The Path Untraveled
I don’t believe in the notion of ‘making it’… which is akin to winning the lottery… I believe in talent, skills, development, and the right personal choices that lead to a sense of well-being. If you can get up in the morning and work with whatever, whomever and wherever you choose – on your own terms – and make a living at it, you’re successful… and privileged. (Excerpt from cover interview w/ Amby Lusekelo for Dar Life)
Me & Fred Wesley having a moment backstage @ Billboard Live in Tokyo
Something happened during the 49th year of my life… Suddenly, everything I had ever wished for was happening. At once. I felt like a child wallowing in a sea of Christmas gifts, birthday presents, big balloons, and lots of love & warmth, all at the same time. I was traveling across 5 continents, playing my heart out on the saxophone, performing my very own music with some of the best musicians in the world, receiving standing ovations, meeting exciting people, visiting exotic places and gaining new perspectives on humanity and human nature. It was as if my birthday was a celebration that wouldn’t end…
After one particularly triumphant night in Tokyo, I returned to the hotel and read my emails. And there it was, a message from the TV production company saying the network wouldn’t be able to alter its shooting schedule for the program I worked on both as musical director and part of the editorial staff, to fit with my international concert schedule.
Since I had already committed to the concerts in writing, there was no decision to make – I was forced to leave the comfort zone of a steady gig, a victim of my own ambition… I had walked the plank to the very edge, now it was time to jump and swim to save my life. Ears ringing, still high on the adrenaline rush from the night’s performance, I felt a slight tinge of anxiety. Then I smiled… one door closes, an unlimited number of doors open. And during that single moment just before the age of 50, after a long career spanning 32 amazing, eventful years, I unofficially retired as a professional musician and became an Artist. It was the only path left untraveled.