Art Chowder September | October 2023 Issue 47 | Page 39

ig band musicians emote coolness , competency , and , most of all , confidence . If you ’ ve been to a big band show , you ’ ve likely seen an ensemble cast of brass and percussion , keyboards , and chordophones , known as guitars to most . If you are lucky , you ’ ve also seen professional singers use their practiced voices as instruments . Professional musicians have spent maybe 10,000 hours practicing their art . To their credit , it is an art in which we can partake through foot tapping and a swing around the dance floor with a willing partner .
Mark Lee Stephens , 67 , a professional contractor who has mastered the art of cabinetry , has been a musician most of his life . His instruments are drums and his voice . Stephens is from Spokane but was living in Seattle many years ago when he thought about how to bring the next generation into the music profession . At the time , he was in community bands and didn ’ t see much
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