I played piano on the streets at night at the Paseo del Carmen and I met so many friendly and welcoming people. Last night I ran into a sax player and a flute player and we jammed for an hour and a half on some Latin tunes.
It was really very exciting.
I also got a gig for this Thursday at a restaurant!
Dont be the timid musician playing a song on stage and not saying a word.
I did a few gigs last week and this is one of the lessons I learned from my experience.
I havent done too many solo piano gigs and I’m still figuring out how to approach them.
What is difficult is that every gig is different.Sometime the environment allows for certain things but not others. Which is why its important to have multiple ways to approach them. Some of the options that were available to me:
Be the Solo instrumental piano guy
Tell stories and funny moments with instrumental music in the background
Sing with music
Pick on people and ask questions to the audience.
As I slowly develop my skills these are things that I am thinking about in creating my own Solo Live stage show. One of the gigs I had last week was at a bar where people are talking and not really listening directly to the music. This led me to being the solo instrumental piano dude playing Christmas tunes and not really interacting with audience.
Playing on the streets is a different beast. Being on stage is a whole other challenge.
Q & A With Bobby McFerrin at Jazz at Lincoln Center A few years ago I had the opportunity to see Bobby McFerrin perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center and it was one of the most inspiring performances of my life. The way he interacts with the audience and creates such a safe, open, free environment to perform is unlike any other performer I have ever seen.
Bobby McFerrin starts all his shows with 2 solo improvisations. Similar to Keith Jarrett’s solo piano improvisations. He sits down on stage and just starts singing. The magic is that even he doesn’t know where the piece will end up, but all that matters is that he doesn’t stop.
The next few pieces were done with a chorus of about 40 men and women. They were beautifully arranged pieces, with African themes and latin percussion. The way the voices intertwine and move amongst each other was brilliant.
What is amazing about the style of performance that McFerrin brings to the stage is how he incorporates the audience into the playing. He would literally pick someone out of the crowd to come up and improvise a vocal improvisation.
At one point he would walk up to a woman and try to get her to sing with him. Some people would choke up and wouldnt be able to open themselves up, but others are just dying to sing with him.
It was a really amazing lesson as a performer on how to get a crowd to open themselves up and let you mold their hearts. This was ultra-influential on me and I hope to use some of the thing I saw the next time I perform.
If you ever get the chance to see Bobby McFerrin live, I would jump on the opportunity. It is an experience of a lifetime.
I was playing in the middle of Royal Street in New Orleans when this man and his son came up to me. The man asked me if his son could play my piano. I always welcome anyone to come play my piano and this was a real treat.
Has been a college student in New Mexico for the past 9 years because he wasnt sure what he wanted to do with his life. Eventually he fell in love with making music using his guitar and has been going to Nursing school to become a Nurse.
Franks Dream: to be a working as a nurse— assisting doctors at a hospital working a few days a week and making a steady income. At the same time to be able to make music as often as possible by himself or with a band. Having a good group of friends as well as having the free time to spend time with the people he loves is important to Frank. By Becoming a Nurse and working 3 days a week it allows Frank to have a safe balance between work and play. Although, too much play could start to become an obstacle.
What are his obstacles: Frank has spent the last few years of his life searching for what he wants to do with his life. Unfortunately, the cost of a college education is very high in America and has forced him to take out loans that have inevitable put him into debt but allowed him to pursue an good education. His debt is what’s holding him back from progressing in his dreams and life
Below is song Frank was writing when I met him in New Orleans…