bill berry

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Jammin' Over the Internet!?

A year ago, at the beginning of 2020, this would-be musician finally started playing music with other people for the first time since moving to Tacoma eight years earlier. It felt joyous!

Then along came COVID-19! Work migrated home for many of us, restaurants and clubs shut down, and musicians’ venues disappeared for understandable reasons. We had to stop playing together before we could do our live performances.

In September, an email arrived from the inventive folks at Jazz Night School asking if we’d like to try remote rehearsing and recording via Jamulus. Lot’s of questions! “What the heck is Jamulus? What equipment would I need? What will it sound like?”

We arranged a quick test of the software and my setup. Erik could hear my bass over Jamulus. He played piano, and I could hear him just fine. I started playing along, and we could hear each other. The moment I started playing together with Erik, live, over the internet while merely testing equipment was emotional. There was a spark of hope!

Jared Hall’s combo started meeting, working on tunes, learning more (about music and technology). Here’s some documentary evidence of how we progressed! Not perfect, but it’s something precisely because we’re still working on it!!!

Here are three songs our combo recorded, featuring Kevin Doren (p), Geoff Fitch (g), Matt Shevrin (french horn), Paul Blaney (d), and yours truly, Bill Berry (b).

Jackie in the Rain

Very Early

49th Parallel

I consider myself fortunate to have made music with these gents, remotely, during the pandemic! The experience was better than I had imagined, and the sound quality’s not bad. And we’ve just started working on some new tunes!