Where I Am Now

At the start of my last post–“Mostly for Fun”–I said the one to follow would take a “serious look” at just where I am now when it came to having entered the Brave New World of multi-faceted digital communication—or blogging. However, I had so much fun with “Mostly for Fun” that I think I may try to mix “solemnity” with playfulness again: something I believe I have been attempting to do throughout my entire adult life.

First off, I’d like to report on two events, occasions I mentioned in “Coming Attractions” and “Coming Attractions Revisited”–one of which turned out well, another that didn’t take place at all.

Saturday night, August 24, Vocalist Jaqui Hope, bassist Heath Proskin, and I (on piano and reading) gave a performance of “The Best of The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir and New Poems and Prose Set to Music,” our third “book launch” event for the new book I have out—you guessed it: The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir. The show was presented in the auditorium–a 100-seat comfortable venue—at the Museum of Monterey,  and it went well. My friend David “Catfish” Hall initiated a standing ovation at the close, after Jaqui sang our signature song, “What a Wonderful World”–and he also took photos I’ll show now. Thanks Catfish, for both standing ovation and photos.

MOM Gig 8   MOM Gig 3

MOM Gig 2   MOM Gig 6

MOM Gig 9MOM Gig 7

It was a busy weekend for music on the Monterey Peninsula. Monterey County Weekly asked “Best Music Weekend Ever?” and answered with, “The Historic First City Festival and West End make for an unprecedented few days of entertainment,” so we were competing with thirty-four pop-rock bands at the inaugural First City Festival held at the Monterey Fairgrounds and a 12th annual West End (Sand City) event that featured eighteen bands, including The Suborbitals, with which bassist Heath Proskin had performed that afternoon before our show—so, all groups considered, I feel we did OK with the turn out we had: an “intimate,” but attentive audience–appreciative by all I observed and accounts I received after. Our performance was filmed by John Mount and should be available on YouTube shortly. Thanks John!

Jaqui Hope sang a song I’ve just written, based on a poem that will appear in december magazine (appropriately enough, in December 2013). The song is “My Fingers Refuse to Sleep,” and Jaqui offered a splendid, perfect, beautiful “rendering” of words and music—to the point where I feel that song is truly her own now—and we have hopes and plans for it that I will post in the future in the “Upcoming Events” section of this blog.

The event that didn’t occur is one for which I provided a schedule in the last “Upcoming Events” post: “Poetry Box #80 William Minor, Part 1″ (produced by Joanna Martin and co-sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz). This filmed version of the program we presented at Old Capitol Books in Monterey  was slated to be shown and streamed each Tuesday at 8:30 throughout August, but when I went to look for it last night (CTV: Community Television of Santa Cruz), I was surprised to discover a reading by Joanna herself from her new Hummingbird Press book, Where Stars Begin (my wife Betty and I had attended the actual event at Cabrillo College).  It was great to hear Joanna read again (she writes wonderful, fully engaging poetry–and reads handsomely!), although I feel I may have let those of you who follow this blog down–“Nothing promised that is not performed”–by way of “false advertising.” In that initial post I did say that CTV was undergoing “changes” (“streaming” is now at work again, for those of us outside the Santa Cruz county area)–and I will need to wait until better informed about future programs before I post info on (if and) when “Poetry Box #80 William Minor, Part 1” might appear. Sorry if I let anyone astray on that score!

As for where I am just now with blogging in general … I’m pleased! I feel as if I have survived and passed the test on an apprenticeship for which no diploma is awarded, although I like to imagine one sitting on the wall in my studio above my computer now–containing elegant Gothic inscription, of course, and signed by a host of approving luminaries in the blogging trade, ho ho. I feel that now I can sit back and relax and just enjoy making “posts” the way I enjoy making music (that world I never want to come out of once I’m “in it”). For someone seventy-seven years of age (and that’s where I am!), setting up a blog has been a genuine adventure–one I’d like to share with all of you who, I know, may be having a similar experience.

