George Cables is one of the nicest persons alive


How would I know? Well, I just happened to spend a week not only with George, but with a number of high profile Jazz musicians at the Centrum Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington. Only to name a few, pianists Gerald Clayton, Geoffrey Keezer and Justin Kauflin were mentors I could pick up advice and experience from, while I’ve also had the chance to work closely with trumpeter Marquis Hill and witness multiple live performances of Joel Frahm, Immanuel Wilkins, Obed Calvaire, Vincente Archer, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton,… and even more.

Now, that’s nice but how does it make George Cables one of the nicest persons on this planet? I don’t only consider his playing for us in the masterclasses, demonstrating and sharing all kinds of knowledge and experiences you only get from someone like him. Not only the fact that at the age of 74, using crutches to walk and needing extra support in order to remain seated for long periods of time, he would always have a smile on his face and give supportive advice to us young aspirants. One day, he offered one of his CDs to be handed out for free to the students and it just so happened that I got that CD. It is an album with Cables playing his own songbook of original compositions. In the end he smiled at me and said: “You can play frisbee with it too, you know”.

I’m still figuring out what he meant by that.

Thilo Seevers