my hero

I have more than one hero in my life – some are heroes of the personal order, some professional. And some are both. Perhaps nearest to my heart is a man who began his upward trajectory in his career after being discovered playing with a band in Atlantic City in 1942 by none other than the great Glen Miller, who said “For a Yale man you don’t play bad tenor [sax]”. That Yale man was (and is) Norman Leyden. Norm is 94 years old this year (and will turn 95 in October), and still practices the clarinet pretty much every day. Last night, he did a show in Eugene with Pink Martini, and pretty much stole the show after being received with an incredibly warm standing ovation by the crowd. If there is a warmer or more generous soul in the music business, I don’t know of one. If there is a more thoroughly professional and disciplined musician, I don’t know of one. Norman just lives his life the way all of us want to, but few of us are able to accomplish. Bravo, Norman!

Norman Leyden and Charles Noble, July 1, 2012 in Eugene, Ore. Photo: Joël Belgique.

3 Replies to “my hero”

  1. Well said, Charles. I feel so fortunate to have witnessed that amazing moment between Norman and Robert on stage last night. It truly touched my heart.

    Very sweet picture!

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