Wednesday, June 23, 2010
It's no secret that I am a big fan of Dave Liebman. When I received his latest newsletter announcing that he has been awarded the NEA's 2011 Jazz Master award I was thrilled. Here is a link to Lieb's newsletter with the announcement and he speaks very eloquently about the award and the idea of being recognized by the country that created the music (he often garners many more accolades in Europe). To me, Lieb is a total inspiration. Absolute commitment to the art, more artistic courage than just about anyone I can think of, and an absolute dedication to teaching.
It is in this last area that I have had my closest relationship with him. Through studying with him, my own aesthetic solidified and I gained a very concrete path into researching and studying the saxophone and, more importantly, this music for which I will be forever grateful. Not to mention the spirit of brotherhood that he engenders. All who have studied with him will know what I mean. If you ever were his student, you are his family forever. Studying with Lieb really shaped my entire world view in a way few teachers do.