Carmel Magazine

Summer 2017

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for their honesty, wit, clarity and warmth. They weren't snarky, just folksy people who com- mented on their times." Forman will perform "The Red Guitar" at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts on May 20. Jazz musicians in general are keen on passing the torch of this uniquely American genre on to future generations, and Forman is no exception. "I've been teaching since I was young. Growing up, most of my friends and colleagues were much older than me and they mentored and taught me about jazz, music and life," he says. "Now I do the same for younger people. Jazz is so complex and developed that a natural curiosity and sense of discovery are embedded 166 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 A Jazz Musician's Route 66 Challenge W hile working in St. Louis, Bruce Forman joined friends for din- ner at a funky restaurant set alongside historic Route 66. "I realized I wanted to see this piece of Americana before it went away," he recalls, so he hatched the idea of the Route 66 Challenge. "Our band, Cow Bop, left Chicago with $100 and a full tank of gas with the goal of playing and earning our way along Route 66 to the Santa Monica Pier (the route's terminus)," the guitarist explains. Daily dispatches were posted on the band's website, and several newspapers began printing their escapades as well. "We'd show up anywhere, get out of the truck and play. It took two weeks, but we made it," he says. "My takeaway was, as much as my original premise was to see it before it went away, it wasn't going anywhere," he muses. "It's seen better days, but the people along 66 take it seriously and are having to reinvent themselves to make it work. And I see a metaphor between that and jazz. It's also seen better days: there used to be more people listening, and also more per- forming it. We're having to reinvent our- selves…just like those folks along Route 66." That trip and others like it have been repeated several times. All are archived at —Michael Chatfield Forman is dedicated to passing on the jazz tradition to following generations through private instruction, teaching at USC and his JazzMasters program. He's proud that many have gone on to make a career in jazz. Photo: Spiz Photography

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