Chris Driscoll died Jan. 9 after a skiing accident on Vermont’s Jay Peak.
Chris, 21, was on a weekend outing with friends from McGill University where he was in the final year of the school’s jazz performance program. I had the chance to play with Chris a few times as part of the City Stages but most memorable was the gig that he and I did with Doug Reilly. I had put my back out and had a terribly embarrassing time flubbing over everything while playing with Doug and in front of so many musicians. Chris was a professional. Both of us were a bit freaking out before this gig with Doug Reilly, and Chris never flinched - he played his heart out, he played wonderfully, and I remember the look on Doug Reilly's face as Chris played and as Chris soloed. I remember at the time feeling a bit jealous as Doug eagerly and excitedly thanked Chris after the gig bestowing musical praise upon him, obviously super impressed with his playing, after he simply thanked me.
Now, it's amazing how insignificant and small that seems. I see now that I was hung up - "my back isn't 100% yet...I haven't played in two months...there are so many musicians in the audience and they're gonna know how bad I am...this is Doug Reilly and I'm probably gonna play terrible...I hate soloing...I'm not good at it...ah I wish I could just play bass lines and not solo..."
Chris just played...and Chris loved it....he loved any oppurtunity to play. And that's a wonderful life lesson in itself - one I will continue to learn from - so Thank You Chris Driscoll.
Chris affected people around him. So much, that there has been a memorial scholarship set up in Chris' name at the Banff Centre where Chris was a musical resident in 2004.
For more information or to donate to this scholarship visit http://www.chrisdriscoll.com/dvd.html