Sax And The City

The other night I heard Jimmy Heath the world-renowned jazz saxophonist at a new club in Harlem.  It was sponsored by JazzMobile a wonderful not for profit committed to bringing jazz into communities and teaching young people about jazz.  We were up close and center less than 10 feet from the musicians.  I learned a lot about engaged organizations while being transported to wonderful places listening to the tunes they played.  First off… Jimmy Heath at age 83 is a small-framed man playing a large tenor sax.  Music radiated throughout his body.  As he played-every cell was engaged.  When one of his musicians was featured he watched with joy and moved his body to their improvisations.  The group was comprised of four other musicians ranging in age from mid twenties to early forties.  What an engaged organization they created on stage.  From different races, ethnic groups and generations together they created beautiful music.  When the pianist accidently hit the wrong button on the electric piano and it turned off in the middle of a solo the others stepped in so quickly that if it wasn’t for the technician running on stage to remedy the situation most of us wouldn’t have noticed anything was wrong.  How wonderful to witness people at work radiating their own joy and pleasure at what they are doing and adding value to their customers’ evening.  Just another indication of the benefit of an "engaged org".