Frank London’s musical celebration will be missing one thing: his

“I don’t think too much about it,” he said, “because I’m not going to waste a day when I’m feeling good.”

Even so, the recent flurry of activity apparently includes gatherings with influential colleagues. After being interviewed at home, London rushed to Park Slope to play with improv conductor Walter Thompson. The day before, he had been in Houston to perform with Itzhak Perlman in a revival of the violinist’s famous Jewish music legend “In the Fiddler’s House.” The engagement not only reunited London with Perlman, but also with the Krezmer Conservatory Band, whose founder Hankus Netsky had entered him decades earlier The then unknown world of Jewish music.

In a video interview, Netsky, now co-chair of the contemporary music arts department at the New England Conservatory, recalled a determined 12-year-old trumpet player from Long Island he met while working as a youth counselor at Lighthouse Arts and Music Camp. Pennsylvania pine forest.

“I always tell my students that if you want to be a creative musician, you have to master your instrument, you have to channel your life experiences, whatever they are, you have to know a certain amount of repertoire, and you You have to be creative,” Neski said. “Obviously, he has all of those things. But the creativity is off the charts.

Growing up in what he calls a Reform Jewish family in Plainview, London, he was drawn to rock music in high school. But it was at the school radio station that he discovered the records of Strata-East, a Brooklyn-based label run by jazz musicians Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell, and was intrigued by one of its more adventurous albums. The attraction: “Sound Awareness,” a choir-boosted, percussive precursor to what’s now known as spiritual jazz, by an artist named Brother Ah.

While studying at Brown University in London, I discovered that Brother A (formerly known as Robert North) was teaching improvisation there. When he decided to pursue improvisational music as a career, London left Brown and auditioned for the New England Conservatory, where Neski taught. He failed the audition but paid to take lessons and played in the Netsky studio band led by pianist Jaki Byard.

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