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U. City Musicians In Paris and Around The World Got The Project Started

Rod Milam (project Director/Executive Producer) here again. I have to acknowledge some of the big influences in my life ahead of now that lead me to even consider taking on something like this project...especially since I am not, nor have ever been a professional musician.

Going to the public schools in University City in the mid 1970s & 1980s meant that there was a great chance that I'd wind up playing an instrument even though neither one of my parents ever played.  Music was everywhere...even on the streets and McDonalds.  I decided to follow my cousin's footsteps and take up drums in 5th grade in 1980 (surely to my parents' ears' delight).  I loved playing and loved being part of the band.

One of the biggest thrills was going on to junior high and not only playing in a bigger band, but was being around to see and hear the great bands that were playing in the high school.  At least once a year, the high school Wind Ensemble or Jazz Band would play a concert that we'd get to see in the big auditorium.  Hearing them was an inspiration for all of us in the band.  We wanted to try to be that good and be in that band when we made it to UCHS.

The Jazz Band 1 in 1983 was directed by John Brophy, a very talented drummer in his own right.  He'd not only put the talent of U. City musicians on the map in St. Louis, but they were eventually known around the US and the whole world.  The group of high schoolers was so good that they were invited to play at the famed Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and they played several gigs around Paris on the way to the big show.  Below is a clip of a documentary that was made by the St. Louis PBS station KETC Channel 9 about the band's trip to Europe called "Brophy And The Band".

The band cut an album and sold it around all of St. Louis so that they could raise enough funds to make that trip.  Everyone I knew wanted a copy of that album.

After I started working on the radio in the 1990s, I pulled out the "On The Threshold" album that I liked so much from the Jazz Band and I played songs from it on my non-news program "The Show with Rod Milam" on 88.1 KDHX.  I had a lot of pride in my fellow alumni that were able to pull of some great music at such a young age.  I never went on to be a musician, but I was glad that I could do my part to show my love and appreciation for that form of art by presenting it to all of the people in the St. Louis area.

Flash-forward to 2010 and New York City.  I'd lived in multiple countries and spoken multiple languages.  But the one thing that I knew was a constant around the world was the appreciation of music.  I'd widened my already broad palate of musical tastes over the years.  But recently, I'd been running into many people around town from my hometown of U. City and I was really happy to find out that many of them were professional musicians.  I decided that I wanted to use my old broadcasting bug and see if I could mix some of the old and new music of the players from University City into one piece and then use it on my project website The Global Loop.

I figured that I'd play some of this music on the network before and after any live events that I had scheduled to run on UStream so that people would know the programming was up and running.  I combined the music with some sped up sunrise videos that I'd since shot from many different locations so that people could see and hear that something was going on over the feed.  The result was this almost 2 hours worth of music by 15 different U. City musicians below.

Taking time to find and put together this music really was the last step for me to actually deciding to take on finding all of the professional musicians that had passed through U. City.  It was the final piece of the puzzle that let me know that the deep music tradition of U. City needed to be explored further and that I need to see where it all came from and how it lasted so long.

If you have some time to hear some great music, just click and enjoy.  There's a song listing below the player window:



Song #
Song Title
U. City Performers
Album Title/Performance Name
Sweet Georgia Brown UCHS Jazz Band 1 On The Threshold
Little Willie Leaps Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin Peter Martin Music: LIVE! "The Reunion"
Lora With An O Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin (Neal Caine on the album) Jeremy Davenport
Spain UCHS Jazz Band 1 On The Threshold
Spiritual & Blues Wayne duMaine New York Now
Spirit Of St. Louis Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin Maybe In A Dream
All Of Me Eve Seltzer Franglais
Tuesday & Thursday Jeremy Schonfeld Drift
New Orleans Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin Peter Martin Music: LIVE! "The Reunion"
Mardi Gras In New Orleans Jeremy Davenport & David Berger Jeremy Davenport Live @ Huckleberry Bar
Slice Of Life Marissa (Wilner) Mandell The Momentem - EP
Nobody Knows Your Name Larissa (Doczy) Rook Wormwood Scrubs
Waterfall Harry Miller Harry Miller Trio - Live at the Museum
A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin Peter Martin Music: LIVE! "The Reunion"
Threshold UCHS Jazz Band 1 On The Threshold
Upon Arrival Ronnie Burrage & Eric Delante Bluenoise
How Am I To Know Mike "Spike" Wilner 3 To Go
Intimate Dance Jeremy Davenport, Chris Thomas & Peter Martin Peter Martin Music: LIVE! "The Reunion"
The Meaning Of Stay Larry Krone  
Fair Weather Friend Marissa (Wilner) Mandell The Momentem - EP
North Beach Breakdown UCHS Jazz Band 1 On The Threshold

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