Although I still don’t drive an automobile, nor own a cell or “smart” phone, I’m not a total stranger to the Brave New World of digital self-presentation (I have a website–http://www.bminor.org/–and YouTube videos posted), but learning (through trial and error–mostly error!) a wealth of new means, and terms to go with them (ICT, RSS subscribers, the “Comments” box and the “Follow” button, SEO and SERP, YouTube alongside text, “Dashboard tools,” widgets, themes, tags, geotagging, turning genuine friends into official “Followers,” etc.) has been a “trip.” So much so that Patricia Hamilton–who published The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir at her Park Place Publications, and has assisted the apprenticeship immensely, along with my two sons, Steve and Tim–and I decided to use the experience as some of the subject matter for the blog: the story of what it’s been like for someone my age (or anyone of any age!) to learn and attempt to make use of all this fine new “stuff.”

Theodore Roethke wrote “I learn by going where I have to go,” and I have long subscribed to his view—to the point of finding myself on occasion faced with horrendous but eventually amusing circumstance. After I’d spent a session with Patricia, learning how to set up links, tags, and arrange a meaningful sequence for “categories,” I thought I’d test my wings on my own, at home. I’m still getting used to the fact that–as I did when I studied Japanese—a blog actually reads backwards. Your first post, which I thought of as I might the “Preface” of a book, ends up at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak; and the latest post is alive and thrives on “top,” as if it were a “Preface,” not the outcome of previous posts. Because one of my early offerings—a pitch for The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir (“Bill Has a New Book Out!”)—had receded to the end (or beginning!) of my blog, I thought I should move it up “front” again. Attempting to do so on my own, I substituted a fresh scanning of the book’s cover, blocking out the old in blue (but inadvertently blocking out the entire potential post) and then preceded to “trash”  (rather than just “cut” and replace the first cover) it all. I was left with no evidence or mention whatsoever of The Inherited Heart, anywhere—yet getting word out about the book had been one of my reasons for starting a blog in the first place! Fortunately, I was able to retrieve what I’d written and place it where I wished (up front)—and I felt good because I’d done so on my own. I didn’t want to confess the idiotic action that brought me to that point to anyone, although knowing that word shall go no further than this blog (ho ho), I will tell YOU!

“[We] learn by going where [we] have to go.” And as so many of us know, that going can be rough on occasion.

I have, since that time, taken other steps, such as acquiring an Author Profile on Goodreads–http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1185527.William_Minor –where I now have nine “friends,” five “fans,” nine reviews, and five star ratings for seven of my books—so that too feels good! I’ve acquired “Followers” (subscribers) for the blog, and received a few “Comments” so far, so we are making headway, little by little, moment by moment, stage by stage.  I’ve also learned to make use of frequent good advice on WordPress.com News, and started a list of blogs I follow. That’s rewarding in many ways, one of which, unexpectedly, is running across an acquaintance or two from the past. Some time ago, I attended a writers conference (NonfictionNow) at the University of Iowa (where I also played piano for a University of Nebraska Press reception), and during a “memoir” session on the risk of writing about one’s relatives, I mentioned a problem I’d run across while working on a book: Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey Through the Soviet Union. When I’d finished far more than half the manuscript, faithfully reporting totally honest and fully open views of people I’d interviewed (using their “real” names), the “coup” of 1991 took place, and I found myself sitting (sweating!) in front of a TV set for three straight days and nights, knowing that if the hard line “Bad Guys” came back into power again and Boris Yeltsin lost out, I’d have to scrap everything I’d written—the entire book.

Waiting for an elevator after this session, a woman I did not know came up to me and said she’d found the question I’d raised (What does a writer do in a situation as extreme as the one I’d found myself in?) interesting, and we started a grand conversation on having to consider, as an American nonfiction writer, the seemingly small or even petty predicament of hurt feelings on the part of a family member or friend, as opposed, in other countries (such as the former Soviet Union) to writing something that might cost them their lives! Later, I attended a dinner with a friend and the speaker, after dinner, was an exceptional poet named Mary Ruefle, who gave an excellent talk on nonfiction writing and poetry. She was, of course, the same woman who had “accosted” me outside the elevator—and now, several years later and by way of a blog, I’ve “run into” her again, having accessed “Harriet: The Blog” (www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet) –and there was Mary Ruefle again, engaged in a Kenyon Review (interlocutor Andrew David King) “Epiphanic Interview.” What a fortunate find—as much of “blogging” does seem to impart.

