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  • Jason Inanga

Jason's Jive: May 2019

Let’s get straight into it. MUSIC! I sit to write the “Jive,” and I am listening to some jazz I stumbled upon over the weekend. Ronny Jordan is the name of the artiste; “After Hours” is the name of the song. I love it. You should check it out online on YouTube. Another artist I have discovered recently is Norman Brown—listen to his songs “After the Storm” and “Together at Last.” What do you think?

I grew up in a family of music, the son of Amorelle Inanga, a music teacher and authority in her own right. I was often referred to as Mrs. Inanga’s son, and I hated that reference. It was like I did not exist as my own person. Growing up, I had my fair share of music. There were nights Mum would practice the piano till early hours of the morning, a lot of classical music. Then, if she had a performance with one of the many choirs she conducted, it would be choir-type music. I knew all the names, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel …and the names that were difficult to pronounce.

Sadly, the piano playing and music did not rub off well on me. I had the best of piano teachers: there was my first teacher, a British lady, and then I was handed over to Mrs. Modder, a Sri Lankan pianist. Then my mother took over, and that is where things fell apart between us. I had to practice to her satisfaction daily. The stubborn genes in us clashed often, and in 1982, Mum gave me the option to play the piano or not, for the sake of peace, and in less than five seconds I was free from my piano misery. I look back and have my share of regrets. I wish I could still play. I got real close to playing the piano again in 1989 when I formed a singing group, Hearts and Voices, and I had to teach the songs until we found a pianist.

I have three siblings, and they all play the piano and other instruments. My brother, Glen Inanga, is a classical music concert pianist. A quick search on Google or YouTube will pop up his details. My youngest brother plays the piano but is more of a trumpeter. My only sister is also a pianist. My dad doesn’t play the piano, so I guess my opting out of piano playing was to join him on the sideline.

Fast forward to 2019. My three children play the piano, and I am glad that they love it. They still tease me and show me the page from the piano lesson book where I stopped playing.

So coming back to jazz music and classical music, now I am much older than I used to be, I now find myself playing jazz and classical music and actually enjoying it.

The JT Project—“Overdrive:” that is one lovely tune I cannot get enough of. I have attached a link for you to hear the masterpiece of theirs:

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