Just Jim, standing over the new Yamaha G-7 at Monte Vista Church.  Photo by Donna Ahrend (that's my sister!).


There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.


    ---quote attributed (probably incorrectly) to Albert Einstein (but I like it anyhow)



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A February I'll Not Forget Jim Ahrend  | Feb 29, 2016

What a month.  I'm happy to have tomorrow be March.


To say this has been a month of change would be an understatement.  Earlier this month came the first earthquake for me.  On February 12, my sister Donna (who's photos are all over this website) passed away, all too prematurely.  She had been suffering with cancer for many months and it got the better of her.  Donna was more than just a sister and life-long friend; she probably had more to do with the shape of my life than anyone else on earth.  Perhaps when I've had time to grieve the loss, I will write more in the future about her impact on my life.


Two weeks later, I submitted my resignation to Monte Vista Christian Church where I have enjoyed being the organist for the past 7 years.  Along with that came the announcement that I would have to stop Faith, Hope and Jazz, the Thursday evening experiment in jazz worship and community for which I have been musical coordinator for the past three years.  Monte Vista Church and Faith, Hope and Jazz have each been a huge focus for my life and a very enjoyable and satisfying part of my career here in Albuquerque.  I will miss them both.


I am stepping into Central United Methodist Church at University & Central, where my focus will be their contemporary worship service called, "New Day."  I am stepping into the unknown.  This is something I find myself doing from time to time, perhaps more than most people.  The uncertainty and chaos is familiar to me like an old friend.


But this month has really pushed the envelope, even for a "change veteran" like me.  So long February.  Hello, March.  Let's see what's up with that!


By the way---I'm playing this Saturday with the NM Philharmonic and Bobby Shew at Popejoy.  One of the big reasons why I love living in Albuquerque is the outstanding opportunities it has offered a guy like me.  Being part of the musical community here is a humbling, and highly satisfying, experience.  And you all make it so.  




So Much Happening! Jim Ahrend  | Mar 13, 2015 There really is no lack of activity in my life.  Ever.  Lol.   So for a while in February I was so busy that I didn't even have time to update my own calendar.  Well, I've made another recent attempt to keep it current.  Check it out!  Keep in mind...[more]
In terms of music-making, carpe diem Jim Ahrend  | Dec 2, 2014 This fall has been quite a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life.  When friend and drummer Stu Sacco failed to show up one Thursday night in October at Monte Vista Fire Station, we sensed something was wrong; but it wasn't till the end of the next day that...[more]
The future of a very cool jazz series Jim Ahrend  | May 14, 2014 A year ago, Monte Vista Church (where I am the organist and choir accompanist) took a bold step into the community and launched a new series of "experimental jazz vespers" called "Faith, Hope and Jazz!"  For the past 12 months I've been coordinating the musical end of the series, which...[more]
A whole new thing! Jim Ahrend  | Mar 20, 2014 OK so I really don't have a new blog article yet...but I couldn't stand looking at the old one any more!  So, I promise to write something pithy in the next few days!  Check out my calendar and thanks for stopping by!  [more]
With the Holidays Upon Us Jim Ahrend  | Oct 30, 2013 I can't believe it's here.  Halloween-Thanksgiving-Channukah-Christmas.  "Hathachanmas."  Feels like one long holiday, from now until New Years.   I get kind of introspective during this season, remembering last year, thinking about all the things that happened between last fall and now.  It is always amazing.  I play a game with...[more]
Dog days, but we're hangin' Jim Ahrend  | Jul 11, 2013 I've had all sorts of nice feedback from the Mel Minter article about me in July's Albuquerque the Magazine.  Thanks again Mel for nudging me into doing the interview, which was indeed painless!  Mel is an interesting guy himself.  I recently met a singer here in town who knew Mel...[more]
A Plumber Fixes His Pipes Jim Ahrend  | Jun 25, 2013 Some of you may get the analogy.  How could it be that someone who builds websites for so many other people manages to ignore his own site so badly? It's pretty ironic, ya gotta admit. It's like the piano tuner whose piano is out of tune.  (I'll admit to that...[more]