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“The Man”

Hilary Fernandes – “The Man”

This month I’m breaking from my usual radio show post, to post about someone who gave me the gift of music and nurtured my musical imagination… if it were not for him, there would be no “Me and Los Angeles”.

People are influenced by many things when it comes to taste in music, and I’m no different than anyone else!  My Father, Hilary Fernandes, passed away last week, and while writing his eulogy, my thoughts were constantly taken back in time… to music.  I can pinpoint every major part of my life based on music, because it was such a big part of our lives as kids.

For his wake I made a video of his “Early Years” dedicated to his time together with his brothers band the “Fernandez Brothers” (now you can all see where the “z” at the end of my name came from… for those in the know it’s actually with an “s”), and I wanted to share it with my friends, so you can get a better idea of why my taste in music is so diverse.

As a kid, I grew up listening to my father’s music, not only the music he played as a drummer and singer, but as a passionate Jazz fan, he relentlessly kept up to date with all the latest records.  Fusions sounds like, Weather Report, Head Hunters, Steely Dan through to Jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Mark Murphy were all spun on his turntable, feeding my mind with sublime manifestations of boundless creativity.  It was my father’s openness to musical expression that allowed me to explore music beyond the mediocrity of pop music, and deeper into the complexities of lesser known jazz hybrids.

I’m not a religious man, but an fascinating thing happened to me after I got the call from my sister that my father wasn’t going to make it.  I got into my car, turned on the radio and the first song that played through the speakers was the Horace Silver classic called “Song for My Father” Sung by Leon Thomas… what are the chances?

The exact words that came out of the speakers were:

If there ever was a man who was generous, gracious and good, that was my dad…. “The Man.”

Love you Dad!

Hilary Fernandes 1938-2011


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