They say that the secret to life is to “Find Your Passion.” That is, find something you love to do and throw yourself into it. That’s good advice, of course, but hard to implement in real life since family responsibilities and just surviving in this zero-sum world usually get in the way.
My oldest grandson, Michael Delano, wasn’t happy in regular High School. Fortunately, his mother (my daughter Liz) and school officials got Michael transferred to a NY State trade school where he’s studying recording engineering. This curriculum also includes recording your own music.
Michael found his passion: he’s a rapidly improving songwriter, a excellent guitar player, and a passionate singer (especially when he sings the blues). He wowed everybody this year by winning the 2019 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Yellen Foundation Songwriting Scholarship Competition.
I’ve tried to chip in by providing him with professional-quality guitars, such as the Martin D-35E Retro acoustic guitar he plays for most gigs. This instrument has piezo acoustic sensors under the bridge and a signal processor that lets Michael plug into the venue’s sound system. This means that he doesn’t have to keep the guitar close to a microphone.
I went home to Grand Island, New York, last weekend to sell my home. On Sunday, I had the pleasure to watch my grandson perform at a nearby park. It’s an iPhone video, a little shaky, but it has all four songs. Maybe you’ll agree with me, this young man has a lot of talent.
Michael Delano at Niawanda Park