Oktoberfest is a great fall event here in Nashville, and I was lucky to get to be a part of it this year! I sang a 45 minute jazz set at Oktoberfest, and I had a blast. It was actually the first jazz gig I have done in quite a while, and I was excited to get to stretch my legs with it again.
I'm going to give you a run-down of the steps I took to prepare for the gig:
I had about a month of prep time to get ready for the gig. I had a lot of charting to do. So many of the songs I was going to perform were in the wrong keys, so I had to transpose them and re-write the charts. It is a lot of work, but it is always so satisfying when you finally finish.
Next comes deciding what you want to do with each tune. The great thing about jazz standards is that no one does them exactly alike. The same tune can be done slow or fast. You can make specific phrasing choices or do a melodic variation to make the song your own. I love jazz for that very reason - it is a great feeling to make a song yours.
Then, you find a great accompanist! Lucky for me, I live in an amazing city with a plethora of talented musicians. I was extremely fortunate to get to do this gig with Hans Nelson (you can find him here: http://www.hansnelson.net/) We got together to rehearse a few days beforehand, and were able to hash out tempo, form, and other such things. A great piano player is something no vocalist should ever take for granted!!
Next, to decide the order of the songs. This was a little bit difficult, as I had never performed all of these songs in a single set before. I decided to go fast-slow-fast-slow...you get the picture. I also placed songs I was most familiar with throughout so that the set would feel more seamless.
Lots of emailing happened! I had to make sure that I knew where to go, where to park, when to get there, etc. I also had to make sure my accompanist had all of this information as well. Thankfully, I am freakishly organized, so this was pretty natural to me ;)
Finally, it was the day of! I got dressed, did my hair and makeup, warmed up, drank a TON of water (this is my nervous tick - which is pretty helpful, as far as nervous ticks go), and headed out to the festival.
The festival was so much fun! I had a blast getting to sing songs that I love, and hopefully entertain some people in the process. We walked around afterwards, had some great food and heard some really awesome music! Congrats to everyone who performed this weekend, y'all are awesome! Also, if you were there, I thank you so much for your support! You mean the world to me :D