In October 2013, I went on my first National Tour with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. I sang the Abyssinian Mass written by Mr. Marsalis with Chorale Le Chateau led by Damien Sneed.
I found out earlier this year that I was going on tour and didn't really mention it to the masses for months and months because I felt like I was dreaming! Showing up to Jazz at Lincoln Center at the stage door every few weeks and rehearsing a piece that the legend Wynton Marsalis wrote...I mean, how could this be real life? It was a question I'd be asking all year long.
I don't really know what I was expecting but whatever that was, it was BEYOND what I could imagine. Firstly, I was surrounded by greatness. From the conductor Damien Sneed to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and everyone in between, we had some of the best musicians around in that room with us. And every single person in that choir could sing their faces off and it really validated my place in that room. That I was among the best of the best and I was included in that best.
|Photo credit: Candice Hoyes|
The 2nd day, Crosby, Stills & Nash randomly showed up to the rehearsal. I don't know why, surely they were performing somewhere themselves and just wanted to check out the production. No big deal I guess. But *I* was freaking out because I spent a year trying to figure out the name of this one classic rock song, but I could only think of this part "Do do do do do DOOT DOOT DO DO". And it was such a long frustrating year because when I typed that into a search bar, don't you know, google COULDN'T TELL ME WHAT I MEANT. Anyway long story short, it was "Judy Blue Eyes" by them and I felt closer to that band after someone finally told me and sent me their CD (Thanks Debi!!). Okay, so that's why it was important to me that they showed up. I wanted to yell to them "Hey!!! Do do do do do DOOT DOOT DO DO. You know what I mean?!?!" What a La Toya-centric coincidence! (I cued up a YouTube Vid of this song HERE just in case you have NO idea what I'm talking about)
And we hadn't even left for tour yet...!
Here's a clip of us singing from one of our rehearsals that week: