Mitchell Long

HAPPY MUSICIANS DAY

 

I keep seeing this post circulating on facebook, its going "viral" and yes its worth reading...

"If you ask yourself why musicians [need to] charge so much for performances, think about this. We don't get paid vacation, we don't get paid sick days, we don't get bonuses for outstanding performances nor for Christmas. We don't have insurance plans nor do we qualify for unemployment. We sacrifice our family on special days so that we can bring happiness to others. Illness or personal affairs are not excuses for a bad performance. Next time you ask, remember that musicians are musicians because of love of music, but that love doesn't pay debts. Happy Musicians' Day!!"

 

SATURDAY NIGHT WITH CARMEN SOUZA...

 

It is not that often that I am off on a Saturday night and by chance it coincides with the opportunity to hear a visiting artist who I always wanted to see perform. I was so inspired by meeting Carmen, the musicians and also hearing them perform that I wanted to share some feelings about my Saturday night experience out on the town with my dear wife and many friends. It was a great afternoon in fact meeting Carmen, Jonathan, Theo and Mauricio at Maria de Barros house where we were also celebrating a good friends birthday with a huge pot of Catchupa!


GIVING THANKS...

 

I am blessed! Last night I shared the stage at Vitello's with Rique Pantoja and friends. A wonderful opportunity to play with a group of inspired and true music monsters. Rique Pantoja, Ernie Watts, Alex Acuna and Abraham Laboriel. Of course they need no introduction to any fan of music, student of jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Pop or really any other style of music. These guys have not only dedicated their lives to their craft but they have in many ways shaped music around the world with their vast contributions in all music genres, recordings, concerts and or film soundtracks etc. I would like to introduce you to them a little, review their impact on me, share some of the experience and what I got from it. And speaking of being blessed, their faith is an inspiration to me. Hallelujah!

 

DRUM LESSON #1

 
Stating the obvious.

Often the most obvious and simple thing in music works best, to embellish is like indeed trying to fix something that never needed fixing. I apply this rule often to myself and my guitar playing and singing after listening back to recordings of my performances - I find myself noticing that I could have just kept that first concept throughout because it was working so very well. So I hope to find the common denominator, the primer, the simple solution in the groove and then stay the course or direction throughout the song. Call it a popular, folk or dance music concept but I still think it applies to jazz as well.

CATCHING UP A LITTLE...

 

OK, so what have a I been up these days? Take a peek, up close and personal. Its good, cant complain. Even though I would like to rant sometimes, I know I cannot. Things could be far worse. I have been through a lot to get where I am, so I feel proud and strong. Been kind of busy - sorry if I did not return your call. In June alone I count 27 gigs and over 10 rehearsals. Can you believe I still have trouble paying the bills? Well I do, haha, but no complaining, I love my job - its just that gigs seem to pay half what they used to and cost of living is higher than Charlie Sheen.

Here is a small selection of recent experiences and upcoming highlights:

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