Thursday, December 18, 2008

Man With A Horn

And now, it's time to pay tribute to one of our local musicians on the eve (literally) of his departure for greener pastures. Jay Kaufman has been a professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health, but many of you know him better as trumpeter in many local jazz and Latin bands during the past decade. Jay is moving to Montreal to take up an endowed chair in Population Health at McGill University.

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Jay says he's looking forward to having greater flexibility in his academic research, and to splitting his time between Montreal and Santiago, Chile, where he also holds a teaching post at La Universidad de Chile. (Nice work if you can get it!)

"Eventually, I'll try to time it so I am down in the southern hemisphere for the Canadian winter, which would mean perpetual summer. But I don't quite have that worked out yet!" says Jay.

"Of course I'll continue playing music," he adds. Helping Jay to forge some Montreal connections is Ramon Ortiz, his bandmate in Orquesta GarDel. Ramon moved here 2 years ago from Montreal, where he was very active in the salsa and merengue scenes. Thanks to Ramon, Jay will arrive there with a long list of contacts in hand.
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Some background on Jay: He moved to the Triangle in 1999 from Charlotte, and before that has lived in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Nigeria, Baltimore and Puerto Rico.

On the jazz side, his resumé includes John Brown, the Raleigh Jazz Orchestra, Kevin Van Sant, Ben Palmer and Russell Lacy.

On the Latin side, you know him from Charanga Carolina, Samecumba, Orquesta GarDel, West End Mambo, and Sajaso.
"I'll really miss all these great musicians in this area, and especially their really positive attitude and sense of camaraderie," Jay says.

Jay Kaufman, many blessings in your transition, we wish you all the best! Thanks for all the music.


Alberto said...

Jay might be moving but I will always have the honor of playing side by side with him. One thing I admire of Jay is his humbleness. Many times when we were getting ready to play a gig I will listen to him warming up and he never ceased to amaze and surprise me with his dominion and vast kowledge of the trumpet. Excellent trumpeter and extraordinary friend. Seriously, I will greatly miss him.
Jay, para ti, mis mejores deseos.

Eric said...

I've played with Jay on and off since I was a UNC undergrad. I'll always remember the first time met him, at his house rehearsing for an upcoming wedding. His smile and demeanor were immediately disarming, as has been the case for all of my subsequent work with him. Jay, your musical ability and cultural knowledge justify your place in the history books for Triangle Latin music culture. Best of luck in Montreal!
Eric Hirsh, co-director, Orquesta GarDel