I was approached by London-based future consultancy firm Protiviti based on recommendation from one of their consultants. He had heard me play solo piano for a financial management company’s anniversary event in late summer of 2017, and put my name forward when he knew his own firm would need a live band for their client Christmas drinks event. The venue: the 24th floor of the Shard at London Bridge.
I liaised with another member of the firm (henceforth Rebecca), over her wishes for the event. After listening to her describing the event, I offered the jazz trio as the perfect background mood-setter for the kind of budget they had available. She had listened to our audio samples on the website, and I sent along some additional audio samples I’ve taken from previous gigs to give her a flavour of our laid-back evening approach to jazz standards.
Contract signed, I was able to book Tom Early and Ed Babar for drums and bass (with me taking piano) – both stellar musicians each in their own right. (Ed had been gigging only the night before round the corner from the Shard; sadly I had to tell him he couldn’t leave his double bass overnight!)
I arranged a viewing of the venue a month before the event. This gave me the chance to see the space we would be working with to assess how much amplification we would need and how the space would work acoustically. And it was great to meet Rebecca in person just for discussion over a few logistical points.
Come 13th December, Tom, Ed and I all found ourselves congregating in the loading bay at the Shard in remarkably good time (you never can be sure with London traffic!). Our host Rebecca and the other staff at the Shard were really helpful getting us up to floor 24 with our equipment, and we set up in good time before clients arrived (see pictures below). From then on it was a simple case of making great music, much of it with a festive flavour – a number of popular Christmas songs work great as jazz standards. Oh and we also enjoyed the view. A lot!
Rebecca got in touch after the event, saying,
Thanks so much, I’ve had numerous comments that your jazz trio set the whole ambience and it was perfect for the event.
I also heard from the guy who had originally recommended me that he loved what we did and knew others who had enjoyed it too. Smiles all round!
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