Logistics, Shmogistics


When I set out to become a musician I dreamed about performing. Singing my own materials and possibly other people's music, travelling, recording. I wanted to become as good a vocalist as I could be. I didn't set out to become the best tour manager I could be, to echo a sentiment I read in one of George Colligan's fabulous blogs on his jazztruth. And yet, here I find myself trying to squeeze gig/equipment/bread confirmations out of people half a globe away.

In a little under 2 weeks I'm picking up my band in Germany and we head to Egypt, to perform at the Alexandria Opera House, the Cairo Jazz Festival and a couple of jazz clubs - 4 gigs in three days. It sounds exciting - and it is! I am absolutely thrilled to be doing this. But I also find myself become anal about getting a "yes" on everything from the bass rental (we'll probably end up bringing our own) to the drum set (we finally have confirmation that there isn't one at the opera house. so...hmmm).

The people on the other end of the line are helpful, and they communicate well. But they ARE half a globe away. Experience - not only mine but that of my musician friends as well - has taught us that sometimes what we need and what is available for a successful performance aren't necessarily the same thing. That's what tech riders are for. For which we need confirmation from every single promoter.

And even then you might end up with a toy keyboard for your gig (as happened to a singer friend of mine in Mexico), or no keyboard at all, no drumset, no PA (as happened to my husband in Turkey). So in these instances, when we travel into uncharted territory (at least from our perspective) I believe specificity, paranoia and nagging become our friend.

Still, I'm looking forward to my adventure in Cairo, to sharing my music and performing - once the immensely long logistical rat tail that comes with it is taken care of and I can sit in front of the mirror, put my make-up on, warm up, get dressed and finally step on that stage, hopefully equipped with a PA, piano, drums and a backline.

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