The moments are in my heart and mind forever. I did a small concert two months ago today and was thrilled to have my son come up on stage with me to perform!
Up until that night, I had lived three other “great musical moments”. The first happened when I was a high school student attending a summer music camp run by the McGill Music Conservatory. My percussion teacher had a prior engagement and asked me to sit-in with camp teachers who were performing a jazz concert. I got to drum for Art Maiste and Gerry Danovitch. They let me do a drum solo that got me a standing ovation.
My second “great musical moment” happened during one of my extended family’s annual Christmas gatherings. It started in front of my cousins with me singing the first original songs I had ever written. They enthusiastically encouraged me to perform my songs in front of our parents, who were downstairs. That response gave me the confidence to audition for the McGill Red & White Revue, which was my third “great musical moment”. That night at Redpath Hall, I received a standing ovation, an encore, and a rave review in the university paper.
As a solo artist, in duos, trios, bands, choirs and orchestras, as part of school, performing in my workplaces, and to make money, I have done hundreds of music shows as a singer in groups, as a drummer in groups, as a guitarist in groups, as a percussionist in groups and as an anthem singer. I have performed at weddings, parties, the Montreal tennis event, telethons, Midis Sun Life and did a song at Maison Symphonique as part of a benefit show. I always enjoy performances, but some have proven to be life-changing for me, emotionally and psychologically. I can still visualize segments from what I refer to as my “great musical moments”.
The show in May featured another “great musical moment” for me. A few weeks before the show, I asked my son if he would come up on stage to do part of a song. He was keen. A few years before, he had agreed to come in a recording studio to rap in an original song I wrote for fun, after he agreed to take part. It’s called “Cool Beans” and is on YouTube. He did that in one take, at a faster speed than he’d rehearsed! We were all blown away!
For the May show at Sainte Anne Blues Café, I thought it would be awesome to hear, and let an audience hear, what his passion for creative expression would bring to a classic song like “Yesterday” by The Beatles. I am honored and touched he agreed to perform, and share his hip hop performance debut with me! He will, no doubt, insist I’m making a far bigger deal of it than I should, but there it is.
Every time I watch his performance that night, I have to remind myself I’m watching the first time he performs for an audience. I’m so impressed and proud – and that’s forever. His birthday was last week. For Susan and I, it packs a flood of memories, and seems like yesterday.