About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home at Zen Tea

It appears that Zen Tea is becoming a second home.

I usually play at Zen Tea once a month with Tea for Two, but last night I performed as a soloist. I didn't attract as many people as the full band usually does, but I still had fun. Two hours of singing and playing my favorite music at one of my favorite venues is a good way to spend a Saturday night. Although I didn't exactly fill the room, Connie (the owner) liked my solo show and asked me to book another one. Flattery will get you everywhere. I booked a date for September 1.

A friend of mine, Barbara Hotz, plays nearly every Sunday afternoon from 2-4 for a regular event…a tea tasting, I think, but I'm not sure. She doesn't play every single Sunday, so I'm going to be her alternate, which means I'll probably play an additional Sunday each month or so.

On top of that, it looks like I'll be hosting a monthly jam session at Zen Tea, which will start in late September. This is an experiment, and for now, we've only scheduled September 23 and October 28. If those go well, we'll continue. I'm not sure exactly how I'll run the jam session yet, but I do know that I would like this to be an eclectic jam session. To reflect my personal tastes, I'll invite musicians of all stripes to the event – particularly folk musicians and jazzers. Of course, the musical styles at the jam session will ultimately depend on who actually shows up, but I'll do my best to make it a melting pot.

I've been playing at Zen Tea for about two years now, and I've loved it since day one. The moment I first walked in, there was something about the place. The tension left my body, and I felt peaceful and at ease. Part of it is the decor, but mostly it's because of Connie, who calmly treats all her customers like friends.

If you're ever in Chamblee, GA and just need a place to sit down and relax a while, you should check out Zen Tea. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about setting up a cot in the back room.

1 comment:

  1. This is Barbara, echoing Tom's enthusiasm for Connie and Zen Tea. Really a respite in the heat but in the cool of winter too. BRiSA (Ron Hutchin and I will be playing there this saturday night the 4th, from 7-9, unplugged bossa, boleros and more.
    Zen Tea is truly as Tom describes, an oasis! Connie has Tea Tastings on sundays at 2, exotic, tailored to your preference, with soothing and interesting music in the background. Sign up on the website or just drop by. Fresh and tasty foods and desserts from Maison Robert just down the street. Zen Tea eally has grown on me too!