Monday, March 2, 2020

Creating Musical Passion again

Please join me in the launch of my new jazz album for dreamers and lovers, "DreamCatcher".
The campaign runs until April 10, and you have an oppotunity to pre-order the new album, or get other cool rewards.
Remember: "Now is the new Later", so do it now!
Here is the promo video for the George Kahn Kickstarter campaign.
It features George on piano, with Alex Acuña on drums, Pat Kelley on guitar and David Hughes on bass. We are performing "I Feel Pretty" by Leonard Bernstein as it will be featured on the new album. Jonathan Brock and his team do a great job filming the session. I think you get a real sense of the joy and excitement we had recording that day. Watch it here, and then pledge at

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Passion Party #591 - Be Careful What You Wish For

About 25 years ago, when digital music streaming was in its infancy, I remember thinking "wouldn't it be great if someone created a 'universal jukebox' that had every song ever made on it, and you could just plug into it and listen to whatever you wanted whenever you wanted?"
Then about 15 years ago I remember asking the Recording Academy to set up a free listening platform so that Grammy members could actually HEAR the music they are supposed to vote for, rather than just vote based on the name of the artist or what record label the person recorded for. They told me at that time it could not be done because there was not one platform that all the companies could agree upon to use and the technology was beyond their ability.
Now the "universal Jukebox" has arrived. Actually we have many of them, from Spotify, Amazon, Apple, etc. And we don't need the Grammys to allow us to listen to whoever we want for free (or close to free).

But has this improved the quality of music? Or improved my ability to enjoy listening to music?

It has improved the QUANTITY of music out there, and the amount of time people are streaming music (the video of Old Town Road has now been viewed over 400 Million times).

But along the way the idea of liner notes, concept albums, the actual musician performing the music, album art and packaging, all have been lost to the pursuit of the single, the fast hit, the rush for "virality".

A 19-year old from the Netherlands known as YoungKio created the “Old Town Road” beat, incorporating a sample from the song “34 Ghosts IV” by rock legends Nine Inch Nails. Lil Nas X purchased the beat in 2018 for $30, which came with limited distribution rights. He crafted a lyric, crossing country music cliches with rap, opened it up for sharing on Tik Tok, and..whoa.

But as my music professor in college used to say, "It's interesting...but is it music?"

And Billie Eilish, the 17-year old nihilist Goth-Pop prodigy of Interscope Records, is up for a slew of Grammys. She just signed a $25 Million dollar deal for an Apple+ TV documentary. Today in the LA Times she is quoted saying "Last year was maybe the worst, I felt like I missed everything...I wasn't enjoying it and I lost all my friends."

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Passion Party #590 - Warren Buffett, Dr. Oz, Joe Stumpf and 9 Things for the New Year

I love learning. And I love reading lists. So I love reading lists of what other people have learned.
These bits of knowledge do not transform my life. That is, unless I take them and make them part of my daily routine, so they become a habit.

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the start of a week of reflection and repentance. Here's my list of 9 Things for the New Year, culled from three pretty smart people, my business coach Joe Stumpf, Dr. Oz, and a word from Warren Buffett as well.

1) Create a morning ritual to get centered: Stretch, meditate, write, share
2) Stop eating by 8PM each night.  Start eating again after 8:00 AM the next morning
3) Get enough sleep (7-8 hours night)
4) If you feel lonely, pick up the phone and call a friend.  If your friend is not available, make a new one! 
5) Reduce calories to lose weight.  exercise to build strength and stamina, not to lose weight.
6) Have a Date Night with your significant other at least 2 times a month
7) Spend at least 5 hours each week learning something new
8) Always have a project you are passionate about to work on.
9) Give more than you get, every day!

Have a happy, healthy and blessed New Year!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Passion Party #589 - Competeition vs. "Rising Tide"

As I go through life I have many choices.
Every day, every minute I can choose the direction I want to take:
Go to work or go to the beach
Go to the gym or eat bon-bons in bed...
In a similar way I get to choose the people I surround myself with, my "tribe"

In my business there is a tribe called the Competition Tribe.  This tribe has leaders and followers, a few winners and many losers.  This tribe measures itself by the sales board, or perhaps how many push-ups you can do.  This is not a bad thing, but in a Competition Tribe there can only be one first place winner. If you come in second, you are a loser.

I have chosen to build a "Rising Tide" Tribe. This tribe has leaders and followers, but no winners or losers. The game we play is to get better at our craft each day, and bring others along with us so that everyone improves. The tribe measures itself by the quality of life we live, not by how many units sold this month.

Of course I still love to become better, smarter and stronger.  But the competition is only with myself. The question I ask is not "who can I conquer today?", it is "how can I improve the well-being of each person I plan to see today?"

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Passion Party #588 - The End Of Romantic Militarism

"Romantic militarism" refers to a widespread, European intellectual phenomenon that made its appearance at the time of the French Revolution and carried through our two world wars, a belief that war was THE way to enforce justice. The only solution for the injustice in the world is a redemptive cataclysm that will bring total freedom and self-expression.
The fact that war brought enormous death, destruction and man-made disaster was secondary.

But after many conflicts the romance has been drained from war. We realize more and more that human life is precious, and the days of glorifying war are behind us.

Perhaps it is time to not only beat our swords into plow-shares, but to also change the traits that we value most. Glory, honor, per-eminence, manliness, heroism and other symptoms of excess testosterone can be downgraded.

Today I will focus more on communication, empathy, collaboration, vulnerability, intuition and patience. This is where I will find my romance.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Passion Party #587: Information Technology and De-Materialization

We have too much stuff.
One of my mantras whenever I go to a shopping mall is "I don't need anything.  I already have everything I need to live a full, rewarding life".
For all the complaints about the crazy time we live in, one thing that is taking place with younger people in particular is the lack of need to OWN things, and to BUY tangible objects.

The cubic yards of vynil that used to be my music collection gave way to cubic inches of compact discs and then to the "nothingness" of MP3s. The shelves full of newsprint and books has been replaced by an iPad.  Now we no longer need to buy the 40-odd consumer products that one "smart phone" contain (telephone, answering machine, phone book, camera, camcorder, tape recorder, radio, alarm clock, calculator, dictionary, calendar, encyclopedia, flashlight, fax, and compass, etc.).

Why buy a car, tools, a bicycle or even a house when you can affordably share these items with a click of your finger on an app?

We are creating a way to de-materialize the material world, and with it the possibility of a more free, more balanced life not so tied to the things we own, as to the experiences we have and the interactions we have with other people.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

An Amazing Thing

An amazing thing happened today.  

A month after the release of my new Jazz Trio album, STRAIGHT AHEAD it is now #16 on the JazzWeek radio charts.  If you don’t have you copy yet, you can get it on

We have a CD RELEASE Celebration planned for Saturday April 28, and I’d love for you to join me.
George Kahn – Piano
Pat Kelley – Guitar (Pat is on the faculty at USC School of Music)
Lyman Medeiros – Bass (Lyman tours with Steve Tyrell and others)
Alex Acuna – Drums (this is a rare club appearance for one of the top percussion studio cats in town)

You can hear and see a sample of our music here:
Saturday April 28
Three sets: 6:309:00 and 10:15 PM
No cover for the 6:30 dinner show; there is a $20 cover for the late shows
RSVPs for the early shows a must – we sold out last time we played here
For reservations, please call or make your reservation quickly and easily online by clicking HERE.  For parties of 7 or more please call the Vibrato front desk at  
(310) 474-9400 during business hours of 5pm - 10pm to speak directly with a host. 

-George Kahn
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