Sunday, October 31, 2010
REMEMBERING THE CAPITAL JAZZ FEST SUPER CRUISE
I'm home. Actually, I got home yesterday afternoon. The US Airways flight rocked and rolled all the way from Fort Lauderdale, but I was too happy to care.
I've been up and about today, but not moving with any deliberate speed. Perhaps one should build in post-cruise vacation time. I decided to start dinner a few hours ago--just a reminder that I'm back to preparing my own meals...: )
I spent seven wonderful days aboard the beautiful Carnival Liberty for the Capital Jazz Fest Super Cruise. It's only the second cruise of my life--the first being last year's Super Cruise. If my brief experience is a barometer, they get better each year. I didn't find out that I was going until the end of September, and it was a pleasure to learn new music and refresh my memory of older tunes. I really do love being a background singer. It's great to be able to encourage and push someone else. It's an honor to perform beautiful music and let the people that you admire know how much you respect them and their musical offerings.
I'm tired today. I'm not complaining, though. I think you can have so much fun enjoying what you love to do, and appreciating the wonderful talents of others that you can literally wear yourself out clapping, dancing and singing along. The cruise was just great. I was so happy to have my daughter with me. She got a chance to sing background vocals with Leela James. That tiny little woman is fantastic! She wasn't even feeling well, but gave her all in the Atrium on Friday night. Good Lord! What on earth would it have been like if she was feeling up to it? It was such a joy to watch the young folks! Whew! Lisa, Maimouna and Paige made me so proud. Their work ethic was so admirable, and when it was time to back Leela, the time they'd put in working together on their own really showed.
I loved backing John Stoddart, Kevin Whalum, Phil Perry, Jonathan Butler, and even got a last minute call to sit in with Kirk Whalum's set for The Gospel According to Jazz. I especially enjoyed working with Troy "Sol" Edler and Stony Ellis. I say it a lot, but a good attitude is everything. When there is unity and a pleasant spirit of cooperation, there's no burdensome chore, but a welcomed, stress-free experience. Too many people are so busy competing, fostering strife, and trying to begrudge others of opportunities that they miss out on the joy of hearing harmony. It doesn't matter who you are, but when gifts and talents come together it can be a beautiful thing or a nightmare. Right spirits are so important. People can physically see when contention and cattiness is afoot and it affects everything. It's great when people only want to do their part in order to enhance the whole. Thank God for good people. I met so many nice people and was happy to establish new working relationships. Two of my favorite singers, Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway were also on board, and their performances alone would have been enough for me--but I was treated to so much more. You could literally just walk around the ship and catch amazing sounds.
I enjoyed wonderful meals, (the lobster bisque was delicious)walked more than usual, window shopped in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and spent time just looking out over God's beautiful ocean. I didn't get a chance to get off of the ship in Grand Turk, but it was okay.
Every night I felt as if I was being rocked to sleep by the waves. No nausea, no sickness.
I have so much to say, but will stop for now. I'll close with this: Don't EVER allow another person's insecurity to cause you to feel inadequate or unqualified. God has lots of stuff and he's not stingy. He WILL make a way for you to be exactly where you should be, and when he does, give your best--for HIS glory.