Parting is such sweet sorrow but I’ve gotten pretty good at sending off my best friends in the past decade. Sheena, Gigi and Archer are always welcome at Chez Bee – whenever their jet-setting schedule allows – and G and I had a few great adventures on her short visit. I count myself lucky and hopefully Genevieve will return this fall for some concerts and to make a recording!
Tuesday night, Mary B and I bee-lined to Toni Bulloni in Yorkville. The food was brilliant and the show by Mary MacKay was outstanding. Conversation is always lively with one Mary…but two? In no time we’d enjoyed a couple of bottles of wine!
A Typical Wednesday…
I was up first thing in the morning, worked at the station and then had a full day of sailing. Now when I say “worked at the station” I think I will digress for a moment and explain my “routine”.
- I’m up before 6am every morning. I appear on Wake Up with Heather Barmbrick on JAZZ.FM91 (www.jazz.fm or 91.1fm) at about 8:15am for a segment called Bee’s World. I book concerts, Live To Air shows and jazz safaris all morning. Because I host “Jazz In The City” Saturdays 6-8pm, I constantly get asked for advice on where to go, so answering a couple hundred emails a day takes over an hour, but it’s always a pleasure to steer people to a hotspot or great band.
- After noon I often have a business lunch.
- If not, I bee-line home to record songs and work on various writing projects. In the summer though…more oft than not…I go sailing or cycling.
- If I have an event to host or attend that night, I’ll cycle a while and then take (literally) forty winks and start over. If I sail all day, I’m burned out and might check out a band but it’ll be decided on the fly.
- I went to sleep before midnight twice last year. It’s usually between 12 and 1am on weeknights; later on weekends of course.
- I love the rain, because it causes me to stay in and continue working on my writing-projects (a musical, biography, songwriting, etc.) that otherwise might get neglected during summer. Sometimes I’ll even make time for dusting…
- I only stay in about two nights a week.
- One of the biggest perks of my job is the Jazz Safari for JAZZ.FM91 donors; where I take them to several clubs in one night and act as tour guide. I get to hang with music fans and see four acts on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. I see (way) over 20 bands a month and in a month like February I can see 40. Corny but true: I am a busy bee!
Janet T. Planet was visiting Toronto briefly and joined us for an outing on Incommunicado for a few hours. It was great to catch up with her. The last time she was on this boat with Captain Paul the skyline was completely different. It was almost ten years ago! Janet and I go way back, and shared some hilarious stories from our past. I can’t wait till I see her in California this September!
Jamie Cullum popped by JAZZ.FM91 last week and did a couple numbers for about ten of us. He was in for an interview with Brad Barker and I loved when Jamie said “I need to entertain, it’s what I’m good at. But I also like to go to a concert and be drawn into someone else’s world. The total opposite.” He made me think of how much I enjoy Ron Sexsmith and how I’d never want Ron to jump off guitar amps and moonwalk. That evening, Jamie performed a sold-out show at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, which was just around the corner from my loft. How convenient! Barbra Lica, Mary B., Dave Gil, Victoria Sanjana, Dani Elwell…every single person I knew in the house raved about the show! I wasn’t happy with the sound (I was up front) but Jamie can do no wrong – he and his hard-working band killed it…including some seriously memorable trumpet playing from the guitarist …wow!
I took 40 nurses (and a couple doctors) on a jazz safari Friday night. The Imperial Pub, Habits Gastropub, Reservoir Lounge and Dominion on Queen each featured a unique act…but you don’t get more unique than Pam Hyatt singing “Life Sucks and Then You Die” to a group of happy nurses.
A scene like that makes me wish I had a reality camera team follow me around, once in a while. I had booked the safari to see Caribbean Jazz Connection weeks before I found out my High School Reunion was happening in the back room of the same venue! I saw my two favourite teachers from back in the day – who both continue to look younger than me – and I met some kids who graduated more recently.
Everyone was so interesting to talk to…it gives me a false sense of security about how cool young people are these days. These kids are exceptional: Open minded, artist, altruistic, feet on the ground, head in the clouds! Inglenook is where I completed my High School, and it’s the place that taught me to want to learn and to enjoy learning…and whenever I see my ageless teachers I realize that Inglenook school is like the fountain of yoot!
Saturday will likely go down as one of the most memorable afternoons of 2014. This is the second year in a row I acted as emcee for The Thrill of Ascot, a benefit gala for Best Buddies Canada held at Woodbine Racetrack.
Denielle and her young, well-dressed band played several sets during the afternoon but also had some time off to enjoy the races.
I met Tammy while sailing with Paul Barbour, who took Mel and I up to Woodbine in his RV. I was happy to see tons of friends at the event and as always, I met a bunch of new friends, including Bob Young, who looked a bit – and sounded a lot – like his brother Neil!
It’s always great to see Sandy Hawsley (the world famous jockey), but on this occasion he wasn’t a lucky charm. By the end of the day I was down about seventy bucks but I did go up and down all day, and had a ton of fun. The first race I hit a Triactor, 5-2-1. That started a roll that ended by the fourth race…c’est la bee…I’ll bee back!
Hey, if you don’t know about Best Buddies…you should! They do great work: