A long time ago, at the beginning of 2020, I celebrated the release of my album Flings & Things, did a livestream set from my living room with some of the musicians and other friends, and determined to get back to performing live.
Well, you all know what happened next. ➡️ Pandemic.
I did a few livestreams during the pandemic. Some included other musicians, some were just me.
I have also written a number of new songs since that last album release, and I feel ready to hit the studio again.
Last weekend was my first opportunity to get in front of live audiences at the White Rock Jazz & Blues Festival, and it felt like a huge leap.
If that sounds like a strange thing to say, let me give you a bit of history:
When I lived in Prince George, I was a frequent performer. I took part in community musical theatre productions, and had pounded the pavement to let local venues know I was available. I had a number of gigs. The restaurants Footeller and Rouge Restaurant hired me to perform for their customers, for which I collaborated with piano accompanist – David Sproule, now of Kelowna – and a guitar accompanist – Eric Tompkins. There were many other patient and kind musicians who took me under their wing and helped a young wannabe jazz singer get her start.
Kirk Gable, the owner of The Waddling Duck hired David and I for a regular weekly gig. I alternated this gig with another jazz singer, Maureen Washington. Maureen moved away. Then David moved away. I handled the gig on my own for a time and then decided to stop performing weekly for a variety of reasons. I still performed often for special events, and became one of the go-to background music providers. I even had the opportunity to open for Divine Brown on her visit to PG in the same year she won a Juno. That was pretty cool.
When I decided it was time to leave the familiar and nurturing lap of Prince George in 2012, I knew I was starting my network from scratch. Both frightening and freeing – a fresh start.
I started at Capilano University in September 2012 hoping to build my Vancouver network, as well as fulfill a lifelong dream of deep-diving into the study of Music.
Besides assignments in the classroom, I performed publicly now and then in Vancouver, and I put on some shows for my PG peeps, the hometown crowd.
The problem was that the more I learned, the more I judged myself. If you think about it, this makes sense, since in academia you are constantly assessed and told a better or different way to do things.
When I finished my degree in four years, I was burned out. I didn’t even want to make music, so I focussed instead on building my music lesson business.
I got a little surge of energy to return to the stage when friend Mike W.T. Allen hit me up for some jamming and we started a small band. We did a few performances and planned a summer tour. Unfortunately, forest fires in Northern B.C. created a state of emergency and forced us to cancel the tour.
In short, since leaving Prince George in 2012, I have become rusty as a performer, so the Festival performance was a leap for me.
When I decided to record a new album in early 2019, it was the death of a young friend that spurred me into this action.
After listening to all of my previously recorded music, I made the decision to seek out the audiences that would love it. 👉🏼 This is where YOU come in, my Muses. 👈🏼
The White Rock Jazz & Blues Festival performance reminded me of two things:
- I LOVE the live audience interaction.
- I am always at my best when singing my own original music.
I am looking for more opportunities to perform this summer, but find I don’t have the same drive and energy to make the opportunities happen that I had 20-30 years ago.
Wow . . . has it really been that long since I started this music career? I believe it has. Hey folks, I turn FIFTY in just over a month!
Thank you for being with me on this journey! Please drop your comments below. I love hearing from you.🌼❤️