90 Year Old Musician

By: Lauren Knight
By: Lauren Knight

May 19, 2005

Dave Kannensohn always envisioned a gathering of jazz musicians at his wake, a party that no one would want to miss...especially Dave himself.

"I don't even think this many people would come to my birthday party," say Dave's granddaughter. Family and friends helped him celebrate his 90th birthday today.

The Charlottesville resident is active in the community, hitting the tennis courts when he can and paying his clarinet every Saturday night at Hamilton's on the downtown mall.

"I've been at Hamilton's now for four years, I joined Peter when I was 86," says Dave.

He's had an ear for music from a very early age.

"When I was 10 years of age, I had to play something, I don't know why. But I had a harmonica," remembers Dave.

Which progressed quickly to the saxophone and then on to the clarinet. He played at various venues with many different groups, happy to be doing what he loved while making some good money.

"3 dollars for playing at night for oh, for four hours with a couple of guys, and you have to remember people were making a dollar a day, so that was pretty good money at that time," Dave explains.

One of his latest accomplishments, besides turning 90, is the release of his second CD. "Saturday Night at Hamilton's, yeah that's it," he says.

And by now you're probably wondering his secret to staying so young. His thoughts: "I think it's just breathing, it's very important."

And of course, not with out a vice or two, in Dave's case, candy bars. "Only one once in a while, chocoholic," Dave admits.

But Dave would say things were not exactly in his control. "Things didn't happen because of the way I lived. It happened because I chose the right mother."

And by every great man there is a great woman. "I've just has so much admiration, he's such an intense man, such an intense man," says Lois, Dave's lovely wife.

Viewers can see Dave every Saturday night at Hamilton's, and on the Downtown Mall. While you're there you can pick up a copy of his CD. It's great music from a local artist.

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