- Bob Roden
Piedmont Festival Appearance
Our set at the Piedmont Jazz Festival, on September 22nd, was everything we could have hoped for from our first festival-style concert appearance. The crowd was very receptive, with lots of BRQ supporters sprinkled around the big lawn. The weather was perfect, and we got through a very ambitious set without any major mishaps.
It was made all the more enjoyable because we got to play in front of our big band colleagues from the Albany Jazz Band, who went on after us. It was fun to have the chance to show them all what we’d been working on.
I think it’s fair to say that the experience of preparing for and carrying out the Piedmont concert set has moved BRQ down the field a bit in terms of who we are and what we do. The way we structure our sets and the way we present our material to the audience already are different in subtle ways that I think foster a sense of connection and presence in the room.
Piedmont was also the first time we have featured our original music in a focused way. As we have brought that music into our repertoire over the course of 2019, we have played it often but not drawn attention to it, instead opting to see how audiences responded to it when they didn’t know it was original. Happy to report that the response has been excellent, and people seem to have regarded it as exactly what it was – jazz they enjoyed but hadn’t heard before.
At Piedmont, though, we put it right out there and let the audience know in advance what we were doing. From our vantage point it felt like everything was well received and that people liked it. So that’s a huge milestone for us, as it would be for any band.
We’ll continue to pursue festival appearances even as we play our more usual gigs, and it will be interesting to see how easy or difficult it turns out to be to work our way into that part of the music world.
For now, though, it was a great first experience for BRQ and a big shot of encouragement for doing more. Our sincere thanks to everyone who came out to support us.