Sunday, November 4, 2007

Through the Eyes of a Monk Competitor

2007 Monk Competition semi-finalist Nadje Noordhuis guest blogs about her L.A. experience:

Selected as a semi-finalist, I was excited, anxious, focused, honored, happy. And the most nervous I had ever been in my

- Meeting the other competitors and finding them to be genuinely lovely people, as well as ridiculous talented
- Not having to talk about being a female musician – it is 2007 after all
- Playing with the rhythm section of Geoff Keezer, Reginald Veal and Carl Allen
- Realizing what I need to work on musically
- Staying in a fancy hotel and sleeping diagonally in a king size bed
- Sharing an elevator with Marilyn Manson
- Being inspired by the live performances of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell and Sting
- Hearing a myriad of trumpet players do what they do best
- Feeling a new personal confidence, as well as being a part of something bigger than what I had believed possible for myself
- Free wine and cheese at the after-party
- In and Out burgers
- Charlie’s hilarious dinner napkin origami
- Splurging at the hairdressers for the first time in eighteen months
- Meeting the James Bond stunt car driver on the plane back to JFK
- Realizing that maybe, just maybe, if I break my current average of three small group gigs in the last five years, I could be a much better musician than I am now
- Realizing for the umpteenth time how incredibly supportive and beautiful my friends and family are to me

- Having my legs shake uncontrollably with nerves whilst trying to play soft and low
- Not being able to drink coffee with an upset nervous stomach
- Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for it to be over
- Getting a blister from my new shoes
- Realizing that I have to keep worrying about paying rent for the next year
- Realizing for the first time in seven years that I have no paid gigs in the book. Tabula Rasa.

Favorite Quotes:

“Hey! Nice tone!” -Roy Hargrove, walking down the hallway of the Roosevelt Hotel

“Are you the girl that played the flugelhorn? Gimme a hug!” -Clark Terry

“You play beautifully” -Thelonious Monk Jr
Congratulations on making it to the semifinals, Nad! We are proud of you!

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