05 April 2006

Jazzy Blues

The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.
~ Shana Alexander


A couple of friends of mine, John Cropp and Maria “Pete” Durgan are in a great jazz/blues band called Novazanz. Pete is an incredible bass guitarist and John is…phenomenal. He is one of the best lead guitarists I have heard in quite awhile. I have now had the pleasure and privilege of improvising with both of them.

Last Friday night I got a chance to sing with them…in public…in front of strangers….you know, people I do not know, who have never heard me sing before…scary people. John and Pete had suggested that the next time they played somewhere, I should come and do a song with them ~ to get my feet wet and my nerves a shot in the arm ~ so to speak.

Reading into the above quote, I must have been at the top of my form because I was nervous as all get out! In fact, I sang with my eyes pretty much closed the whole time: harking back to days of old when yours truly walked down the aisle countless times as a shy flower girl…with her eyes closed. Some things never change.

I do not even remember if the five people in the bar clapped after my very nervous interpretation of Summertime. Sullivan had come along to cheer on both John and Pete (and talented drummer Kirby, who joins them off and on) and declared my debut a success. I think it was more the event of actually getting me up in front of *gasp* other people that was most exciting.

Sitting behind a piano opening my soul to people with every composition always carries a sense of nakedness ~ it is the nature of art. But singing a cover song, without a piano to hide behind engenders much more of a naked feeling. However, now my feet are wet and hopefully the next time I am asked (or made) to sing before strangers, it will not be as traumatic. ;o)

Novazanz is incredibly talented and the next time you have a chance, come enjoy an evening of bossa nova blues and jazz at one of their gigs. See ya soon John and Pete!

Oremus pro invicem,
Mikaela
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