Desert Island Jazz
Victor Lin (2010)

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Those lucky enough to know Seattle-born Victor Lin from his recordings and performances immediately think of him as a pianist, but he has at least two more strings to his bow. After some three decades (can it be?) he still plays his first instrument, the violin, and does so to a professional standard, too, having played that instrument as part of both Frank Vignola’s Hot Club USA and The Howard Fishman Quartet. He's also an educator, of which more in a moment.

Victor studied music at the undergraduate level at the University of Washington. After graduation, he moved east to Rutgers University, where he studied with pianist Kenny Barron, and was awarded his master's degree. Since doing the opposite of what Horace Greely recommended, he's been performing all over the New York scene at locations such as The Blue Note and Knickerbocker. His first recording, "Live at Cobi's Place" with David Wong and Obed Calvaire, remains an unfortunately well-kept secret.

Victor has a passion for education. He teaches jazz piano and jazz ensembles at Columbia University Teachers College (where he's finishing his doctorate in music education—in his little spare time, as it were), and directs the jazz program at The Calhoun School, a private progressive education school on the upper west side of Manhattan. For three years he's taught at the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, and, closer to home here in the Bay Area, he's racked up no fewer than a dozen years on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Victor's strategic focus as an educator includes the exploration of how best to use music as a means of education about larger issues of culture, race, and society. As he himself puts it as a first-generation American-born Taiwanese, he "hopes that his skills as a musician and an educator will serve to raise awareness and break down perceptions of the stereotypes of all races and cultures."
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Stan Getz and Kenny Barron People Time Night and Day Verve
# 2 Wynton Marsalis Live at Blues Alley Knozz Moe King Columbia
# 3 Brad Mehldau Art of the Trio, Vol. 4: Back at the Vanguard Exit Music (For a Film) Warner Bros
# 4 Joshua Redman Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard Jig-A-Jug Warner Bros
# 5 Ray Brown Live at Starbucks When I Fall in Love Telarc
# 6 Duke Ellington Three Suites Danse of the Floreadores Columbia
# 7 Benny Green Testifyin' McThing Blue Note
Book The Bible, or something by David Halberstam, e.g., "The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship"
Luxury Item Spectacles, or a nice steak sandwich.
Castaways by date
Steve Adams
30 May
Cheryl Bentyne
17 Oct
Will Bernard
11 Apr
Barbara Borden
21 Mar
Jim Butler
13 Jun
Ian Carey
21 Feb
Judy Chaikin
17 Jan
Mike Clark
10 Oct
Freddy Cole
21 Nov
Beth Custer
01 Aug
Harry Duncan
03 Oct
Kai Eckhardt
03 Jan
Lisa Engelken
26 Sep
Don Friedman
07 Nov
Roger Glenn
05 Dec
Kimberly Gordon
28 Mar
Marty Grosz
29 Aug
Alex Hahn
08 Aug
Bill Holman
28 Feb
Tommy Igoe
07 Mar
Namita Kapoor
22 Aug
27 Jun
Lisa Mezzacappa
24 Oct
25 Jul
Glenn Richman
15 Aug
Alfredo Rodriguez
25 Apr
Dan Sabanovich
02 May
Grant Stewart
12 Dec
Judy Wexler
04 Apr