October 2015 Newsletter

projectsContinuing from last month’s newsletter, I’m posting this to give details about upcoming gigs, make other announcements for October, as well as to write practice notes. In this month: preparing for a workshop, five projects in the works, another recording session, and taking care of a sick cat.

Performances

Less gigs this month, but more time for writing and other projects… For more information, see my calendar.

  • I’m playing my regular, super-fun duo gig with pianist Ann Reynolds at Serafina Restaurant on October 11th and 25th (6:30pm – 9:00pm)
  • I’m also playing in the house band for Jazz Open Mic at the Mix in Georgetown on October 14 (8pm – 11pm) – it’s a great jam and hang for players of various levels
  • Finally, while it’s not a performance per se, I’m giving my workshop, “The Art of Practicing Bass,” at Jazz Night School on October 24th (2pm – 4pm)

Announcements

  • Coming on the heels of last month’s recording session (which I talked about in this post), I’ll be recording with one of my regular groups, The Savoy Night Owls on the 18th. I’m looking forward to some intensive rehearsals, and getting the finished demo out to venues once we’re done.
  • I’ve been working on the book version of “The Art of Practicing Bass.” I probably won’t have it done in time for the workshop, but I’m well on my way. Right now, I’ve divvied up my multiple, frequently overlapping interests into five projects, including the aforementioned “Art of Practicing Bass.” (I’ll blog more about each of these as they develop) The working titles of the other four are: “The DIY Jazz Degree” (outlining courses of self-study for jazz performance/history/theory/etc.), “LP Stitch” (a how-to guide based on my cross-stitch projects), “The Practice of Adulthood” (a guide to 50 projects to increase maturity and preparedness – based on my own 2015 to-do list), and “Versatility, Inc.” (a guide to starting a business based on multiple interests and skills). The last two were originally going to be part of one blog-to-book project, “Versatile Practice.”

Practice Notes

  • I have been working on checking off the remaining items on my “Practice of Adulthood” to-do list. However, the universe keeps having other plans for me. In the last 2 months, I’ve dealt with a car theft, power outage, and major technological failures. However, all of that paled in comparison to this past week. My cat suddenly stopped eating and had already lost 1/3 her weight and barely able to walk by the time I was able to get her to the vet. I’m still waiting for the results of her blood work, and praying that what she has is manageable. In the meantime, I’ve been having to feed her little bits of food every hour or so, constantly checking on her, and dealing with my other cat – who is displaying a level of jealous rage usually reserved for Shakespearean tragedies. Dealing with this cut into my bass and writing practices (and mercifully, I didn’t have any gigs this weekend – which miraculously always seems to happen when I have a major crisis). In spite of all this stress and disruption, this experience has been good for me. It’s put things in perspective. Strangely, after spending so much of my dissertation in self-absorbed work, attending to someone else’s needs feels downright refreshing. Every time a crisis happens, I get new ideas for my to-do list – to help my be better prepared for future crises. Finally, I’ve noticed that tend to procrastinate on certain aspects of my work, usually meaning that what I’m trying to do is not quite the right fit for me. In contrast, I acted immediately on my cat’s health crisis and did whatever I needed to do to try to keep her alive. I’m slowly realizing that crises are not disruptions to my “regular” forms of practice (e.g. bass, writing, teaching), but rather, they require a different kind of practice – one that is equally beneficial to the “regular” ones.

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist, Instructor, Writer

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