Friday, 28 January 2011

California Dreaming

It does seem like a dream.  48 hours ago I was leaving springlike San Diego to return to wintry Surrey having attended the annual Adult Jazz Camp hosted by the America's Finest City Dixieland Jazz Society.  (AFCDJS)
A wonderful time, playing LOTS of Jazz in the company of the most interesting and talented folk.  The instructors are versatile, tolerant and inspiring, the students equally so.

Even though the students are of varying skill levels, everyone seems to gain a great deal from it, and for someone so close to the start of their musical journey it is a great privilege to play with those who have so much more experience than I, and to feel that I'm making a contribution: it's a team effort.

In fact, you can do worse than to take a Traditional Jazz Band as a great example of a working team.  While each player is given a chance to shine in their solos, the ensemble choruses demand close attention to both the music and what the other players are doing.  The bandleader (by default the trumpeter/cornetist), has the task of managing the whole show, either through a carefully worked out roadmap, or more freely, responding to the flow of the performance. Success comes through everyone's efforts, not least the ability to pull it back when things start coming off the rails.  I leave you to draw your own lessons for life.

Some dreams linger on waking.  I'm hoping I can hang on to those good feelings of teamwork and fellowship.

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