I remember seeing a particular tweet by Branford Marsalis early this summer. Things were opening up, he was back on the road. He had just performed his first live concert in more than a year, and he was wishing it hadn't been video'ed. Why? He'd muffed a couple of things because truth is, no matter your level of mastery it is rough getting back up there when you've been gone so long. Even though, as is surely true with Mr. Marsalis, you've been practicing, working to keep your chops up. As he tweeted: "Practicing is not the same as performing. And you can't fix that."
If you're a performer, you know that gets a big amen. I've been working out my voice nearly every day throughout the pandemic. But getting up on stage, making music with others again, adjusting to the venue, dealing with nerves ... that's the stuff that's getting worked out in the moment as we go back out there. It can feel weird!
Next month, Sept. 5, 2021, I'll be at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Later the same day, Patti Austin will be performing. In a recent interview, the legendary singer said the AJF performance would be her first in more than a year. She said candidly, "I've been practicing. But I'm 70, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm just letting you all know!"
I can appreciate that. And I will be cheering her on.
You're part of the mojo we're drawing on as we get our groove back. Thanks for being there and sending that love up!