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If there’s a better way to start a weekend, I’m not sure what it is. The video starts with three musicians sitting curbside in old New Orleans. The clarinetist appears to be battling a cough. The tuba player wipes the sweat from his brow while an adorable little girl appears to be scolding her imaginary friend. Just another group of street musicians in the French Quarter, right?
But then the lady aims that clarinet heavenward and, oh my soul, the talent with which she’s been blessed. Her name is Doreen Ketchens, and I had the honor of meeting her about a decade ago. A crowd had gathered around her in front of the Cabildo, next to St. Louis Cathedral. It was an enormous crowd and they were mesmerized as Doreen’s clarinet lifted up toward the Cathedral. It seemed she were playing for the Almighty Himself.
She is just as unassuming as you please in conversation, and you’d have no idea that in reality she’s a classically trained clarinetist who has performed all over the world. But her heart was back home in New Orleans. Unfailingly polite and down to earth, you’d have no idea that such an awesome talent stands before you, until she goes to work. Then, the greatness and beauty of that talent is breathtaking. As much as I’m enjoying my little jaunt in California, the bayou country of Louisiana calls me home. But until I can get there, perhaps I can bring a bit of home to you good folks to enjoy.