Allons enfants de la Zambie
The Alliance française has kindly opened its doors to the U.S. Embassy to make use of their charming facilities for the next two days’ activities.
Here we’re introduced to the fresh-off-the-boat Director, M. Olivier Durand with whom we share an immediate affinity as itinerant expats (plus his wife is from Melbourne, so that’s extra bonus for Daniel).
We’re taken to the theatre space in which the short one-hour workshop is to take place and get set up.
Marketing, Branding & Promotion
That’s what was advertised, and that’s what most of them want. Guidance on upping their communications game. The room is filled with a diversity of traditional artists, artist producers and managers, and bonus for me - a couple of vocal harmony geeks.
We cut to the chase, given the time constraints, and lay out the infamous Venn diagram to get the conversation rolling. Though it’s tough to cover “everything” in an hour, we make an effort to share guidance for the most pressing issues. Laying out some basics, and taking a few case study examples from the participants.
I promise the vocal jazz folks that I will give them some extra attention “after class” and that’s where I discover that we are most definitely kindred spirits sharing love of the Real Group, Take 6, New York Voices, etc etc. I have very personally faced many of the obstacles they’ve identified for themselves, and I’m eager to share what I’ve learned as well as to help them to plug into appropriate networks.
Let's make some music?
A quick bite of delicious quiche from the alliance’s café, and it’s time for an (also quick) rehearsal with my old friend David Kasochi of AfroRed.
The drummer couldn’t make it to rehearsal, which makes us more than a little nervous. In principal, both Daniel and I really detest having to rehearse on the day of the gig. Practically speaking, it is far from efficient.
That said, we’ve heard some recordings, and know the drummer is skilled. And since we’re scheduled to sit in with him this evening at their regular gig, we figure we’ll have a chance to suss things out to see if a same day rehearsal becomes necessary or not.
For now, we’ve done what we can to come up with a reasonable set list, and are reasonably satisfied that we can make it all work on the morrow.