[Dixielandjazz] Preservation Hall JB cancels Red Sea? + Our man on the keys, John Wilder

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 6 12:48:43 PDT 2006

Cebuisle2 at aol.com wrote (polite snip)

> Now for the original intent of this post- Why did the Preservation band
> cancel?? Was it out of fear, or politics, insurance issues, or just political
> "correctness?" 

Hi Ted and List mates:

I can only speculate but I think they cancelled because of fear to go there
this year after the Hezbollah/Israeli war started. They had attended at
least 3 previous Red Sea Jazz Festivals as the only Dixieland Band at this
modern jazz festival.

On the other hand, I went because I had never been to Israel, was not afraid
to go since folks of one sort or another have been trying to kill me since
1952 (without success), wanted to see if Wiggins was for real, and wanted to
play in a jam session with jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Who? A classically trained 44 year old Cuban jazz pianist who long ago
absorbed the work of Monk, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, et al.
and then went further out. I learned about him in conversation with bassist
Charlie Hayden about 6 years ago and vowed to hear him if I ever got the

Happily, Israel was great, Wiggins is for real, nobody tried to kill us
(except with kindness), I played twice with Gonzalo Rubalcaba at two
different jam sessions and we all had the time of our lives.

Plus the musicians with Mingus Dynasty could really play. Monsters all and
it was a pleasure to play with them at the jams.

And John Wilder? Who the hell was he? Damn, this unknown (at least on the
East Coast of the USA) Bay Area cat turns out to be one of the finest, hard
swinging piano players I have ever played with. And a swinging guy with
great personality who kindly let Gonzalo Rubalcaba sit in with us on Sweet
Georgia Brown at the second jam session. GR couldn't restrain himself we
were having so much fun and it was a pleasure to see a far out, avant garde
player, having so much fun with Dixieland.

And the women?  . . . . sigh.

Steve Barbone

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