Posts filed under ‘Reggie and his music’

Me and my boys


July 6, 2011 at 12:31 am 3 comments

Two for the Road

This is my oldest son, Reggie, on the flute and his friend, Andrew, on the guitar, playing Henry Mancini’s Two for the Road.

This song is from the 1967 movie of the same title. It stars Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney.

Why do I think that there’s a Tagalog version of this song? Can anybody tell me if I’m right and the title of the Tagalog song?

Two for the Road
by Henry Mancini

If you’re feeling fancy free,
come wander through the world with me,
and any place we chance to be,
will be a rendezvous.

Two for the road,
we’ll travel through the years,
collecting precious memories,
selecting souvenirs
and living life the way we please.

In the summertime the sun will shine,
in winter we will drink summer wine,
and any day that you are mine,
will be a lovely day.

As long as love still wears a smile,
I know that we’ll be two for the road,
and that’s a long long while.

June 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm 7 comments

Watching the jazz man play

This was originally posted in my other blog on May 3, 2008.

Since the jazz man started university, I haven’t had the chance to watch him perfom. It’s not that he hasn’t been playing his flute. Because, he is, since he’s taking a Music course with a major in Jazz Performance. But it’s not like High School anymore where they have concerts at school and some other venue where the parents are invited. He performs at the university and there was this one Saturday night when they had an event and I told him that I might be able to watch him. But he said that there were tickets that were sold and that it’s like a kind of dance thingy.

Also most Monday nights, he hangs out with his friends at this little Italian restaurant and he plays jazz with his friends sometimes. There was also this one time when he performed at a cultural centre here in the city. I planned to go that Tuesday night even if I had to leave my two youngest sons at home alone, but that was a really busy day because my middle guy had a basketball game that day. And the jazz man didn’t think that I should watch his performance because he said that his group was not that prepared and they were performing in this sort of night club thingy and that he had other upcoming performances that I could watch anyway.

And so when that other performance night came, I made sure that I made it there. It was also on a Tuesday night. They had this thing called Mardi Jazz. It was on the second floor of that cultural centre and it was indeed set up like a night club. The jazz man played with his group in the second part of the show. They played several Latin and Jazz pieces. There were five of them at the front playing the flute, trombone, trumphet and saxes and another four at the back on the guitars, drums and keyboard. They also had lady singers and it was just a fun night. I took a couple of pictures and I wish I had recorded at least one of the songs in my digicam. Either one of the familiar tunes or his duet with Danny on the sax. He’s gotten a lot better since high school and he played with such an emotion. But I was kind of shy because I didn’t see anybody else videotaping it. Half of the audience were senior people, probably grandparents of the performers. My mother also came that night to watch him. I was really surprised to see her there even though my son already told me that she was coming. Because if you know my mother, you’ll know that she doesn’t stay up that late. The show went on until almost 11:00 p.m. and it was almost midnight when we got home.

Last weekend, the jazz man also played at this restaurant called Rembrandts Bistro. It’s outside the perimeter and since we have to drive him out there, I told the husband that since he would be playing at 6:30 at night, let’s bring the two younger boys and let’s all have dinner there. The jazz man warned me that the food is expensive. He checked out the website. Oh, that’s okay, I said. It’s just this one time.

We drove out there last Saturday night for half an hour. It was a fancy restaurant. There were these two senior guys who the jazz man was playing with at the balcony. The jazz man’s university friend was supposed to sing that night but she couldn’t make it. So she asked the jazz man if he could play with them instead. He got paid, so that was good. But what I paid for the food was more than what he got. 🙂 But that’s okay. That’s his money anyway. And the kids didn’t care much for the food. Okay, they didn’t like it. They said that we should have just gone to McDonald’s. 🙂

Well, anyway, we also stayed at the balcony. We were the only ones there aside from the musicians. The owner was kind enough to let us stay there so we can watch our son. And our server was very nice and I now realize that it was more of a hassle for him going up the stairs from the kitchen to serve us up there. I only took one shot while they were playing. Now looking back, I feel bad that I didn’t record at least one of the songs they played. I really enjoyed “The Girl From Ipanema” with accompaniment of the flute. Well, maybe next time.

