- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - He plays for kids. He plays for senior citizens. He plays for the Saturday Market crowd, for S.L.U.G. queens, for friends and family, and he’d probably play for you if asked.

Rich Glauber will play his guitar and sing, or play his accordion and dance, or maybe the keyboards, whatever it takes.

And whatever kind of music you need - swing, salsa, oldies or just made up on the spot - as long as it’s fun and light and liable to make you laugh, The Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/20RRlxd).

Some time ago, I can’t remember when

Cynthia Wooten had a big idea

To throw a mega-party downtown Eu-gene

Kinda like the Country Fair, without the mes-ca-line

- “The Call of the Wild”

“When people ask me, ‘What kind of music do you play? - it’s like, ‘What do you need?’” Glauber says.

The New York native arrived in Eugene 33 summers ago, thinking it was only for a little while, enough time to make some money painting houses before heading back to San Francisco. Recently, he was sitting in a side room inside Eugene’s Veterans’ Memorial Building.

He was getting ready for an album-release party for “Swing Theory: Back to the 1920s,” a collection of 11 original, mostly jazz tunes he recorded this past winter in Thailand, of all places, with an international group of musicians.

“Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from Thailand, please give a warm welcome for Mr. Rich Glauber,” says Paul Biondi, a local saxophone player. Biondi and his friends play jazz every Wednesday at Mac’s Restaurant & Night Club, inside the Veterans’ Memorial Building at 1626 Willamette St.

No, Glauber is not from Thailand - he just spends the winters there, paying $10 in U.S. money for a guesthouse in Chiang Mai. Biondi is just having fun.

Aside from three years in Toronto in the mid-1990s, Glauber has called Eugene home since 1983. But where he really lives is in a place of harmony.

Listen Jack I want to go back to the 1920s, and you best believe we’re gonna roar

Walking down the Avenue, making time with you know who

I met her on the dance floor, she’s the flapper I adore

- “Back to the 1920s”

Glauber is a troubadour, a raconteur. He’s someone who does what he loves and has figured out a way to make it work, making a living as a musician for the past two decades or so.

Glauber has not achieved fame and fortune on a national, or even a state level, or maybe even here in Lane County. At least, not if fame and fortune is measured in magazine covers or big money.

But Glauber seems to have a certain peace of mind. He might just be Eugene’s best-kept secret when it comes to musical talent.

Glauber is best known, however, for his work with children, teaching them songs and leading them in dance circles.

He markets his children’s program as Music in Action! For the past three years, he has worked with kids at Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School, teaching them songs in English and Spanish.

Glauber also travels the state in the summertime, hired by the Oregon College Savings Plan to sing in libraries and elsewhere.

“Every little dinky town you’ve ever heard of,” he says.

Next month, Glauber, who writes all of his own material, will start teaching children in affordable housing units for St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County.

“He’s the most gifted musician I’ve ever seen working with kids,” says Paul Neville, St. Vinnie’s public relations director, taking a break from listening to Glauber at Mac’s.

We are part of each other, one big family

We can shine the light, get the music right, sing it in harmony

Everything we say, everything we do

Shine a light on me, shine a light on you

- “Shine a Light”

“He just has a gift for connecting with kids, so I always look forward to having him play because I know it’s going to be fun,” says Kim Still, promotions manager for Eugene’s Saturday Market, where Glauber plays a few times a year.

Born and raised in White Plains, N.Y., in the affluent suburbs just north of New York City, Glauber is one of five brothers, the youngest named Mickey, after New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle.

And two other brothers are journalists: Bob Glauber, a national football columnist for Newsday on Long Island, and Bill Glauber, a general assignment reporter for the Milwaukie Journal Sentinel.

Their father ran the family’s generations-long building supplies business. No one else in the family is musically inclined, Rich Glauber says, although he remembers an aunt who played the piano.

I just rolled into Thailand, there’s a lot I need to learn

They say when a student is ready, the teacher will appear

OK it’s been a good long while, but I believe my time is here

- “Chicken and Whiskey”

The mother of Glauber’s best friend growing up in White Plains, though, was a renowned piano teacher.

“I took music lessons from a phenomenal music teacher,” Glauber says of Wilma Machover, mother of his childhood buddy, Tod Machover.

“Freak genius” is how Glauber refers to the latter.

“Google him,” he says.

“He’s always been the standard to which I could never (attain). … Now he’s a legend,” Glauber says.

But Machover never gets invited to play at the Saturday Market, or provide the music for the annual S.L.U.G. Queen competition.

Ah, the simple things in life.

With “Swing Theory,” however, Glauber demonstrates that he’s no slouch at musical composition, not to mention vocals and guitar.

I’m gonna make a rosary of the things I should remember

The things I should remember to guide me on my way

Guide me on my way on a path that leads to the holy one

Circle round the sun and the day is done

- “Circle Round the Sun”

While most of us have at least some fear of public speaking, Glauber says he’s always been perfectly comfortable - prefers it, really, on stage - ever since he picked up a guitar at 20, left college at Alfred University in upstate New York in the early ‘70s and headed for Mexico. Or when he was busking in Spain.

And while he might be less than three years shy of Medicare eligibility, Glauber says he’s doing a bit of rebranding.

“I’m trying to find out who I really am,” he says.

___

Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com


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