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Fragile Beauty

Fragile Beauty. The new title I have chosen for my monthly blog postings. Why this title? If you refer to the liner notes from my new release, Connections:

Wabi Sabi

For those that know my story and for those who may not, in February 2005 I inexplicably woke that day not feeling the left side of my face. Unable to form an embouchure to play the trumpet I continued to attempt to work though it over the next several months. I found that I could not play the melody of a 32 bar standard tune. Finding little if no improvement I sought out assistance from a master teacher, Laurie Frink. Over the next several years to her untimely and unexpected death, she was able to supply me with the tools to regain some of what I had lost. Over a decade later, although somewhat improved, I still have no way of knowing if I will be able to produce a sound from one moment to the next. Psychologically, this has been difficult to deal with and needless to say has sapped much of my confidence as a player.

And then I found Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic. Wabi Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble, of things unconventional. In my study of Wabi Sabi, I found this to be a definition of my sound, a sort of fragile beauty. It is also an acceptance, as I transfer the teachings into musical practice, an acceptance of the moment, being right here, right now. Living in the present with no expectations. This state of mind has led me to embrace my sound and my ability to play at that given moment through a state of spirituality and emotional well being. I no longer fight myself. On this album you will hear various moments of my playing. It encompasses who I am as a person, as a musician.

Wabi Sabi has also taught me to listen for the silence, to leave space. The idea that from silence, sound enters and returns to silence. John Cage referred to it as a painter preparing their brush to move toward the canvas, to breath, exhale through the stroke and on the next inhalation, to lift off the canvass.

Sound out of silence, no expectations, in full acceptance.


Bill Stevens Artist, Composer, Educator


  • November 3, 2019
    Tomi Jazz, New York, NY
  • November 6, 2019
    Shadmoor, New York, NY
  • November 24, 2019
    The Shadmoor, New York, NY

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