I’ve been getting a rather large dose of music lately. Be it listening to music, performing music, watching people play live music, learning more about music, writing music, arranging music or playing music. And it’s been rather hard work sometimes, especially with trying to balance a full-time demanding career, but I gotta say I’m really, really enjoying it so far. Every aspect.
This week is London Jazz Festival, and I made sure I made the most of it over the weekend by attending two (very different) gigs on Friday and Saturday night. Friday night was opening night, with a fine concert named “We All Love Ella” which was a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald – my favourite jazz singer. It was held in the swanky new Royal Festival Hall on Southbank of the Thames River. Me and Kwai had box seats (WAY cool!). There was a full orchestra and big band, and a host of various singers performing songbook Ella classics. Saturday night we went to see Larry Harlow and the Latin Legends of Fania (from New York) perform at the Roundhouse, near Camden Town. The crowd was very, very south american oriented.. the majority seemingly from Columbia (judging by the mass reaction everytime Columbia was mentioned), with smatterings of Venezuelans, Spanish, Brazilian and Cubans I’m guessing. Basically.. the whole gig was pretty much in spanish. The band spoke mostly spanish, with the audience responding in spanish!! I felt like I’d been transported to another country really! But the atmosphere and vibe of the gig was very awesome. Everyone there was just SO into it, and there was heaps of interaction between the band and crowd. There were even people in the crowd with percussion instruments – like shakers and claves. Oh, and this crowd had rhythm. There was no clapping out-of-time simple 4/4… no this crowd could clap not just on the beat, but expertly managed 3-2 clave! I took video from both gigs, so hopefully I’ll get around to uploading something at some point so you guys can get a bit of a listen and looky for yourselves.
I’ve also now played TWO gigs in London! Yep.. I had my first official gig on Sunday 28th October, 2007. So it wasn’t paid, just a friend of a friend’s party, it was only 4 songs, and I played a bit crap coz the sustain pedal wasn’t working and there were a few stuck keys down the bottom of the keyboard, oh and it was only 67 keys.. but hey, its a start! I got it on video – check it out:
My 2nd gig was another friend of a friend’s party, the weekend before last, but I felt much happier with this one. For a start we had a pro double bass player playing with us – made SUCH a difference. I hate playing without a bass player. We also had a singer for some songs, who also played congas on other songs. AND the venue had a beautiful grand piano for me to play on…. just lovely. We also played about 8 songs this time.. so a much longer gig. I have heaps of video footage, but I still have yet to edit it coz the venue was really dark.
And finally, I’m also really loving music college at Goldsmiths University of London. I’m doing a part time, 6 hours over two nights per week course called Certificate in Music Studies. Its quite cool – I almost feel like a uni student again, except I have full time work on top. But yeh.. it is great.. I love what I’m learning, the teachers are awesome and I’m meeting heaps of great people from all walks of life.. fellow musicians with a common love for music, who are just so supportive and encouraging. It’s really heaps fun, even with the cramming – homework – on – Sunday – night – at – 10pm each week. I mean, the person I’m gigging with at the moment, I met him through Goldsmiths at my Jazz Improv Class last year. So it’s good for networking too! So this year the two classes I’m doing are Musicianship Level 2 in Jazz & Pop and Performance Ensemble in Jazz & Pop. They work really well together – and I actually really enjoy the musicianship class.. probably more so than the Performance Ensemble, even thought the Perf Ensemble is meant to be a more practical class. I actually enjoy the homework for musicianship.. no it’s not boring theory.. it’s basically been all composition.. or various aspects of composition. Writing simple 12-16 bar pieces of jazz & blues music (following certain guidelines which we learnt about in that weeks class).. and I’m loving it.
Ok I should stop rambling coz its nearly midnight, and I’m going to an Ajax training conference tomorrow (which I was at today too). And I have class tomorrow night. Ugh.. Monday and Tuesday’s are always a killer for me.. I’m always totally shattered by Wednesday, and often fall sick too. I was got sick the wed before last, and have only just recovered. *sigh* Methinks I may have too much on my plate. Haven’t even been to dance class in a month (though I still am going) nor have I done much exercise (but I have recently joined the Virgin Active gyms near work and home using corporate discount.. w00t w00t). I just need MORE TIME in a day!! And my body ain’t getting any younger… 8 hours sleep a night is becoming more and more a necessity rather than just a “nice-to-have”. On that note.. good night all.Posted in Arts, Life | 3 Comments »