This morning, I woke up late again. I still haven’t had the chance to go for a run on the beach or have breakfast. Lobby call for rehearsal was 1pm, so having woken up just before noon, I had just enough to get dressed and take off. At rehearsal, we went over a few songs before Stevie arrived, which was good to do considering that we hadn’t performed in concert together since November of last year. The band is as tight as ever and a continual source of joy for me. As a musician, it just doesn’t get better than this! Stevie joined us about an hour into the rehearsal, and at one point, he called me over to the piano to learn 2 of his newly composed songs. He showed me the song on the piano, and then moved over to another bench, allowing me to play his piano while he sang right next to me. Just me and him. Those are my favorite moments. All I can do is just play, soak it all in and grin like a kid in a candy store!
After the rehearsal, we all returned to the hotel to get ready to attend Alicia Keys' performance at the Mawazine Festival.
At 8:30pm, we packed into a duo of shuttle busses and drove to the venue. Apparently, part of the royal family was arriving at the same time as our group, and security was intense. We were led backstage and taken to an area where we could stand and watch a rear projection image of the stage. We arrived just in time for the final few songs of Alicia’s opening act, her background singer Jermaine Paul. Unfortunately, the audio backstage was less than ideal, and it was difficult to hear Jermaine, but the audience out front seemed to enjoy his performance. Once Jermaine left the stage, we were led out into the crowd, however, most of us stopped short of the designated area, preferring to have the option of returning backstage. Alicia came on stage and sang a series of lively songs from her latest release, as well as some inventive arrangements of her hits. Most of us stayed in the crowd watching the show for about 30 minutes before returning backstage to watch the remainder of her performance on the rear projection screens. I, for one, am not a crowd person. I love performing for a crowd, but do not enjoy standing in a crowd. Probably because I’m at a slight disadvantage given my small stature. I can never see anything! Lol
I’d seen Alicia perform once before several years ago. I’ve always been a fan of her music, but more than anything else, I’m grateful for the impact she has made on music education, especially on little girls. She is such a wonderful inspiration for girls to learn to play piano and sing. This time in concert, she was again impressive. She has a great connection with the audience and sings with wonderful expression. I had a great time!
After the concert, we were whisked away to a Roman castle high on a hill for a VIP after party. The lighting, décor, and landscape of the castle was fully romantic and beautiful, and inside the main party area, was filled with all manner of Moroccan delicacies. While at the party, I met the Somalia born artist K’Naan and his band, all lovely fellows, whose show I wasn’t able to attend. Since our show is tomorrow night, we all ate food, and called it a night by 2am, early by Wonder-time standards!