Here's the Essence of Bridge School Benefit Concerts
So here's the essence of the Bridge School Benefit Concerts summed up very nicely in the following in-depth review.
From All About Jazz by Lloyd Peterson:
The Bridge School has been instrumental in developing augmentative and alternative communication techniques. This provides children who cannot communicate verbally or in written form, the ability to meet critical communicative needs. But what does this all mean?
Imagine being the parent of a child with a disability so severe that being able to express even the slightest human need or emotion is only a remote possibility. A handicap so disabling that acquiring the most basic grade school education is a parent's far off distant dream. How does a family come to terms with the pain and challenges of this type of existence? Intentional or not, a child perceived and treated as an outcast from society.
Is it fair to ask how an all powerful God justifies a child living in such a reality? How is it not possible to question one's own faith, and how many times must a child ask the question, why? But perhaps we are the ill-fated ones, the ones without the kind of loneliness that can bring us closer to our own existence, our own individual place in the universe. Welcome to the Bridge School.
One of the greatest moments over the two days occurred on Saturday when Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder introduced one of the students who was sitting on stage along with the other students and parents, as the 'smartest girl he knew.' Proudly and with tremendous sensitivity, he explained that Maricor had just received her Bachelor degree from Berkeley this past June. A long rousing standing ovation followed and it was difficult not to shed a tear during this emotional and heartwarming moment. There may be no greater example of the rare compassion that resides in the human spirit, and for a two day period of time, all other trivial matters ceased to exist.
If anyone questions the power of music, one only needs to attend this event.
Neil Young simply has a presence that is larger than life. I spoke previously about the different levels of being in the moment and I don't know that there is anyone performing today that reaches the same place as Young. There are artists within the avant-garde that reach this level, but there are times when Young creates at a level and intensity not unlike that of Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane, which has nothing to do with genre and culture, yet transcends it.
Trying to play at this level too often can be tragic yet Young seems to understand the limitations and can harness the creative intensity in a way that can only be identified as genius.
Full review at All About Jazz.
Also, see 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concerts.
Photo by San Jose Mercury News