It's been 12 years since the death of Joe Pass. Every year when spring approaches, I am reminded of the anticipation of that encore performance of Joe Pass that never was, and the lack of notoriety of his subsequent passing. I believe that the best way to pay tribute to his memory is to always applaud the musician in the night club, on the street, or in the hotel bar. By dropping a dollar in the tip jar or telling the pianist his music made my evening more enjoyable, I can do more to further the interests of the music profession than I can by plunking down $20 on the latest Top 40 CD. And in post-Katrina New Orleans, support of the music community is more important than ever.
As a guitarist who occasionally sits in with various performers around the city, I have tried to remember the lessons I learned from Mr. Pass. I always try not to lose the melody in the performance, and I will always remember Joe.
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