Music is my Passport

“When we were practicing for hours and hours, none of us imagined that years later we would be walking around in a beautiful temple in the heart of Shanghai.”-Band member

My band was on tour and discussing how all of us started playing music simply because we just loved it. I was so in love with the drums when I started, that I would dream about them at night and wake up in the morning and just stare at the instrument, in complete awe and amazement. 

I remember some of my first instructors would laugh at me because when my dad would be holding my hand as he walked me into the practice studio, I would be jumping with excitement at just the opportunity to be in close proximity to the instrument. Then, when I actually got a chance to play, I played like my life depended on it, sometimes, crying when my parents would say, “It’s time to go home,” and i had to leave the instrument.

What’s so interesting is that I never would have thought that love would create opportunities that sent sent me around the world.

I applied for my passport around age 16 when my high school band was invited to tour France and play at the Nantes Jazz Festival, and I remember back then it was a whole production to get a passport. My father took me down to the post office with my passport pic; we filled out the form, paid the money, and waited. 

Weeks later this passport showed up, and I remember looking at it and saying to my dad, “So this thing is supposed to allow me to go to a bunch of countries?" He said, “Yep son.” Then he began to tell me about all the countries he visited during his time in the “service”, aka military. He even showed me currency he had saved from all those different countries, pre-Euro. 

Sure enough… months later as I was about to board a plan to France, when I got in the customs line they asked for the passport, looked at me feverishly, stamped it, and I was on my merry way. 

The beauty of being a touring musician is that all of your hard work on that instrument can allow you to meet really amazing people from around the world, if you are fortunate. That same talent can introduce you to a community of people that travel the world and live their life with that purpose as their ultimate goal. Music has taken me to so many countries, and has allowed me to really understand the beauty of the world and people. 

I placed a limit previously on how complex people are in my mind, and it wasn’t until I began to travel and see how people lived life in a very similar manner, surrounded by completely different environments, languages, and practices, that it registered that we are all the same.

My level of gratitude toward music is so multilayered. I am first thankful to have found my identity through music, having it embrace me, and giving me a sense of purpose. 

Lastly, I most thankful that music has taken on the identity of a blue book, with my name and engrave picture, allowing me to cross borders and continents to celebrate the love I have for it. 

Music, I thank You