I'm still pretty exhausted (in a good way) from all the excitement and hard work for this event.So much preparation goes into putting an event together the size of this one. Lining up major jazz artists (for free), securing sponsors, seeking out reliable volunteers, security, vendors, venue, advertising, etc. can be such a challenge on many levels. I have been involved for the last three years and no matter how much you dot every 'i' and cross every 't', something gets missed.Many hours of pre-planning have been clocked. Many volunteers. It was all well worth it when the ceremony started for acknowledging our military. Included in this special ceremony, we had a fly over to complete the show. For the entire concert, I was working the ticket booth with some very efficient volunteers who not only kept the will call line moving, but sold tickets at a record pace. As you know, the ticket booth can get somewhat mobbed and can create a very hectic moment if not manned correctly. I am proud to say my staff of volunteers deserve more than a pat on the back. Natalie, Gemini, Penny, Margo, Lori and Jeff were amazing. Thank you to each and every one of you for manning your shifts promptly and efficiently. You made my job so much easier. I'm looking forward to working with you next year!The show began right on time. While not being able to see the concert, I was able to hear it. From the amount of people walking past the ticket booth to the entry gates, I can tell we had more attendees than last year. I'm guessing around 4000 people? I'll double check that number and let you know on my show Friday at 3pm PST.From the roar of the crowd, the musicians were doing what everyone came to hear, great jazz music. Many of the artists played the day before at the Gaslamp Jazz Festival in San Diego.We had 9 surprise artists that were announced that morning of the concert. Mindi Abair, Nick Colionne, Jeff Golub, Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, Peter White, Brian Culbertson, Kim Waters, and Jackiem Joyner. They all performed top performances. Pictures will be posted in a few days at KSBR.net.Now with this particular concert, there is no stage breakdown. Each artist comes up when their name is called and takes part in whatever song is being performed at that time. Many of these artists have not played with each other or played together awhile ago and with scheduling conflicts, it's just hard to get together. Well with the Birthday Bash, this event allows them to perform and just have fun together. You can see that they are having a good time and just went with the flow. No ego trips. It's a big party on stage for them. The audience can feel the energy that they are having a good time which in turn makes everyone else have a good time.When I was finally relieved from the ticket booth at 8pm, I was able to join the concert for a bit.By this time, I was hungry for food, so off on the hunt for food. Outback Steakhouse was closing their booth down and the Crepe Maker was a no-show. I wasn't in the mood for Kettle Korn, I needed some serious food in my system to finish out the evening. Two Guys Grilling was behind the artist stage grilling up turkey legs, Cuban food, paella, several varieties of pasta. Yes, I said pasta. Two Guys can grill anything and make it taste amazing. Check out their website. So off with my plate of food to enjoy what was left of the concert.The finale was amazing. Never have I seen so many saxophonists, drummers, keyboardist, vocalists, bass players, guitar players all on one stage (50 artists). Amazing.Time for cleanup so we can join the after party. I have to give kudos to the south Orange County people. They cleaned up their trash and actually used the trash receptacles. Our job was easy. I have been to concerts where people leave ALL their trash behind including food they are not allowed to bring in. Not at this event. You're allowed to bring in your 'not too big' coolers with food and snacks. No outside alcoholic beverages as wine and beer bars were available. The cleanup process went by fast. I would like to thank all concert goers who cleaned up behind themselves. You have respect for yourself.Since cleanup took only 45 minutes or so, I was able to join the after party early. More food was provided for the artists and the volunteer staff. I had the great pleasure of talking to Dean Grech for at least 30 minutes. What a nice man. We talked as if we had been friends forever. Very down to earth. I also had the pleasure of speaking to one of my all time favorite guitarist, Jeff Golub. I wasn't expecting to be that close to him but as I was in the process of cleaning up, the stage manager, Judy, came out with him and brought him right to me. What a surprise. Judy made my night with that one! Thank you Judy. I got a chance to tell him how much I enjoy his music and how excited I was when I guessed he was one of the surprise artists. He too was just as nice and took the time out to have another picture taken with me. Thank you Jeff, you are very kind.As much as I wanted to stay, I was just too tired to try and mingle any more. I was happy to say my goodbyes as my legs were begging me to sit down.All in all, I enjoyed myself and the concert. Although working the ticket booth takes me away from actually seeing the concert, I get a kick out of seeing the people get excited as they walk in getting ready to enjoy the show.Next year I will be at the same ticket booth selling the same tickets to each and everyone of you. The Bash gets better and better each year as we work out our bugs and move forward.DJ Sherry
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