Party On

October 10, 2010

J arrived today, welcomed by me and grey skies at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. And so much laughter. It’s one of the best things about hanging with my brother: he’s funny and quick-witted.

We went straight to Taste of India for lunch, shopping for beer and snacks at the Metropolitan Market, then we settled in to watch the SF Giants v. Atlanta Braves.

We just returned from a walk round Green Lake. Tomorrow we head for Corvallis.

J has been a great patron of Isis Initiative, Inc.  Join us on Oct. 16 for our fundraiser and performance by the J Hatch Trio.

Thank you to Beth Rietveld and Sam Stern for hosting the party.

All That Jazz

August 8, 2009

Bless my brother’s lovely, lyrical heart.

In February, J’s jazz trio played a Mardi Gras benefit for Isis Initiative, Inc.

Now he said he’d like to donate a percentage of the profits from sales of his CDs to Isis.

Stay tuned.

Thank you

March 3, 2009

So many people contributed to the success of our Mardi Gras fundraiser. I’m old-fashioned; I’ve sent hand-written thank-you notes. I wanted to use the modern tech tools and give a shout out and link to the people who helped us raise $600 and have a good time doing it.

The J Hatch Trio: There would be no fundraiser without the generosity and talent of my brother, J. I asked him to play our benefit on his vacation and he leaped in with both Converse, low-top happy feet. J volunteered his time, talent and money during his short six-day vacation in Oregon. He wrote charts for the performance and  rehearsed with Corvallis local musicians Ray Brassfield, the bassist, and Fred Berman, sax and clarinet, on Sunday and Tuesday afternoons. They offered a lively, 2 1/2 hour set with only one break; Fred had serious back pain and played on. They improvised a selection of jazz standards and a few tunes with a New Orleans groove for an appreciative crowd up front and a packed house of noisy diners. The trio also played many original songs and arrangements by J Hatch, including a lovely ballad, “Wonderful and Rare.” J’s most recent CD, “The Birmingham Sessions,” is available at Grass Roots Bookstore in Corvallis.

Block 15: Nick and Kristen Arzner did a great job of offering a venue with good food and fine local beer for a good cause. Nick and Kristen pay the musicians who provide their live entertainment and their business has deep roots in all things local, including admirable sustainability practices. It was a win-win-win evening. With a smile and lots of energy, Jeri kept the beer and the Cajun cuisine on our tables all night long.

Mamadou, from Senegal, loaned J his djembe for the evening. Neal, a music instructor at Oregon State University, loaned J a keyboard. And J, Ray and Fred joined his students for a jazz improv class on Tuesday.

Natalie Lutnesky, with Faculty, Staff & Fitness at OSU, designed the public relations campaign and poster for our event. She volunteered her time and talents and sent press releases to local media.

Local businesses displayed our poster, including Grass Roots Bookstore and Troubadour Music Center in downtown Corvallis.

Big-hearted Ika Fifita, from OSU, tacked up posters all over campus and town.

Isis Initiative board members, Samanda Dorger, Melanthia Peterman and Alice Anderson joined me on this journey to raise money and awareness to help offer college educations to women overseas. They offer regular inspiration and have my six.

And friends and neighbors who came to support the cause with their applause, appreciation and donations:

Martha and Dave Anderson, Don Ferguson, Sharon Johnson, Earl Newman, Barbara Gast, Phil McClain, Amoris Walker, Charlotte Campbell, Carol Soleau, Ruby Moon, Jeanene Louden, Ellen Fuller, Bev Brassfield, Corinne Fletcher and Brandon, Beth Rietveld and Sam Stern, Ika Fifita, Nick and Kristen Arzner.


The J Hatch Trio plays a benefit for Isis Initiative, Inc. at Block 15 in Corvallis, Oregon on Mardi Gras, Feb. 24, 2009. J traveled from Germany to visit his sister, Cheryl, president of Isis Initiative, and join his friends, Ray Brassfield, on upright bass, and Fred Berman, on sax and clarinet, for a night of jazz standards and original tunes.

The J Hatch Trio plays a benefit for Isis Initiative, Inc. at Block 15 in Corvallis, Oregon on Mardi Gras, Feb. 24, 2009. J, on piano, traveled from Germany to visit his sister, Cheryl, president of Isis Initiative, and join his friends, Ray Brassfield, on upright bass, and Fred Berman, on sax and clarinet, for a night of jazz standards and original tunes.
















My brother, J, is back in Germany now. I took him to the airport yesterday, noticing it was almost the same time as when I left to pick him up last Saturday. I feel like I blinked my eyes and he was here and gone.

He brought his big smile, his laugh, his goodness. He shared his prodigious musical talent and his quirky humor. He has a big heart, my brother. He came and played a benefit for Isis Initiative, Inc. He had six days to visit. He rehearsed with Ray and Fred. He joined Ray at an jazz improv session of students at Oregon State University. 

And on Mardi Gras night, my brother played with joy and gusto. He smiled and laughed as he played with his friends, for the love of his music and the love of his sister. A sweet, sweet man, my brother.

The band donated their time, talent and wages for the night to Isis Initiative. We raised $600.  And I got a lot of good suggestions on how to do it better next time. We received most of the donations from friends and few from the patrons who enjoyed the food and music.

I am profoundly grateful to my brother. And to Ray and Fred for giving their time and talent. And to all my friends who accepted the invitation…and came out to support us, with their attendance, their applause and their checks. Thank you.

Piano Man

February 23, 2009

My brother stepped off a plane in Portland on Saturday. We lived together for a couple years before he fell in love and followed his heart and future wife to Europe.

I’d often fall asleep at night listening to J playing jazz tunes or practicing scales after midnight. It’s been years since I’ve fallen asleep to the sound of my brother’s inspired piano playing.

I was out walking in early January when an idea jumped into my thoughts: what if J had a gig while he was in town? And he could play with his buddy, Ray? And it could be a fundraiser for Isis Initiative?

I walked into Block 15 and spoke with Nick and Kristen, the owners. As luck would have it, they said they’d been discussing their desire to feature more jazz musicians, particularly in February, in advance of Mardi Gras.

And so the idea went warp speed into a reality. J e-mailed Ray. An upright bassist, Ray agreed to play. J wanted a horn player and Fred Berman signed on. Natalie offered to help with promotions. She designed a great flyer and sent press releases to the local media. Ika Fifita posted the flyers all over campus and at local businesses.

Tonight J’s at Ray’s place. They’ve been rehearsing, picking up where they left off over a decade ago. They are laughing, discussing key changes and songs for their set lists and drinking Oregon beer. 

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” 

It’s a win for everyone. Nick and Kristen support local musicians and get cookin’ jazz to match their Cajun cuisine on Mardi Gras. J and Ray get to have fun and play together. I get to hear and watch my brother play….a delight that surpasses words. And we’ll raise funds for Isis Initiative.

As J said: good food, good beer, good cause.