In a previous post (the “Bill Has a New Book Out” post—the one I “upgraded”), I said that the digital age has been characterized as “impersonal,” but that, looking back at the point I was at then, I realized just how much actual human (not virtual) help I’d received from friends and family members throughout my “conversion” to the Brave New World of digital self-presentation and online interaction; realized how smoothly “hands on” or “homegrown” or “leg work” activity (such as playing musical gigs to promote a book!) can be combined with State of the Art technical support. And I feel that’s even more true now than it was then—when I was just getting started.

So what’s next? I recently sent out a “communal email letter” (something I’ve not done since a CD of mine, Love Letters of Lynchburg, came out in 2010—see the “Music to Match the Words” July 26 post) to folks I think of as “The Delectable Mountains” (a phrase e.e. cummings borrowed, in The Enormous Room, to describe people he felt were “the most interesting and pure people he had ever met”), in my case friends I’ve lost touch with or whose own email letters I have yet to respond to. In that letter I said that, because The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir relates directly to activities popular or engaging in our era, such as exploring genealogy and writing memoir, I’d now like to “reach out” to individuals and organizations involved in such, and “discuss” (online) some of the concerns and issues I ran into (such as: once you’ve discovered who your ancestors are, how do you go about making them come alive again?). Two of the means to do so for me have been the book itself and readings accompanied by music.

I’m now drafting another “communal email letter” I hope to send to individual organizations or societies devoted to family history and writing about it. I believe I know this potential audience for the blog so well I feel I can overhear their conversations with one another, discussing matters important to me as well: issues that arise when one takes an active interest in family history, in getting it right and then finding a means to preserve it. I would love to start, to carry on, a dialogue or conversation focused on mutual interests and concerns, a forum for shared insight and knowledge, seeking the highest level of “interconnectivity,” exchanging information on digital devices and platforms we may have found to make what we each hope to accomplish take place successfully.

I said at the start of this post that I’d try to mix “serious” concerns with playfulness, and the tone may be running the risk of turning somewhat “solemn” just now–so, staying with the subject, I’d like to offer some family history photos I included in an 18-page Photo Gallery in The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir, accompanied by captions I had some “fun” writing:

Grandfather Minor at 16   Uncle Cabell

My paternal grandfather, Launcelot Minor, at age sixteen, a member of the Rockbridge Artillery. He was shot and thought dead at Cumberland Church (two days before Appomattox), but survived to “manufacture” my father at age fifty-seven … next to him: Uncle Cabell, medical doctor, author, poet, visual artist—a dandy who seemed to wear a suit, vest and tie in the most rural surroundings, always, except when manufacturing White Mule in his hidden still.

Grandfather Minor and Cohorts    Susan Blackford

My paternal grandfather, known as “The Colonel,” a war hero when not yet eighteen but someone who never rose above the rank of Private, here chatting with Confederate buddies in later life. Next to him: Charles Minor Blackford’s (author of Letters from Lee’s Army) remarkable wife, Susan Leigh Colston Blackford, who, when Charles returned from the war and resumed his law practice, assembled his letters, her own, and her father-in-law’s diaries as Memoirs of Life In and Out of the Army of Virginia During the War Between the States.

Charles Christopher Trowbridge   Grandfather Gail   Grandfather Gail and Family

My mother’s relative, Charles Christopher Trowbridge, topographer, master of several Native American dialects, translator of Indian tales, elected mayor of Detroit at age twenty-six, in 1834, the year the city was “visited by a cholera epidemic” … next to him: William Henry Gail, M.D., my maternal great-grandfather, first lieutenant and assistant surgeon in the 18th N.Y.V. Cavalry—stationed in Louisiana, served on the Red River Expedition and was then placed in charge of Charity Hospital, Department of the Gulf … and: my great-grandfather Gail’s family in East Aurora, New York—my grandfather, Clarence Wallace Gail, perched on a rail to the right of the others, looking much like a young “poet” filled with wanderlust, compared to them.

Mom with Aunt Day at Coney island   Me on Sailboat

My mother, age twenty, with Aunt Day (actually her cousin and chaperone) on the beach at Coney Island. Aunt Day befriended Mark Twain in Bermuda and passed Twain’s Eve’s Diary and a portion of his handwriting (a manuscript page) on to me by way of my mother … and: me seated on a sailboat that belonged to one of my mother’s brother Bill Gail’s former fraternity brothers, on which we “jammed” (clarinet and snare drum) when we took a trip throughout western and northern Michigan in 1952, just before my senior year in high school. Dig the shoes– white bucks!

