Baird Interview

Jazz at Joe’s Sponsor Spotlight

Brad Baird/Baird Funeral Home & Crematory

Lisa Dae:  Please describe your business?  What do you do?

Brad Baird:  We are a funeral home serving the Central Oregon area.  We have two locations, one in La Pine and one in Bend.  La Pine opened in 1992 followed by our Bend office in 2008.

Lisa Dae:  So you started out in La Pine first?

Brad Baird:  That’s right; we started in La Pine first, and then we expanded into Bend when the need became apparent.  Bend did not have any other option at that time other than what was commonly owned by one person for the previous three years.

Lisa Dae:  With the growth we’ve seen, I'm sure that effects your business?

Brad Baird:  Yes, as our population increases we will of course see more people needing our services.  My wife Cristina, and I have always believed in serving our families as we would want to be served - with respect, dignity and fair pricing. Our philosophy is that people aren’t going to remember what you told them, but will always remember how you made them feel.

Lisa Dae:  What do you like most about the business that you’re in?

Brad Baird:  It’s the aspect of how we can make a difference in people’s lives at such a difficult time.  It involves the process of organizing sensitive details and holding services. Additionally, as an embalmer, I strive to ensure and take great pride in, that every family’s loved one we are caring for looks their absolute best.  The family’s feedback towards those efforts is precious, as is their decision to place their trust in our funeral home to carry out the final arrangements. We consider it a real privilege to take care of every family who comes to us.

Lisa Dae:  Sponsorships are plentiful; what prompted you to sponsor Jazz at Joe’s?

Brad Baird:  Well, jazz in particular is very near and dear to my heart. I started playing saxophone when I was 8 years old in third grade. When I got to high school I discovered jazz, the music has been a big part of my life ever since. I want our communities’ students to continue to have those same opportunities. The Jazz at Joe’s mission fits perfectly with that.  Music in school is one of those subjects that is often cut first whenever there are shortfalls in the school budget. It’s a real shame because I grew up much the same way Joe did, with a solid music program.  Without that solid start, I don’t think I would’ve played for my entire life.

I always enjoyed playing in big bands and other smaller bands but returned to jazz as the first love.  I play alto, tenor and soprano and when I hit my high school days my playing became more advanced; I was even recognized by receiving the Louis Armstrong award several years in a row. At one time, I considered making music my career, thought better of it (smile).

Lisa Dae:  What is it about jazz for you?  What do you think that is?

Brad Baird:  It’s the freedom of expression. It does take skill but mostly creativity along with that skill. I love to perform, and I love to be involved with people who appreciate the music the same way I do.  

Lisa Dae:  Why do you think it’s important to support community events like Jazz at Joe’s?

Brad Baird:  It’s important to support programs and efforts like Joe’s so that our community doesn’t lose out on the current generation of musicians who will carry it forward to future generations. It is vital to continue to provide jazz to those who appreciate it already, and to those who haven’t been exposed to it yet. We must not let live jazz or music education become irrelevant!!

 

 

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