After Euge’s performance, A~ and I went backstage. A~ had already charmed the Guard at the backstage entrance, just based on her beauty (plus, the VIP wristbands gave us access)! First person that we notice is Darryl Williams, speaking with Steve Chapman. Behind them on the trailer’s steps was Howard Hewett. I made mention to A~ of this fact. Darryl finished his conversation and warmly hugged us. I introduced him to A~, and Darryl and I took a photo together.
After enjoying a chat with Darryl, he excuses himself and he is on his way. We notice Euge finishing up in the photo media booth, so we start walking toward him. First thing out of my mouth is “Joy says hi, and she wishes she was here”….to which he quickly replies “Why isn’t she here?” I tell him that she wanted to be, and I pull him over for a quick hug. Euge thanks A~ for joining in the dancing on “Born 2 Groove”. A~ tells him that I didn’t want to go up to dance. Euge says to me, “WHAT?!” “You’re OUT of the club, although I don’t know what club that is, exactly!” I sulked back to my seat! LOL!
The next artist that were performing together were Najee, Alex Bugnon and Howard Hewett. I have never seen Alex Bugnon live before, so I was excited. I had not seen Najee in over 2 years, and his name was another one of the deciding factors in my attendance. As well as Howard Hewett’s. Howard Hewett. Howard Hewett.…oops, I digress! Najee came out smokin’, of course, with Alex joining in, and then Alex playing solo.
We were at our table watching the show, and I happened to spot Kirk Whalum arriving, behind the stage. If Kirk is there, then that probably means Gerald, Peter and Jeff are there, too! I start getting nervous. I had my dinner on the table, and couldn’t eat anymore! A~ asks me if I want to go backstage, and I say YES! We go backstage, and here’s what I see: Gerald Albright speaking with Howard Hewett, Jeff Golub speaking with Steve Chapman, and Peter walking out of his trailer. I look dead at Peter, as to say, hope you can stop and say hi, and I pretend to hide from Jeff G. Jeff comes racing towards me, saying “Don’t try hiding from me!” and gives me a big hug! After being in the direct sun for the last 5 hours, I was looking beat down….so here’s another bad shot of me, with Jeff looking great!
I can honestly say, I think I said to him “I’m so proud of you”, and “I’ve been missing you, Dude”! It’s sad that I still speak gibberish when Jeff’s around!
Then, guess who starts walking towards me?
I give Peter a hug, and he is gracious enough to talk to me for a while. I ask him if it was “Blue Beauty” in his case, and he nodded yes. SCORES of people come over and want to take a photo with him…maybe my ranking of fan #1.75 (which he remembered) is slipping fast!
I asked Peter what he needed to do to prepare for the concert, and he said just to relax– there was really no preparation needed. I look at his hands, then realize I forgot to discuss his car accident. I scream, “Aaah! I’m so glad that you’re okay!”, and hug him. Peter calmly says, “Don’t yell at me, I’m trying to relax”. Oops! LOL! I did YELL at him! We discuss the accident, and I tell him how we all thought that it was his HEAD that hit the windshield, while he assures me it was his fist, and shows me some of the scratches. I just explain that we are all happy that he’s okay, and I had to drive in to see the last performance of what I deem the BEST Guitars and Saxes lineup.
While Peter continues to take photos with fans, we see Gerald Albright, and A and I give him a hug. He is such a great guy, he always makes a person feel welcome. He later happens to be speaking with Howard Hewett, so I egg A~ on to meet Howard for the first time. She meets him, and I go over as well, and Howard introduces us both to Christopher, his son with Nia Peeples. A nice young man. And I didn’t faint in Howard’s presence!
We run back to our seats and prepare for Howard to come onstage. He was as fabulous as always, never breaking a note!
Howard also came into the audience, and had the audience in a frenzy!
Howard’s final song, “Say Amen”, had us all testifying in the audience! Najee was playing the sax, and they Kirk Whalum came up and joined them as well. We, as the audience,was truly blessed to have experienced this performance!
We went backstage again, as I did not have a photo with Najee in my collection, and we wanted to say hello to him. We walked toward the press area, to see if we can get a photo. We notice Najee walking toward us. A~ says hello to Najee, and as I’m attempting to take a photo of him, he asks if I want a photo with him. I’m thinking, “of course”, so we take a photo together.
I tell Najee that Cheryl says to tell him hello, and he says “Oh, tell her I said hi!” Mission accomplished for both Joy and Cheryl! I run over and ask Alex if it’s okay to take a photo and he green lights it!
Then, it’ s time….Guitars and Saxes!
I had saved some funds so that I could purchase Kirk’s “Gospel According to Jazz, Part 3”, and have him autograph it. He did, while Gerald was telling him what a big Smooth Jazz fan I was, travelling all over the country. I thanked them both, and started on my way. I hear Jeff call me “Lory, don’t leave until I get to say goodbye”. Okay, I’m dreaming. It’s being out in the heat all day, that’s it. Jeff comes from behind the signing table and gives me a big hug. I thank him, and tell him I look forward to seeing him soon! I’m waiting for A~ who is backstage visiting, and I’m still in shock! Jeff wanted to say goodbye to ME?! Wow! I guess he now trusts that I’m not the stalker fan, but the passionate fan! It was the perfect ending to the perfect day! I loved it!