But you know what, I enjoyed watching him better without a video camera in my hand. Because in the past, I couldn’t concentrate on just watching him when I had the camcorder in my hand. I’d be minding where to sit to get a good angle and when to zoom in or out. And I’d be wondering how the video will appear on youtube and if I can post it in my blog. 🙂

May 3, 2008 at 8:15 pm 1 comment

Pick Up The Pieces

It was a late Thursday afternoon in May when my kids and I were getting ready to go see Reggie‘s Spring Jazz Concert at River East Collegiate.  The concert didn’t have to start until 7:00 p.m., but as usual, the performers were asked to be there by 6:15 p.m. for warm-up and tuning procedures.  I already pre-ordered the tickets but I also wanted to be there early so that I could get good seats.

Reggie left at around 6:00 p.m. and since I wasn’t quite ready yet, I told him to go on ahead and that his brothers and I would just follow later.  The two younger boys and I left at around 6:30 p.m.  It was just a ten-minute walk to school.  We were already at the school yard when it occurred to me to check if I had the tickets in my purse.  I knew it!  They weren’t there.  I changed bags the previous day and I must have forgotten to transfer the tickets in the purse that I used that day.  I told the boys that we would go inside the school and I’d leave them there while I go back home to get the tickets.  Ryan said that he’d go back instead because he could walk faster.  I told him that he didn’t know where I’d put the tickets. 

When we got inside the school, there were just a handful of parents lined up in front of the theatre doors which were still closed.  At first I thought that I’d make the boys fall in line, but then I realized that they couldn’t go in anyway because they didn’t have tickets.  Then I thought I’d ask Rachel, who I saw by the front doors, a favour.  I went up to her and asked her where I could find Reggie.  He’s upstairs warming up, she said.  Now, I always get lost finding the rooms when I go on the second floor and since it was getting close to 7:00 p.m., I explained to her my situation.  Could you please save us three seats once the doors open?  I asked her.  Sure, whereabouts do you want to sit?  She asked.  Somewhere in the centre, but not too close nor too far from the stage.  I told the boys to give her their jackets and she would put them on the seats that she would save for us.

So I hurriedly went back home, half walking, half running.  I couldn’t really run because I was wearing my two-inch platform sandals. This wasn’t the first time I had to leave the kids someplace and hurry back home because I forgot something.   Sign of getting old or just too pre-occupied?  I was still a block away from home and I was already panting and out of breath.  When I got inside the house, I immediately look for the tickets in my other purse and yes they were there.  I had to change my blouse for I worked up a sweat and I also changed into my runners so I could walk faster.  I got back to school with still a couple of minutes before the concert started.  And my boys were seated at the best seats in the house and an empty seat was reserved for me in the middle.  Thanks to Rachel.  She was an angel.

When the Intermediate Jazz Band started coming up the stage and I saw Rachel beside Reggie, that answered the burning question I had since a few months before.  How did he get close to this girl two years his junior?  Of course, they were sitting next to each other everyday in Jazz Band.  Well, not that I have a problem with that.  She’s a very nice girl. 🙂

This is one of the music they played that night.  It’s called Pick Up The Pieces.  Some of you may be familiar with this piece.

The phrase “pick up the pieces” means “to try to return to a satisfactory situation.”  That’s what I’ve been trying to do now in my personal life and that’s why I thought I’d share this video clip with you.

Reggie plays the tenor saxophone here and also (a solo on) the flute.

October 20, 2007 at 10:07 pm 18 comments

Canada Day Jazz Festival Wrap-Up


The 2007 Jazz Winnipeg Festival wrapped up its annual season with a series of free jazz and pop concerts at the TD Canada Trust Stage in Old Market Square on Sunday, Canada Day. 

canada flag 

It was a rainy day.  No heavy downpour but showers here and there.  You’d see people open up their umbrellas when it started raining, and then after a while, the rain would stop and then later on start again.  There were quite a few of those big dark green Canada Trust umbrellas handed out so people were kept dry.

That’s my mother and her friend Tessie in their denims sitting at the front. 


There are a couple of restaurants around and there were also food stands, just in case anybody got hungry. 


The event started at 11:00 a.m. and ended at midnight.

Reggie performed with the Manitoba High School Honour Band on this event.  As conductor Richard Gillis mentioned a few times, you don’t just get into this band.  You audition for this.  Every end of May, Richard Gillis auditions students from different schools in Manitoba and he also picks which of the students will make it to the band composed of around 20 performers.  This year, they had five rehearsals, which were held at the University of Manitoba.


