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We are aware that there are people out there that probably felt left out. Just yesterday somebody posted on the Sea Prog page on Facebook: "Why weren't this band on the bill? They are so fantastic." The only answer I had to that was: because we had never heard of them. So I would advise people in that kind of a situation who want to get involved to do a little outreach. Outreach doesn't just mean reaching out to people who are organizing festivals and asking for a gig. It also means making yourself an active member of the community and showing your face at other people's gigs. Again, we are trying to overcome a tendency of people to kind of clump into different separate groups in this town who are jealous of each other. We don't want any more of that. I would say that those people who took a chance on Sea Prog that are people that we never saw before, they went home satisfied. They had a great time, they made new friends, they realized that we are not bad guys. We are not trying to monopolize the scene.
My advice to any hopefuls is get involved. Show your face at other people's gigs. Let us know you are out there. Let us check you out. Don't just remain in isolation and complain about never getting any gigs. Another thing, though, that has to be borne in mind when we are booking something like this is that it costs money to put on a festival like that. It costs a considerable amount of money. We want to raise enough money to be able to pay the musicians well. If you want to play on our festival but you have no draw because you are basically playing in your bedroom all of the time at some place way out in the suburbs, musically what you are doing might be very compelling, but there is an expectation that you are going to bring some people to the festival; to participate in making this a success.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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