I can say I’m a sundancer now, although I probably won’t be saying that too much in my day to day life. I did fast and complete that 4day ceremony though. I prayed, and did all that I expected of myself, even did a bit better. I spent a lot of that time reflecting and focusing in on what i was asking spirit to do for me and my loved ones.
Certainly every experience is in some way a preparation for the next, and at times during the exhaustion and intense thirst, I could feel that divine intention. For me it’s not intense love or giddiness, happiness or joy. It’s usually feeling that everything that happened in my life was intended to happen, but certainly not by me.
My intention for myself is often quite limited and not very far reaching beyond my day to day life. The sweat lodges, this sundance ceremony, yuwipi and pipe ceremonies all bring that perspective, and let me know that my daily choices are very important.
What I choose to carry within myself defines me.
This has everything to do with music. Ceremonial songs have entered my consciousness and now live there. They are a part of me, and interweave with all the music learning and melodies that also live within me.
This fusion is involuntary in a lot of ways, I just need to keep the channel open and keep telling myself that this process is ok.
My band is playing it’s first jazz festival. The band I put together. The one that I do my best to lead in a good way.
It’s been a year that’s very difficult to describe. I decided to book a show at the Garrick Hotel on March 5th. I didn’t have a band yet. I had been preparing for years to have my own group. I lived in an apartment where I was free to play at all hours of the night, and enough space to practice with a five piece group. I had recording equipment, live performance equipment, many grooves that I had been preparing for a very long time. The most important thing that I had been doing for the previous 2 years was rebuilding my embouchure (lip muscles) by practicing almost daily, This is something I hadn’t done in a very long time.
I wasn’t totally ready to play at a level I was happy with, but I decided that I don’t care anymore. I knew I’m not going to be great trumpet player, but I knew i could form and lead a great original band. If I was going to play music, I wanted it to be MY music. I wanted to choose who I played with. i wanted to honor my own musical ideas and hear them played by great musicians.
I don’t do things the easy way, and I have this all or nothing attitude that I know I needed to temper, because that attitude left me doing nothing musical for a very long time. Perfection just isn’t reality. If the goal is to play that perfect set, than I need to do everything that will lead me there. I’ll know when I’m in that moment and I know it will be truly blissful, among all that imperfection. Jazz music is all about searching for those moments.
You might even be there with me on June 26th. The musicians I’m playing with are better than I hoped for.
I hope it’s a beautiful evening and I can’t wait to see you.
My talented nephew Brendan Copenace did up my album art work. It’s almost exactly what I saw after a super hot sweat lodge at my friend Shannons place. Laying in the grass looking up at the sun i closed my eyes, and then saw this image burned into my retina like I had just been staring at it a long time. I knew it was my album artwork right away.