Skidmore SJE 12.1.12

This semester I had the privilege of returning to Skidmore College to teach jazz piano and coach combos in the music department. The video below shows my student combos’ final performance. If you missed it live, the online stream is the next best thing. Special thanks go to Mark Vinci and George Muscatello for their excellent work coaching with me, the Skidmore Music Department for their support, and all the great work by the students. Enjoy!

Watch live streaming video from skidmorevideo at

Buck Mountain & Lake George Village


One of the perks of my teaching schedule this semester is that I have Fridays off. With warm temperatures and reasonably sunny skies, I set off to hike Buck Mountain on the south-eastern shores of Lake George. The hike was gorgeous. There was a moment when I was hiking through the forest and I noticed all the dead fall leaves gently drifting to the ground. It was a leaf blizzard! I made it to the summit of this 2,000 footer fairly quickly…it probably took about 1.5 hours, but I must admit I really wasn’t watching the time. The visibility wasn’t great, as the clouds were low. We are scheduled for rain all weekend, so the break today was brief. After a hearty snack of water, granola, and a fresh apple, I headed back down.

I did head into Lake George Village briefly. I stopped at CaffĂ© Vero for an excellent Macchiato! The barista and I had to have that lame conversation that Starbucks has forced on all discerning coffee connoisseurs: yes I know what a Macchiato is, of course they make a REAL macchiato, yes, Starbuck’s is awful. It was a delicious cap to an excellent hike. Afterwards, I walked up Canada (main) Street. Lake George has a strange blend of kitschy shops and medium range restaurants. It reminded me a little of Old Orchard Beach in Maine. Bar Harbor certainly feels more upscale than Lake George. However, it also had a really rustic feel too, like some people other than tourists live there. However, it was 4pm on a Friday and a good number of shops were closed for the season. Needless to say I left pretty quickly.

Lastly, I stopped at Scotty’s Diner, one of the best truck stop diners I have ever been to, and a fond memory from my college days. I had the friend chicken, potatoes w/gravy, carrots, and NE clam chowder. It is now 11:54 and I think I am finally digested…all in all, and excellent day!