Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vancouver Concert

We arrived at another lovely hotel, with only about 3 hours left to be able to catch some Z’s, which I did after getting in a tiny bit of practicing. At the venue, which was ICE cold, given that it’s a hockey arena, Dejah and I both stretched out on respective sofas for another nap after sound check. I am soooo glad I was able to get an extra nap. I would have been a piano-playing zombie otherwise! Despite the overall fatigue, the show went well and we all said our farewells until September! I can’t wait to get to Europe! Yippee! Stay tuned…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Seattle concert

Another day off! We flew to Seattle and stayed in a very hip downtown hotel. We had especially beautiful weather, and I took advantage of it to go for a lovely walk to the Farmer’s Market, where the fish mongers selected Dejah and myself for a fish throwing demonstration. It was quite exciting! Afterwards I went shopping, to dinner and to bed early! Ah, I love a good night’s sleep! : >

On Friday, we performed at White River Amphitheatre outside of Seattle this evening. The venue is simply beautiful, made more so by the beauty of Mt. Rainer rising in the background. The performance went well and featured a cameo by American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar. I met Sanjaya and his sister Shyamali Malakar, who also appeared on American Idol, at dinner before the show. They’re both lovely people. I wish I could have heard Sanjaya when he sang "Superstition" with Stevie, but alas, his vocal was not fed to my in-ear monitors... I couldn't hear him at all.

After the show, we boarded the tour busses and traveled to the Canadian border. We rested peacefully, assured that all of the travel documents had been checked and that we should be able to breeze across the border easily. Ha ha ha ha ha! After a six-hour wait (yes, six hours in the MIDDLE of the night), we finally crossed into Canada and arrived in Vancouver utterly exhausted....

Me enjoying the environment, Me with Sanjaya and Shyamali

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Day Off!!

Today we had a day off and I invited everyone to my house for dinner. My mother, aunts and sisters all came through and set up a delicious dinner for us. It was a huge success!! Everyone loved the food and a good time was had by all. My niece Naomi even danced a couple of hula dances for everyone. She had all of the women in tears with her beautiful performance. I wish I’d had the thought to film it, but I didn’t. Oh well! It was a beautiful day!

After dinner, Stanley and Kyle went with me and my friends Sundra and Maya to see fantastic guitarist/pianist Stanley Jordan. My friend David “Fingers” Haynes was on drums and Charnett Moffett was on bass. The concert was awesome! My favorite was the final piece, played solo by Stanely on guitar, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Stanley also performed a movement from a Mozart Symphony. His playing was sublime, and he inspired me to increase my compositional creativity in a similar fashion.

All in all, it was a fantastic day off! : >

Me with the group, Me with David Haynes, Me with Stanley Jordan

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Concord Concert

Back home to the Bay Area! It hit a high of 111° on Tuesday afternoon. It was so hot that we could barely even do a sound check. We ran through 2 songs and raced back to the refuge of the subterranean dressing rooms. I don’t usually sweat on stage (I’m a tropical type, and like it warm), but tonight? I was drenched. I felt sorry for the people in the audience who experienced near heat stroke conditions. My poor mom and uncle were suffering badly. My mom usually dances the entire concert. I don’t recall having seen her dance at all tonight.

Nonetheless, the show went well. Stevie showed no signs of fatigue or being overheated (he’s amazing), and the band just did what we do! Heat, lights and all!

Several more friends and family attended the concert, and everyone had a great time. My sister Nina came and spent the day with me, which was lovely. She took these photos of me, and tried to get candid photos. It's really difficult for me not to pose when I see a camera! lol

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hollywood Bowl Concert

It was my first time at the Hollywood Bowl, and what a way to experience the venue! We arrived with the sun high in the sky, and the Hollywood sign in clear view beyond the Bowl. Of course, I had to walk to the back of the venue to take a photo!

For this concert, Rickey Minor conducted a string section on a few of Stevie’s songs: Rocket Love, My Cherie Amour, If It’s Magic, and Overjoyed! I really enjoyed having the live strings with the band, but I missed playing especially on If It’s Magic (I usually play the Harp part). Howard Hewitt came on stage and sang with Stevie. It was a fun show!

After the show I was looking forward to taking photos with celebrities, but AGAIN I couldn’t find them! Oh well. I heard that there were several there (as one would expect in Hollywood), but I guess I’ll have to try again next time! Lol

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mountain View Concert

What a night! Tonight we performed at the Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View, CA,

the first of two concerts in my home region. When we first arrived at the venue for sound check, I walked around, remembering the venue as I'd seen it as a spectator over the years. The energy of the space was vibrant as I anticipated the excitement of the crowd that would be coming to the show. I occasionally peeked through the curtains, watching the huge, near capacity crowd filter in as the sun went down.

Close to show time, I started receiving text messages from friends and family that there was a GIANT sign dedicated to me in the audience! As I walked onto the stage, I saw it, hanging from a ledge in the upper section: “GO VICTORIA”. WOW!! I was so happily surprised! What a beautiful gesture for someone (I still don’t know who made the sign) to do for me! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I wish that I were articulate enough to express how much it means to me. : >

After the show, there was a rush of folks to come backstage. I am blessed to have a very large family and a very large group of friends, and of course everyone who attended the concert wanted a chance to meet Stevie and take a photo with him. The problem? Over 30 people showed up to the designated waiting area. Stevie’s security staff was not too pleased with the situation, but was gracious enough to allow me to bring several people backstage. I wish I could have brought everyone, and if it had been up to me, I would have. I was instructed to point out the members of my family who were standing closest to the door. With as many family members as I have, that instruction basically left out ALL of my personal friends and students, as well as several members of my family who happened to be standing farther from the door. So, to all of you who didn't make it backstage, I extend my apologies, and hope you weren’t too disappointed. Once security said “that’s it”, that was it and I had to go. : < Please know that I appreciate every one of you and am glad that you were able to attend the concert. I hope you had a great time, even though you couldn’t meet Stevie.

So, to all of you attending the Concord concert…please have no expectations of coming backstage! I will do what I can, but I can’t make any promises. In any case, I can’t wait to perform for you! : > There’s nothing like a Bay Area crowd!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Denver Concert

Today we performed at Fiddler's Green near Denver, CO. It was slightly overcast, but comfortably warm, and there was a sold out audience. It is so beautiful to see the faces of people as they swoon, dance, laugh, cry and live Stevie's music. One couple each held their hands close to their hearts as Stevie sang "Visions". Stevie and Aisha shared tears during "Isn't She Lovely". It was a beautiful concert. After the concert, a big group of my friends came to the hotel and we chatted. What a gift this job is! Not only am I blessed to play this amazing music, but I get to travel the world and reconnect with my friends! Wow!

The view from my keyboard: