their series called “enjoying the Great Outdoors”. Russ Mussara and Chuck Ayers came to chat about their book “Walks around Akron” that’s been documenting our city for over 27 years and continues to do so via regular articles in the Akron Life and Leisure magazine.

These two are quite obviously good friends as well as good collaborators and they’ve given us a peak into the everyday out-of-the-way places around town most people either take for granted or just never stop to see.

As I take some more baby steps into my hobby of photography, it was nice to hear some advice from these two about how to see the world around us in new ways. Chuck suggests that we take each day and each opportunity to see our everyday surroundings as though you were only going to be right here, right now, for just today and take it as though it was the first time you’ve seen it. “Like a mini-vacation” he said. When we walk into a new place, we tend to see things with a sense of openness and that is how we should approach our everyday lives.

Chuck reminisced that at times he would be busy sketching something for their articles only to have Russ tap him on the shoulder, point behind him and say “did you see that?”, which would be a completely new, and sometimes quite unexpected, view of why they were at a particular location. So we need to learn to take the time to look past the obvious, sometimes even at the back of things, in order to discover the unique views.

I liked that bit of wisdom – seems as though it might be appropriate for other things in life as well. Face value isn’t always the best view – learn to look deeper for true beauty.

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