The Mutaytor - 4/20/06 - The Jammys - NYC

a day after the jammy awards show and i’m waiting for the shock to subside… being backstage at madison square garden all day and night yesterday was amazing… the day began with rushing and waiting… our dressing room consisted of a couch, a bathroom and corners that proved useful for napping, boxing myself in with backpacks and gear and trying to reset. the night before at a sold-out show at canal room with mickey hart was insane enough… but this msg event was all out experience. i kissed john popper from blues traveler, hung out with peter frampton, members of phish, moe, stephen perkins from janes addiction, the grateful dead, baba mal… spent some time with the msg production crew as well as the editors of various magazines, all of which are my relentless targets for publication come monday morning.

“it’s like a dream…” i whisper to bryan from my perch on stage and he smiles wide, nodding… ‘surreal’ doesn’t cut it.. ‘epic’, ‘legendary’, ‘the beginning of things to come’… that seems more suitable to say… rehearsals were intriguing introductions to rock legends like richie havens, who opened woodstock and bill kreutzmann from grateful dead… we couldn’t believe who we were standing next to, let alone sharing a stage with… during the day, the dressing room turned into a rehearsal space with mickey hart leading the jam. mutaynt dancers were converted into back-up singers. the mirror was used as a note board and in a circle, phrases were repeated and rehearsed. voices formed an acceptable blanket and took to the stage for soundcheck.

afterwards as i lay in the corner communing with my laptop, watching over sprawling masses of sleeping mutaynts, in walks richie havens of woodstock fame… the hallway light reflected in his white beard and as he walked into the darkened room, i poked out from my makeshift fort and we shared a silent smile. with everyone still asleep, i left to follow him to the stage, mesmerized by him… people would later talk about his kindness, his glow… but in those moments that i followed him to the stage he was simply a man with stories that my camera laid claim to… standing alone in the theater watching his soundcheck,

i wondered again at my fascination of the origins of rockstar lives. ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things. people that take leaps by circumstance and desire into this world of connection and artistry. there are musicians like moby and others that make albums in bedrooms, retreating from the world and emerging with a pearl… and then there are the collaborative artists that come with ingredients eager to share,a plate of various fruits made sweeter by the bowl containing them. synergy being the thermometer… this is my impression of my introduction to the jam band world.

music is my life… i live constantly in a music video… i have playlists for various moods, for photo shoots, for travel, for rejuvenation. in concert photography i anticipate the beats, the glances. i am sensitive to stage lighting… i wait for it, i crave patterns and brightness… constant red lighting makes me angry… blue lights are usually moody angel glows i love to shoot in. a strategic mix of colors, white being dominant, golden opportunities to preserve faces just as they are… their moods unaltered, no trickery of production. just energy purely illuminated… the lighting at msg was perfect… i noticed this during endless rehearsals and soundchecks in the daytime… i wandered around the theater, befriended the cameramen and found myself on a hunt for staircases up to the catwalk in search of angles and perspectives. a labyrinth of stairs later and i found myself up way too high, dizzy from the height, seemingly held by grated walkways… instinct led me to a spot in the audience though… exhaustion kept me there for most of the performance. i glittered minimally, the dressing rooms filled up with more rockstars… blues traveler arrived, etta james, bela fleck, savion glover, dweezil zappa, little feat, charlie musselwhite… the crew began to stir, to move quicker.. hallways got thicker, 4/20 was in full effect.

this career is a life style… there is no separation now between what i do and who i am… i am an observer 24 hours a day… i am instigator… i choose to spend most of my awake hours where magic happens… i make my own schedule. i answer to myself. i work hard and pay dues… soon i will thrive… nights like last night tell me so. in one week, pixie vision will be one year old officially… 5/5/05… the auspicious date where intentions were solidified in the form of action… it’s only been a year… i am still paying dues… i will be patient… in the meantime, i savor these shocking evenings with the people that i love and see most often, my traveling circus of mutaynts who fill my days and my lenses with such happiness… we are reverberating staccatto now… i am thankful for these days…

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The Sixth Annual Jammy awards were held on April 20, 2006 at Madison Square Garden. The event was co-hosted by Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Performers 2004 JamOff winner Jonah Smith opened the ceremony with an hour-long set in the Theatre of Madison Square Garden’s lobby, while the Disco Biscuits autographed copies of the current issue of Relix magazine. The North Mississippi Allstars kicked off The Jammys proper with Umphrey's McGee drummer Kris Myers sitting in for Cody Dickinson. The North Mississippi Allstars also played a version of “Freedom Highway,” with vocal duties supplied by Mavis Staples. Richie Havens, who was the first performance at Woodstock '69, started the night off with his song "Freedom", backed by the Mutaytor. Next, Blues Traveler paid tribute to the Wetlands club by performing their song "NY Prophesie" with DJ Logic. Bettye LaVette also appeared during Blues Traveler's set, adding vocals on a cover of Steppenwolfs "Magic Carpet Ride". Next Bela Fleck and the Flecktones played a set. Next, a mixture band consisting of Joe Satriani, Steve Kimock, Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, horn player Willie Waldman, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey bassist Reed Mathis and Grace Potter performed a set. After them, Guster was joined by Peter Frampton and worked on material from Guster's new album Ganging up the Sun. Martin Sexton also joined them for a version of Frampton's "Do You Feel Like We Do." Banjoist Bela Fleck led his band, the Flecktones, on their first performance at a Jammys, welcoming jazz legend McCoy Tyner and tap dancer Savion Glover to join them. Next, Dweezil Zappa debuted his band Zappa Plays Zappa. Dweezil performed many tunes from his father's catalog and was joined by Mickey Hart, Chick Corea, and Jake Cinninger during their set, then MOE. took the stage for their second Jammys appearance, performing with Mad Professor and playing The Clash's "Guns of Brixton," and its own "Buster". Co-hosts Hart and Bill Kreutzmann then performed an improv set which including "Iko Iko", while being joined by Mike Gordon, Kimock, Steven Perkins, Charlie Musselwhite, The Mutaytor, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo and Bettye LaVette. The awards show came to a close with many of the nights performers jamming to Bob Marley's "One Love". People included Little Feat, Hart, Kreutzmann, Stephen Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Frampton, DJ Logic, Satriani, Hubert Sumlin, Consequence, Musselwhite and Fleck.

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