[Harp-L] Another Springtime by Jan Santen

My friend and occasional student Jan Santen lives in Amsterdam and has taken part in a number of my classes at the Harmonica Masters Workshops in Trossingen over the past few years as well as studying with other teachers including Joe Filisko, David Barrett, Dennis Gruenling and Howard Levy . He started playing harmonica at the age of 71 and just turned 80 this summer. To mark the occasion he's released a CD, appropriately entitled "Another Springtime", which is now available from i-Tunes and Spotify.

For someone who has been playing for such a short time and who started (if I may say so) at such an advanced age, it's a remarkable achievement. Jan's playing is not unduly complicated, but it's always well structured and appropriate and he has a sound which many more experienced players would envy him for. However, for me the most striking thing about it is his laid back feel for timing, it's excellent and succeeds in making everything swing in a genuinely relaxed and groovy way which even more players should envy him for.

The reason why I tell you this is that I believe it's enormously encouraging for people who start playing a musical instrument late in life to hear just how far genuine dedication and effort can get them. I hope that this record may inspire others to find the trust and energy to put in the time and avoid resignation. I see it as a signal of hope, good on ya Jan!

Steve Baker

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