A little while ago, we had major celebrations for Christmas and New Year. Then it trailed off and a nice little cloud of quiet settled over our stage.

I had hence been actively picking up the courses and the songwriting that i left behind 2 months ago. That includes my exploration of putting some lyrics to some of my favourite bebop tunes. I’ve also taken a fascination to Parker’s music and how it had come trickling down in today’s jazz styles. I can understand how the old school would find it rather difficult to swallow. But i can’t help my feet from tapping and my fingers from snapping, and the gibberish lyrics that come out from me! They make so much sense to me, and i really can picture meaningful and very intimate and very Hearty(!) conversations in those solos. I just love it. But working on it will take a while, i would hate to add lyrics to anything if i’m not adding value to it!

This entry however, really is about 2 nights’ of wonderful meetings. We had slid into Jazz nights whenever the crowds seem to welcome whatever we play and are curious about our style. Two gentlemen from Bangladesh came by on a business trip and bought us some drinks, and we thanked them. They liked our sound, but more importantly, you have to believe in how stranger-hearts can be connected simply in a song. They were listening to my every phrase, breath and note. Four months of work here and we know the statistics well enough now. We do our best to enjoy our music every night, whether the occupancy was high or not, but when there are avid listeners, you would remember. :) What touched me was how they both seemed so open-hearted, kind. Their arms open to the world even as they were about their business with negotiations etcetc (we are looking at billions). They were like children, only that they were bringing food back to their own children. :) One of them spoke of how much he loves his wife and how he protects his wife from his children. I was scratching my head from the inside, then he explained that his children were old enough and needed to learn the value of money…..It must be a different culture in that part of the world. But in my heart I prayed for him to have more time with his family. With his ‘touring’ more than 10 cities in a trip, the couple misses each other most times of the year.

Last night, two gentlemen from Florida and NYC swung by. They dug my sound and wanted to find out where i was from etc, as they always do. It occurred to me that in a couple of months’ time, i would be in a more westernised environment, singing tunes in styles that they would understand. And from that conversation, i saw myself swirling about and above all these months in China. The wonderful and tough sessions and lessons. In every environment, you have to re-create your stage. It’s a platform of communication. People change, they talk different, they think different, want different things, understand differently. Some of it is meaning, much of it is also entertainment, painting the obvious bigger than life. I’ve learnt so much. From my husband, from my failures and my new over-comings. Above all, I remind myself that God takes care of all of us, and in Him i’m more than a conqueror – it wasn’t about how well we performed, but how much we know that we are loved. He provided me the power and wisdom to change, without my flesh grabbing unto the worries. I trusted that each day’s Bread was Grace. And it was more than enough. I saw the change. From song to song, note to note, phrase to phrase, set to set.

A student asked, so how do you remember all the repertoire, charts, lyrics and such?
‘My daily sufficient Grace, my child. ‘

Just keep Clark Terry’s simple words handy, keep on keepin’ on.

Enjoy the ride.


On a side note, a BIG side note, and an encouragement for her as well as all the budding singers and songwriters, you can make the difference. Congrats Kristen! #CampaignforChange (click on video)

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