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first post to my nomadic diary blog; Northsea Jazz edition July 6, 2010

Posted by onyxashanti in Uncategorized.

image30276578.jpgI am hoping that this will be the first of many posts to this woefully underutilized “nomadic diary”. (side note: DAAAAMN! €2.70 for à Cup of coffee on this train to Rotterdam?! Looks like I’m gonna be a thirsty, hungry mutha by the time I get there…). I set this blog up specifically so that I could make use of my iPhone as a diary. This blog will be used to chronicle things that happen on these, hopefully more frequent, nomadic journeys.

This trip Is special for a few reasons:

1. The most obvious; the Northsea Jazz Festival! I attended this festival For the first time, last year and I was blown away by the variety and quality of not only the artists in attendance, but also the audience. There was a buzz around the convention center that housed the fest, not dissimilar to that of a good rave from the 90’s. It was electric and alive with youthful energy and visions of a future in which not only was jazz still around, it was prospering!

I will be playing 2 events-one as part ofthe festival and one that is associated with it. I was asked to do these performances based on videos and music I have uploaded over the years, which is a big big deal for me. Sometimes it feels as if you are pissing in the wind when it comes to the value of posting ones art online. It’s great conceptually, but can feel like a waste of effort sometimes. Well, I can report that it’s not. This marks the first time I have been asked to do an event of this level, based only on Internet based content, which bodes well for the future as more and more people take seriously the artists they discover online, regardless of their associations or lack thereof.

This will also represent a sort of coming out party for beatjazz on a world stage. Although I don’t expect that much to change in the short term, I do feel that this is a big step in a long series of existing and future steps towards bringing the beatjazz sound to a wider audience.

2. My first biking/busking tour. Last month when I biked the 15 miles from bristol England to Bath, something awakened in me. The feeling of independence was exilerating. As you may gather from some of my exploits and writings, I don’t have alot of money. But i do have plenty of energy, so if I have to bike from place to place or busk instead of do a well paid venue show, so be it. I have structured my life in a way that allows me the freedom to go where I want and do what I love. So I figured that since I’m going to be in a bike friendly, FLAT, country like holland anyway, I may as well take both concepts to the next level.

After the fest concludes, barring any crazy storms, I plan to bike from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, busking in towns along the way over the course of 2 days or so. From there, I will busk around Amsterdam for a bit before heading to Paris, part bike tour, part bus, to busk, which, by design, should lead to a few club shows and new “family”, then on to spain in the same manner, and finally ending up, ideally, on a beach in ibiza.

3.Why and how? Why, because I allow my fear of many things to define me for a long time but as of late, I find myslef less fearful and more confident everyday, but the idea of biking more than 30 miles and possibly camping in unknown areas was a big no no. Camping especially. I always felt like I’d get eaten or murdered or both if I ever ventured off the beaten, well lit path. But I am realizing that just because the worst CAN happen, doesn’t mean that it WILL happen. Life is too interesting
To let it be defined by fear.

The “how” is a complex and evolutionary concept. Bringing a big ass battery to allow presentation of a music, born of the street yet comfortable in any venue while distributing a cheaply yet artistically produced CD to generate immediate income as well as act as a gateway to myself and beatjazz, to music lovers and potential clients alike. Although the description took less than 3 sentences, the execution has taken the better part of 15 years!

So basically, this trip represents an evolutionary process and concept to sustainably create and distribute my art while actually having a life that doesn’t tie me to some dark studio somewhere. It is a marriage of many of my passions-biking, busking, beatjazz, travel- into one unified concept. Something I feel is sustainable in terms of income to expense ratio, as well as artistic trajectory. Or, at least, that’s the idea. So I will keep you posted, from here, on how this all works out in the real world. Thanks for coming along on this ride with me!


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