Never Say Never
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What is being said about Never Say Never?

By Evelyn Ratigan

Wicked Local Cambridge

Posted Jun 24, 2009 @ 01:31 PM

Cambridge  Chronical—

Superheroes, take note!
After dealing with a recent outbreak of swine flu, teen pregnancy and “risky behavior” in her day job as Cambridge Rindge and Latin school nurse, Tracy Rose then had to figure out what to wear that night as lead singer of Cambridge-based jazz band, Never Say Never.

“It is definitely the two extremes within the same day,” admits Rose. “The fact that I can go home and put on a dress…gives me the sanity and balance that I need.”

Rose admits that her job is sometimes difficult to handle, and occasionally has to close her office for a few minutes to briefly escape the madness.

Never Say Never is the “little baby” of Rose and CRLS assistant principal Bobby Tynes. Between these two bandleaders and a guest appearance by school janitor Steve Koucalis, a recent performance at Ryles Jazz Club in Inman Square had the air of the coolest faculty meeting you’ve ever imagined. Tynes called the show an “end of the year bash” for everyone at CRLS, and dragged a few teachers and supporters onto the dance floor, including Mayor Denise Simmons, during the performance.

All the members have been or still are in other bands, but Tynes said he and Rose formed Never Say Never when they realized they could have a passion for their day jobs but did not have to give up their interests outside the school building. Rose and Tynes assembled the six-person band about a year ago, and cowrote many of the songs performed by Never Say Never.

Rose has wanted to be a nurse since childhood, and never considered a musical career until a family tragedy 12 years ago turned her to singing. Since then, she has headlined shows in Las Vegas (flying back and forth from Boston over school holidays and summer vacations), written songs and tried to keep the balance. “Music grounds me,” Rose said.

Zoe Flavin, an eighth grader in the crowd, has been listening to Rose’s music since she was four years old but was shocked to find out that she’s also a nurse. “It’s weird to imagine,” Flavin said. “I wish my school nurse was like that.”

So what do the high schoolers think of all this? “We support them and they support us,” Rose said of the students. “They see us in a whole other light…I think they love it. They know that there’s this other dimension of us.”

For Tynes, the transition from his student days at Berklee College of Music to education policy making on this side of the river involved a cross-country move and graduate school. After Berklee, he did a stint as a band director in San Francisco before going back to school for master’s degrees in Education and Administration so he could have more of an impact on students through music and education.

“It’s critical to share our distinct heritage,” said audience member and Brockton resident Dwight Miller during a break in Thursday’s performance. “What better way than for educator to contribute to that expression?”

Tynes thinks the band’s existence offers a powerful message. “Always live your dreams,” he said. “You can always give of yourself.”


"I am still recovering from that unbelievable night of music.  The truth is, I had no idea what to expect but was bowled over by the quality and range of your repertoire.  The orignials were outstanding, and the performances on all the songs were
really remarkable.  I loved Rte. 66 and Proud Mary (where Tracy's "smoky" voice came through).  Also, the take-off of the Andy Griffith theme showed how jazz can be inventive but also humorous.

As you can guess, I've been talking to everyone about that show.  My son turns 18 at the end of October, so now that he'll be legal, he's eager to join me next time.  Please keep me posted on upcoming performance dates." 

-Jeff Young, Superintendent, Cambridge Public School System
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