Friday, July 27, 2007

I Met Patrice Rushen!

Tonight I had the honor of hearing and meeting the legendary Patrice Rushen!

She is performing all week at Yoshi's with Christian McBride, Dave Ellis and DJ Jahi Sundance. The show was incredible! They're playing through Sunday, so if you get a chance, I highly recommend you check it out!

The music is fully improvised and SUPER funky! Patrice played beautifully. Her rhythmic ideas, technical prowess and soulfulness kept me and my fellow pianists (the raucous Rushen cheering section) on the edge of our seats! The music was purely organic in its ebb and flow, wandering from church romp to hip hop groove to esoteric jazz with sprinkles of electronica. I, for one, had a hard time keeping still in my seat.

Once again, I'm truly inspired, and despite my exhaustion am about to put in some more practice time tonight before passing out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

15 hours of practice this week!!! Yippeee!!!!

I did it!!!! 15 hours of practice this week! Phew! It was tough, given the hectic nature of the week, but I set my intention to not miss another opportunity to meet an important goal, and I succeeded! I always notice IMMEDIATELY how much stronger my playing is when I practice consistently. I'm going for it again this week!

I am still relearning the Rachmaninoff Etude in Eb minor, and it felt GREAT tonight! It's amazing how much freedom is gained when the notes are in hand thanks to repetition.

I've been trying to figure out why I've had such a hard time implementing a serious practice regiment. I practiced 6-8 hours per day in college, but have had the hardest time practicing even 1-2 hours in a week as a professional (embarrassing, but true. I play all the time, but practice is an entirely different matter). In any case, I did it this week! : > Next on my goal list is to get back to writing. Would be nice to get over that hindrance as well!


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Broadway Revue

Tonight I performed in a Broadway Revue, which served as the entertainment for a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. The night was filled with musical theater favorites of the very talented and dedicated Romar DeClaro. There was a quartet of great singers (Romar, CJ Blankenship, Lorraine De Arco and Julianne Thompson) and a small band (Me, Tommie Bradford - drums, Jonathan Bretan - bass) supporting everyone. We had some sound and lighting challenges, but overall the evening went very well.

The evening started with a short video of a family who'd recently been given the opportunity to own a home as a direct result of the good work of Habitat for Humanity. After the video, the mayor of Pleasanton, Jennifer Hosterman, made a brief statement encouraging those in the audience to donate more to the worthy cause being celebrated.

I opened the musical portion of the show with an overture that I created from the main themes of several of the more popular songs to be sung. Romar served as the musical host and entertained the crowd with his hilarious wit, immense charm and beautiful voice. Each of the singers brought down the house in turn: CJ with "Impossible Dream", Lorraine with "Don Juan", Julianne with "I Could Have Danced All Night" and Romar with "Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)" from Jesus Christ Superstar.

All in all it was a wonderful evening.

Romar was hoping to raise at least $10,000. You can also contribute directly at Habitat for Humanity.