Last night’s Paul Simon concert in Nashville was one of the best I’ve ever attended. And it wasn’t just Simon’s beautiful singing, surprising energy, and creative approaches to tunes long-familiar and recent.
Even more so, it was the amazing band that Simon generously allowed to shine throughout the two-hour event. Simon’s impressive blend of talent includes Africans on guitar and bass guitar; contemporary classical female musicians and vocalists; a percussionist versed in jazz, Middle Eastern, and Indian music; a jazz-rooted saxophonist; an accordionist adept at Tex-Mex, zydeco, and blues; and a drummer from Nashville, Jim Oblon, whom Simon says “knows the sound of rockabilly and ‘50s blues that I’m always trying to get. ”
As my own journey takes me deeper each day into a mindset and lifestyle of diversity and inclusion, I’m inspired by Simon’s joyful act of bringing the music of the world onto one stage. For me, it was a gorgeous demonstration of what’s possible if each of loosens our grip on what is familiar and comfortable, in favor of what is different and challenging.