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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Keys to the Game

All-Star games aren't always my thing, but the NBA All-Star Game has always had a certain swagger about it. Even when I don't watch the game, I'm always at least abreast of what is going on. Maybe it's the attention surrounding the Dunk Contest - even when lackluster. Maybe it's All-Star weekend's reputation as the Black Super Bowl. But this evening, I had a reason to turn in.

It started with ESPN's Bomani Jones giving props to the organist on Twitter, and several others chiming in. I tuned in at the top of the 4th quarter and was similarly impressed. The All-Star organist, who I've come to learn is Sir Foster (on Twitter @Sir_Foster), the house organist for the Atlanta Hawks, is giving us range, from the latest pop hits, to hip hop classics, to the in-game standards. He's playing the role of the band that gives us Hey (Rock and Roll Pt. II) and Hay (In the Middle of the Barn). And on at least one occasion, he acknowledged his Twitter fame, calling his shot to Jones before hitting us with the Ying Yang Twins.

I use the term "marching/athletic music" by design. While "marching arts" covers marching band, corps, and guard, marching/athletic music speaks specifically to the fact that the music is used in an athletic context. Pep band is a big piece of that picture as well, and while I may not have previously considered it, so are NBA organists. The ability to enhance the game experience through music is a thread that runs through them all. The difference is, most NBA organists remain relatively anonymous. I'm glad that this All-Star performance is getting Sir Foster his props. As I type this, Kyrie Irving was just named the MVP, but here, I'm giving the organist some.
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