This past weekend I drove to Los Angeles to attend the NAMM show. I have been dealing with several personal issues that made me ambivalent about attending this year, but last week, things started working out, so I decided to go. Now I wish I'd made up my mind sooner so I could have arranged to stay the entire weekend. I keep doing that to myself: I go to NAMM, have a great time, leave way way way too early, regret leaving, and then immediately forget the following year until the last minute. Sigh... Anyway, this year, a huge crew of my bay area friends attended, including Mike Blankenship, Ashling Cole, Uriah Duffy, Joey Fabian, Dennis Dove, Darian Gray, Lloyd Gregory, Lynette Williams, Donte McClinton, Brian Collier, Dale Chung, Stephen Smith, Bryan Dean, Altoris Levar, Eric Barnett I also had the chance to hang out with my musical friends Wictor Wooten, Byron Miller, Brandon Brown (though I AGAIN missed a New Genesis show since I didn't have my own car...sigh...), Matt Cusson, Showboat Shavers, Eric Bostelman, Freddie Ravel, Kiki, Dennis Hamm, Ruslan Sirota, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Ellis Hall, Lynne Fiddmont, Jeanette Harris, Michael Harris, Kimberly Brewer, Gerry Brown, David Haynes, René Decker, my band mates Errol Cooney, Roman Johnson, Nate Watts, and Ryan Kilgore.
I think I got everyone...though it's likely I've left someone out...oops! I heard lots of great music and even had the chance to play...though that's an odd story:
I arrived at sound check for a performance on Friday night. Nate Watts had asked me to perform with him, and anytime that Nate asks me to play a gig, I say yes! Not only is he an amazing musician, but he's a lovely person. Unfortunately, I encountered someone who wasn't so lovely. Let's just say that someone that night chose to be an impediment and unreasonably rude. I don't want to reveal too much, because I'm choosing to not partake in a game of who can be more arrogant, but I was shocked that a professional musician would exhibit the type of behavior I encountered. Suffice it to say, that Roman Johnson and I had a good laugh while we attempted to play 2 keyboard parts on a single 61-key keyboard (on only 1 patch, since there was no time to program any splits), bumping into each other as we played. At least I was able to get all of my friends into the show. I just wish I'd had the chance to really PLAY. C'est la vie!
I made lots of new connections with equipment manufacturers, met some incredible new musicians, enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather and had an all around good time. I even managed to work on 3 tracks for clients over the past week. This week, I've got a few client tracks, but my main focus is my project and getting ready for a show on Saturday where I'll be playing and singing a few jazz standards.
See you next week!