On the evening of Saturday July 27th, I played the Claviola with my teacher William Schimmel on the accordion in concert at the 19th annual Master Class & Concert Series in Manhattan sponsored by the American Accordionists’ Association and curated by Dr. Schimmel. It is hard to believe that I have been on the program all 19 years. Saturday afternoon, I conducted a workshop about the Claviola and the melodica (along with Bill). Thanks to accordionist Mayumi Miyaoka for capturing the moment. It is a very humbling experience for me to be surrounded by so many incredibly talented musicians.
Walking While Black
Music and Lyrics by Paul Stein
People of conscience, please let me impart
An American story that’s breaking my heart.
Young Trayvon went out for Skittles and a can of ice tea,
Took a break from playing video games and watching TV. (chorus)
Trayvon is dead and Zimmerman’s free.
No justice, no peace, what a travesty!
Zimmerman claimed he was under attack,
But Trayvon’s only crime was walking while black.
Trayvon didn’t rush in the rain with his snack,
His father kept waiting for him to come back.
Trayvon wore a sweatshirt topped with a hood.
Zimmerman assumed he was up to no good. (chorus)
Zimmerman reported his unfounded suspicion.
This wannabe cop then embarked on a mission.
Against police advice he followed Trayvon.
Suddenly with one shot this black child was gone. (chorus)
At Zimmerman’s trial, the jury acquitted.
“Racial profiling” evidence could not be admitted.
Trayvon was silenced so Zimmerman won.
No black boy is safe from any stalker with a gun. (chorus)
This story is tragic, it troubles me so.
Trayvon reminds me of children I know.
They see that the law puts their lives at risk too.
What should we say when they ask what to do?
© 2013 Paul Stein
[May be used without permission for noncommercial purposes]
I hope to post an MP3 within a few days.
On April 11th, I marched with Local 802 American Federation of Musicians (I’m a member) and others, including folks from the Occupy Music Group, in support of the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign. I am not a jazz artist, but I did the best I could with my trusty melodica (pictured below) to keep up with some great players. We stopped first at a mansion on the Upper East Side owned by a member of the Bensusan family and later in the evening marched around in front of their renowned jazz club in The Village, the Blue Note. Photo by the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign.
On December 21, 2012, I was privileged to take part in the Make Music New York “Harmonaboard Parade”, a pick-up group of 25 jazz musicians led by renowned jazz pianist and melodica player Jonathan Batiste parading down Harlem’s 125th Street playing melodicas (also known as “harmonaboards”) and stopping in at neighborhood landmarks. I am at the far right of the photo, provided courtesy of Hohner Music.