SounDoctrine

IT'S STILL ON YOU!

Sure, The Old Adage still rings true: “It’s Who You Know!”

Certainly it’s great to have an uncle who is one of three main limo drivers for the soon to be Sir Eric Clapton and/or a cousin who roadies for Chaka Khan when she’s on the West Coast or perhaps you live around the corner from Bob James, but once the Introductions are complete, it’s What You Know & How Well You Know It That Will Make or Break you.

Your Performance on Stage or in the Studio transcends any Professional Reference.

Your Professionalism in the most Stress Filled Situations Speak Louder than Any ‘Good Word’ Someone Puts in For You.

Your Character & Integrity Stands Taller than Your Résumé …in fact, Your Reputation Becomes Your Résumé!

Your Choice to Integrate With Your Fellow Musicians and Play Your Lines Rather than the Role of the Superstar is What Gets You Called Back

Your Ability to Repeatedly “Bring It” On Demand Will Build a Far More Secure Stature Faster  than Depending on Your Contact to Make a Connection with Your Audience.

No less than Quincy Jones quipped, “It’s Better that the Opportunity Never Come, than When It Does and You’re Not Prepared For It!”

So, It’s Cool, Go Ahead and Reach Out to Your Aunt Betty’s Friend of a Friend who golfs with Shawn Mendes, but at the End of the Day, It’s Still On You to Produce!

 

I was listening to Nathan East’s new “Reverence” on CD as I composed this Blog

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR AUDIENCE WALKS OUT

I was taught an extremely valuable lesson a week ago when Lori & I were comped tickets to the 39th annual Tri-C Jazz Fest in Cleveland last summer(Thanks Adrian!). We were curious to see Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, who until that day was unknown to us, although his participation in the stalwart Snarky Puppy heightened our curiosity.

Being that he was headlining the evening caused me to do some research and from what I read, prepared myself to witness the next Prince in the making. I was Not disappointed. Cory’s mesmerizing rhythms, completely original perspective, command of the stage and out of this world B3 Organ juxtaposed against the conflicting genre-bending funk stew his band created kept our heads bobbing and feet stomping in time.

Well, at least a few of us.

Most of the audience, by the droves, got up and left.

They had come to see the opening Smooth Jazz All Stars, featuring the usual suspects who played the same four chords in the same four keys, doing the same lame solos, with the same lame approaches, proving that Smooth Jazz Music hasn’t moved an inch in 25 years. I’m not hating, most of my own music is still playing on some of the remaining Smooth Jazz Stations – BUT, I did spend most of those 90 minutes answering texts and uploading on Social Media.

This obviously wasn’t Cory’s crowd. It wasn’t his fault. Whoever booked him didn’t take into consideration the planet he came from was light years ahead of these earthlings and right after his first song ended, the crowd began vacating. Corey didn’t sneeze. In fact, he began to dig in deeper, turn his organ up louder and whipping his guitarist into solos that would make Jimi blush. This angered the brats and more rushed off, audibly, which actually – or at least from where I sat, thought I saw him smile brighter, as he wrestled his Hammond to the ground!

Before we knew it, it was only a handful of us, but we were up and out of our seats, into the aisles, dancing, partying, grooving and completely immersed in the funk! Cory had weeded them all out and was screaming into the mic, “Tell Everybody! How Many Bodies? EVERYBODY!! Your Grandma, Cousin, Niece & Nephews; Your Fathers, Sons and Mamas! Tell Everybody!” and then launched into a brand new song with a spandex rhythm just to make sure they were all gone!

We Didn’t Leave. We Listened. We Learned. We Gave Cory a Standing Ovation and Shouted His Name as He Rounded Third Toward Home. We Showed Him Love & Loyalty as He Left The Stage. We Were Now Co-Owners of the Experience. We Had Hope and Now Knew What to Do If Our Own Audiences Ever Dared to Turn Away from Our Artistry.

We Turn It UP!

