Monday, August 25, 2008
A Successful Weekend
Well, well, well. At the end of the day and a half jazz festival (JK Jazz in Udora, Ontario), I came home with 20% less inventory and a bit of cash. There are some people out there who liked my cards enough to buy them. The one posted above was my best seller.
As happy as I am about my personal success, I'm even happier about the whole weekend. I heard that there were about 1,000 people in attendance, which I think is pretty darn good for a second annual festival in a remote area without benefit of a large advertising budget. No question that the attendance was up from last year.
The weather was excellent - warm and sunny and not a drop of rain in sight. Quite the relief from a very rainy summer.
The musicians were world class, in fact, travelling in from various parts of the globe. The music was continuous with very little break between acts. In some ways I consider Saturday to be the warm up day giving the musicians a chance to find their vibe. I knew that Sunday's audience would be smaller, more attentive (perhaps the more devoted jazz lovers)and that the musicians would really let their hair down. And sure enough, it was much more casual with some incredible improvisation.
A highlight for me on Sunday was when one of the pianists invited his fiancee on the stage to sing because she "has a beautiful voice". She was not a scheduled performer and so I wasn't prepared for what followed. She did a couple of songs including a splendid rendition of Paul Simon's "Diamonds On the Soles Of Her Shoes". For "Diamonds," she called to the saxophonist (who was relaxing with a beer in the audience at that time) to join her. "It's only three chords" she said when he seemed reluctant. She started to sing and you could see that he immediately was captivated by her huge talent and style. He put down his beer, slowly making his way back on stage. He seemed unsure of the melody and let her do a couple of verses before he dived into his lengthy improv sax solo. Everyone stopped talking to witness this amazing performance. It brought the house down.
Another reason it was such an enjoyable weekend is because I got to visit with some old friends. My sister and brother-in-law were there along with my good friend, J. Actually, this is the last time I will refer to her as J. She has given me permission to use her name. She is Julia and now lives on top of a mountain overlooking the Ottawa Valley. Julia is a glass artist about whom I will write more in the future.
The only sad thing was that I was unable to attend a memorial service for my friend Susan who died a year and an half ago of ovarian cancer. She passed away in London England. Her final wish was that her ashes be brought back to Canada for scattering in the Northern Ontario town that she loved and lived in for many years. Her son brought the ashes over and unfortunately, the memorial was scheduled with only three weeks notice while my committment to the Jazz Festival was made months ago. I tried to find a way but it was not possible for me to be in two places during the weekend.
A couple of things I will be looking forward to is our Second Annual Scarecrow making weekend on the third weekend of October, at the time of the Canadian Thanksgiving. I will be hosting and so far in attendance will be friends Julia, Jackie and Coco and maybe more. We did this last year and had so much fun that we decided to do it again.
Also coming up soon will be my 200th post. As a lot of arts and crafts bloggers do on their milestone posts, I will be offering a prize. You will be invited to leave a comment for a chance to win something made by moi.
I've gone on long enough. Thanks for reading.