Some of my fondest memories of that period of my life are of the times when my cousin, Art Ross, would come over and we'd jam. He was a fourth-generation fiddler and also played guitar a bit. He couldn't read a note of music, but oh did he have an ear! When he played his fiddle, I would accompany him on the organ; when I played lead on the organ, he would accompany me on the guitar. Here we are way back then - Art was 27, I was 15.
Art and I had different musical backgrounds and experience. His repertoire consisted mainly of French Canadian fiddle tunes; mine comprised various genres - pop, folk, latin, big band, rock & roll, and on and on. One of my "show-off" songs was Tico-Tico. This song wasn't originally meant for the organ, but even way back then it was my kind of music. This is the way Tico-Tico was originally intended, performed here by Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Berta Rojas.
I decided that I had to teach Art to accompany me on Tico-Tico, since I was the one "showing off" - you know how 15-year-olds can be. Often times, we'd have friends and family over at the house for impromptu get-togethers or planned parties. When Art and I played Tico-Tico, we'd bring the house down.
Soon thereafter Art got married, and over several subsequent years he and his wife had 3 children. Patrick, Art's middle child, was 8 years old when he asked his dad to teach him how to play a tune. So began Patrick's foray into the world of music. He and his dad spent a lot of time playing music together and competing in regional fiddle contests. Unfortunately, Art met an untimely death when he was in his early 50's, and I am still very saddened by this.
So why am I chatting about this today? Patrick and I are Facebook "friends", and a few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing his FB link to a video that he uploaded to YouTube. And it gave me goosebumps! I wanted to bring him to the attention of my fans and followers, so here's Patrick playing his own improvised version of... you guessed it... Tico-Tico.
Not exactly what you'd expect to hear from a fifth-generation French Canadian fiddler - but oh, cousin, YOU ROCK!
And now I'm off to prepare to teach tonight's bead making class. This is the first week of my latest Beadmaking 1 and Beadmaking 2 classes in San Jose and I need to be on my toes, so to speak.
Have yourselves a happy and creative day!