The Beat of Musicians. . . and Our Own Hearts

Flora Purim @ Paul Masson Jazz Festival, Saratoga CA 1981;
© 2010 Brian McMillen; contact

Perhaps it was in an interview I heard with the Brazilian Queen of Jazz, Flora Purim, who said it first – “we are all musicians. In the beginning of life we start with a beat, our own heart beat. Then we gain our voices. We are all musicians.”

But, often it’s the musicians around us who help us to remember our beating heart, because we have a bad habit of forgetting. Musicians remind us that we have a heart and not just a logical brain. Because there are times in life we have to move ourselves and defy logic in order to be human. And that time is coming. It’s time listen to our hearts and remember we are all human.

We got a start this past October for the Carter celebrations in Marin County where those who still have a beating heart came together, defying all logic, to celebrate the former American president who is considered the Rock’n Roll President, one who had vision and has demonstrated compassion and worked toward peace all his life.


I got to know Steve Wolf and Mason Holcomb at a little cafe in Fairfax. I listened to their words and it was like I heard  the last threads of what some could call a passionate calling for humanity which we could use to stitch ourselves back together. Their band SamaraiWolf could put that howl back into our own voices and really get our hearts thumping again.

The Dream Farmers

Randall Sequeria and The Dream Farmers came a long distance to play for a humble crowd. “I’ve lived a good life and need to give.” I heard Randall Sequeira say. They played their hearts out as they do for many human rights and social justice events, reminding us what’s important and what we all should be dancing to.

So, there’s this idea, to invest in our musicians, our artists, those who remind us of our humanity, those who help get us dancing and connected in “real time,” in close connection, where we can  remind ourselves what life is and should be about. And be mindful that we are all artists who can craft our future, listening to  our beating hearts and our voices, if we allow ourselves to do the job.

Now is the time to move to the age of “Human Investment” instead of Stock Market/gadget gambling – to put our trust and conviction into helping other humans. Let’s help each other rise to each other’s dreams, their music, their art . . . and enter the Age of Art and Humanism at a time we need it most.

And there’s this – we ALL benefit from this type of investment when we get to be reminded of our own heartbeats and the power of our voices.

– Written by Barbara McVeigh.
A tribute to the Carter event will be aired on Marin TV in February in honor of Presidents’ Day 2019.

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