The Desperate Crowdpleasers 

Dear readers allow me to vent, rant, and otherwise share my artistic opinion with you in the event that you are indeed reading these words. (As I have been reading Dostoyevsky, this may get a bit verbose.)

My band, Jazz The Dog, as you may know features along with our musical uniqueness, a stuffed dog named Jazz. It was the beloved pet of Rick Zeek and it has quite a story. We bring her to all of our gigs and of course, there are always a few people who feel the need to share with us their disgust and…

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Just Turn Right 

My mom is a nervous passenger. She never learned to drive, and therefore must be driven to wherever she needs to go. Often, when encountering a busy intersection, she will anxiously say,"Just turn right - It's easier."

"It is easier," I reply. "But we are headed downtown, and turning right will take us back home."

I hear similar comments from some of my music students, as well. When learning a challenging new chord or technique, I often hear, "Is there an easier way to do this?" 

Sometimes I tease them…

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All I Can Give 

This last Friday, I began the day planning to do some work at a client's house. As I was getting ready to go, I  quickly checked out the live video stream of Aretha Franklin's memorial on NPR. Seven hours later, after the final performance by Stevie Wonder, I stepped away from my computer and returned to the awareness of where I was - in my room full of instruments, books, and half-finished projects. 

All those performers... all those ministers... they all spoke of a woman who gave it her all every time…

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Artistic Decisons 

Artistic Decisions

In my last newsletter, I spoke of a possible gig offer where the producer of the event asked us to "leave the dog at home" - referring to our band mascot, Jazz - Rick's taxidermied canine pal who we bring to all of our Jazz The Dog gigs. I received many responses from people applauding our commitment to our artistic ideas, and a couple from friends who suggested we consider how leaving the dog at home might present us with more opportunities. 

What struck me about the responses was that…

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Are we still in Junior High? 

I have thought a lot lately about "fitting in" and being "liked" by everyone. That seems like something you do in Junior High School, where everyone's insecurities are at the fore. Being unique is really hard at that age, and many an ad agency preys on that to sell kids the latest gadget, outfit, and sugary snack. Bullies find uniqueness an easy target, as well.

But as an artist - in my case a musical artist - that mentality goes against my goal of being original and standing out as such.

Trying to please…

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Upcoming Events

Previous events


Jazz The Dog at Joe's Bar

Joe's Bar, 13118 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek, CA

Rhan Wilson, Patti Maxine, Rick Zeek, and Michael Westendorp are Jazz The Dog and no, they don't play jazz - they play a mix of inspired Americana, originals, and some jazzy soulful deep grooves. Come up the valley to Joe's, or come down from the mountains - it's all good.


Jazz the Dog at Stockwell Cellars

Stockwell Cellars, 1100 Fair Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA

Another great time at the winery with Jazz The Dog: Rhan Wilson, Rick Zeek, Patti Maxine, and Michael Westendorp.


Jazz The Dog at NUBO

New Bohemia Brewing Co., 1030 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, CA

Jazz The Dog plays upstairs at this 42st Avenue Brewery. Join Rhan, Patti, Rick, and Michael for some fun and inspired music.