Here are recent posts from George's two blogs, Passion Party and
Secrets from the Jazz Ghetto.
These words from an unknown poet remind me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and all the other days, too.
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times, you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.
I love the thought that Thanksgiving is less of a meal and more of a mindset. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family, love and all that is important to you.
Accepting the premise that there is some God-like entity or energy to pray to, the Avinu Malkeinu prayer from the Jewish New Year is really a series of requests from the congregation to "Our Father, Our King".
In a nutshell, we are saying, "I have screwed up this year; have compassion God, let me try again for another year." It is made up of 15 short statements, almost all of them requests:
1) a statement that there is a God
2) a request, prefaced by "for Your sake" asking for mercy.
This presents an interesting relationship between the believer and God. It is in God's benefit to show me mercy because I believe in him. If I am not shown mercy, who will believe in God? Who will be left to do God's will?
3) a request for healing of the sick (this is one of the few requests that is not "all about me".)
4) a request to remove the decree against me
5) a request to be inscribed in the Book of Life
6) a request for God to remember our good deeds
7) like #2, a request to save us "for Your sake".
8) a request to be heard
9) a statement that we have sinned
10) a request for compassion for us and our family
11) a request to end sickness, violence and hunger (finally not just for me and my family)
12) a request to end the reign of those that cause pain and terror
13) a request to be entered in the Book of Goodness
14) a request for a year of goodness
15) finally, a request for an answer to the prayer, to be saved through acts of justice and love.
Like so many prayers that I learned in Hebrew School, this one feels somewhat misguided. It does gratefully move for centering on "all about me", finally requesting things for the greater good (from "me" to "us" to "everyone").
I have come to believe that requesting specific action from God or the Universe is a waste of time. The Universe just is.
The best we can do is fit into the positive flow of energy and avoid the negative.
So my prayer is, "What can I do today to better serve Your will? Relieve me of the bondage of self. Show me what acts of justice and love I can do now so that I can better serve Your will and Your way of life. Your will, not mine, be done."
It's been about a year and a half now that my wife and I have talked about creating a budget.
Budget is such a dirty word
For me it has elements of shame and discomfort built into its definition
It has been easier for me to make more money rather than look at how I spend it.
But that time is over. It's time to pull the curtain back and see what the Wizard of Oz really looks like.
Why is this important?
Its about getting clarity
and removing the weight of worry and doubt
It will give me a purpose as to what I am working for
or not working for
It will give me a clear path to work from/off of
My argument against getting this clarity was that my income fluctuates so much each year, how can I ever really predict the future?
But then I realized that it is not about predicting the future
It is about looking at the past and seeing where the money went, not where it is coming from.
The budget will create itself
once I have clarity on how I spend my money.
The budget will allow me to make choices.
Right now it is just about clarity
Putting my expenses into categories
filling in the pieces of the puzzle
with no judgement - it is what it is.
The income/expense comes later.
I found this poem in the Prayer Book for Yom Kippur at our Temple:
Prayer - by Marie Howe
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention - the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
One of the prayers we say during the Jewish New Year is Avinu Malkeinu. The literal translation is "Our Father, Our King." It is often interpreted as "Almighty and Merciful."
The metaphor is saying that God is a judging, commanding and awe-inspiring Sovereign, and at the same time is a loving, compassionate parent.
She could wipe us all out with a look in the eye, but instead chooses to guide us through our foibles with mercy and compassion.
The first question that comes to mind is: Do I believe that an "Almighty and merciful God" exists? Do I believe that there is some one, or some force, guiding the universe and acting in some way that directly relates to this speck of dust we call "earth" and its inhabitants? Do I believe that somehow the floods, hurricanes and earthquakes we are currently experiencing have some kind of Divine cause, and somehow in all this devastation there is mercy and compassion?
Logic tells me this does not make sense.
But my belief and faith says that, yes, there is a chance that in our inter-connected universe there may be an energy guiding our better human intentions. Between the "I am That" and the "That I am" I am somehow connected to something greater than myself.
My Sea of Faith is almost gone, but I still have hope.
A few shows coming up, all different and all FUN!
