Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to entertain people. Playing piano and Fender Rhodes for school choirs was a fun deviation from group singing (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and it helped to validate that what I enjoyed was working for the music directors. They gave me feedback, but mostly let me do my thing. Pretty cool.
In my early teens, I played an instrumental gig with a drummer friend in a park for a kid’s carnival event put on by the Parks and Recreation Department. I played my brother’s Wurlitzer electric piano. We had some tunes worked out, but it was mostly a jam kind of thing. Everything was going great until my friend’s kick drum got pummeled with a piece of corn on the cob. Then, a few of the kids decided to unplug the power cord my keyboard was plugged into some 50 feet away. Talk about a challenging gig! :-) Since then, I’ve had the privilege of playing with a lot of musicians in many different kind of settings.
Fast forward to October 23, 2012 at Martuni’s Piano Bar, when I had the incredible joy of playing with a full band pumping the grooves, including sax man Tom Politzer. I still pinch myself every now and then--It wasn’t just a dream!
Now I should be clear that I have nothing against DJ’s or dance music which don’t involve live musicians. Heck, I do some “partially live” solo and duo gigs using backing tracks on occasion. And, I did release a dance mix of Pimp You Out For Love with help from the one and only DJ Paul Goodyear. There’s a place for everything, right?
What I love about playing with other musicians is the interaction, the expression, the synergy. We can move a song in a new direction, introduce a change of emotion right there on the spot. There’s a huge sense of freedom in that.