Reflecting on 2019

Overall, 2019 was a good year… I had a good balance between drumming and piano gigs, which I liked a lot. And, I acquired a new steady gig which is always good (helps to pay the bills, but my piano playing is reaching out to a new audience).

The one big trip was the Holy Land Tour which started in November 23rd and we got back on December 9th (almost 3 weeks). That was an epic tour that included the countries of Israel, Egypt and Jordan. We got to see one of the ancient wonders of the world… the Great Pyramid of Giza (and I got to go inside all the way to the King’s Chamber), and we got to see one of the modern wonders of the world… Petra!

The one thing that I got out of the trip was that the people are genuine and warm, although many are living in poverty and struggling. But I noticed a lot of well-to-do folks. But as far as what the media portrays these countries, we humans are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all are connected with smartphones and computers, and we all want to find some sort of success and prosperity in the world which we live in.

Anyway, I wish everyone happy holidays and also wishing everyone the very best in 2020… may you find much wealth, health and happiness along your journey.

Random Thoughts – December 2019

This week was sort of a tough week for me. I’d been sick for the past couple of weeks with the flu and acute bronchitis, and it’s been 10 days since I got back from the Holy Land tour in the Middle East. Take into account, 4 piano/drumming gigs in 7 days while trying to recover—musicians sometimes have to do gigs while sick (otherwise we don’t make any money)—and trying to do all the holiday things just before Christmas.

The worst was last Saturday when I did a drumming gig for a Paving Co. in Mission Hills. It was outside. It was cold. And there was some dampness in the air. But, I was a trouper and I got through that gig just fine. Then on Tuesday I did a drumming gig while having a runny nose. And Wednesday was a piano gig again with runny nose… tough, but I got through those gigs as well… interesting how whatever pain and discomfort while performing can be channeled through playing the music, and perhaps it feels like it’s more meaningful.

So, I just have to get through one more piano gig and I can rest up until after Christmas, although I won’t really rest up because it’s Christmas time and there’s a lot to do, especially catching up with the holiday season after coming off of an almost 3 week tour through the Middle East!

So, my practice time has been spent going over Christmas songs, and working out set lists so that I can insert those Christmas songs into my regular piano set lists.

If I don’t post before Christmas, I wish everyone a joyous Christmas, Hannuhkah, or whatever you celebrate during the month of December (maybe a pagan celebration, Buddhits?)… and I wish you the very best in 2020.

Ambassadors of music

The Cost of Being A Musician

I saw this on one of my friends and musical colleague’s Facebook timeline, about the Cost of Being A Musician, and although many of these points are true, there are more positive points to make about being a musician.

Diana Dors – Swingin’ Dors

Diana Doors – Swingin’ Doors (1960)

Here’s a singer I honestly haven’t heard of before, but this vintage album dates back to 1960. It’s a great swingin’ album. And I’ll have to do a little more research on her career. Incidentally, that is one of my passions, to do extensive research on old traditional songs and standards.

Now, Diana Dors was a bombshell actress during her heyday, but also has a small discography and was an incredibly talented singer as well.

In summary, her sultry, jazzy voice was intriguing and her music swings hard.