OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO WITH ART!
It's so funny that the prompt for today's blog is to write about the craziest place art has taken me. I just came back from Abu Dhabi with the Wynton Marsalis Septet!
Needless to say, it was quite the learning experience. It was my very first international gig, and my very first time being overseas period. I was soaking up every minute, especially since I was working so closely with Wynton.
Right when I got off the plane, I could feel the vibe change instantly. I wasn't in America anymore. There was this air of seriousness about Abu Dhabi. It wasn't your condescending kind of seriousness. Respect was very much as the root of the seriousness. It was a "no BS" type of place, and I liked that about it. It was kind of hard to joke around with some of the people but that's okay. (Don't worry, I didn't take it overboard).
Anyway, we hadn't rehearsed until we'd gotten to Abu Dhabi, and we definitely rehearsed A LOT, which felt great. In fact, he is a Facebook video of part of one of our rehearsals:
Standing next to Wynton, even in rehearsal, just put me on a different, more intense vibe. I definitely took note of how that felt, and try to channel it pretty consistently. In fact, that's what Wynton advised. It's hard not to feel it when he's going all out next to you on the gig. I've never experienced anything like it.