Thanks so much to Mr. Jim Tirabassi for inviting me to open the show for the James Montgomery V is for Veteran Benefit back in February. I enjoyed the live show and learned a lot about "stage performance". James is a master at entertaining and interacting with the audience. I have had some time to reflect on the show and how I can improve my stage performance.
I have done many performances as part of a band or an ensemble in front of a large audience like at Finlay Park or the Koger Center. I have also done solo performances as well, but with a smaller audience. The show in Beverly, MA gave me some insights into the dynamics of the audience. It is not enough to play your instrument, and play it well; you really have to work the crowd. I'm determined to give attention to working the crowd. With what I observed at the show and what I am learning in my Stage Performance Workshop (PST) at Berklee with Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Watson, I am well "On the Way" to getting there.
I released my CD, On the Way in February 2018. Since then, I have had the opportunity to perform during my spring break. I did a performance with my band, Karma Chameleon, in York, SC at the Jasmine Cafe' and Catering Restaurant on St. Patrick's Day. The band played classic R & B songs. RJ on Bass and DJ are two of my "go to" guys, but in York, Rick "Star" Owens, drummer for the O'Kaysions, kept it in the pocket. Thomas Robinson, aka "Bobby Q", who performed with the Chairmen of the Board, joined us on stage for a few selections. My Aunt Elizabeth was a great help in distributing my business cards and selling my CDs.
During spring break, I also did a solo performance at the Exclusive Cigar Bar in Atlanta, GA for the Black Business Week event. Many Black business owners came together to network and sell their product. I had some good sales from my CD, Thru the Door. Mr. Tommie Jones invited me back to the Exclusive another night and I was able to perform with singer Bonita Applebomb.
As my spring break came to a close, I did a Master Class, "Concert and Conversation" with the Robertson Family out of Union City, GA. We performed a number of Jazz Standards. The Master Class gave me an opportunity to interact with the audience. Some request for songs were made and questions were asked about different aspects of music, great musicians, and my development as a musician over the years. There was great audience interaction and participation!
The owner of Apache Cafe invited me to the 4th Sunday Poetry Open Mic Night, but as my spring break was drawing to a close, I had to leave Atlanta and prepare to head back to Boston.