Satchmo

On that infamous and fateful day, January 15, 2009, while the country was glued to the television witnessing the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, when the U.S. Airways jetliner, piloted by Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenburger, made an emergency landing in the Hudson River, I was traveling cross- country from San Jose to New York City via Denver for a three-night NYC Jazz weekend. Just by happenstance, while walking through Denver Airport between concourses to reach my connecting flight to LaGuardia, I ran into the members of the Blue Note 70th Anniversary Tour (Steve Wilson, Nicholas Payton, Ravi Coltrane, Peter Bernstein, Bill Charlap, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash) that began only a week earlier. They were on the west coast leg of their 50 U.S. city tour. Since I knew most of them (they were probably shocked to see me!), we briefly spoke and exchanged pleasantries. I wished them safe travels. Boy, if I only knew… A short time later, I was on the tarmac at Denver Airport just before takeoff when the seatback monitors began showing live what was going on back east. After returning to the terminal for several hours before eventually taking off (all was safe back east), I finally landed at LaGuardia Airport. I had a very eerie feeling, but was somehow able to re-arrange my itinerary to see most of the scheduled Jazz shows the following two nights. After I safely returned back home, I saw the Blue Note group perform that Monday at Kuumbwa’s Jazz in Santa Cruz, California.

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