The following is a MySpace blog post from 2008. I’m posting it here as part of my ongoing efforts to centralize all of my online content. The sentiments in this post are just as true today as they were in 2008.
I Love To Play Weddings
After a long drought of literally no gigs, this past weekend I performed at a wedding ceremony with a trumpet duo and then drove across town for a reception with the Austin band called The Grooves. I was in high spirits all day and itching to sit down and write about things here on myspace.
Well, because it’s something that has a bit of shock value. And I know how we all love a bit of shock value.
So what is it that I have to say that would be so shocking? (okay, like, stop with the rhetorical questions already)
I love playing weddings!!!
Okay, there, I’ve said it. I know that this makes me a freak weirdo. No one likes playing weddings. The only people who play weddings are those people who CAN’T make it on American Idol. Wedding musicians are the flotsam and jetsam of the music world…..washed up on the shore of musical life.
Only, I don’t see it that way. To be perfectly honest, I NEVER desired to be a famous musician. My desires were always musical, not social. I had musical goals I wanted to accomplish, you know, like learning how to play Giant Steps or the Carnival of Venice. They were very specific goals that would make me a better player and I never really cared how famous any of it made me. It was never about that. It was about getting a better sound or being able to improvise more facile at tempos over 300.
In this respect, playing weddings has never been something I was ashamed of. I can reach my goals just as well at weddings as I can in any other context. And I think this is because I don’t need anyone else’s approval. I don’t need Down Beat Magazine to tell me I’m a great player. I don’t need any of that high profile nonsense.
If you’ve been following my blogs [MySpace blogs], you know that I’ve stopped playing night clubs. What I may not have mentioned is that night clubs have always stressed me out. I never belonged in any of those places. On our breaks at the clubs I always try to find a quiet corner to sit and pray because drinking and flirting with chicks doesn’t appeal to me. I just feel like I don’t belong.
Anyway, I should try to get to the point. Hey???
On these wedding gigs over the weekend, I was thinking about what makes these gigs different, and in fact better, than most of the gigs I do. And there was a very interesting answer to that question that I wanted to share with you here.
Weddings are celebrations that are sanctified by God
I believe that the institution of marriage is a holy one and that God celebrates with us when we party it up at a wedding. Think about it, how many night club gigs begin with prayer??? And yet, almost every wedding gig I’ve ever been to began this way. And it’s not just the prayer. God is present at most weddings and I think it’s because He wants to be.
God wants us to be married instead of just living together. God wants our marriages to be successful. So, in that way, it’s not even just about the newlyweds. It’s also about renewing the joy of marriage for those who are married guests at the wedding. It’s also about giving the unmarried couples something to look forward to. God is in the midst of all of this and to me it is so exciting to be a part of that.
So yeah, I get joy out of playing weddings. I always have. I am not ashamed of the work I do and I guess that’s because I place weddings at the top of my list. I believe there is no greater honor than this……in joining God in celebrating the sanctity of marriage. That’s why weddings are my favorite gigs.