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  • Bob Roden

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

In my final blog post of 2018, here’s what I predicted about BRQ for 2019:

We’ll certainly continue playing at our current regular venues. In addition, we’re exploring other possible venues and contemplating some performance projects that would expand the range of what we do and take it to another level. Those are big steps into the presently unknown, so it’s exciting to think about where things might go in the coming year. I wonder what I’ll have to say about it when 2019 starts to wind down?

Well, here we are. So what do I have to say?

Turns out my predictions were reasonably accurate. We not only continued playing at our regular venues; we actually developed stronger relationships with them, so that we will enter 2020 with those gigs booked out through the entire year. That gives us a comfortable base from which to operate.

We also brought into reality some of the other possibilities to which I alluded. We played our first jazz festival (Piedmont) in September, and played our first private concert in October. We have more such bookings already arranged for 2020, and performances of that type will be a big focus for us this year.

We did in fact expand the range of what we do: we began performing original material (usually without mentioning it), and we brought in more complex arrangements of material not typically associated with jazz. As 2019 ends, both categories have become normal parts of our repertoire on any given night.

We also checked off some of the items we were anxious to complete. We made both audio and video recordings, and got them up on our web site. We got our first professional photographs. We made contact with a variety of festivals and new venues, and got our first press coverage (which, fortunately, was very positive). We anticipate having our first EPK (electronic press kit) up and running some time in January.

We made new friends at seemingly every gig. Our mailing list has continued to grow, and our audiences have become more attentive. Our gigs have always been fun, but they became increasingly more so over the course of 2019.

So even though 2019 was a pretty sucky year for our country and for the world, it was a pretty good one for the quintet. For that we are grateful.

What to expect for BRQ in 2020? Here’s how it looks right now:

-- It should be a busy year. We start it with a couple of dozen gigs already booked, which is just amazing, and we have a lot of other irons in the fire.

-- We’ll continue at our regular venues. They’re been good for us (and good to us), and we’re good for them, so we’ll keep those relationships going.

-- At the same time, 2020 should bring more gigs outside of the venues that defined our first couple of years. We’ll be playing private concerts more often, and taking advantage of some opportunities to give back to the community by donating our services in support of worthy causes. We also hope to do several more festival performances this year, and to build momentum in that direction for 2021.

-- We also plan to make our first CD in 2020. More details on that later.

As always, we’re deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us over the last two-plus years. Without that support – i.e., if we didn’t bring in the decent business that we typically do – we wouldn’t have the solid venue relationships that allow us to grow and develop and pursue other creative opportunities. So thank you, and we’ll do our best to keep mixing it up and doing new and interesting things in 2020.

Happy New Year!

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