Backstage is upstairs at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. The Green Room is where the musicians unpack, tune up and warm up before they take the stage. That's where legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn and B.B. King would hang between sets. On this night it was taken over by a new generation of jazz musicians including a bass player named Jared Mulcahy.
The Syracuse born, Skaneateles High School alumnus had visited the club before to soak in and learn from some of the industry's best. But, on this night it was his turn to step on stage in a club known around the world. "Itâ??s always been a dream. Looking out at the audience I was one of them," said Mulcahy. "It feels great. Great to give back.â??
Jared hauled the upright bass on the train to New York from Boston to perform with Berklee's Ralph Peterson sextet. It is an international elite group of scholarship winning musicians all in the age range of 20 to 21 years old. The setting means a lot to players that came from Japan, Korea, Israel, Canada, New York and New Jersey. But, once the first note is played it's just another gig. "Itâ??s just like anytime Iâ??m playing music. I felt this energy this crazy energy," said Jared of playing in front of the Blue Note audience. " Everyoneâ??s coming out here and they love jazz.â??
There's a lot of listening and connecting on stage. "I really just try to zone out when Iâ??m playing and use my ears as much as I can," said Mulcahy. "But, sometimes someone will play something interesting and Iâ??ll go Oh.. listen to that lick, you know what I mean. Then maybe Davis plays something cool on piano and I check it out. Yeah itâ??s all about being aware. Sometimes I have to look at people to catch their attention.â??
A corner of the full house of jazz fans was reserved for a Mulcahy contingent in town from Syracuse. Two grandparents, a couple of uncles, an aunt and mother and father were there to appreciate the moment and the high level of music. â??Family. I appreciate that. Thatâ??s a blessing," said Jared. "I could have been here alone and I wouldnâ??t have been nearly as happy. So thanks again. â??
"Now the green room is mine,â?? Jared chuckles and smiles as he realizes he's just borrowing the room for the night. But, there's a good chance he'll be back.
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