Last night, my friend, Debbie, and I went to see Keith Urban in concert in Raleigh.
Urban is an entertaining and engaging performer, but there were times when he would play an intricate guitar solo, his face turned downward, his eyes tuned to his guitar and it was as if the rest of us faded away and it was just him and his music. His focus and intensity captured on the big screens flanking the stage. His guitars seem like an extension of himself and his joy was palpable.
We’ve all see musicians like that. They seem more comfortable when they’re playing, as if it makes them complete. Sometimes, they seem every more at ease just holding their guitar, like a security blanket.
I don’t know how old Urban was when he started playing, but I have to imagine it was pretty young to achieve the level of mastery he has attained.
Urban plays Fender guitars. The Fender Music Foundation donates instruments to music education programs for kids and adults through schools and community organizations. Started in 2005, the Fender Music Foundation has granted instruments to more than 187,000 people, everything from guitars to drums, string instruments, drums, keyboards, and brass instruments.
Part of Fender Music Foundation’s “Vision statement” states: “We understand the power of music on the soul and the vehicle if provides for our sanity, health and creativity...[We understand] that people don’t have to be rock stars...to enjoy the rewards of music participation, and that age is not a factor in the enjoyment or ability to learn to play music.”
And who knows, maybe they’ve already put a guitar in the hands of the next Keith Urban.
July 27: Fender Music Foundation