Here are two video clips from last Sunday’s event.  Please excuse the jerky movements especially in the second video.  I was holding the camcorder in one hand and the digicam in another.  I placed myself at the front of the crowd, but I couldn’t quite get a good spot because Reggie would be concealed either by the microphone or the soloist at the front.  Besides, people kept passing by in front of me.

In the first video clip, the band played The More I See You featuring Sophie in vocals.

In this one, they played Duke Ellington’s Things Ain’t What They Used To Be featuring saxophonist Christine Jensen.  The tune was quite catchy and there were three couples that danced not too far from the stage.  I videotaped them too.

July 2, 2007 at 10:30 pm 15 comments

The Graduate, His Awesomeness

The day before graduation, Reggie picked up his cap and gown at school. When he brought them home, I checked them right away to make sure that they are in good condition and that the gown is not too long nor too short.  He said that they were fitted weeks before and the garment bag actually has a sticker with his name on it.  I checked the tag on the gown and, of course, it was made by Gaspard & Sons.  I used to work for this garment company and if I’m not mistaken, they are one of the leading suppliers of graduation caps and gowns here in Canada.  They also make church vestments, by the way.

I was still working there when Reggie graduated from kindergarten.  Actually he didn’t have a graduation.  And I wanted so much to have a picture of him in a graduation outfit, so I asked my supervisor if I could borrow a set of cap and gown so I could have his picture taken at a Wal-Mart.  She asked management, and not only did they let me borrow, but they gave me a set, for keeps.  I picked the colour white because that’s what I wore when I graduated from kindergarten.  Doesn’t he look so adorable in this picture?


And look at him now after twelve years.  He’s practically a grown man.  Ah, it makes me feel nostalgic and old.


When he was five years old, he would watch Home Alone over and over again.  He actually knew the movie by heart that he would narrate to me what would happen next.  He was sitting on the shopping cart I was pushing at Superstore when a lady asked him what his name was.  He said, “Kevin.” And my mother blurted out a laugh.  We then explained to the lady that Kevin is the name of the kid from Home Alone and that wasn’t his real name.

Now, he assumes the persona of Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  Barney has a penchant for suits and is famous for the line, “Suit up!”  I just hope Reggie doesn’t follow Barney’s ways of picking up women.

Reggie asked me to buy him a new pair of suit at Moore’s last November.  The boys in jazz band wear black suits at their concerts.  But this year, Reggie had also been suiting up in different occasions, like going to school parties and his friends’ birthday parties and just any special occasions at school.  He even suited up on the last day of school.  His brother, Ryan, has been telling me that his kuya has been acting weird this year.  He has been going to a lot of parties, and suiting up and there was a time when he’d wear his trademark red scarf.  But that was last winter.  He had since put the red scarf away.

Have I told you yet that he’s popular among the senior students at REC?  Yes, he claims that everybody knows him.  Unlike at home where he’s usually quiet, he is very friendly at school.  I just learned recently that the boy’s got a blog.  After a little snooping around, err, I mean, investigating, I found out the URL.  But don’t tell him.  I can’t share with you the URL though.  I think it’s intended to be read only by his friends.  I can tell you this – the blog has AWESOMENESS written all over it.  And I mean that literally.  That awesomeness is also attributed to the character of Barney.


On the day of graduation, the students were asked to be at school at 10:00 a.m.  They were then bussed to the venue of the graduation.  The ceremony wasn’t until 12:30 p.m., but they still needed to rehearse, the only one rehearsal they actually had.  They were also asked to bring snacks to tide them over the lunch hour because ceremony was expected to last two and a half hours long.

His two brothers weren’t able to come along as the youngest one still had school and the middle one decided at the last minute to just stay home.  I invited my mother and also my husband’s uncle, his only relative here in Winnipeg, to Reggie’s graduation.


A few important people, including the principal, delivered their speeches.  And then the valedictorian also delivered his speech.  We were expecting Reggie’s friend, Sam, to be the valedictorian, but it was a different student who stood there and delivered his speech.  I learned this when Reggie graduated from ninth grade, that unlike in the Philippines where it was the teachers who pick the valedictorian, here in Canada, the valedictorian is voted by the student body. 

