(Stock photo from Getty Images)
This year, I wanted to do something different with my music career. I had been performing in LA and around Palm Springs for years, so I thought it was time to branch out a little bit. What better place to start that than in one my favorite musical cities, Chicago!
After being invited to perform there for a college preparation event in May, then having to cancel, then contacting a bunch venues, I eventually received a positive response from an agent at Uncommon Ground, a farm-to-table restaurant, with a music room. This room has an intimate vibe like City Winery, a place I’d been to before and loved! It reminded me of spots Amy Winehouse would perform. Needless to say, I was going make this show happen and booked my debut gig in July!
Another idea followed (thanks to my sister), to learn a bunch of jazz tunes and make it an eclectic jazz show. After all, Chicago is known for it’s jazz and blues scene and I had a desire to develop that repertoire further, so I took on this next proposition.
There was even more I was tasked to do: find a musician to accompany me, find at least two supporting local acts to open for me, create flyers, advertise, fill the room to capacity, all in about six weeks. Sounds like a lot right? Well, it was (especially considering I have a more-than-full-time day-job and other responsibilities.)
(This is the flyer my friend, Christine and I made.)
With a host of things to accomplish, I opened my computer and began to work.
The Internet is a beautiful thing. Not only does it provide a wealth of information, there are so many ways to connect with others. Fortunately, I found a Chicago-based musician/singer pretty quickly and reconnected with an artist, who I’d only met briefly about three years ago. They were both willing to perform in my show and I was so grateful to have them.
Read about my fellow musicians/artists here: ‘Sweet Summer Sounds with Shalini and Friends’
As the weeks progressed, I continued to check items off my list. However, I was falling behind in memorizing my songs. In my true procrastination-fashion, I saved this objective for last. (Why do I do this to myself?)
Well-prepared or not, I took my charts, lyrics, luggage, and positive vibes from family and friends, and hopped on that plane… nervously.
To be continued…