LA, Hollywood - Winter ‘14
After finishing 2013 in style on the Lucy Spraggan UK headline tour I decided - let’s take things up a notch again and move to LA for a few months...which consequently turned into four months - and then my visa ran out :-(
I decided that, with my diary looking kind of quiet for the first part of the year, now was probably the best chance I’d get to go back to LA after being so intrigued by it last time I was there, and really spend some time, get to know the place, the life, the culture, the music scene and take some lessons while I’m at it.
It has been one of the best experiences of my life.
I attended MI for a quarter and found myself studying under some of the greatest musicians in LA, if not the world!, including the amazing organist Joe Bagg; keyboardist and composer Henry Soleh Brewer; blues keyboardist queen Karen Hammack; synthesis legend Matt Engst; and the boss that is Russell Ferrante from The Yellowjackets; amongst others.
The education I received within this 3 months was a million to none - I’m still trying to process all of it. They were all SO incredibly inspiring and such specialists in their own field, along with being incredibly encouraging when it all got a bit overwhelming.
The highlight was having lessons with Russell Ferrante, he is one of my favourite jazz pianists. I started listening to The Yellowjackets when my dad introduced them to me when I was a kid, and I saw and got to meet him last year at Ronnies in London too. I had to pinch myself during our lessons...felt SO blessed! He is a legend and the most lovely, awesome, down-to-earth guy!
I met some great musicians in LA too. The scene is thriving with live music and incredible musos, some really great jams and singer/songwriter nights around town too; Hotel Cafe, JJ’s Super Soul Monday, The Federal, Bardot, Cafe Cordial, Room 5, Pig ‘n’ Whistle, Piano Bar, amongst many others are the places to hit! I saw some great gigs out there too;
And I got to see one of my all time favourite artists at The Palladium....Prince!! I was SO excited!-I had heard he had been doing a load of secret shows around London in February so I was kinda bummed that I thought I missed him, but then he came to LA and my friend got us tickets - It was the best show I’ve seen him do. I saw him a few years back at the O2 Arena and that was amazing but was much more of a ‘show’, this gig was more like a jam, which I preferred, with a his massive band coming on and off stage - I can’t remember how many encores he did but it was fab and so electric!, even if I got us kicked out towards the end for taking photos ...:/ haha, But it was an incredible night and a highlight was when one of my fav artists at the moment, Lianne La Havas joined him on stage.
In January I attended the NAMM show too. I only got one day there, realistically to see everything you’d need a few days it’s that big!, but it was super fun to check out all the new gear coming out and have a play on some beautiful Pianos!
At MI, we had numerous guest talks from industry professionals and artists, above is Joe Bonamassa - to hear about his journey in music and hear him play was very inspiring, super cool guy!
I also got an opportunity to get a “Coachella inspired” make over and photo shoot for Grazia UK Magazine. That was super fun, felt like a rock star for a day ;) the final photo can be seen in the June issue.
I had the best time and made some life long friends. LA is a magical, and sometimes crazy place! I loved doing yoga at the bottom of Runyon Canyon in the mornings and then taking a walk around the canyon - felt very ‘LA’ haha! The food is great out there too of course :) Saw a hockey game at The Staples Centre; took a few road trips and visited a couple of other towns including the beautiful Santa Barbara, Venice Beach, Santa Monica and the gorgeous Orange County; and had a few London friends drop in and out whilst there as well - so was awesome to catch them and party it up LA style.
Now back in the UK I’m looking forward to spending summer in London and seeing where music takes me next :) Till next time, stay blessed xXx