Improv in Jazz and Life…



A truly amazing gig tonight makes me, once again, aware of why I sing jazz and why it feels like everything makes sense when I do.

I got to sing with three truly amazing musicians tonight as well as really lovely human beings… We played two sets of 45 minutes and randomly picked our way through a list of over 100 jazz standards.. choosing as we went, whatever tune tickled our fancy and then just decided in the moment, tempo, style etc…  Lots and lots of swing of course!

I had only ever met the drummer after a concert he did at a prestigious auditorium here in Mexico City with the best known female jazz singer from Mexico about two years ago, so when I heard he was going to join us tonight, I was of course over the moon!

Albeit that I don’t know him very well, I feel like I got to know him musically tonight.  I also felt he got to know me a little, as we jammed, interchanged, improvised and generally just had a lovely time between the four of us as we tuned into each other, taking risks and even at times all making the exact same improvised decision simultaneously.

This is so much of what I love about JAZZ.

Last night I happened upon a TED TALKs video from Copenhagen, where a jazz pianist shared his thoughts on how he believed Jazz Wisdom could change our lives. I have to say, that I agreed with every single word of his talk and felt an enormous familiarity with his stories and experiences when referring to k¡how his life choices and attitude reflected itself in his music and how his JAZZ knowledge ( or ¨wisdom¨) influenced his choices on a daily basis.  One of the things I often refer to in my classes and when I’m just sitting down thinking to myself, is how in tandem my musical experiences and learning is with my life in general.

And it’s not always a simple solution! .. it involves time, observation, listening, responding,  having perspective and taking risks etc etc.

So I’m so grateful that from last night’s inspiring TED TALK, to my classes this morning and this afternoon… to an amazing gig tonight, that I am once again reminded that I am on the absolute right path for me.

Albeit not the traditional one by societal standards, it is absolutely the right one for me!

And with that I shall go rest my head as tomorrow is indeed another day!


twitter: @louisephelan





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