Dennis fiddles along the rugged limestone ocean side in Doolin, County Claire, Ireland. This region is a musician's mecca. Jam sessions occur in the pubs every night, where I was welcomed by local players to share tunes. It was a thrill, but hard to keep up with virtuosos playing at the speed of light. In this picture, I was practicing Irish tunes to get ready for the pub jam. While playing "The Red Haired Boy" I heard a penny whistle join in behind me. A German tourist, who did not speak English very well, was the penny whistler. I had just visited Austria and Germany, before touring Ireland, and spoke a little German. We were not able to understand much of each other while talking, but we knew several tunes in common and had a very nice jam session, replete with sea gulls and crashing waves (see the left center of the pic?). This is a cosmic story, and you may think that I fabricated it, but it is true. To see real pictures of red-haired boys, click here .
Three Generations of Musicians Aiden, Shannon, Dennis and Grampa Paul play tunes together. August 2002. The music we enjoy listening to is very eclectic. We are all amateur musicians, with violin, piano, guitar, drum, and other percussion instruments in our house. We go to the Southwest Traditional and Bluegrass Music Association festival every year. Grandpa Paul, a self described "Chamber Music Nut", is an accomplished violinist and violist who plays classical music semi-professionally. Paul visits Santa Fe every summer where we treat him to a Chamber Music Festival concert. Dennis plays by ear, but Paul plays mostly with sheet music. There is incredible beauty in both methods of playing. Aiden and Shannon are learning how to both read music and play by ear.
Grampa Paul, plays a tune for his Grand-daughter's (Lauren's) Christening. Playing with him is Connie Hospidor, a long-time family friend, who I knew as a child, and had the pleasure of playing strings with her as an adult. The Irish jigs that my Dad played for me are among the fondest memories of my childhood.