Apart from extensive research (and photographs!) required for The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir and the Love Letters of Lynchburg CD, I conducted sixty-five interviews (and transcribed them by hand!) with musicians, presenters, jazz journalists and fans when I wrote another book, Monterey Jazz Festival: Forty Legendary Years (Angel City Press, 1997; I was also hired by Warner Bros. as script-writer for a film documentary with the same name), and I undertook extensive interviews for two other books on jazz: Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey Through the Soviet Union (Temple University Press) and Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within (University of Michigan Press). While teaching at Monterey Peninsula College, I was faculty adviser for an ARA Living Centers Stepping Out project, assisting students in assembling a book of oral history interviews with nursing home residents.

Because of this activity, I would like very much to initiate an online dialogue with those interested in such matters as conducting oral history interviews, turning them into books or other written work, and finding further means (such as music) to make our families from the past come alive in the present, and to preserve the stories of family members who are still alive.

A friend who took a look at my blog did comment that “it felt like a guy who writes books rather than blogs,” but that’s exactly what I’ve been for fifty years–until now! He referred me to articles by writers attempting to make a distinction between “books” and “blogs,” but I noticed that many of these writers had been blogging for years, were just now undertaking a book, and were finding the latter task far more demanding. As a musician I couldn’t help but think of a time when, playing with a folk-rock group called The Salty Dogs in the late 60s, I began to notice that, gradually, a number of young musicians (one of whom told us he was simply using the rest of our group as a “stepping stone to the Ed Sullivan Show”) were moving well beyond three-chord tunes into the jazz joys of the Cycle of Fifths, Sus and Phrygian chords, notes added to three-note voicings, tritone substitution, et cetera.

Whichever way the traffic flows, my entry into the universe of blogging has been exciting–a genuine adventure–and I’m ready for whatever may come next. I hope it entails genuine interaction. You know where to find me–right here: Bill’s Blog– and I hope to find you, wherever you are.

Mostly for Fun

In the post to follow this one I’d like to take a serious look at just where I am now when it comes to having entered the Brave New World of multi-faceted digital communication–or blogging. However, the apprenticeship hasn’t all been hard work and effort, for I’ve had some “fun” or amusing encounters along the way, and I’d like to kick back and relax for a moment, and offer some straight out–enjoyable, I hope–storytelling this time out.

When, some time ago, my son Stephen set up a website for me (www.bminor.org), I included my own translations of Russian poems alongside woodcuts and drawings I’d done (I mentioned in an earlier post that I was originally trained as a visual artist at Pratt Institute and U.C.-Berkeley). We also posted a long poem in several parts–“A Fireside Poem: Homage to Osip Mandelstam”–which included my own translations from the work of my favorite 20th century poet. Because of this work and access to Cyrillic texts I had on my computer, I was suddenly inundated (three pages worth might pile up in my Spam “box” in a week) by invitations from Russian ladies–a host of Annas and Olgas and Veras and Katerinas, Larisas and Ludmillas and Marinas and Ninas, Oksanas, Sofias and Tatyanas–who wished to marry me, sight unseen, on the spot. Talk about “high levels of interconnectivity” or networking! Some sent photos and when I asked my wife of fifty-six years Betty if she felt I should risk opening one or two, just out of curiosity, she said she didn’t think that would be wise–so I set all temptation aside.

In case you might be curious, I’ll show you the sort of fare that fostered such offers (work only someone with sheer animal magnetism could produce, I assume, unless those women somehow mistook me for a C-level executive, anesthesiologist (highest paid profession in the USA), broker/analyst or professional athlete). The first two are prints and translations of two poems by Anna Akhmatova, and then two drawings of Mandelstam I did and a poem of his I translated.

Akhmatova 2    Akhamatova Earth

Akhmatova Icon   Akhmatova Icon

Mandelstam 1Mandelstam's InsomniaMandelstam2

Not all that long ago also, I was asked to be a part of film director Mark Baer’s excellent YouTube “100 Story Project” (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9614CCD8B63B9DE5) in which he documented, by way of interviews, nearly every once-lived or presently existing aspect of life in Monterey, California (“The most thorough video history of the Monterey Bay ever created.”). I was asked to talk about the Monterey Jazz Festival and the La Ida Café in Cannery Row, run by “The Queen of Cannery Row,” Kalisa Moore.

