Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dr. Norman Gary: Clarinetist, Bee Wrangler

As if the clarinet wasn't difficult enough already...

A retired professor of entomology at the University of California (Davis Campus), Dr. Norman Gary is also a professional "bee wrangler" who has appeared with his bees on television, including The Tonight Show, Scrubs, The Ghost Whisperer, and various commercials. He also holds a Guinness World Record for holding 109 bees inside his closed mouth for ten seconds! Amazingly, he can still play the clarinet, and plays regularly as a jazz and Dixieland clarinetist in the Sacramento area. Check out his personal website here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Clarinet Article at

This spring, blogger Michael Pellecchia posted a three-part article about the clarinet in jazz, titled "Has the Clarinet Gone the Way of the Banjo?" Pellecchia muses about famous players of the past and present, and how and why the role of the clarinet has changed over the years. One highlight:
But clarinetists have a high tolerance for exasperation, and the challenges they have faced on the licorice stick can refine talents applicable (and better paid) in many areas of high achievement. Yes, I bet the IQ of clarinetists is above average.
We concur. To read the whole article, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.