Last night I played a jazz gig with some of the best musicians from the Greater Hartford Area and I truly had a lot fun playing. My musical history in the area of Hartford is filled with a lot of bumps and obstacles in my journey but I have overcome them all. One thing of note however is when I am looking back on it all I realize that many of these obstacles were self-imposed and it comes down to one basic concept; I stopped having fun with music. I started to play jazz because it was challenging and fun but somewhere along the line I allowed it to become challenging, competitive, a job, something to get a degree in, something to pursue because at that point in my life it was expected of me, etc. But the one thing it stopped being was fun.
That’s when I stopped playing, practicing, and even stopped listening to jazz for a quite a while. Once the fun started to come back into playing music, I stopped worrying about how I felt with my performances because truthfully be it music, business, or anything else you tend to be your worst critic. My performance last night earned me some praise from a former professor and musician that I really admire as well as from my peers that were in attendance, something that I haven’t been accustomed to receiving before.
The lessons to be learned from this experience are really simple, whatever it is that you choose to do with your life make sure that it is something that you like and something that you HAVE FUN doing. Don’t let it become a J(ust) O(ver) B(roke) (Job for those of you that didn’t get it); instead let your fun be an extension of who you are that allows you to live your life instead of toiling to try and make a living.