Last week I traveled to Vienna to visit recent Lawrence University Graduate and jazz trombonist James Hall. James lives in a neighborhood full of big, beautiful stone buildings.
His apartment is intended for musicians. Here, he can practice his trombone and hold practice with his jazz combo in his room. AND he gets a baby grand piano for 30 Euros a month!
On the evening I arrived, James was holding a rehearsal with his jazz combo. I got to listen for a while then play a few tunes with them. Then, James opened a bottle of champagne and his roommate baked fresh bread. I sat back, amazed at my luck to be treated to such luxury.
The next day I explored the center of Vienna, seeing baroque cathedrals, huge palaces and a small baroque church with a painting of cherubs playing trombones on the ceiling.
That night James took me to a Hueriger, a Viennese wine garden which serves this years wine. This is where the old Viennese people go to relax in the evening. I ate Wiener Schnitzel and drank the featured white wine mixed with fizzy water (apparently the style in Huerigers, I though it was very refreshing and a great summer drink).
Since the weather was chilly and I, having packed light, did not have anything warm to wear, James had generously given me a sweater, and had then proceeded to wear a matching sweater himself. We made quite the pair.
Thank you, James, and I hope you continue to find success in Vienna.