I understand why some people, including friends of mine, are confused; even I’m confused sometimes. (In some ways life must have been simpler when everyone was called John or Mary.) We have the same name, apart from that silent ‘c’, and we both like jazz. Not just jazz: the same kind of jazz. Adam Schatz is an avant-garde jazz promoter and concert organiser in New York. I used to cover that scene as a DJ at Columbia University and as a freelancer for the New York Times. Every so often I get emails praising my latest event; they make me wish I’d been there. Whether he also has an interest in Middle Eastern politics, or cooking, I’m too afraid to find out. Though I suppose I could: he’s asked to be my friend on Facebook.
A few years ago, a friend of mine called him looking for me, and was wearily directed to ‘the other Adam Shatz’ (or should that be ‘Schatz’?) in Brooklyn. More recently, he called my friend the pianist Vijay Iyer, whom I wrote about a decade ago in the New York Times, to arrange an interview. My friend’s wife picked up the phone, and was ‘very weirded out’ when ‘Adam Shatz’, whom she’d seen only a month earlier, seemed to have no idea who she was. My namesake’s interview will only add to the confusion, though it’s a nice piece of work. I’d recommend Vijay’s album too, but Adam has beaten me to it.