Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

They're Playing Our Song: A Unique Night of Music Contains Lessons for Our Industry about Vision, Trust, and Leadership

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

They're Playing Our Song: A Unique Night of Music Contains Lessons for Our Industry about Vision, Trust, and Leadership

Article excerpt

I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH recently to be part of a small audience that witnessed a very interesting concert performance. Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard assembled a group of musicians he has played with in the Seattle area over the past 20 years, and together they put on a show, The HankKhoir, inspired by the work of country music legend Hank Williams. The musicians, of all genres from jazz to country to funk, to straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, teamed up in different combinations for two hours. They covered songs by various artists, but all played at least one tune they had written themselves. Every song had a connection to Hank Williams (although I am still struggling to see the link between Williams and Grace Jones).

Assembling musicians of various genres in support of a theme has become fairly commonplace, dating as far back as George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh. What was unique about HankKhoir was Gossard's wish that musicians not only play on songs from genres outside their usual territory, but also play their own songs in a way that departed from their original recordings. One of the participants, folk rocker Pete Droge, told me, "He said we needed to open up, reimagine our songs, and don't play it like the record."

The result was two hours of some of the most interesting, artful music I have heard. It worked. Why? "Leadership," Droge said. …

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