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PLAYING MUSIC BY LISTENING

It’s anybody’s guess how many people will be listening when Erik Pointer and River Cow Orchestra take the Farris Theatre stage on Friday, Feb. 5.
But one thing’s for sure: Pointer, a trumpeter and retired Richmond music teacher, and fellow band members will be all ears. It’s how they function, Pointer says, and what makes the improvisational group different than other jazz bands.
“When we sit down to play, we actually have no idea of what we’re going to play,” said Pointer, 58, a Lexington resident and Richmond native who retired after 24 years with the district. “The whole key is to listen to each other carefully.”
That approach was what Kansas City was once famous for – jazz musicians who cut new ground – or hoped to – each time they played.
“Kansas City used to be know for its cutting edge, but now it’s more smooth jazz and people playing just to make money,” Pointer said, wearing his customary beret. “We’re the only ones around doing that, whether we get paid or just play to play.”

PHOTO: Erik Pointer, a retired instrumental-music teacher for Richmond Public Schools, will play trumpet with The River Cow Orchestra at the Farris Theatre on Feb. 5. (Photo by David Knopf/The Daily News)

Full story is in the Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 edition of The Daily News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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