Playin' then Runnin' before the cops can grab us!
Updated: Jul 24
After all of the local gathering places were closed down in Maryland due to COVID-19 several DMV musicians started to participate in periodic video calls (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc.) to "talk" about music, since we could no longer play as a group of musicians. We all missed playing music for a live audience.
After a few months of not playing music a group of us, led by Bill Freed, came up with a concept for playing outdoors by ourselves with NO AUDIENCE. The plan was simply to meet as a "band" and play for the sheer enjoyment of playing our instruments. We were concerned about attracting a crowd, so we didn't want to meet and play in a park or other known public spaces - but we had to find somewhere that was outdoors (and free for us to use).
It was also very important for the musicians to feel the playing environment was safe. After a number of discussions about logistics, social distancing, and the best place/time, we agreed on a spot and we started meeting each week to play jazz. We continue to do so in our "undisclosed location" in or near Bowie, MD😁.
We never want to draw a crowd, so Bill has elected to invite only a few musicians each week and we bring minimal gear/equipment. If the cops show up and ask us to leave, we want to be able to "play & run" with minimal packing of equipment. I opted to put a small COVID drum set together comprised of refurbished drum gear that was easily transportable and almost disposable. Playing this small, crude, three-piece kit is like playing a guitar with half the strings, but it makes me focus and it's fun! This is very raw video of us playing the jazz standard, Blue Bossa in our undisclosed location.
The picture gallery below shows some photos of our flash gig events over the past few weeks. Most of the musicians are frequent flyers from the Corner Lounge, Upper Marlboro, MD, where Bill Freed spearheds the weekly jam sessions. A few of us are also members of the group Red Planet B (or RPB for short). RPB provided the music for Happy Hour Jazz at the Corinthian Resturant and Lounge, Windsor Mill, MD. Man, it's great to be able to play live music with all these cats again!
Even though we're able to play outside a bit now Magic Ray continues to organize and run the weekly video calls to keep our common musical dialogue flowing. It's great to be part of such an incredible network of musicians to help us all get through this crisis.
Check out my Instagram for more photos @wilcameron, or see my website for other musical events and happenings.