This is Derrick: Music Keeps Him Going

I found Derrick on this corner playing some of the most beautiful Creole music that I have ever heard. He’s had his trumpet since he joined the middle school band, and he’s fallen in love with it ever since.

While he did enjoy the trumpet, he wasn’t passionate about marching band, so by the time he got to high school, music became a purely recreational activity. He played in several bands throughout his life, and he played several different type of music, as well.

Derrick told me that he has played in funk bands, swing bands, big bands, jazz bands and even a ska band at one time. He loves music so much that it has consumed his life. He often worked on several projects at one time.

These days he’s playing by himself, but he says his passion for music has never faded. In fact, it’s his ability to express himself through his trumpet that has helped him through such a difficult period in his life.

He says that he’s never been great at talking about his feeling and may not be the most emotionally aware person you’ll ever meet, but with music, it just comes pouring out of him. He compares it to lifting a filter off of his soul.

This form of expression helps him to understand and work through some of the negative emotions that he experiences from time to time, and it also help him to reframe his perspective into a more positive one. He told me that he wasn’t sure what he would do if he wasn’t able to play music.

Of course, it’s also the way in which he finds his next meal. His talent is immense, and it’s not lost on the locals. Many people will stop to listen to his wonderful music, and they leave some money to show their appreciation. Derrick says he’s grateful for this, but even in these trying times, “it’s not about the money.”  He told me if he was locked away in a room where no one could see or hear him, he would still play that trumpet all day, every day.

It’s amazing what music, and really any form of art, can do to lift people’s spirits. Whether it’s the person who’s creating, or simply an admirer, art has the ability to touch us in a way that few things can. I’m glad Derrick found his art, and I enjoyed every second that I was able to listen to it.