Herb Hicks combined his loves of jazz music, art and hunting for fossils and his family into his autobiography “ To and From Gigs, Challenges, Choices, Chances, Changes.”
It chronicles his life growing up in Williston, North Dakota, though his life in the airforce, playing with his brother, Bob, and first jazz jams in Santa Barbara through to his post as one of the first art professors at the University of Lethbridge to his life today playing gigs in and around town.
“ I love jazz music because you have a set chord progression but you can express yourself through improvisation. It’s that improvisation that I love,” he said.
“ It’s always a new experience,” he continued.
Seeking that new experience and finding new ways to express himself was one of the reasons why he decided to write his autobiography.
That and his three children kept asking him to write down his stories.
“I’ve always been interested in the arts and I’ve always wanted to express myself in words,” said Hicks, before one of his regular monthly gigs at the Mocha Cabana with his jazz quartet and vocalist Sheena Lawson.
“I’ve done self portraits in various media like painting and etching and had the urge to express myself in another way,” he continued adding the book is also a tribute to his brother and long time band mate Bob, who passed away in 2005, but also a present to his children.
“ It was also a great opportunity to write about history and the close relationship I had with my brother who played a lot of music with me and who passed away too early. We played a lot of music with him so the book is a tribute to him as well,” he said.
“ I was prompted by my children to write down some of the stories I’ve had in my life,” he continued.