Tag Archives: john handy

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: John Handy – If Only We Knew

4 Jan

John Handy
jazz musician john handy

Jazz musician, John Handy

If only we knew…The title of this John Handy tune, and words that make me realize there is so much I don’t know.  And, I like that.  I like that every day through my connections to others, I learn about something new.  Some person, some artist, some historic event that I knew nothing about, that I now get to explore and learn and grow from.  Makes my life that much richer.

This tune I learned about from Donald King, co-owner of Fete Music  venue here in Providence, RI, and founder and Executive/Artistic Director of former Providence Black Repertory Theater.   But it’s not just this song and this musician I got introduced to.  Turns out Donald posted this song because it was the song playing when he was one day in the home of Aishah Rahman.  Donald told me that Ms. Rahman, who passed away just a week ago, was one of his favorite playwrights.  He posted on FB that “her knowledge of jazz and her ability to translate that deep knowledge into her work was evident and awe inspiring.”  He shared that he had the honor of directing Ms. Rahman’s play, The Mojo And The Sayso at The Black Rep.  When I commented on Donald’s post that this song, John Handy’s If Only We Knew, was absolutely beautiful, and thanked him for introducing me to Ms. Rahman, Donald commented back that Ms. Rahman  was “rare company, in the likes of Maya Angelou, Abby Lincoln and Gwendolyn Brooks,” and that I should read her work.

In thinking about what song I should choose for WJSS Weekend Sounds to open the New Year with, I wondered if I should select something fresh and snappy, something to get up and dance to, something funky and festive.  But when I heard this tune, which is quiet, it just felt right.  Part of that is due to my lying low while I recover from my recent surgery.  The larger part is this song is utterly beautiful.  It’s quiet spaces allow you to dream. It’s a song that when Donald heard it playing in Aishah Rahman’s home that day, said, …”talk about having your wig pushed back.”

Happy first weekend of the New Year.  Here’s to you plunging into what can be a beautiful 2015 if you want it to be.  It’s possible for all of us.  We just have to take in the beauty, and keep connecting to others, so that we can keep being led to–the next person, the next book, the next revelation, the next thing that makes you feel love, inspiration, and hope.  The thing that pushes your wig back.




photo source: www.pinterest.com, posted by Tunes & Musicians by Stacy Magic