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Working on working

Updated: Apr 5

Ever wonder what musicians get up to when we're not touring? Maybe you haven't, but I'm here to shed some light either way.

I've been passionately dedicating my time to Second Line Arts Collective, a project that goes beyond the bandstand and feels less like work and more like a fulfilling mission. It's all about giving back to the community and nurturing a sustainable ecosystem for music and musicians.

We've developed two incredible programs, and I couldn't be prouder. Recently, our focus has been on The Sanaa Music Workshop fundraising. This is our dream of the perfect summer workshop for amateur and semi-professional musicians. We're tantalizingly close to our goal, just $13K short. Achieving this would mean each participant pays only about $150 for a two-week intensive workshop – a steal in today's economy, where similar experiences could cost upwards of $2000.

Aside from this, life's been a blend of practice, soaking in new music, quality family time, and of course, barbecuing. There's something about this time of year, when the sun just starts to linger a bit longer, perfect for firing up the grill. It's refreshing to be home and have a challenging, yet rewarding project to dive into.

I'll be honest, though. Running Second Line Arts Collective isn't always smooth sailing. There are tough moments, and sometimes, the thought of giving up creeps in. We strive for big wins, but they're often interspersed with significant challenges, especially when it comes to ensuring everyone on the team is compensated fairly. Even drawing a salary for myself is still on the horizon. But each morning, before dawn breaks, I find myself drawn back to this project. It's a labor of love.

Seeing the impact we have on kids and families, hearing the music they create, and watching their growth is incredibly rewarding. This energy is addictive; it's a mirror to my own journey. I was fortunate to have countless individuals who offered me opportunities to learn, explore, and grow. It feels like a responsibility, almost a duty, to give back to the universe what was given to me. And if I can do it just a bit better, that would be the cherry on top.

My mentors, Chad Anderson, Alvin Fielder, Dr. Combs, Dr. Branch, and many others, instilled in me this ethos – it's the only way.

So now you know. As we musicians say, I've been "in the shed."



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