The jazz vocal choir then went up the stage and sang their beautiful rendition of Cindy Lauper’s True Colors.

Awards were then handed out to different students.  There were a lot of awards and scholarships given out.  The awards have monetary value and are intended to help the students in the pursuit of college and university studies.  Sam received the most awards, seven, I think.  She was president of student council and she had just been a leader and mentor throughout her three years stay at REC and maintained excellent grades at the same time. Reggie told me later that she actually declined to be valedictorian because she just had too many things on her plate.  My niece was also telling me that students choose the student that most represents them as valedictorian, an average student. Not everybody is like Sam. 


We had a wonderful surprise.  Reggie received one of five musical awards.  So we’re happy about that.

After the awarding of scholarships, the students were called one by one on stage to receive their diplomas.  Before the graduates come up the stage, they hand over to the announcer a paper where they have written their names and how they wanted to be introduced.  For example, “Kayla Gail Jones. Lions Club awardee. Thank you mom and dad for putting up with me these last three years.”  Or “James Joseph Smith.  Whew!  Who would have thought, I’d graduate.  Thank you to my teachers and friends.  I’ll miss you.  I love you mom and dad.”

So Reggie’s turn came up.  I saw him from a distance hand in over his paper to the announcer.  And this is how she introduced him.  “Reginald S– M—–.  Come on down.  You’re the next contestant to the price is right.”  And of course, he had to insert there his “Ph. D. in Awesomeness.”  The crowd loved him.  The lady sitting next to my mother knows Reggie and said that he’s got a sense of humour.  If you watch How I Met Your Mother, you’ve probably seen that episode when Barney went on The Price is Right Show and met Bob Barker.  

After the ceremony, the graduates had to return their gowns right away.  We looked for Reggie and grabbed him so we could take a few snapshots of him while still in his graduation outfit.  I’m actually not that tall.  I was wearing my four-inch heels.  That was a bad idea because my feet were already hurting by that time. 


And here’s another scoop.  Instead of dressing up that day, some of the graduates wore only shorts or jeans under their graduation gown.  We saw students walk up the stage in flip-flops and runners.

After the ceremony, we all headed back home and enjoyed a small feast in celebration of this special event.  It hasn’t been an hour since we got back and Reggie already asked to be excused.  His friend, Clay, called and they attended a workshop at the Conservatory of Music downtown.


Just a reminder:  If you are in Winnipeg and have nothing better to do on this weekend,  Sunday, Canada Day, is the wrap up of the Jazz Festival at the Old Market Square at the Exchange District.  Celebrations start at 11:00 am and ends at midnight.  Reggie will be performing with the Manitoba High School Honour Band at around 3:00 pm.

June 30, 2007 at 8:39 am 26 comments

Jazz in the Courtyard

It’s summer once again here in Winnipeg and there are free outdoor concerts here and there.

jazz in the courtyard

One of this is Jazz in the Courtyard every Friday noons starting June 1 to August 24 at the CanWest Global Place.  This concert series will feature musicians from our local high school jazz bands.  The River East Collegiate Senior Jazz Band performed in one of these concerts two weeks ago. 

noon hour jazz 

Of course, I invited my friends who work downtown so that they could see Reggie play.  They were teasing me and calling me a stage mother.  That’s okay. I guess I am. 🙂

jazz in the courtyard

reggie with clay and sam

Aside from the local jazz bands, there are also two special professional performances on July 6th and July 13th.

There are hotdog stands nearby, so you can eat your lunch while enjoying the live music.

Jazz in the Courtyard

From Friday, June 1 2007 – 12:00pm
To Friday, August 24 2007 –  1:30pm
Friday of each week
Location CanWest Global Place
Address 201 Portage Ave.
Tickets Free

Reggie has also auditioned and made it to the Manitoba High School Honour Band.  He is now busy rehearsing with the band in preparation for the Canada Day Wrap-up weekend of the Jazz Festival at the TD Canada Trust Stage in Old Market Square at the Exchange District.  If you are a music fan, you can check out the list of performers on this link.

Also, the recordings of the finalists to the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival are now up on the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.  You can listen to the three selections each of the 15 band finalists played at the competition, including River East Collegiate.

June 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm 14 comments

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