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Love Me Tender, Someone to Remember

by Jim Gaven 10 months ago in friendship

Performing with a Great Friend and Mentor

Jim Gaven and Ange Chianese perform 'Love Me Tender' at Care One Hamilton. Care One is a facility who supports those with Alzheimer's/Dementia.

Love me tender, Love me sweet, Never let me go. Beautiful words that cut to the core right out of the gate. This sentiment is exactly how I feel about a great friend, mentor, musician, and all-around beautiful soul, Ange Chianese. This deeply rooted platonic kind of love for a fellow human being is so rare that when it happens, one feels the need to go above and beyond to not only maintain but grow the relationship over time. Let me take you back a few years...

Ange and I first met 10 years ago when I first started working at the Arc Mercer. In an effort to better involve those we served and supported with developmental disabilities in the community, I was 'tasked' with making connections at various organizations in the greater Trenton area. One of these places happened to be the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, better known as TASK. After a few conversations with their Community Engagement and Development Team, we had the FunkTASKtiks, as they were called, a band comprised of those who work/volunteer at the soup kitchen and those who go there for food and shelter, booked to perform at the Arc. When they arrived at the building for the first time, Ange's charismatic way and musicianship stood out right away. The fact that he so graciously volunteered his time in this kind of way spoke volumes to me, and I knew I had to get know him better. From here, he'd perform with the band on several occasions, and the more I was around him, the better I felt about myself and the world around me. He just has that special 'thing', that aura, if you will, where you just want to be in his presence. In a few years, I left the Arc for greener pastures, and joined another non-profit organization, where our relationship went dormant for awhile. It wasn't either of our faults--let's just say life got in the way. But, like most things in life, that was temporary. I was again tasked with creating a fun monthly performance for those we served and supported at this new organization, so an in-house band was the idea that stuck. Ange was on the top of my list to reach out to, and, of course, he said, 'yes', and came out a few times. His instant connection with the population we served and supported proved yet again that his heart is in the right place, and that I not only want him in my life, but need him in my life. Again, it was time for me to leave this new place of employment and start a business of my own. In doing so, I went back and forth with him via text message and email, and we met up a few times to talk about life, our mutual love for music and making a difference in the world. This is where our relationship blossomed to a level we hadn't seen before. Invitations to improv drum circle's and ukulele jam's he ran came, and I accepted. Meetings for 'a long walk and talk', as I like to call them, started happening every week. He introduced me to David Darling, a great cellist, among other things, as well as several new percussion instruments, including the hang drum. His wonderful smile, encouraging words of wisdom, and light he has inside shines bright every time we spend with each other. I cherish our friendship, and look forward to what the future brings for us both. Do you have anyone like this in your life? If so, hold on to it, nurture it, do whatever you can to preserve it. Life is too short to not appreciate the great people that have been placed in your path. Love me tender, Love met sweet, Never let me go...

To read a little and discover more about Ange Chianese, feel free to google, 'Ange Chianese Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah', by going here, and checking out his page on LinkedIn. He keeps a pretty low profile online, but his work over the years speaks for itself.

In addition to the video above, here we are performing 'You've Got a Friend in Me' at the same facility: You've Got a Friend in Me. Ange, you've got a friend in me.


Jim Gaven

My mission is to write songs that make you think of a good time in your life, make you feel good about yourself, and put a smile on your face.

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Jim Gaven
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