When people learn what I do, they often comment that it must be exciting and exotic to travel around the world. Usually, I have to set them straight: often we don’t get a chance to see much; we travel all day, go practically straight to sound check, eat fast, get dressed, go to gig, up early the next morning, travel all day. Not as romantic a job as it may seem.
But I am not going to lie: the first week of this tour has been almost a vacation. Three days in Puerto Rico with one concert. Two days in St. Thomas with one concert. And then to Mexico City with our first day off in a beautiful part of the city. It’s been everything people assume and more.
Besides playing tennis and paddle tennis, working out in the gym, swimming in azure water, getting plenty of rest and eating great food, we have actually had to wok a little.
But the vacation is now over. This is when the tour gets hard. The last two nights we played concerts on our “B” horns. Because of the nature of this tour - covering so many countries in South America, a with cargo shipments and customs hang-ups, it is necessary for everyone in the band to have a complete second set of not only horns but instrument stands and music.
Last night, as everyone was getting used to where to put their mouthpiece, slightly unfamiliar hand and finger positions, having to overcome leaks, the music felt a little off a times. But the audience was amazing - reactive and knowledgeable, passionate and expressive.
I had some students reach out to me at the last minute yesterday to give them a lesson, and I met them an hour before our show. The security was so tight they were not allowed to come up to the back stage area, so we gathered in a tiny room just before the security guard post. More people joined, spilling out into the hall, to play and ask questions about composing.
Today we fly to Caracas, Venezuela, where, because of a strong anti-American sentiment, we will be confined to our hotel and not allowed to leave unless we are in a large group and with security guards.
Gotta run and get in a round of paddle tennis before we head to the airport.