Riding the Waves
by Tommy Hawkins
The kick-off session of Pepperdine’s new public forum, Riding the Waves, was attended by an enthusiastic audience that included Malibu community residents, university students and lovers of America’s true art form, Jazz. The desired verbal exchange between honored guest, legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell, and Law professor and flugenhornist Bernie James and eager attendees was amazingly successful.
The strains of Burrell’s guitar artistry and his insights into the history of jazz were both entertaining and enlightening. Professor James complimented Burrell with his story of a lifetime devotion to jazz and his trumpet. Both expressed their consternation regarding the lack of public support for the art form and their disdain for those who insist on placing jazz in a Top 40 context. “Jazz is the essence of democracy”, said Burrell. “Equal opportunity for all regardless of race, creed, color, or social circumstances. It is ingrained in all phases of our country’s existence and incorporated in every kind of music ever played or sung throughout our history. It’s a mixed bag of musical humanity, individually, collectively and creatively expressed.”
Both Burrell and James insist that the key to appreciating jazz is the understanding of improvisation. Webster defines the word ‘improvise’ as the act of composing and performing or delivering without previous preparation: to extemporize. Further explanation includes speaking, playing, reciting, or singing, etc., on the spur of the moment. As it applies to jazz, Burrell and James had this explanation: like any person who is a trained musician looking to enhance their ability to play an instrument or sing a song, one must respect the structure of the composition; that includes key signature, tempo, chords and harmonic progressions. Once you understand those demands, you can “Walk right in, sit right down, baby let your mind roll on. Some got it, some don’t got it.” Burrell is a master of creative musical expression and technique. Pepperdine is grateful for his dynamic visit.
The beat goes on at Payson Library as Chapter Two of Riding the Waves unfolds at 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Pepperdine will welcome Dr. Robert C. Klapper, Chief of the Orthopedic Surgery Division at Cedars Sinai Medical Group and Director of the Joint Replacement Institute at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Klapper’s background is impressive. He graduated from Columbia University in New York where he majored in Art History. He received his Medical Degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. His residency was served at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, followed by a fellowship in Arthritis and Implant Surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic here in Los Angeles. But wait, there’s more…Klapper holds six patents on orthopedic surgical tools used all over the world. Considered an authority on the subject of orthopedics, his articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sports Medicine and featured in Good Housekeeping and Los Angeles magazine.
The eclectic Klapper is well known to the entertainment industry, having served as an orthopedic technical advisor to the hit television drama, “ER.” Currently he is co-host of ESPN’s weekly radio show, “Weekend Warrior”. Join him in exploring the injury-ridden world of the weekend athlete and those who experience orthopedic problems.
Dr. Klapper has authored two comprehensive health books: Heal Your Hips (how to prevent hip surgery and what to do if you need it), and Heal Your Knees (how to prevent knee surgery and what to do if you need it).
An added dimension of this amazing man is his life-long love of art. He is an award-winning sculptor specializing in creative works with marble. Klapper’s passion for creating life from stone has led to annual summer visits to Carrara, Italy, where he sculpts in marble taken from the same quarry used by Michelangelo, the master from whom he draws great inspiration.
Be sure to join us for the next exciting session of Riding the Waves. For additional information, please phone 310 919 5200.