ADVICE I GAVE MY DAUGHTER

As an Absolute Shameless Plug for My Youngest Daughter, Ayana Symone, who just published her first novel, “How I Fell In Love With Myself”  late last year, I want to share some advice I gave her as we were entering the building for her to do her first TV Interview to begin her promotional tour.

It is Wise Advice Every EntreMusician Should Remember Always:

TALK TO EVERYONE! 

There is No Such Thing as an Insignificant Person. Ever. Absolutely Everyone Deserves to be treated with Dignity & Respect.

Don’t just Politely Speak and move on, but

TALK TO the Parking Attendant who Valets Your Car. Smile, Thank  & Tip Them. Especially if you’re in a hurry. 

TALK TO Them Again when You Return.

TALK TO the Employee who Greets You at the Door. Compliment them.

TALK TO the Security Guard who Takes You Up to the Elevator, even if you only begin with the weather.

TALK TO the Receptionist / Assistant that Shows You to the Green Room.

TALK TO the Technician who helps you with your microphone

.TALK TO the Host/Hostess who offers you Coffee/Water/Tea.

Take a Moment to TALK TO the Custodial Personnel who may walk in to Empty the Trash or Sweep the Floor while You’re Waiting.

Treat Each Person as Graciously and Genuinely as You Do the Person Interviewing You. 

Often, I’ve made a point to have an Extra CD or Download Card to Gift Someone who is in no way related to the Interview, whether they happen to be an Employee or is in the building on another matter, I Gift  as a courtesy – After Having a Light, Encouraging Conversation.

These Encounters have earned me Mileage that has taken me further on my journey than just“sticking to the task at hand,” and only Talking to Those Directly Related to My Goal/Cause/Project!

Ayana’s Book is Available on Amazon!

I am in a Crusaders zone, I’m listening to “Unsung Heroes” AGAIN on Vinyl!

OVERSTATING THE OBVIOUS

Music is Sacred. 

She embodies a Global Language, an Impenetrable Vehicle of Love, Harmony and a Universal Cadence for All Races, Cultures, Faith & Ages.

While Music has been employed to transport Opposing, even Offensive Ideas, she has more often offered Transformative, Unifying Emotions which have helped Change Laws, Suspend Unhealthy Mores and Transcend Generations.

The Purest Music and other mediums which foster her beauty have overtime become reduced to Mere Commodity, Shadowy Spectacle and Decaying Dogma.

Opinions, Suggestions and Propositions differ, as they must in a Completely Free Society, but the Purest Music, I’m talking about Art that Awakens the Mind, Encourages the Spirit & Stimulates the Soul; Inspiring Integrity is at best, is rarely created; or at worst, is strategically besmirched & buried, forced into obscurity.

Platforms for Salacious Sensationalism Rise above Rhythms of Inspiration. One’s Image, their Ability to Seduce and in many instances flaunt the notions of Success, Materialism, Murder and Vice incredibly overshadows Every Child who is introduced to their new instrument in wild eyed wonder, merely for the sincere Love of Learning How to become a Musician.

School Boards now routinely abandon Musical Instruction & Appreciation, yet Politicize Personal Agendas, ironically Wrapping their Maniacal Messages in Song. The Biggest Award Shows, Instead of Championing the Absolute Best Music has to Offer, cloak themselves in Social Justice Attire, Preaching a Global Construct of Vilification. Pure Music is Lost in the Conversation.

Ideas are Welcome, All Opinions for the Greater Good of Humanity Must be Honored, but the Sacred Grail of Pure Music Must No Longer be Contaminated by the Creators of such a Higher Calling; the Musicians, whose purpose is to Shine, to Encourage, to Build, to Connect.

If You Are a Creator of Pure Music, Lift Your Voice. Use Your Instrument. LOUD & Strong. For the Sake of the Next Generation. Do Not  Allow Your Artistry to be Mismanaged by those who wish to use it for anything other than Your Flawless Authenticity.

No Matter what they Offer, It’s Not Worth the Price of Your Soul.

I was Not Listening to Any Music while Writing this Post, but I met a Pure EntreMusician, Ron James, busking in Atlanta’s International Airport a few months ago. I bought his killer CD. You Should Too…