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“When I hit the street I always set up the trumpet first, leaving it propped up in the backpack case, so this way the people will know what is coming up on this corner. Although I was formerly a guitar player, singer, and multi instrumentalist, there is something in the breath, full of life and mystery, that allows the trumpet to deeply connect with the soul. This simple brass instrument is ancient, and it’s sound has stirred emotions in a plethora of people since I brought it out into the world.

This particular trumpet was gifted to me from a close friend in Shenzhen who was also the owner of a multi-million dollar club where I worked for years. My instrument is nothing special. It’s kind of old, and definitely not clean and shiny anymore. I am sure most college students have more expensive and newer horns that are clean and glimmering.

For me however, this horn has a lot of memories and sentimental value. It was a gift from a close friend in China, from a past time period when our two great countries had much better relations. At that time, there was so much excitement and hope in China, and it seemed more possible than ever that our two worlds, although very different, might actually enter an era of peace. That has all changed now, and relations between China and the USA have been at their lowest point in recent years. Even still, this trumpet reminds me of a different time, when there was more cross-cultural friendship and greater hope around the future of our world.

I do not really consider myself a great trumpet player, since I am self taught, and only seriously began studying the instrument around the spring of 2022. However, I can now hit the high C6, and sometimes even a high D6! I can play a nice ballad, and fill the street corner with mellow songs of love from the golden jazz and classical eras. Since I am merely a monk, and not in the music business, that is good enough for me.”