SATURDAY 10/7 - GEORGE KAHN QUARTET
featuring PAT KELLEY
Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill, Jazz, & Etc.
2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90077
Three sets: 6:30, 9:00 and 10:15 PM
NO COVER! $25 per person minimum food/drink (this is easy to do at Vibrato!)
Reservations and Special Accommodations
For reservations, please call or make your reservation quickly and easily online by clicking HERE. For parties of 7 or more please call the Vibrato front desk at (310) 474-9400 during business hours of 5pm - 10pm to speak directly with a host.
SUNDAY 11/5 - GEORGE KAHN TRIO
SANTA MONICA ROTARY CLUB WINE AND JAZZ
at Playa Studios Culver City
There will be wine tasting, live music, live and silent auctions, and a twilight buffet provided by Fig Restaurant, Santa Monica! Tickets are $145 per person, and can be purchased by clicking here
11260 PLAYA COURT
CULVER CITY, CA 90230
SUNDAY 12/10 - GEORGE KAHN JAZZ & BLUES REVUE ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY
featuring Courtnel Lemmon - Gina Saputo - Crystal Starr - Nolan Shaheed - Justo Almario - MB Gordy - Lyman Medeiros
Vitellos Upstairs Lounge.
4349 TUJUNGA AVE.
STUDIO CITY, CA 91604
T . 818 769 0905
One Set: 8:00 - 10:00 PM. Come early for dinner!
$20 COVER! $20 per person minimum food/drink (great Italian Food!)
Reservations and Special AccommodationsFor reservations, please call or make your reservation quickly and easily online by clicking HERE. You MUST order tickets in advance - tickets at the door are $30 per person (a $10 upcharge)
Click here to read the Summer Newsletter
I like to think of the jazz piano trio as the "gateway drug" into jazz. Think Ramsey Lewis Trio, Vince Guaraldi, Bill Evans... Now for the first time I am producing a trio album with the amazing Alex Acuna and Lyman Medeiros, and we want YOU to be part of making it happen.
We have recorded four songs already, but we can't complete the project without you. The campaign runs only for the month of July, and once you make a pledge we'll be sending you updates about the progress, extra videos, etc. You can even join me as a guest at the recording session, or come to a PRIVATE HOUSE PARTY in August to celebrate the album with the George Kahn Trio.
There are numerous ways to get involved, but whether your pledge is $10 or $1,000, it does not matter - right now it is all about the eyeballs!
-check it out
-click on "Back this project"
-pick a reward
-share the love on Facebook, Twitter, or other social network platforms
Thanks! The journey has begun...
I am blessed to live in Los Angeles
the land of pleasant weather
the place where almost any day of the week there is a Farmer's Market within a 7-mile radius of my home
the home of celebrity chefs that create restaurant "experiences" that cost $250 per person (not including wine).
But who needs a chef when you have a back yard?
This year I started a new vegetable garden in the back yard and filled it with tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini and more tomatoes.
Now with June coming to an end the harvest has begun, and the dinners become more and more amazing.
Last night may have been a pinnacle of gastronomic happiness.
Instagram photos would not do it justice, so we did not take any. But here's the garden this morning:
- Diana's cauliflower soup with farmers market potatoes, carrots and celery
- fresh off the vine sliced cucumber
- fresh sliced Cherokee Purple tomato, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper
- steamed rainbow Swiss Chard
- grilled lemon-pepper turkey thighs (cooked on the backyard BBQ)
The June newsletter is out, with a new video, great jazz shows for June, and other news
Here is the new video, Dreamin'
by George Kahn
Would you like to be a "first follower"? This is the theory that attracting an adherent or believer to a new kind of initiative is the first step toward beginning a movement that might seem unusual or out-of-step with the general population. Here's a brief video from Derek Sivers about the First Follower.
I am looking for people who want to help launch the Kickstarter Campaign by committing to back the project the day it launches. Interested? Email me and I'll add you to the FIRST FOLLOWER list!
Click here to see older Passion Party posts.
Click here to see older SECRETS FROM THE JAZZ GHETTO posts.