Monday, October 17, 2016

Passing It On

I just spent 3 amazing, sleepless days as the musical director for the Ultimate Vocal Music Summit here in Los Angeles. We mentored a group of stunningly talented young people, ranging in age from 4 to 20, and got to show them what their dreams of a life making music looked like up close. The growth I saw from them in just three days was astounding. I was on panels with songwriters, players, and producers who have all been responsible for countless hit records (I have been responsible for exactly zero hit records, but there I was anyway!), and I sang a few of my songs and told the stories behind them. But mostly, I was the musical director: I wrote band charts and arrangements for some 30 tunes. Transposed them a few times, and rewrote them, as the kids worked with their vocal coaches and got closer to their vision of how they would perform the songs. Then yesterday, I led an all-star band of amazing players - including my John Fogerty bandmate Kenny Aronoff - through a concert featuring all of the singers. And even though I was sleep-deprived nearly to the point of hallucination, and I had mostly forgotten to eat for most of the weekend, and I had stared at sheets of music until they had nearly lost all meaning, I was transported with joy as I sat behind the piano and saw the show through the eyes of these young singers who were having their musical dreams come true. Many thanks to Dawn Elder World Entertainment for inviting me on this journey - it was unforgettable.