Finally it was time to head over to Lucid Jazz Lounge for the main event. The bar is located in the University District of Seattle on a quiet end of University Way. It is tiny, and dimly lit in glowing red lights, and has exactly the vibe a bar that features live jazz ought to have.
I can't tell you how excited I was about this evening. Of course, book readings are fun and I love doing them; however, I really love live music and I love jazz, and the thought of putting all three together was a dream come true for me. And I say this without hyperbole: when planning how I wanted to promote The Beauty of Different, I knew that I wanted to do something both beautiful and different, and would literally daydream about how I could incorporate music into the readings. So when Darrah's email came from out of the blue inviting me to read along with her husband's jazz quartet, it was literally as if my prayers were answered.
Jason, the leader of the band and the trumpet player, is an incredibly kind soul, and as soon as we met it was clear that the vision of the experience we both were hoping to create was exactly the same. He is wickedly talented and a consummate professional, and even though we didn't rehearse once before the gig, I was confident that the evening would go smoothly. Jason's bandmates were warm and generous as well, and my favourite part of the evening was watching their faces as they played their instruments together. These are men who passionately love what they do, and that joy registers on their faces every single minute they're on stage.
Now obviously, I can't presume to speak for how the experience was for those who attended (and gratefully, there are others who very kindly and vividly described their own experiences), but I will tell you what it was like for me:
It was breathtaking.
Being up on stage with all of these kind faces attentively looking and listening to my words, while the beautiful music created by the talented Jason Parker Quartet swirled around us ... well, I have to tell you, it was beyond anything I could have possible hoped for. I felt exhilarated for days afterward, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure if I've yet come down from the high. After the gig, Jason foolishly told me he'd be interested in replicating the experience in a couple of other west coast cities; this was a mistake on his part, because I have every intention of holding him to it.
Photo by Tea.
And finally, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who came out that cold, drizzly, Sunday evening to the tiny little jazz bar that is Lucid. Your warmth and support and generosity of spirit that evening was really special, and I will be ever grateful to you for making the experience one of the most memorable of my life.
On that note, have a great weekend, everybody.
Images: Except for as noted, images photographed with the Nikon D700 that Nikon lent me, and my 50mm lens.