I have been going out to listen to music in clubs for about 7 years now. In my travels to the jazz clubs in Detroit, I fell in love with the music. I actually started with R&B, tried some blues and then jazz. Detroit usually means the straight ahead edgy jazz. So I began to wander into the many music clubs in Detroit. As a single woman, the first part of giving myself permission was to go alone and listen to the music. I asked some of the single women I know to go out with me and was astonished when the response indicated they thought I was going out drinking. Some people do it that way. Music goes straight inside of me and breaks into my emotions and sets them loose.
And I love the lift to my mood. I found that many are not there to listen to the music. It took me some time to even begin to understand this very foreign culture.
Luckily, I do not drink so my observations were sober. I learned that so many people make assumptions about any new person that shows up. I learned that some people talk about everybody. And I met a few that are upstanding ethical people. I learned that profession of faith or religiosity had little to do with predicting ethics. I learned that some married people just do not take it seriously. So. the music was so uplifting and at times the surroundings were so toxic.
I was so pleased, at first, when musicians asked my name and wanted to get to know me. I felt honored and a part of something. I didn’t know the names of any of the musicians and now I know the name of quite a few. I went out more and more. I went to events just because someone asked. As I went to so many events and to so many different kinds of music my own personal tastes began to form and change. I now know what I like to hear the most and it is the tight, edgy, funky Detroit straight ahead jazz. So, I gave myself permission not to go to some events where a musician invited me simply because I did not like the music they produce.
Last night I went out to hear some of the music I like and knew the keyboard player I like was not going to be there until later in the evening. The substitute keys were not good. Listening was a struggle. The musician was not incompetent but the synergy of the group was sadly lacking. I gave myself permission to walk out. And I enjoyed it.