I may know something about these subjects, these institutions, but I’m also one of those odd human creatures who does not drive an automobile nor own a cell phone, so on the day of the filming I filled my pockets full of quarters (It was raining hard and the Big Sur Half Marathon was taking place and would finish just outside The Museum of Monterey, where Mark housed his project), and I took a bus there. I’d asked my wife, should the rain not abate and a mob of “mudders” be assembled just outside the Museum when I finished, if she’d come pick me up if and when I called her on a pay phone–and she said yes. I think all you High Tech folks can see what’s coming. The filming went well, but when I emerged (feeling victorious), I couldn’t find a pay phone anywhere: on the wharf near the museum, in downtown Monterey, at the Coast Guard pier nearby–nowhere. Pay phones no longer exist!

I started walking in the rain, remembering that the Plaza Hotel, located at the edge of Cannery Row, had a line of pay phones not far from the reception desk, but that too had disappeared. There was a line of phones, but they were all white “in house” specimens. Desperate, I picked one up and dialed my wife–but a youthful female voice broke in and asked, “Sir, are you a current resident here at the hotel?” I explained my situation as best I could, but when I said, “and I don’t own a cell phone,” a long pause ensued, and the voice returned with, “You don’t own a cell phone?” Another long pause, and then, “Sir, that is very unusual!” The young voice disappeared again, and I assumed that when it came back on, she would, out of the kindness of her heart, informed by a sense of human decency, connect me to my wife, but she said, “I’m sorry, Sir, but I cannot place that call for you.” And that was that. I continued my trek in the rain, up to my favorite lunch spot (by this time I was more than halfway home), Archie’s American Diner, and there my Hispanic friends lent me a towel with which to dry out (I was soaked to the skin) and took me to a private office, saying, “Si, Senor, please use our phone”–and I called my wife, who turned out not to be at home just then. I completed my journey in the rain, not quite as happy as Owen Wilson in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris on one of his late night wet walks.

If you’d like to check out the two YouTube videos that are the one good thing to come out of that day, you can find them at: “100 Story Project–William Minor: The Monterey Jazz Festival” and “100 Story Project–William Minor: Kalisa Moore and La Ida Café.”

My most recent State of the Art amusing adventure came when my wife Betty and I accompanied our son Tim to San Francisco Giants spring training camp in Arizona (I’ll confess to being a fanatic Giants fan). On the day of Tim’s 55th birthday, we saw the Giants play the Milwaukee Brewers at the latter’s stadium. Tim is a former Cross Country All-American (University of Nevada-Reno) and was national cross country champion after he turned forty. He now coaches the sport at Galena High School and has been named Northern Nevada Coach of the Year for the last three years. Although he no longer runs competitively, he doesn’t seem to possess more than an ounce of body fat, and when we arrived at the stadium and discovered we had a row of ten nurses directly behind us who’d been drinking beer all day, the first thing they said when they learned a little about Tim was, “Boy, you sure look like a runner!” And when they learned that he’d just turned 55 and that Betty and I were his parents, one of them bent over to me and said, “Now if he’s 55, what does that make you?” I told her that Betty and I got married when we were seven, so the math worked out OK.

A gentleman to the left of me was text-messaging throughout the entire game, and I discovered that I could make what I called “Twitter Talk” on the spot, saying to him, “SSBCHJCUTB.” When he said, “Wha?”, I translated, “Sir, shortstop Brandon Crawford has just come up to bat.” It was amazing how fast I could come up with complete sentences that way, using only the first letter of each word, no matter how intricate the syntax of the sentence might be. The gentleman, still texting and missing all the great plays, finally grew irritated and said, “Will you stop doing that!” I longed to respond with, “Sure, I’ll stop, if you stop living out of the palm of your hand,” but I recalled an old Irish joke I know that ends with the line, “An’ thas when the fight started,” and thought better of making a retort that might cost me a broken nose.

“And so it was I entered the broken world/To trace the visionary company of love, its voice/An instant in the wind (I know not wither hurled/But not for long to hold each desperate choice,” Hart Crane (maybe my second favorite 20th century poet after Osip Mandelstam) wrote in his poem “The Broken Tower.” And so, in my seventy-seventh year, I’ve entered a world that has re-invented and reshaped itself beyond anything I might have predicted or anticipated just a few years ago: a Brave New World sporting amazingly high levels of interconnectivity with potential Russian brides, the smart phone I don’t own, and baseball fans text-messaging their way (without witnessing a single non-virtual play) throughout an entire game.

