Wednesday, 13 November 2013

And The Fifth Caller is.... ME! Live to Air with Jimmy Webb

If you know me, you'll know I'm an avid listener of JazzFm here in Toronto. You'll also know I NEVER win ANYTHING. But this particular time, I was really TRYING to win. Jimmy Webb was to be performing in the Long and McQuade Performance Hall within the JazzFm studios, a small venue, or a large studio, not really sure which description is more appropriate. The ONLY way to attend was to win tickets. And I WANTED to go! I kept calling in during Heather Bambrick's morning show, determined, but unsuccessful.

When my friend and amazing jazz songstress Pat Murray won tickets, I figured my only way in was to schmooze Pat! But alas, Pat was taking Bruce Cassidy's wife Aly. Considering Pat was Aly's LIVING LIVER DONOR I could understand (click here to read more about Pat, her music and LIVER!). 

But lets get back to me.

and Jimmy Webb

So, as I said, I kept calling in during Heather Bambrick's morning show. I follow Heather on facebook and on twitter, and she reciprocates. We have never met but she is SOOOO much like my sisters that I feel like she IS family. I figured if I was EVER going to win something it would be from her.
And it happened. She announced she would give tickets to the fifth caller, so I dialled as fast as my blackberry keypad would allow (guess that's not actually DIALLING, is it?)

RING! Woo Hoo!
'Hi this is Heather Bambrick, you're caller number one' click
Dial again. Busy
Dial again. Ring
'Hi this is Heather Bambrick, you're caller number 5! Congratulations you're going to see Jimmy Webb'
I was in shock, but so happy! I told Pat right away, then let my Handsome Man know he would be busy Friday November 8th, catching a LIVE TO AIR with JIMMY WEBB! He was excited as I was!

On the day of the show, I was so antsy, I just couldn't wait. In fact, Handsome Man and I were the second couple to arrive, long before anyone else. The other couple, she of easy elegance and he of funky socks and fabulous smile, told us tales of the times they saw Jimmy live. Neither handsome man nor I had ever had that opportunity and the tales they wove got us even MORE excited for the show to begin. Pat and Aly arrived, both looking gorgeous, and we chatted excitedly while waiting to get in. We were first in line! When the doors opened we scored the first four seats in the first row. As Pat said 'spitting distance' from Jimmy. It couldn't have been more perfect.

We were all sitting, chatting excitedly amongst ourselves, when in walked Jimmy, walked past all of us waving, then out the door, returning moments later. It effectively set the tone of easy camaraderie between Jimmy and the audience. It was to be a night of fun stories, Glen Campbell impressions, laughs and outstanding music.
Jimmy' Set List

Of course Jimmy and Ross Porter (president and CEO of JazzFm, Order of Canada recipient, author, etc etc) had worked on a set list of sorts, this is radio, you need to have some idea of what you're doing (at least I think you do!) Ross hosted the Live to Air and it started off beautifully, but they strayed from the set list very quickly! To the joy of everyone in attendance, including Ross and Jimmy!

Pat with Jimmy after the show
Its hard to pick a favourite song, or moment from the evening. There were so many. The banter between Ross and Jimmy was just the right mix of reverence and irreverence, the conscripting of the audience to help with some of the higher notes in My Beautiful Balloon were all highlights. The SOUND within the hall was outstanding. I felt so fortunate to have been there. 

JazzFM is "More than just a radio station, JAZZ.FM91 is Canada’s only broadcaster and registered not-for-profit charitable arts organisation dedicated to enriching the cultural, educational and community experience of their audience." and I am so glad it exists. I am a "perpetual donor" because it has been the music of my life, my solace during difficult times, and they bring incredible people like Jimmy Webb to Toronto. Being a JazzFM donor has its privileges, like advance tickets (or FREE EXCLUSIVE tickets) to great shows. Handsome Man and I got to see Jimmy Webb last week and we have amazing tickets for Joey DeFrancesco next week! How can you NOT love JazzFM?

If you want to have a taste of what it was like to be there, you'll find a podcast of the show here on the JazzFm website. And while you're there, why not become a donor too?!