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Family and Progenitors - [SONGS Yes I Do, Hand Me Down, Wayfaring Stranger] [DRAFT]
Hochman - My grandfather Murray Hochman was a gifted professional musician who entertained in various venues and ensembles, especially jewish weddings and bar mitzvahs in the Catskills of New York. He sang, played accordion and piano, and often led the band, when there was one. He was a quick study - supposedly he could sit down at a piano with sheet music of songs he didn't yet know, play through each, reducing scores where necessary, and get up a few minutes later ready to lead the band through every arrangement note for note.

Grandpa Murray, whose stage name was Billy Nevins (did a less jewish-sounding name carry more cachet even amongst jewish audiences?!), taught my grandmother Sally, who performed with him, the ropes of the music entertainment business, most notably music itself. He taught music also to my father Victor and my cousin Jerry, bringing them along to and incorporating them in shows. My father, who played double bass and sang, adopted the stage name Vic Nevins.

My father never played a note on the bass in front of me; he had spurned the musical life (after attending New York's Music and Art High School for bass and voice) in favor of pursuing college and then business. Although he and my mom saw to it that I picked up the alto sax in 4th grade, he urged me to pursue academics and a professional career. But throughout my childhood he played fantastic jazz, funk, disco, rock, and classical records on his solid state 70s stereo, positioning himself equidistant between the speakers and, ensuring I was watching and listening, singing basslines in a deep, sonorous voice while fingering and plucking an imaginary bass next to him. I did not know at the time that this was my father teaching me to play bass, which I didn't pick up until I was 30.

Escartin - My grandmother "Mama" Rosario Escartin (later Alarcon after she married) drew, sketched, designed and made clothing and various crafts, had a beautiful coloratura voice, and performed spontaneous improvised comedy skits at social gatherings. Mama told a story of how when she was a young girl in northern Spain a wealthy patron saw some of her artwork and offered her a full ride to an art academy, but Mama's mother declined, feeling a girl's place was in the home. After emigrating to America, mama inducted her two elder daughters Rosalie and Conchita into flamenco dance as girls, and cultivated special artistic gifts in her youngest, my aunt Janice, a very gifted artist with a beautiful singing voice.

Alarcon - My grandfather Guillermo "Papa Bill" Alarcon, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, played guitar and sang cowboy and old time songs, notoriously supplementing and changing lyrics into his own unique versions, and frequently injecting tricky crooked rhythms as well. My mom came to love these songs and in an adult musical rennaissance of her own picked up the guitar and began developing a wide-ranging repertoire including some of Papa Bill's beloved songs in all their crooked glory. The version of "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" mom and I sometimes call at jams is just one example.

Staten Island, HCHS - [SONGS Bb Swing, Mountains Might Fall] [TO COME]
Yale, OOTB, Whiffs - [SONGS Room, Pass Me By, One Man Show, Love Begins 1, BTYH 1] [TO COME]
Columbia, DPW - [SONGS Love Begins 2, Route 368] [TO COME]
Wonderland I - [SONGS Wonderland, Odalysque, Never Wrong] [TO COME]
Ashokan - [SONGS Tell Me What, Goddamn, BTYH 2] [TO COME]
Wonderland II, Ex Machina - [SONGS Idee Fixe, Ass Fresco, Hyperspace, Endless Desire] [TO COME]
L.A., Cinder Block - [SONGS No Better Than The Rest, Son of Cain, Yes I Do] [TO COME]
Wonderland III, SisterMonk - [SONGS After Wendi, Make Time, Kakalooshu, Paradise] [TO COME]
Peekskill, Nyack - [SONGS Peekskill Reel, This Way Again, Peak Skill, Oh-ooh] [TO COME]
Hudson Family Jam, Paddy's - [SONGS Count My Days, Don't Tell Me It's Raining, Zion, Brick Prison, Comes Around Again, Paddy Reilly's Bar, Quarantine Blues] [TO COME]