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) a GOLD sax quartet, 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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