I’ve had fun posting this blog, so I think–because it’s going to end up in the “About” category–I’ll close on another highly personal note: one more anecdote about my family. Tim’s daughter (Betty and my granddaughter) Emily works at The Continuum in Reno, Nevada: a “community-based intergenerational health and wellness center serving clients ‘From Pediatrics to Geriatrics,’ providing “outpatient rehabilitation with a full range of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Services.” Emily recently graduated in Health Science from The University of Nevada-Reno, after spending three months working at an orphanage in Ghana, an experience which changed her life. She asked me to play piano and sing at The Continuum, which I did, but an even bigger thrill than a chance to bring some joy to the “clients” there (you can see the older set lip-synching the words to songs like “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” or even attempting to belt them out like Judy Garland), was watching Emily at work, requesting a dance with an elderly gentleman who was reluctant to accept for only five seconds, or getting the group to sing in chorus. Here’s a photo taken after the “gig”: our grandson Blake (who is a junior at the University of Reno-Nevada, an excellent student, golfer, great guy (if I do say so myself!), and soccer star), Emily, my wife Betty, and me.

Reno Piano Gig

Oliver Sacks says that music is the very last thing to leave a human being, and Plato said that music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. With those fine thoughts I close out what has truly been a “fun” post for me–with, I hope, more to come.

Coming Attractions Revisited

This will be a short quick post–bringing “Coming Attractions” (under Upcoming Events) up to date.

With regard to the Old Capitol Books performance filmed for the Poetry Box half-hour TV show in Santa Cruz, introducing my book The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir, it has appeared onceand I missed it, didn’t know about it, and alas, was engrossed in watching the San Francisco Giants lose another baseball game! The show did air Tuesday, August 6, 8:30 pm on Community Television of Santa Cruz, Comcast cable channel 27 and Charter (Watsonville, California) channel 73.

In my “Coming Attractions” post I said I would post a schedule when I had one, and I do now. “Poetry Box #80 William Minor, Part 1” (produced by Joanna Martin and co-sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz) will be shown again on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, August 13, 8:30 PM.

Tuesday, August 20, 8:30 PM

Tuesday, August 27, 8:30 PM

CTV (Community Television of Santa Cruz County) is undergoing “changes” and additional screening of “Poetry Box #80 William Minor, Part 1”  is uncertain just now, the station’s public statement: “CTV is in the process of updating our live streams to another format.” But the performance by Jaqui Hope (vocals), Heath Proskin (bass) and me on piano and reading can be seen on channels 27 and 73 at the dates and times listed, and streamed at http://www.communitytv.org/ctv3.

Also, the “Best of The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir and New Poems Set to Music” performance featuring Jaqui, Heath and me cited in “Coming Attractions” as scheduled for Saturday, August 24 at the Museum of Monterey (MOM) will start at 7:30 PM, admission $5 for MHAA (Monterey History & Art Association) members and $10 for non-members. 

I’ll close this post with the content of a flyer sent out for that event–and will add additional info on CTV showings (beyond those already scheduled) in future “Upcoming Events” posts.

The Museum of Monterey Presents:  The Best of THE INHERITED HEART: AN AMERICAN MEMOIR and New Poems Set to Music

Pianist and author Bill Minor, center, with vocalist Jaqui Hope and bassist Heath Proskin in Pacific Grove, Calif.   Pianist and author Bill Minor, center, with vocalist Jaqui Hope and bassist Heath Proskin in Pacific Grove, Calif.

Featuring Vocalist Jaqui Hope, Bassist Heath Proskin, and Bill Minor on Piano and Reading

Come enjoy an evening reading from the best of Bill Minor’s new book The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir–selection based on favorites from two previous “Launch Parties”–and new poems and prose set to music performed by Bill (piano), Jaqui Hope (vocals) and Heath Proskin (bass). Poems, new prose and short lyric portions from the book are mixed with original recently composed pieces and songs (“standards”) from the era depicted–the music providing an added dimension to and enhancing the words.

Saturday, August 24, 7:30 Pm; $5 for MHAA members; $10 for non-members at The Museum of Monterey, 5 Custom House Plaza; (831) 372-2608