Well it’s been too long so I feel I owe it to you to have an explanation as to my absence. I have plenty of excuses like I started school, busy gigging, auditioning, and did I mention school? But, overall, I have to put the blame on me. Similar to how long or well I practice no one really tells me anything. It’s up to me to keep this blog going and to produce quality material on a weekly basis. If I quit tomorrow no one will ask why. Still, I love blogging, it’s so rewarding to have something I write be real, to exist merely for others to read and enjoy. So without further to do welcome back to The Jazz Loop.

As many of you know I’m attending UIC and I am in the Jazz studies program. The first month and a half has been an amazing time. On my first week I was a bit worried if I could make it. How will I handle the workload? Can I handle the rigor of my gen ed classes? 18 credits is a lot , can I still get A’s with so much work at a place I’ve never attended? I’m happy to report that so far do good. The transition from Harold Washington College has been pretty smooth. Don’t get me wrong this is definitely harder, the demand and the level of musicianship has been raised no question about it. But, so far, I fit right in with the rest of my peers.

As far as my Jazz performance is concerned things are also going well. I’ve had a few gigs recently and I am making connections and building relationships with musicians here in Chicago. Something I have also pondered doing is creating a YouTube channel and performing some standards so you guys can hear my work. This blog is mainly just posts on Jazz in Chicago and album reviews, but why not add a element of audio in addition to the regular posts? I think this could demonstrate the styles and songs I discuss in detail on album reviews and it will show that I’m not just some hack who can’t play (hopefully). I have other ideas of ways to improve this little blog including a logo, a weekly podcast/ radio aspect, etc… Lots of ideas but for now I will keep it going as is and make those decisions during the holidays.

I don’t want to exaggerate and say some cliche like “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about The Jazz Loop” but it’s essentially true. I think of this blog and more importantly I think of Jazz and my place in it constantly, maybe too often. But I do know this, my contribution and progress at UIC will directly correlate to my contribution to this thing we call Jazz. I just have to make sure I balance being a student, music major, musician, and blogger all at once.

The semester is a grind. If you relax for a day or two you will fall behind and become overwhelmed. If you work too hard you will crash and burn well before the 4 months are over. And with gigging, rehearsals, personal practice time, and studying, well… needless to say I drink a lot of coffee. Still I wouldn’t have things any other way. I feel more invigorated and alive after a good solo, a productive day in school, and after band rehearsal now then I ever have in my life.

So my promise to you is I will continue ahead blogging about all the things I’m learning and listening to pertaining to Jazz here in Chicago. And hopefully we will never be apart as long as we were this past month. This is a safe place for me to write about jazz and for you to learn and comment about it. I am doing you and myself a disservice by not being actively involved in the conversation. I promise to never let this happen again. So thanks for rejoining me and let’s keeps it going. Don’t forget to check back in the middle of the week for the first album review of October. It will be my most modern to date, Esperanza Spalding’s second album simply titled Esperanza.

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