Gathering to celebrate this time! It was good to see so many people last night. This was Elijah’s last gig before his college career starts Friday! He received a scholarship from the West MI Jazz Society and as a result got to play a couple of tunes with the Grand Rapids Jazz ORchestra!
Both organizations hold a dear spot in my heart. The jazz society awarding me the 2014 jazz musician of the year will always be a deep honor for me, and the GRJO I started playing with as a junior in high school when it was the Aquinas College Night Band under the great Bruce Early. My teacher Mr. Dan Kovats would bring me to rehearsals! I played lead trp., Solo trp ., and drums with them. I owe a debt to so many current and past members for their contributions to my musical journey!
I have had many many awesome students who I love and am so proud of over the years many doing great things musical and non musical around the world but none have been as special as Lij! What an awesome way to bond with my nephew! He is the student I taught the longest as I started teaching him in 3rd grade. He is smarter than I could ever hope to be! He is very talented but has worked diligently for where he is. It has been fun to introduce him to so many of my friends in the jazz world. Despite all his accolades and accomplishments and brilliance, he is still one of the most kind and respectful people I know! He is a HS graduate and still says he loves me every time I see him! I will miss our weekly get togethers but am so happy to turn the reigns over to one of my dear brothers Mr. Keith Hall! Love you Lij and thank you for so many memories! Remember me for comp tickets when you are sharing the stage with my heroes!
Max Colley III
Spirit Filled Jazz Musician