Yesterday morning I arrived at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC with two bags, two keyboards, and a keyboard stand. I was greeted by Tami at the Southwest counter who questioned where I was going with this huge case and bags. I explained I was headed to Dallas to prepare for a tour starting on Friday. We went through your typical song and dance....
Tami: Who are you touring with?
Me: An artist named Black Milk
Tami: What type of music is it?
Me: Hip Hop done in a progressive way....
Tami: My son is a musician...What do you do in the band?
Me: I'm the music director....I play keys as well as sing and direct the band...
Tami: Are you guys playing in DC??
Me: Yes....On Oct. 24th at Liv Nightclub
Tami: I'm going to try my best to come out and support you.
Me: That would be great!
Tami: How many tours have you been on?
Me: (Looks up in the air while thinking......) 9 or 10...
Tami: Before you leave....How did you get to become a music director and tour so much?
Me: That's a long story....I'd have to say being prepared when the opportunity presented itself.
I walked away from the check in counter thinking about Tami's last question....How did I become a music director and tour so much? What is the long story answer to that question look like?
Well..... I recall finding this Miles Davis interview on youtube a few years ago where he spoke about how people thought he had this talent that was so incredible and whenever he picked up a horn he made magic come out of it. He went on to say that what people thought was ridiculous and he's a great horn player because he practices a couple hours everyday and has never stopped practicing EVERYDAY.
Look at this quote:
"I've practiced my tone for almost 50 years, and if I can't hear my tone, I can't play. If I can't play, then I won't get paid. If I don't get paid, then I lose the house, you know? It's like a chain reaction. If I lose my tone, I can't fuck, can't make love, can't do nothin'. I'll just walk into the ocean and die, if I lose my tone." -Miles Davis
His tone....his identity...the way you know it's Miles Davis on the horn when he starts playing with out reference.....he worked on that and continued to until he died. Practicing everyday for 2+ hours seems like a small thing but clearly it was gigantic as Miles Davis is one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Even after finding success he STILL practiced every day on his craft.
You're probably wondering what all this Miles Davis talk has to do with the question Tami asked me.....
The answer is all in Miles Davis' theory of practicing....Practice is what made him an incredible horn player...not his talent.
The road to doing big things is being faithful to the little things....He continued preparing himself for every opportunity that presented itself by practicing and he conquered them one mile at a time. He was faithful to the little thing of practicing 2+ hours a day no matter his status and over time it led him to the big thing of arguably being the greatest Jazz musician of all time...
THAT'S SO POWERFUL
I'm nowhere close to Miles Davis but I follow this theory.....
I'll answer Tami's question in detail and touch on the little things I've been faithful to that led to becoming a music director and touring 9 to 10 times later on in the week....
BLACK MILK | NO POISON NO PARADISE | USA TOUR DATES
Featuring my band Nat Turner, Quelle Chris, and DJ Sober....
SEP 20 – DALLAS, TX – Dada
SEP 21 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Sister Bar
SEP 22 – LAS VEGAS, NV – Beauty Bar
SEP 25 – FRESNO, CA – Fulton 55
SEP 27 – LOS ANGELES, CA – The Echoplex
SEP 28 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Brick & Mortar
SEP 29 – SAN JOSE, CA – Pagoda
OCT 01 – SANTA BARBARA, CA – Velvet Jones
OCT 02 – PHOENIX, AZ – Red Owl
OCT 05 – AUSTIN, TX – Red 7
OCT 06 – HOUSTON, TX – Fitzgerald’s
OCT 07 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – Hi Ho Lounge
OCT 09 – NEW YORK, NY – Santos
OCT 10 – PROVIDENCE, RI – Fete
OCT 11 – BOSTON, MA – Middle East
OCT 12 – BURLINGTON, VT – Signal
OCT 13 – MONTREAL, CANADA – Cabaret Underworld
OCT 14 – OTTAWA, CANADA – Ritual
OCT 15 – TORONTO, CANADA – Mod Club
OCT 16 – DETROIT, MI – St. Andrew’s
OCT 17 – TOLEDO, OH – Frankies
OCT 18 – ST. LOUIS, MO – Blank Space
OCT 19 – CHICAGO, IL – Subterranean
OCT 20 – IOWA CITY, IA – Gabe’s
OCT 21 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – 7th Street Entry
OCT 22 – CLEVELAND, OH – Grog Shop
OCT 23 – PITTSBURGH, PA – Smiling Moose
OCT 24 – WASHINGTON, DC – Liv