Ed Henderson manages a dairy farm, Shenandoah Dairy, in North Central Florida containing roughly 3,700 cows. The farm appears to be a humble, serene spot with green pastures, tall, lush trees, and wide-open spaces.
Ed happens to have a passion for the trombone and regularly participates in a fully-fledged jazz ensemble – farming is just his profession.
As a member of a 17-piece jazz band, Ed one day struck up a brilliant idea, attempting to combine his musical talents with his dairy work. He invited his band to perform a concert for his thousands of cows.
The far-fetched idea quickly caught steam and things were soon set in motion. Once the band members agreed, the concert preparation took quite some time.
The Gateway City Big Band set themselves up in the middle of the farm, a plain area with seemingly endless fields of green grass in all directions.
For the musically ignorant, a jazz big band, at the least, generally consists of over ten instrumentalists, including typical jazz brass trumpets and trombones, saxophones, and a rhythm section, according to Allmusic.
Ed’s band is quite the ensemble, itself featuring numerous trombones, trumpets, saxophones, a bass guitar, keyboard, and drum kit – the classic elements of any great jazz big band.
On what appears to be a beautiful Florida day with some cloud cover, the group kicks things off with a jazz-tinged rendition of “Tequila Song” by The Champs – a recognizable classic.
Once the band starts playing, a complete and utter migration commences. The cows can be seen flocking from all corners of the farm to attend this extraordinary event. Some of the aerial shots are magnificent.
Seriously, some of the cows ran – or trotted – hundreds of yards to get a front row spot to the concert, eventually lining-up and self-organizing rather intelligently.
The band continues to chug and jam along, continuing their cover of “Tequila Song” while the cows gather around to watch and listen.
It’s hard to blame them – the band can certainly carry a tune.
Conversely, the band had a front row seat to a spectacular assemblage of cattle. The band’s performance evidently served as quite an interesting cow social experiment. The cows receive a free concert, while the band receives a first-hand view of the power of music on other organisms. Every species involved wins.
All in all, the Gateway City Big Band’s performance rocked (or I guess, jazzed). The band and the cows appeared to have a great time.
This whole experiment begs the question – what’s a cow’s favorite genre? Some may say Moo-town, but they seem to love jazz, too. The band’s first farm performance was a huge success, but next time they need more cowbell.
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