Sunday, April 17, 2011

Music is a language. Let's all learn to speak it.

If it were all up to Joe Craven, people would "Tap into music the same way they move through life: rhythm, integrity, feeling the groove."

As he played for a mid-day crowd in downtown Safety Harbor on March 30th, we adults appreciated the talent shining through his multitude of instruments. We loved his wisdom-filled rhymes. "Folk music--give it a chance. Listen to the stories, get up and dance." The kids appreciated his humor, and I am sure they related to his ability to make something magical out of simple things. His music is folksy and fun. It's many stories with many beats. His instruments not only included a fiddle, he brought out a bundt pan, a flower wall sconce (he said he paid .50 cents for at a garage sale), a Jell-o mold, shoelaces, an hors d'oeuvres serving tray, donkey jawbones, souvenir cups, brushes, and my favorite, a Holiday Inn Express waste can.

Joe Craven has a diverse background. He was a museum curator for ten years, an educator, visual artist, motivational speaker, actor, storyteller, and festival emcee. He's an outspoken advocate of the folk arts, and as his website describes him, "his educational mission is to empower individuals to take possession of their own music and tell their stories by “demystifying” art through self-expression as a daily ritual."

As an educator, Joe travels throughout the country, performing and teaching all ages and types of students. He's an encouraging music man with a message: Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success.

After a fun-filled evening at Todd and Kiaralinda's house concert, I asked Joe about what he thinks an art and music center will do for the people of Safety Harbor. "It's empowering people to live a more artful life," he said. "Art is the pursuit of possibilities." He continued with what I used as the title of this blog. "Music is a language. Let's all learn to speak it."

Learn more about Joe Craven by visiting his website. Or, to figure out the meaning of life, purchase one of his CDs. (Hey, it worked for me!)

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