Remembering Mark Flugge

Becky Remembers Mark Flugge


Mark Flugge went away this spring.
We loved him so much.
That old piano brought him into my life -
Columbus Music Hall and that old piano.
A few jazz musicians began to come around.
They didn’t care about a great piano, just a piano would be nice.
It sat in the corner, hoping for a chance to come alive.

Then…Todd’s Ellington “Nutcracker” one Christmas.
Music sounds pretty nice in this space!
“Would you let Famous Jazz Orchestra play here?”
Too big, too loud, a crazy idea.
But, they begin their Monday night concerts.
Flugge sometimes plays the piano with them.
Vaughn seems so pleased with himself to have this musician in his band

A Flugge recital at Capital.
All those adoring fans in the audience!
A Brasileira performance on a chilly evening on a downtown outdoor stage.
“Isn’t he wonderful!” someone said

The chamber jazz series at the firehouse.
Mark is the artistic director. Charlie finds the funds.
Special guest musicians. Mark at the piano.
All those adoring fans in the audience!
Was that old piano good enough?
I just kept sweeping the floors and changing the table linens.
Jazz is nice. A good use of the space.
No one complained about the old piano.

Then, the piano moved to my house.
Idea – let’s have a concert here.
A house concert. A jazz house concert. A jazz piano house concert.
I didn’t think Mark really liked the piano that much.
But he came with the piano.
And those adoring fans came, too.
How could I be so lucky?
Mark Flugge playing my grand old piano at my house.
Everyone knew he was special.
Listeners, musicians, students, family.
It was amazing.
A musician with qualities beyond my comprehension.

Listening to Mark Flugge at Hyde Park.
Different drummers. Different bass players.
A very special end of the week treat.
I could slip into a seat at the bar after the early crowd had faded away.
Adoring fans almost always at the round table in the corner.
Others would drop in to savor a little later night Flugge music.
He made sure that we knew he appreciated our presence,
That we were special in his musical life.
Did he know we were his adoring fans?
That he was so special in our musical lives.

You know, I have been teaching music to young children all of my life.
I hope they will love music and treasure jazz.
That can be pretty simple.
Mark taught music to all of us.
He helped all of us love music and treasure jazz.
That can be pretty complicated.

Now, this is what is simple.
Mark Flugge come into my life.
With musicians, listeners, students, and family.
The old piano brought them to me.
I’ll never be able to understand the full magnitude of his musicianship.
I am envious of those who do understand.
But, I do know that he was able to create a special bond with all of us at our own level of understanding.

Recently, the old piano has begun to fail.
I’ll do what I can to keep it going.
But…it somehow just doesn’t seem so important any more.
Wait a minute! Yes, it is important!
How can we remember Mark Flugge without a piano in our life!
Even the old piano in my home.
The piano that he graciously played for his adoring fans.

Becky Ogden
May 16, 2014

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