Happy New Year!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share to music of Miles Davis with you this coming Thursday. We’ll be taking this a step further by not only delving into the music but also the lessons that we can learn from the music and the way in which Miles and his sidemen played on some of the famous recordings many of us know so well.

Last night we had the rehearsal for the concert. As you will learn on Thursday, there was a deliberate attempt on my part to inject a substantial degree of uncertainty into this concert. While I typically send out music to musicians many weeks, or sometimes even months, before a show, in this case I left it to just three days before the rehearsal. Our rehearsal was short but sweet and we’ll do a quick soundcheck on the day and we’ll then perform. Does this sound underprepared? The truth is that in order to truly do justice to this music and what it means, we must leave room for magic to happen. If we plan everything ahead and know what’s coming, we lose the potential for surprises for both the musicians and the audience.

This is, in fact, one of the lessons we can learn from Miles who often took an approach of intentionally rehearsing less. Even at the very famous recording sessions for Kind of Blue, there were many surprises for the musicians such as the scant instructions to play “the sounds” of a series of modes on “Flamenco Sketches” with no set amount of time to be spent on any mode. In taking this approach, Miles gave the musicians incredible freedom to create in the moment.

One of the most exciting things about Thursday is that there is so much room for anything to happen. I can promise you some incredible music, the opportunity to learn a lot about the music and more, and the opportunity to see and hear some of our best musicians explore and stretch their musical legs. We had a lot of fun at our rehearsal last night and I have no doubt this will be amplified many times over at the show.

I look forward to sharing it all with you soon for what promises to be a wonderful evening of music and learning.