The Flying Musicians Association’s first “FMA AirVenture MusicJams” will take place during this year’s Oshkosh, 7-10 p.m. nightly. Each night will open with a scheduled performer, who will be followed by special guests, an Open Mic segment, and an Open Jam. If you have room for your guitar, sax, flute, or other musical instrument in your plane, bring it along and jam. Performers are invited to come early and sign up for an Open Mic slot. “You never know who will show up,” says FMA co-founder John Zapp.
This year at AirVenture FMA performers will play under the Brown Arch on Tuesday, July 26, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Award-winning singer, songwriter and film and television composer Suzanne Brindamour (who wrote the music for the documentary film, Barnstorming) will perform at 11:30. At 12:30 p.m., hear Dr. Ian Blair Fries, accordionist extraordinaire and world-traveling TBM pilot, play French musettes, popular American standards, and early 1900s South American music.
You’ll also find a Flying Musician performing at the Sennheiser Pavilion Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
A special FMA presentation, “Symphony in the Skies: a Correlation Between Aviation and Music,” will be presented on Monday, July 25, 2:30-3:45 p.m. in Forum Pavilion 1. Have you ever wondered why there are so many pilots who play music and why there are so many musicians who fly? What do these seemingly unrelated pursuits have common? Are the musically-inclined better equipped to learn to fly? The Flying Musicians have compiled information to answer questions and more.
Throughout the week visit the Flying Musicians Association’s informational table in the Vintage Hangar (#269 on the online map) to find out more about this group of aviators and musicians.
FMA AirVenture MusicJam Schedule (7-10 p.m. nightly in Honda Forums Plaza, Forum Building #9):
Monday Evening, July 25 – MC – Aileen Hummel
Main Performance: Aileen & Friends – Come and join in the fun! All are welcome to this family night with lots of opportunity to participate. A music therapist, Hummel has led sing-alongs with groups of all ages for many years. She is primarily a pianist and learned to fly as a challenge. She will be joined by Alex and Marti Whitmore. Alex, a retired Delta pilot, now enjoys flying and instructing tailwheel aircraft. He is a folk singer/songwriter describing his music as, “Home-cooked Texas style music with humor for dessert.” Marti is a coloratura soprano, opera singer, vocal coach, wife to Alex and mother to equally talented and famous daughters, Eleanor and Bonnie. She has also logged hundreds of hours in numerous tailwheel aircraft.
Tuesday, July 26 – MC – John Zapp:
Main Performance: Ravi – Most folks have heard of “Hanson,” a pop band that stormed the charts in the 1990s. Ravi was a guitarist for the band. As a pilot and singer/songwriter, Ravi will entertain you on Tuesday evening with originals you may think are familiar and a voice that has been likened to a young Steve Winwood or Peter Frampton.
Wednesday, July 27 – MC – Aileen Hummel
Main Performance: Bradley Leighton – Living and playing in the San Diego area, Bradley is known as the Flute Guy, but don’t be surprised if you hear him at your favorite jazz club from coast to coast.
Thursday, July 28 – MC – John Zapp
Main Performance: Elgin Wells – Other than being an Atlanta jazz artist and singer/songwriter, Wells built his own one-off aerobatic plane impregnated with LED lights and a sound system to perform night aerobatics to his own compositions. You will get a chance to see and hear the Starjammer on Saturday Night but on Thursday night you can watch and listen to him perform his own music. “I’m a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist from Atlanta; having produced 12 albums, with numbers 13 & 14 nearing completion (one jazz/blues, the other more folk/pop),” Wells explained.”
Friday, July 29 – MC – RAVI
Main Performance: David Peel – Do you remember the TV show The Virginian? How about Daniel Boone? Peel took a detour from music to act when he left Tennessee for California. As a child, he says, “I was so convinced I could fly that I attempted to build a full-scale glider using my dad’s tools and his best wood.” Now living in Colorado and with a string of country hits and five albums, Peel completely captivates his audiences with a large variety of musical styles and crowd-pleasing favorites.
For more information: FlyingMusicians.org