November 2015 - Clearing It Up

November 21, 2015:  It’s the weekend before my debut jazz gig.  I have to admit I am quite nervous.  There are times when I ask myself, why do I do this? From dance to theatre, to writing, to music, etc. Crossing over to another form is not comfortable and easy, but I guess like it.  It keeps me on my toes, keeps my senses as sharp as they can be.  So the repertoire will be some standards, it will be an intimate setting at Upstairs and maybe, juuuust maybe at the show, I will share with you the workings and thought processes of crossing over to another form. I remember when I first started with the Blues, it was all cover songs but I knew I wouldn’t be singing them forever.  I have a lot of respect for the classics and standards whether it be the blues, rock, jazz or any genre of music but I like to create and bring the song from my own words.  So here we go, see you at the show on Thursday night and I hope you will like my renditions and interpretations of the tunes.

November 15, 2015:  As I mentioned in my August post, I wanted to have some time off to catch my breath.  But looking back, that "time off" was quite a busy period.  Here is the result of one of the projects/activities that occupied me on my time off.  I was honored to have participated in the backing vocals of a tune by C-CéLiNe. She wrote the song shortly after the events of the Charlie Hebdo in France.  Here is the song entitled, "Libre de mes pensées (je suis Charlie)"

What a time of turmoil we live in these days.  A call to action: Reach out to someone without expecting a return. Do an act of kindness outside of your comfort zone, no matter how small; be the beginning to end senselessness. A hug, a smile, a meal for a homeless person, open a door to opportunity for someone. Be the beginning to peace.  If prayer soothes your soul, then pray but taking well thought out actions will help make the change. From your humble hands, let peace become. 

November 11, 2015:  Is there anything that beats the sound of people cheering, clapping and ending it all with 2 standing ovations and 2 encores? I am not so sure there is. That is what happened at the gig in Quebec City’s, Au Vieux Bureau de Poste.  I am always weary about leaving the comforts and the confines of the home territory.  I wonder (more like, worry) if tickets are sold and if there will be people coming to the show. I am pretty diligent in doing my homework: promoting the gig, sending the press releases, calling/texting/emailing friends living in the area, updating the band’s online presence.  I am always humbled and pleasantly surprised to meet new faces – all of them who come to say how much they enjoyed the show.  We had one of the collective’s new drummer, Tim van de Ven, on stage with us.  I’d like to say that he’s been baptized; an experienced drummer, we had quite a few discussions before setting up a first rehearsal with the rest of the band.  I’ve known Tim van de Ven before I started singing the Blues.  We’ve had numerous cake and coffee sessions.  It’s nice that he now shares the stage with me.  There are other new members in the collective, so stay tuned.

I’d like to clear up some mis-information that has come to my attention. So here it is:

- No, I have not stopped writing new material for the next album. The challenge is the new sound that is currently being “developed”.

- No, the band is not disintegrating, on the contrary, it is growing – just like in any business – the human resources are being put into place to ensure its longevity. I am grateful for the 25+ years of experience running a consulting firm. The business acumen I have gained is quite useful in the management of artistic endeavours...because after all, even though it's all for fun, it's still a job; you show up, you play, you keep your ego in line, you take care of your colleague, keeping the focus, etc.

- Yes, I am committed to the Blues and will continue to move forward with the project.

- Yes, I also have a jazz project, but it is in its very early stages (first show is on November 26th). I am quite excited about this project as I am in the company of some great musicians.

- Yes, I continue to pursue acting projects. I like acting for TV, Film and Theatre.

- Yes, I am a multi-tasker but you knew that already.

- I don’t give up that easily. I may seem to retreat and become quiet but that’s just me being like an elastic, pulling back before shooting forward.