Nod to Marvin Gaye for the co-opting of his lyric for the title of this post. The other day when the news of another musical giant transitioning was received, I recalled a video that I thought spoke to not only the musicianship of George Duke, but his personage as well. In this video George speaks of writing for the personalities in his band, a technique that was harnessed by another Duke of music for his venerable organization.

What inspired this posting and why I chose to marry Marvin’s words and George’s interview/performance is simply this: people. People getting together playing, writing and recording music. I’m not going to even get into a debate about good, bad or whatever, that’s not the point. Play your music. Write your music. Record your music. But if you can try to do it with people. There are large facets of society that just doesn’t get together anymore and the music reflects it. Yeah we’re connected. By proxy. I’m talking about being in the same room, smelling the same smells, breathing the same air, making music that is in that moment.

George Duke got together with many people and brought a whole lot of joy through those experiences and his mastery of music. Can we make it a point to try and do the same? Maybe every now and then instead of firing up your virtual music box of choice how about inviting a friend or two over to get together.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.