My first New Year Gig

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

RobinI am so jazzed about tonight’s gig with my wife Suzy on alto and me on bari sax. So many of my friends and Neil, my long-time instructor are sittin’ in with the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra. I have never done a New Year gig because I didn’t want to be up that late, driving home with so many drunks out there. But this seemed like a good compromise.

This year, I decided all musicians should do a New Year’s gig at least once. So I plucked it off my bucket list and booked the band at a plush senior center, with a crowd of over 300 anticipated. We will be playing from 7 to 10 PM with the NYC ball dropping at midnight which is 9 PM pst our time. Our director Bill Sheehan made up a special medley for the occasion and Robin Hilt will bring in the New Year crooning softly into the mic.


Every musician (21 piece band) gets a $75 check which is peanuts but helps buys some reeds, bore oil and the like for next year. Parking is free which never happens at our Seattle gigs. There is a in house sound and lights crew, a green room, and easy access to the stage.

JaAGlogoSo I’m going over my pack out list, lights, fronts, instruments, music, seat cushion, hat, and this year a back up sound system. I’ve redone the set list at least three times so far after our director spent a week setting it up. Did I mention our book is too large? <smile>

When we get there two hours early to set up, I will stress about the little things like placement of the monitors, lights, and fronts. As we near the sound check, I will wonder if that fellow musician who is always late will be there on time. As the crowd shuffles in, I will be softly tuning my instruments, going through the set list again, and then … then the magic moment when we play our opener, Microsoft Jumps!

Happy New Year!

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra), and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Band Management, Big Band, Holiday, MJJO, Music, My World and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My first New Year Gig

  1. Tina Toburen says:

    Would this be a plush senior center on Redmond’s Education Hill? If so, that is a fun gig! Watch out for the gentleman with the white hair and silly grin, though… he’ll dance all night… 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  2. Have their time of your life Jim! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  3. Gandalfe says:

    Tina, it is! Thanks for the warning. 🙂

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