Music finds its way into the coolest nooks and crannies of my life. Just when I think that I'm a million miles away from guitar playing, it suddenly appears out of the blue. Here's a case in point: Two years ago, I flew to Shanghai, China with my colleague/friend, Jim Fisher. Our charge was to give a two day seminar on Entrepreneurship and Marketing to a group of 100 top performers from Longrich Corporation--a health a beauty products distributor headquartered in Asia. Here's the kicker...none of the participants spoke English. Zero. Null. Nada. So, we did the entire seminar through an interpreter.
On to the music part of this story. One of the very top performers from Longrich was a man named Sun (pronounced "Soon"). We knew he was a top performer because he sat in the front row of the seminar (we learned that this is part of the Longrich culture...top performers sit near the front at business gatherings). During part of my presentation on entrepreneurship, I referenced my life as a performing guitar player, and Sun lit up (pun intended). Through the interpreter, he told me that he was a guitar player and that, coincidentally, he had two guitars with him on this business trip.
Later on after the evening meal, Sun coaxed me to the lobby of the hotel where we drank our weight in Chinese wine and played guitar in front of a large group of Longrich employees who gathered to listen. And here's a cool part...Sun and I weren't the only ones who performed. Many of the folks from China took turns coming up to sing Chinese folk songs with Sun accompanying them on the six string. It was an extraordinary experience. I felt extremely connected to this group of people, and I wasn't able to exchange a single word with them. Music was enough.
Fast forward two years. The group from Longrich Corporation came to the United States last week for another seminar that Jim and I put on. This time, we met them in Denver, Colorado. I was delighted to find out that my old friend Sun made the trip. The folks in Denver who coordinated the seminar knew about the guitar connection I'd made with Sun, so they kindly rented a Taylor acoustic guitar for us to use, and it resulted in another glorious evening of music.
The first picture below is Sun and me at Regis University in Denver, Colorado last week. The second picture is Liu, another Longrich distributor who lent her amazing voice to the evening. No language...just music.