Charlie Haden, Embracing the Moment

Charlie Haden (1937-2014)
Charlie Haden (1937-2014)

Charlie Haden, the legendary and influential jazz double bass player, passed away last Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 76. Haden enjoyed long associations with fellow jazz greats such as Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett. His death comes a month after passing of another important figure in American jazz, pianist Horace Silver (listen here).

This interview offers a glimpse at Charlie Haden’s extraordinary life and political activism. He believed that jazz is “music of rebellion” and he wasn’t afraid to use it as a powerful tool for protest. At the same time, his approach to music was deeply spiritual:

I learned at a very young age that music teaches you about life. When you’re in the midst of improvisation, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow — there is just the moment that you are in. In that beautiful moment, you experience your true insignificance to the rest of the universe. It is then, and only then, that you can experience your true significance.

I want [students] to come away with discovering the music inside them. And not thinking about themselves as jazz musicians, but thinking about themselves as good human beings, striving to be a great person and maybe they’ll become a great musician.

I always dreamed of a world without cruelty and greed, of a humanity with the same creative brilliance of our solar system, of an America worthy of the dreams of Martin Luther King, and the majesty of the Statue of Liberty…This music is dedicated to those who still dream of a society with compassion, deep creative intelligence, and a respect for the preciousness of life — for our children, and for our future.

Silence, from the 1987 album by the same title, features Haden with Chet Baker (trumpet), Enrico Pieranunzi (piano), and Billy Higgins (drums):

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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