As part of the countdown, I thought I'd ask a few artists to tell me what their perfect day would be, and as part of the countdown we will reveal the answers I get. The first was a good friend and incredible guitarist Roddy Ellias. If you don't know about Roddy Ellias, he is equally comfortable in jazz as he is in classical music. He is an incredible improviser and a great human being. I know he will be joining Christine Fagan on stage during the festival which will be a great show. Here is what Roddy had to say:
The Perfect Day In a Life of Roddy Ellias
what i think i’ve learned about perfection and perfect days ... all days are perfect. it’s just a matter of opening up, emptying, paying attention, living in the moment. i don’t strive for perfection either in my work or in my life, but i do strive for excellence. i don’t think it’s possible to make either my work or my day or the days of other people perfect, but i do think that striving for excellence is more realistic and attainable. so ... an excellent day for me is: a day that makes my family, friends, the general cosmos, and me happy or satisfied. i like days that are balanced - some good practice on the guitar, and/or some writing, learning something about music, about things other than music, a little gardening, some karate at the dojo, family time, helping others in some way, and (if i’m lucky) a performance where i or we connect with each other and the audience.
I also asked Roddy if he had 5 picks during the festival:
well there are lots excellent choices, especially at the great canadian jazz, improv invitational and the studio series, and lots of excellent local choices. not because they are big names (because there’s a ton of music that’s great that is produced by people that are less or even not famous at all) but because i love what they do and don’t often get opportunities to hear these people live, my 5 choices are:
brad mehldau/joshua redman
paco de lucia
kenny wheeler (have always been a big fan of his playing and writing and had the great honour and pleasure of performing with him and the montreal group altsys a number of years ago)