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Another Week for Creativity!

With a New Year and all that, I have decided to write Sunday updates on creativity, an idea that my friend Kabir Sehgal suggested.  I hope you enjoy this one. 

As many of you know, I just returned from a tour with The Lisa Hilton Quartet.  How do I feel after playing seven shows with some of the greatest jazz musicians on the planet?  A little bit tired, but extremely happy and thankful in a quiet burbly way.  When you head out on tour, you have no idea how the music will be received, what kind of audience will show up and if everyone will get along.  What we found in Malibu, San Francisco, Chicago, Frederick, MD, NYC, and Allentown, PA were extremely warm supportive audiences thrilled that we were playing for them, and we made a lot of new friends everywhere we went too.  Collaborating with Rudy Royston on drums, Luques Curtis on bass and Igmar Thomas on trumpet for over a week was euphoric for me, and sometimes I was completely astonished when Igmar was having an exceptionally good night!  Prowess, mastery, creativity, consistency, and virtuosity - I can say I saw all that in my band as well as just simply delightful moments too.  Did we get along well with all the travel and 5:45am transportation departures?  Of course we did!  We are all bonded by the fact we all have a deep love for our instruments. I think that is really the creative “key” to becoming great as an artist or musician: being deeply passionate about what you do.  

How did I feel about my own playing?  Hmmm…. (Can we please skip this question?)  I think that in any band, or in any kind of creative team, that each person brings strengths and in some situations will have weaker times too.  I did muff up on the EASIEST song I play - Sunset On the Beach, at one show, but only for a few seconds, but of course I was mortified.  Afterwards, everyone said it was one of their fav tunes - it hadn’t mattered at all that I had a rough few notes. Overall doing a tour really ramps up my playing chops, but I also spend creative time thinking about the best beginnings and endings, dynamics and other details for a live performance, so I feel that I came back with more skills as well as great memories.  It really was a high point in my life to play with such amazing musicians and give so many people a great night out and meet up with friends, family and followers along the way. 

BTW, I really enjoyed this interview that I did with Bill Dautremont-Smith at WDIY, that discusses my approach to creativity and I hope you like it too.

Have a good week and try and set some time aside for your creativity too!

Take Care,


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