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And while I’m at it…
Working as an independent consultant has its drawbacks, and the main one can be spending too much time in front of a computer screen working on …work. I try not to let that happen, and hobbies that have become a passion have no trouble dragging me from high-tech. Music and astronomy, plus a life-long interest in photography, help keep my leisure time fulfilling.

Music in general, Jazz in particular

  Colleagues have long known my interest in big-band music, and I am now a board member of three different non-profit organizations that are dedicated to fostering the preservation of Jazz, through a commitment to education.

American Jazz Venues has created a partnership program, bringing professional musicians into schools, where they appear with the institutions’ own orchestras. The combination provides an interesting program for the audience, as well as a thrilling experience for the musicians. See them at www.AmericanJazzVenues.org.

The New England Jazz Alliance has more of a historical mission, and recently inducted the first 10 members to the New England Jazz Hall of Fame. I co-authored a short article on the evolution of New England Jazz, which appeared in the souvenir program of the 2004 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and you can read it here.

Finally, the New England Jazz Ensemble is one of the growing number of regional bands that perform (and have recorded) newly composed or arranged music. They are also one of the organizations performing (and have recorded) Duke Ellington’s adaptation of the "Nutcracker Suite." Their website is under construction.

Jazz grabbed me in my youth, when I was a weekly broadcaster of high school sports and student-activity news on the local radio station in Bristol, Connecticut (long before they ever heard of cable television or ESPN). That interest persists, and annually I host a tribute to the big-band leader Stan Kenton, on our regional NPR outlet, WAMC (Northeast Public Radio, out of Albany).

Most recently, I founded the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, http://jazzpittsfield.blogspot.com, part of the burgeoning renaissance of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the “cultural downtown of the Berkshires

The Arts

  The arts brought us to The Berkshires in western Massachusetts, most visibly Tanglewood, which is right here in Lenox, the summer home and school of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And now, there’s a welcome opportunity to team-up the personal interest with an important movement: the environment. My artist wife (www.MargeBride.com) and I are working with the Sheffield Art League on a massive 6-month festival called Housatonic River Summer 2004, celebrating this region’s beauty as well as acknowledging the importance of all our natural resources. We are working with dozens of cultural and environmental groups in the region, as described at www.SheffieldArtLeague.org for now, and www.HousatonicRiverSummer.org shortly. It’s part of a give-back, doing pro-bono work for such a worthy cause, but also benefiting from becoming acquainted with an eclectic, talented, and diverse group of dedicated individuals.

Besides enjoying the fruits of these groups’ labors, I provide PR consulting on a pro-bono basis. It’s the proverbial win-win situation.

The Sky's the Limit

  When work and music don't keep me busy, there's a new-found love of astronomy, a subject for another time and space (sorry). Combining that science with a onetime work-related  interest in photography, I've begun to literally shoot for the stars…see examples below for this beginner's moon shots.

These two interests, in their own, distinct fashion, have each brought (or perhaps taught) two valuable gifts: patience and wonder.