Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR Michigan Tour Diary — Day 1 April 10 Chandler AZ
That's what they call the feeling you get the night before a big trip, when you're so keyed up, excited and anxious that you can hardly sleep.
Even after your bags are packed and all the preparations have been made, the monkey mind just can't help itself. It frets, worries, makes lists, obsesses over minutia.
I get journey proud before every tour. This time is no different. Sassy handles most of the travel details, and quite expertly. But that just leaves me more time to fidget.
For the most part, what I feel is excitement. I love to travel, I love to perform, and it's time. Because spring has arrived in the Lonesome Desert, and that means heat. Hot heat. That 'get out of town if you know what's good for you' kind of heat.
Ever since moving to Phoenix from San Francisco a few years ago, I've arranged for my annual touring schedule to start up just as the perfect weather ends.
It goes like this:
First, the Pyhrroloxia sings. Then the pitchers arrive. Then the mercury rises. Then the boogie woogie flugelboy hits the road.
So tomorrow morning we fly to Michigan...where it's gonna be cool.
Stumbling across this ridiculous photo today (31 years later), I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for GRANT WOLF, who somehow was able to see past the silly clothes and cocky attitude, and steer this kid onto the right path to a beautiful life in music. Wolf was an inspiring teacher and was one of the first adults to take my jazz aspirations seriously. His encouragement was profoundly important to me at a critical time in my development. I wish he were here so I could thank him.
Practice what matters. Make each concert better than the last. 10,000 hours, 1,000 true fans, 100 shows. Be a citizen of the world. Make friends everywhere. Strive for authenticity, sincerity, sustainability. Hustle relentlessly. Be a hard workin' dog. Maintain momentum. Stick to your guns: don't get a smart phone. Increase touring income by 50%. Advance every detail of every show. Twice. Release the new album, no matter what. Do what it takes. Stay hydrated, eat right and walk every day. Forget the other guy. Focus on margins, not market share. Learn, earn and return. Give back. Don't neglect the minutia: clean horn, clean house, car in good repair. See the best in people, but be careful. Somehow get health insurance.
It's that time of year! When I file away the holiday music, deposit my seasonal gig income, realize that I once again didn't make enough to buy Christmas presents, and decide to count my blessings anyway.