Sunday, May 4, 2008

MJIF 2008: Day Two

Thursday 1 May: Day 2

By the time my 3am-jam-session-induced musical hangover cleared, I awoke in the middle of working the afternoon away at my laptop. Half of me was transcribing my interview with Jon Weber, half of me was doing work stuff for my music management business and half of me was thinking about how hungry I was. I know that makes one and a half of me, but this is how little sense things make after a 12-hour stint of jazz infused directly into the brain.

When I say I awoke, I mean cottoned on to the notion that I am, in fact, me and alive and a human being chillin’ in time and space. Sometimes it takes until well into the day to realise this, sometimes I don’t really get it at all, on a good day i’ll wake up and stretch and meditate and figure it out pretty early. Then of course it’s pretty easy to forget again.

Today it was about 4pm before I remembered my existence and decided to drop everything and go see some more live jazz!

The tail end of the Fed Square freebies was freezing, but worthwhile just to get a preliminary fix. From there it was off to dinner with my good friend Lexy, who deserves a shout-out for her amazingly generous hospitality and her general friendliness. Yeah, Lex! We hit up a Mexican joint and had filled ourselves to the brim by dessert.

Clutching a fat stomach I hobbled over to the Regent Theatre to see Dr Abdullah Ibrahim, who at this point was some piano dude who I guess I’ve heard cited as an influence by jazz pianists I respect and, ya know, the promo photo in the program looks pretty heavy, so could be alright.

The experience proved to be enlightening. Another full blog post on this is here.

In the foyer after the concert I met up with one of the aforementioned pianists, a friend from Brisbane named John Reeves. He recently went to Ghana to study African drumming, song and dance, so he was pretty into the EKAYA thing (the name of Ibrahim’s group for the night). The effect the concert had on him was as visible as when I saw him post-Ibrahim-masterclass the previous afternoon. He was deeply touched by the experience and it is hard to put into words the profound sense I get that the hugeness of music is everything I dream it to be when I see someone that positively affected.

I’d like to point out that I’ve already met so many great people at this year’s festival. The foyer of the concerts, the jam sessions, the festival office – all these places are brimming with jazz enthusiasts from all walks of life, brought together to have this shared festival experience. It makes for a great community vibe and it is truly a blessing to be a part of this for a week.

After EKAYA, it was on for drinks and conversation in some random bar in some random alley-way (I love being led around this city!) with John and friends. After a bit of space from the awe of the experience (and perhaps the beers helped), we were all able to finally talk about the concert and the unanimous decision was ‘mmmmm’.

There was some debate as to whether one could possibly throw one’s ears into the late night jam session environment after such a soothing experience. But what can I say except, “Hello, my name is Greg and I am an addict”.